Often when we talk about growing our business, we think of finding new customers.
There’s a saying that “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and I believe that this extends to business. Not that our customers are birds!
Simply that is often easier (and more enjoyable) to sell to a previous client than it is to find a new one. A huge part of growing your business should be focused on customer retention.
Customer retention is the art of actively working with previous customers to continue building on a great relationship. But the benefits aren’t just for the seller. As consumers, it is easier for us to order from an online store that already has our details and that we’ve previously navigated. We prefer to shop with companies that we know will give us great customer service. It is the same for retailers. It is easier for them to stock products they know, already have listed on their website and have trained their staff to understand and sell. It is simpler for them to buy from suppliers with whom they already have an established account and trading terms.
That’s what this blog post is all about – 5 strategies that you can implement in your wholesale business THIS WEEK to foster growth.
1. Encourage customers to tell their friends about you.
Yep, retailers have friends! Many retailers are even in business or social media groups with fellow retailers who might be in a totally different area or have a completely different target market. Ask them to share your details with these business buddies.
Here’s a sample letter for you:
Dear (awesome retailer),
We’re always looking for fantastic new stockists to bring our brands to Australian families and perhaps you have a business colleague who would love to hear about our range.
If you’re happy with the service you receive from us and the products we supply, we’d love for you to share us with your friends!
2. Provide your retailers with a great tool to help them sell more.
Create a demonstration video, a product information booklet or staff training manual to send to your retailers with their first order or when they purchase a newly launched product. No store owner wants to go searching for the information they need to sell your product more effectively. But every store owner wants the information easily accessible and readily available. Encourage brand loyalty by providing your retailers with everything they need to sell your products.
3. Offer a discount for repeat purchases or for referral purchases.
If your retailers tend to order once a month, perhaps you can offer them a discount for a second order placed within the same calendar month? Maybe they can receive a discount off every 5th order. Or perhaps they can receive an ongoing discount for referring other stockists to you. These all help to build customer loyalty, enhance your customer’s experience with you and grow your brand’s reach.
4. Offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.
No one really likes paying for postage. Is this a cost you could absorb in orders over a certain amount? Then use it! Apart from showing your retailer some love, it might also encourage them to spend a little extra in order to make the minimum requirement to save on the shipping.
5. Give your retailers something to give.
Retailers love having stock to give away and consumers love a good competition. Why not send your stockists something in their next order that they can use to form the basis of a customer love campaign? Team it up with the offer of social media support and a newsletter campaign to help them spread the word.
Tell me: which strategy will you implement first?