How to turn inquiries into customers

Whenever I consult with a company, one of the first things I create is a method to capture the names of anyone who inquires about the company or their products.

Note.  I didn’t say create a mailing list of their customers.  I said: “capture the names of anyone who inquires about the company or their products”.

Very few of the companies have a mechanism in which to do this.  I’m going to go over one method that I hope you will implement in your marketing.

Let’s say you own a restaurant.  You probably have ads in the Yellow Pages, coupon mailers and other way’s you use to get customers. 

You probably have 50 or more people each week contacting you to ask a question.  The questions could be “what are your hours of operation?” or “Do you take reservations?”  It could be any question.

The key here is how do you capture those inquiries?  These are what I call “hot prospects.” 

Do the math.  If only 50 people inquire each week, that’s 2600 per year.  If you captured their information, you could now send them a “thank-you-for-calling” letter and also make them an offer.  And you can also send them periodic information. 

For instance, say someone calls to see what hours you are open today.  You do the following:

  • Thank the person for calling.
  • Let them know what hours you are open.
  • Say something like: “Will this be your first time visiting us?” If they say, “Yes”, you can then say: “Let us know when you come in and we’ll have a welcome gift for you.”
  • When they come in and identify themselves, thank them and let them know that dessert will be on the house.
  • At the end of the dinner, have them complete a short survey that includes their contact information.
  • Enter their contact information in your mailing or email list.

Every business should come up with strategies to deal with different inquiry situations. 

When we run an ad, most of the time we think along the lines of: “How many customers do we get from the ad?”  When we add the inquiry strategy, we can also ask: “How many inquirers do I get from the ad?”

This strategy adds another dimension to creating customers.  How can you use it in your business to grow your list of customers?


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8 Responses to “How to turn inquiries into customers”

  1. Susan Blesch says:

    I think this site is very good.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Susan Blesch,
    Susan, thanks.

    Ken

    [Reply]

  2. Doc says:

    Ken never misses a point. Off line or online failing to collect contact information spells slow death to any business!

    Keep ‘em coming!

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Doc,
    Hi Doc, thanks.

    Ken

    [Reply]

  3. Maryam says:

    Thanks ken that is so right! The problem with many companies is that they keep looking for big solutions to get new customers or to solve a problem! But the fact is that it’s the “little” things that grow in to greatness! And we all know little niche ideas and are in everything we do. I think a good way of understanding them is putting yourself in your customers or future customers shoes! And what we all want no matter who we are and what age we have… We all want more attention and suprizes! Which translates many times in to OFFERS.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Maryam,
    Hi Maryam, turning inquiries into customers is like “finding treasure in your own back yard”.

    Ken

    [Reply]

  4. Nelton says:

    Hi Ken,
    This is so simple but effective.
    Good strategy.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Nelton,
    Nelton, thanks.

    Ken

    [Reply]

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