The Key to Success – From Marketing to Sales and Back Again™

By: Dawn Fiala

keynowordsMarketing and sales go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other and by the same token, when one is set in motion it builds momentum for the other. Marketing lays the foundation for sales to begin and when done well, sales keeps the door open for marketing to continue as client’s needs and wants change.

Marketing and sales are in this circular dance and in the middle is your customer. So how do you keep them dancing? You find out what is most important to to them and sell it to them. Sounds simple on the surface, but there is more to it than that.

The marketing piece of this dance is a survey. A ranking survey in which your customers rank in importance the features about your product or service. The results of this survey will tell you what matters most to a majority of your customers. Many business owners I’ve worked with are very surprised when they see the results of their ranking survey. What they thought mattered most is usually a very low priority to their customers. They are discouraged to find out they’ve been doing it all wrong. I quickly point out that they now know what to do and will get the results they are looking for. The ranking survey takes the guess work out of the equation. The results of the survey are the cold hard facts and should be implemented into the marketing plan.

Once the marketing piece of the dance is completed, it is time to work on the sales piece. Sales is built on relationships and trust. Once the relationship is built, the doors open and the selling process can begin. With the survey results in hand, the sales team knows exactly what to say and how to sell.

As you can see constant communication between marketing and sales is crucial to the success of any business. It takes two to dance.

What’s the Difference Between Customer Retention & Customer Loyalty?

By: Dawn Fiala

dawn2August 19, 2015

Through the years I’ve often noticed that people use customer retention and customer loyalty synonymously. And as they are very similar, there is one distinct difference between customer retention and customer loyalty. Customer loyalty can begin when customer retention is continually increasing.

To increase customer retention many things must be going right with your business and its relationship with your customers. Businesses with higher customer retention rates know what their customers really want and they provide proactive, consistent and personal service. Their customers are happy enough with their business to continue to come back time and time again. These businesses are retaining more and more customers resulting in a higher customer retention rate.

Once a customer has been retained and has repeatedly returned to a business, they are ready to become loyal customers. Why are loyal customers important for your business? Why should you care if they become loyal as long as they are returning every time they are in need of your product/service? You care because loyal customers refer your business to their friends, family and colleagues. These wonderful customers will stick their neck out on the line for you. They will stay with you even if you mess up. They will stay with you even when your competitor starts to move in on them. Ultimately, they will help you grow your business.

To move a customer from a mere retained customer to a loyal customer, you simply start a loyalty program. A loyalty program rewards your customers for continuing to do business with you. You can provide them with a discount or something for free. Assuming your customer retention rate is increasing and you are ready to start a loyalty program, you should already know what matters most to your customers. Whatever that is, you should gear your loyalty program around it. For example, if price matters most to your customers, you could offer a “buy 9 and get the 10th one free”.

Loyal customers can be more effective than an advertising campaign. It is important to invest the time into customer retention and then customer loyalty. The pay off will be well worth it.