When I was a kid I would always be asking for sweets and chocolate. In fact I never stopped.
My Mum used to say to me “you sound like a broken record!” because I was always asking for the same things.
When I was quite a few years older and working in insurance sales I was reminded of my Mum’s saying by my first manager.
“Make sure your customers think you sound like a broken record,” he would say when we had our weekly meetings. At first I wasn’t sure what he meant by that but eventually I began to understand.
I would walk around my round, collecting my insurance premiums and on the way I would let my customers know about any new offers or policies we were selling.
My manager would ask me: “Have you told them about the new ABC policy?” and I would answer: “Yes, I’ve told everyone about it.”
He would just smile and say: “Good! Well, tell them all again!”
At the time I wasn’t sure why I had to tell them all about the same thing that I had just told them – I thought I would be insulting their intelligence, and if nothing else their memory!
To my amazement, on my second run round I had customers suddenly telling me that they were interested in what I was telling them – even more amazing was the fact they were surprised I hadn’t told them before about what I was offering!
Of course I had told them, but for whatever reason they either hadn’t heard me, or it wasn’t important to them at the time – but now it was.
The big lesson I learnt from then was to not assume your customers remember everything you tell them – in fact, you’re better to assume they remember very little, or anything at all.
Despite what we would like to think, customers are only genuinely interested in what we do when they want the results we can deliver.
I was a good example of this a couple of weeks ago when Spring came early in the UK. I went into my local garden centre and queued up to buy some tomato seeds. The place was packed with customers, and it took me forever to get served with my little packet of seeds. Bizarrely, I could have bought them a week earlier and the place would have been empty, because the weather was still cold and wet. But that’s the point – I didn’t want them a week earlier, or on any other day that I passed by the garden centre. I wanted them that morning, because for me it was the right time to buy them.
So, make sure you are always letting your customers know about what you do and what you offer. I might have driven past the sign outside my local garden-centre saying “Get all your Spring seeds here!” a dozen times, but I only remembered it when it was important to me.
Become a broken record to your customers – have a rota of messages you send them. Don’t be afraid of repeating a similar message, because one day will be the day they want to buy from you.
By keeping in the sub-conscience of your customer base you will improve your chances of increasing your sales to them.