We all know it’s easier to sell to someone who’s already a customer, but how many of us are systemizing a sales process that keeps customers for a lifetime?
Certain industries like insurance, auto sales and realty depend on customers coming back to them again and again – yet they’re still hoping that they convert customers for a lifetime.
No matter what industry you’re selling in or how many products or services you have available, you should be systemizing what you can do throughout the lifecycle of a customer to ensure they see you as a trusted advisor and not a vendor.
To learn how that’s done in one of the most commoditized industries on the planet, we sat down with Trey Sinclair, President of Wells Insurance Agency. He shared a sales system that the best in his industry use to ensure their customers come back again and again and showed us how any salesperson could use it to keep customers for a lifetime.
Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: To trigger a ‘long game’ relationship with your prospects, Trey recommends identifying the problem you solve that your prospects may not even be aware they have.
The reason this is important is that to begin a long-term relationship, you need to show up with more than just a product or service you want to sell. You want to provide the value of your expertise, and that means understanding what a prospect is trying to achieve in their lives and business so that you can share what the future looks like with what you sell (and what it looks like if they don’t purchase what you’re selling).
Once you have an understanding of the challenges your prospects have now and the ones they’ll have in the future without your product or service, you’re ready to execute the repeatable steps of the system.
R – Repeatable: The first step in a system that ensures a long-term relationship with your prospect and throughout their time as a customer is to ensure you’re not just trying to make a sale.
While this may sound counterintuitive, Trey says the first step is to explore not just the challenge that what you sell solves, but the secondary challenges the prospect may have in their lives and business too. That means asking questions about what the future looks like for this prospect, especially around the things they may not be ready to purchase from you yet.
The reason this is critical is because it gives you a reason to reach out in the future with value and don’t require your customer to buy everything you offer today.
Trey says a critical step to include is to ensure you’re aware of the benchmarks this prospect will likely encounter in their personal and professional lives, especially those benchmarks that intersect with the solutions you provide. Depending on the industries you’re serving, these may include birthdays, business mergers, hiring new staff, selling a business, the birth of children, weddings, acquiring new equipment or locations, opening new locations, etc.
Those benchmarks are things for you to use as reasons to meet with your customers and things to advise them on so that you’re not perceived as a vendor or ‘one-hit wonder.’
I – Improvable: To improve this system and ensure it’s keeping up with industry and economic changes, Trey says to keep up to date on what peers of your customers and prospects are doing around your product or service. If you notice that all customers in a certain industry or with a certain job title are taking action, ensure that you’re informing every customer (and even prospect!) you have that their peers or competitors are all making decisions.
That’s a value-added conversation they’ll be happy to have.
M – Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of this system, Trey says to keep track of renewals, retention of service or follow-on purchases. Because this system is designed to capture customers for a lifetime, you’ll want to track what your retention metrics are to ensure your strategy is yielding results year after year.
To do measure something more granular, Trey says to measure the amount of touchpoints you have with your customers throughout the year where you’re reaching out to provide customized value and keeping them up to date on the changes they’ll want to know about.