Copy - Content - Marketing Communications Planning

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The first sale is not the hardest

Traditionally new customers are thought of as the hardest to gain. New business development is still seen as one of the most important jobs in any company and is usually staffed by hard nosed professional communicators with an eye for a good margin.
How are you going to earn that second sale?
But like everything else - times have changed and are continuing to change as customers learn that they are in complete control of the buying process. Customers are slowly realising that they can buy when they want, at a price point of their choice, new or secondhand without any help from a smooth or not so smooth talking salesperson.

So the first sale you make is going to be very much like the second sale you make to that customer - not really under your influence.

But there are 4 things you should consider when trying to get that second sale:

  1. Thank your new customer for the first sale. Not in an email. By way of a "thank you" postcard. No offer, no special deal, just a plain old thank you and perhaps some handy customer service details.
  2. Having established postcards as a media calculate the most probable next order date and 2 weeks before hand send another postcard with a discount code of say 15% off everything you have on your website
  3. If that fails and you have an email try the same with an email
  4. Change the offer - if practicable try a buy 1 get one Free, or a related product or service add-on 
If you can get the second sale - you have a significantly higher chance of hanging on to your new customer - that's why the second sale can be the hardest.

But the good news is that most companies still work on the assumption that new customers are more important, and don't really care about them after they get the first order. If you do, and put the investment into chasing down those second orders, growth will be more sustainable and competitive advantage improved.

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at

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