Last time we were talking about the advantage of dealing with someone you’ve dealt with prior compared to someone you’ve never dealt with before. We spoke about the fact that you’ve already won their confidence, so unlike the first time you ever call called them, they are already aware of the fact that you’re dependable as well as competent and good at what you do. That’s a huge advantage over someone they’ve never dealt with before.
If you can remember your first encounter with them on your initial visit, it is required that you not only sell them on the fact that you’re going to give them an excellent product for a very competitive price, but you had to sell them on yourself and your integrity. Now that’s already been established so the next order should be almost automatic. I can’t overemphasize how important it is to maintain good record keeping of what their last order entailed and when it was delivered. The reason I bring this up is that you want to make sure you call them a few months later on down the line when the season starts to change. There’s a very fine line a Salesman walks sometimes. They don’t want to be considered a pain in the butt and they also don’t want to risk being forgotten about. All things considered, I would rather error on the side of reaching out to last year’s customer when they don’t actually need anything at that moment then risk the fact of them not remembering you and calling one of your competitors.
There’s nothing more frustrating when you walk in to a place of business that you’ve dealt with before and they’re wearing custom t-shirts that were not processed by your company. That’s happened to me before. I asked them, why didn’t you call me? You’re happy with what we did weren’t you? They’re typical reply was we couldn’t find your card or we forgot. Sometimes, someone new is hired by that particular company and takes over the job of someone else who you dealt with previously. It’s not uncommon that they forget to recommend you before they leave to the new person taking over that position. If they don’t, it’s almost like starting over. You have to reintroduce yourself and establish that confidence with a new individual who you’ve never dealt with before.
The conversation usually goes something like this. “Hi this is Mike. I used to deal with Gloria and it was my company that provided most of the custom screen printing and embroidery that you’ve been obtaining. Can I please have a chance to quote the next time you’re going to need some more? I realized I missed the last time as you guys never did give me a call, but I sure don’t want to be forgotten about this time around. I realize that we’re not the only digital t-shirt printing company around so I will take that into consideration when I give you a quote for your new order. If I can’t give you a better overall value than what you got from the last guys you dealt with, then there’s absolutely no good reason to use me but I’ll make sure that I’ll make the most of the opportunity.”