A recent guest blog post,Don’t Give Up – Follow Up, encouraged the sales person not to give up too quickly if a potential sale was not being tied down immediately. By being persistent, it is often possible to have a successful outcome from what looks to be a pretty dismal start. Hopefully if you adopt that philosophy, your selling success rate will increase. You can then pat yourself on the back as each new sale is recorded.

I then realized that the clever blog title applied not only while trying to make the sale, but equally once the customer has agreed to purchase. A customer represents not only a sales transaction completed at a point in time but is also a potential asset for the future. You need to work on that asset if you want to make the best of this new opportunity. Here are six tips to help you make the most of the opportunity.

1. See the Customer as an Asset

This tip is the most important one of all the six. It is sometimes difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. However being customer-centric is an important concept in marketing. In all likelihood the purchase by the customer is much more important to her or him than it is to you as a sales representative. They only buy one product; you hopefully sell many. They may well have spent a significant amount of research to check alternative products and convinced themselves that what you are offering beats out the competition. Having made the purchase, they are looking and hoping for a pleasurable customer experience.

If your product and the associated service you provide can deliver on that expectation, then the customer will be in a very positive frame of mind. It is unfortunate but so many purchases turn out to be somewhat ho-hum. Your particular sale is measured against that general expectation of ho-hum products and services. Through your efforts, you can have a customer who finds that this particular purchase was extraordinary rather than ordinary. That is an asset you can build on. The other five tips relate to how you build on that base and develop an even stronger asset for your company.

2. Thank the Customer for Buying

Thanking the customer for the order is a very standard sales task. The majority of sales representatives will do this. However this is the first chance you have to begin building the relationship between the client and yourself and your company. Is there some stylish way of expressing that thanks? You know you have it right when the customer wants to tell their friends about the great/cute/moving thank you message they received from you or your company.

3. Stay in Touch

It is important to maintain contact with the customer at a frequency that is linked to the purchase frequency for the products and services you sell. You never know when they may be considering purchasing again or perhaps one of their friends asks them for advice on which product to buy. Thankfully maintaining such contact is essentially at zero cost with the Internet. If they have accepted receiving email messages from you, then this is one way of maintaining contact. If you have a company blog, then this is another way they can be kept aware of interesting new developments in your company or in the products and services you provide.

4. Involve Them in Your Community

It is surprising how often it is helpful to be in touch with others who may be using similar products and services. If your company can provide the place where such exchanges take place, then this is another way of solidifying the relationship between the client and your company. It could be as simple as maintaining a Facebook page or a Google Plus page. You then need to publicize this and try to encourage a sense of community. Forums are another way of doing this but unless you have enthusiastic participants, the amount of energy to create and maintain a successful forum is not cost effective.

5. Encourage Their Public Support

If you know that your customers had a great experience with your products and services, then it may be that they can be persuaded to become company evangelists. Perhaps they will write a positive review on an appropriate website such as Google Plus or Yelp. Such reviews are particularly important for a local business that wishes to rank well in the listings provided by Local Search.

6. Reward Their Loyalty

There is only so much that can be achieved by relying on your customers’ goodwill. Customers can be powerful supports for your selling effort and it is worth showing your gratitude for their continuing involvement. There are innovative ways in which you can offer items which cost little but are valuable to the recipient. Indeed in many cases the value is not the critical factor. Much more important is that you show you value their loyalty and wish to recognize this in some tangible way.

By applying these six tips, you will help ensure that these customers make their repeat purchases from you and encourage their friends to do likewise. Prospects for your products and services may read your customers’ reviews and be positively influenced. With only a little extra effort, you will have built on a single sales transaction and created a long-term associated revenue stream.