The key to successful repeat sales.

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If you’re in business, you already know that it’s the repeat sales that bring in the real profits.

Selling again to someone who has already bought from you is easier, cheaper and quicker than selling to someone who doesn’t know you. Hence the popularity of list building – a phrase which has become common place in internet marketing though it’s been the foundation of off line sales for decades.

The two main keys  to ongoing profit generation through repeat sales are:

  • staying in touch regularly and consistently
  • creating a level of interactivity with your past customers

By adding an element of interactivity to your communications, you’ll find that your repeat sales will increase.  The logic is simple:  people who already know and trust you will be likely to want to engage in further interaction with you.  That’s the basis of all human interaction.  And seeing as you’re selling to humans, it makes sense to use already established mechanisms.

How do you create interactivity:

Depending on whether your business is a bricks and mortar or internet based, you may need to use different approaches:

Bricks and mortar approaches:

  • events and promotions which require the customer to come in to the store in order to participate.  This can be as simple as a coupon or as complex as a full out social / sales event such as a pre-launch or ‘sneak peek’ at your new season’s inventory.  In a clothing store this could be a pre-season fashion show.  In an electronics store it could be a pre-view of upcoming technology.  The basic process would be an invitation delivered by email or snail mail giving the details and a call to action.

Online approaches:

  • Online businesses have less logistics to worry about in creating interactive elements in their marketing.  They are able to quickly and cost effectively broadcast an invitation to existing customers that can be acted upon either instantly or at a pre-determined time.  An ‘instant’ invitation may be as simple as an offer to download a free e-book or a discount on an immediate purchase, while a ‘pre-determined’ invitation may be a series of anticipation building emails leading up to the launch of a new product or service.

What the interactive element looks like is not as important as it is to make sure that there is a good reason for your customer to take some kind of action.  It’s easier to move one action into another action and on to a purchasing action  than it is to move from complete inaction into purchasing action.

It’s a process of building momentum.  Momentum requires constant and consistent movement.  Like a snowball, it starts of very small but quite quickly grows in size and impact.  By adding interactivity to your regular communication, you’ll soon see the same effect taking place in your sales volume and bottom line.

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