107,918 foster children are eligible for adoption. That number has remained roughly consistent for the past five years. Before you become alarmed and stop reading, take a breath. I’m not suggesting that you literally adopt foster children (although that would be a worthy mission).
I want you to look inside your own company and determine how many orphans exist. I define a business orphans as customers sold by a sales rep no longer in place at your company. He or she may have been transferred to another location. They might have been promoted to a different role or supervisory position within the company. Some have completely left the organization.
The bottom line is that orphaned customers no longer ‘have a guy’, as you regularly hear me say. By that I mean an assigned salesperson (guy or gal) who performs QA’s. This rep also communicates and touches them regularly. They also uncover new found needs that may lead to collateral sales. Additionally nobody is in place to coax recommendations, referrals and testimonials from these loyal but lonesome customers.
I probably don’t have to tell you the reasons customers leave companies they patronize. Here are the actual stats from recent customer surveys.
68% Cancel because of attitude/feeling of indifference displayed by person(s) within the company.
14% Quit due to product dissatisfaction
9% Leave for competitive reasons
5% Form other relationships
3% Move away
The way I see it by adopting orphan customers you can remove every reason except the last two. Obviously you can’t stop folks from relocating, nor are you empowered to postpone death.
However, the other 96% of those reasons can be eliminated by going through a simple adoption ceremony. Here’s how easy that is:
- Ask your admin to print a list of existing customers, including the name of who originally sold it.
- Go through the list and highlight each one sold by employees no longer in position or even with your company.
- Make contact and set up QA visits with each one. Explain in ‘tongue and check’ fashion that
you want to adopt them, and tell them what that entails.
- While you are there perform a QA checkup on service(s) they currently have, and make sure they are still completely satisfied. Additionally, assess other areas of the home/business you sell services for.
- Continue to ‘touch’ the customer at least quarterly, as I wrote about HERE. When your “new” customer realizes you’re their guy/gal, they will be open to consider other services you sell. You should also be able to secure recommendations and introductions with friends and relatives who need someone like you.
That’s it; a simple prospecting activity that will provide a multitude of contacts, plus future sales and referrals. Additionally, you will retain lots of customers who’ve “lost that lovin’ feeling” and feel like orphans.
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