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By Greg Incardona, Vice President of Follow Your Customer, Inc.

According to a Small Business Trends report in 2016, 85% of a retailer’s new business comes from referrals. Most small businesses know that it is easier to sell to a referred customer. Despite these statistics, many businesses send only ‘Thank You’ notes and never contact their customers again unless they have a sale. Their commitment to customers gets lost after the initial transaction.

In order to build your referral database, you must stay in front of your customers so they will remember the customer service and follow-up they received. This won’t happen by accident; it will only happen with a well thought out marketing plan.

In addition, independent industry research says 35% of foot traffic buys and 65% leave to “think about something” or “talk to someone”; we kindly know them as “be backs.” The real issue is that the 65% that leave to “think about it,” are buying flooring somewhere! Since it’s possible customers that leave without buying are likely shopping your competitors, it is wise to somehow get them into your database so you can connect with them in a timely manner. This may eventually divert them from purchasing at the competition.

Is sending a thank you note enough for a customer who has made a purchase from your business? Will it keep them coming back to your store for their next purchase?  How will you get consumers to remember or refer you unless you are constantly connecting with them?

We understand that following up can be sometimes difficult, you get busy…but it has to start with a plan. How should you segment your database?  How do you determine how often to send communication? What to send; emails, cards, postcards, invitations, newsletters? What do you say in your correspondence? This list is long, but what you’ll need is a road map, and an action plan to market to your customers. With one important factor in mind, “you should want a customer for life” and the only way to get that is to build a trusting relationship. People buy from those they, “know / like/ trust”, they know you because they bought from you, but you must work to get them to “like & trust” you and turn them into a “customer for life!”

Determine your target customers and why they are important.

Turn your “prospect” into a “customer” and ultimately stay in touch with them to get the referral business that we all want. A few tips, define your potential customer and why they are important and determine what traits they must have before you can consider them a prospect. After further evaluation, you will understand the importance of your prospect as they are the real target for increasing your business.


About the Author:

Greg Incardona is Vice President of Follow Your Customer, Inc., a marketing strategy firm. He teaches professionals on how to “Mine Your Database for Revenue”, hear more from him at The International Surface Event show. His presentation on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Case Study: Why After Sale Marketing Will Save Your Business is complimentary to all registered attendees. For registration information, visit our website at and click on the education tab.