A Great “Relationship Marketing” Tip to Re-Activate Your Customers

Posted on September 4, 2008 by Sara Eastwood - Also by this author

I was reminded of a simple way to make more sales and develop a long term relationship with prospective clients via an email I received recently from Virgin Wines. They have me on an email list from a few months ago when I bought a one-off set of wine as a present. I declined the subsequent offer of joining their wine club. I must say I am glad I did, as the follow up emails I have received from them are great examples of relationship marketing.

Here is the email:

Dear Sara, I am not a sensitive person by nature, but I have to say that I am feeling a little hurt. We’ve invited you into our Club, but you’ve clearly decided not to. So, as a one-off attempt at sheer bribery, I’m offering you your first trial Club case HALF PRICE at just $94.00 (that’s a ridiculously low $8 per bottle!). Plus, two FREE gifts, worth $60. That’s an overall savings of nearly $160. Sound good? Then click here to claim your HALF PRICE case and FREE GIFTS.

But you’re probably not ready to join yet. You’re probably thinking… I can buy the wines anywhere. Well you can’t actually. The boutique wines we reserve for our Club Members never appear in the supermarket. And they are always offered to members at a lower price than non-members get them for. It’s just like one of those ghastly book clubs. Er… sorry, not correct on this one either. Quite simply, you have no obligation to take any wine you don’t want. You don’t even have to pay us for any wines that don’t blow your socks right off.

Are you not the joining type? If we explained that the reason we have a Club in the first place is because 40,000 people can buy better than one, perhaps you’d change your mind. If you join us, 40,001 people will buy better than 40,000. Or maybe you’ve just not got around to it… which is fine. People who buy wine by the case tend to be busy.

So what would be a good reason? Here’s one good reason to test us out right now. We’re keen to recruit new members. So, for one last time I’m offering you your first trial Club case HALF PRICE. Take our HALF PRICE case NOW, and you’ll receive a complimentary pair of beautiful Dartington Wine Glasses, completely FREE. Plus, a FREE professional lever corkscrew, worth $40.

So why don’t you join us now and find out what it’s all about for you? Not next week, but right now.

Cheers, Rowan Gromley, Founder, Virgin Wines www.virginwines.com

PS — Don’t forget, you’ve got nothing to lose. If you’re not 100% happy with our wines, our service or anything at all, we’ll give you your money back

• • • Can you see why this is a superb piece of relationship marketing?

  • The fact that I received it means that Virgin Wines are head and shoulders above the three or four competitors I also checked out a few months ago.
  • It is clear they have a systemized sales process that tracks every prospective customer, and that they regularly have ‘touch points’ to re-activate me as a customer.
  • The tone of the email is superb. It is written in a friendly, one-to-one manner that speaks directly to me. I was made an offer that I could not get on their website; it is an incentive to take action.
  • I naturally have questions and objections floating around my head as I am reading the email. The writer of the email (because I don’t actually think Rowan would be emailing me) understands buyer psychology and has answered many of the common sales objections upfront — with extremely persuasive points, too.

What can you learn from this if you want to sell your way out of a recession?

  • Begin sending out customer re-activation letters and emails to everyone who has inquired within the last year and has not bought.
  • Make them an offer they just cannot refuse.
  • Answer any niggling doubts they might still have before they become major obstacles.
  • If you are in a business where it is viable, make sure you include cost/profit justifi cation of your services.
  • Plan for the future and begin to make this a routine part of your sales system so that you never lose contact with your prospective customers.

Oh, and something slightly off topic — invest in sales and sales management training. There is no better time to invest in training than when the economy is in a downturn. A small investment in sales training will ensure you surpass your competition.

Sara Eastwood sara@lctmag.com

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