Successful sales professionals take care to develop long-term relationships with their customers. They understand that the only way to consistently generate orders and increase business is through customer loyalty. This loyalty is built by continuing to monitor and cultivate the customer’s satisfaction.

Document the Selling Process.  In order to structure a long-term relationship, you need to document the selling process and ensure your company is providing good customer service. You will also want to understand the buying cycle of your customer and use some type of contact management system to complement the follow-up process.

Document each Sale.  Many people resist and procrastinate documenting sales because it’s not particularly fun and certainly not glamorous. However, it’s essential in building and managing a business. Documenting your sales ensures the customer’s order is properly filled and executed. It also provides you with the information you need to follow up on the order and gain repeat business.

Use each Sale as a Learning Opportunity.  Besides taking care of the order process and inputting information in your contact management system, now is also the time to make any notes to yourself about what you did well and what you need to work on or change in your sales approach. Learning from every selling experience ensures continuously improved sales competence. You made the sale, but you will eventually pay a price if the customer isn’t satisfied.

Follow-up After the Sale.  Ensuring that the customer receives effective service should be a high priority. As a minimum, your customers expect the equipment to perform as promised. An excellent follow-up tactic is to make sure that they are satisfied with their purchase. Address their expectations during the selling process and then follow up to make sure they have been fulfilled. Customer satisfaction is your responsibility.

Plan for Future Sales Opportunities.   Keep in mind that not only should you plan before the sales call, you should plan after the sales call for the next order. To get repeat business and grow a loyal customer base you need to consistently service your customers. Remember that once you have received the initial order, your real work starts. This is how you ensure an exceptional customer buying experience. If you have all these elements in place, you can and should expect referrals from those customers that enjoy working with you and the line of products you represent.