How to Ask for the Next Customer Order

Warehouse manager taking notes and checking orders with a laptop Customer OrderCustomer Order : So, you’ve successfully closed a deal, a significant achievement in the competitive business world. Now, the critical moment arises – it’s time for your customer, now a valued client and prospect for future business, to place their next order, However, instead of the expected engagement, you’re met with silence. So, the question arises: how do you politely ask a customer for a new order without seeming too pushy?

The manner in which you approach this situation can have far-reaching impacts on your business relationships. The right strategy and communication technique can not only help you secure an immediate order but also win over a customer. The wrong approach might not only cost you the current deal but also risk losing the customer permanently, a scenario no business wants to encounter. It’s a delicate and challenging situation, requiring tact and strategic thinking.

This page guides you through a comprehensive, four-step process that can significantly enhance your chances of closing more deals. These steps include developing a polite yet persuasive communication style, crafting an effective email template that resonates with your clients, using the recipient’s name to add a personal touch, and incorporating a ‘quick thank you’ to express gratitude for their past business. By following these guidelines, you not only increase your chances of securing the next order but also lay the groundwork for creating long-term, loyal customers in the process.

Step 1: Treat Each Order as an Opportunity to Win the Customer’s Business

Initial close rates are typically quite low, though there’s a wide variance depending on industry and medium. For example, e-commerce tops out at about three percent per Kibo data. Overall, companies tend to max out around 20 percent, according to Small Business Trends. Yet, the probability of selling to an existing customer climbs with each subsequent order and can reach up to 60-70 percent.

In other words, there are hurdles on the path to customer loyalty. Although conversions happen much more easily after an initial sale, each subsequent order will still require some TLC.

Step 2: Engage the Customer

Engaging customers effectively is crucial for business growth. According to Rosetta research, highly engaged customers tend to make purchases 90% more frequently. Engagement is often associated with digital marketing metrics like likes, comments, and shares. However, it’s more about the emotional bond a customer forms with a brand. Engaged customers are six times more likely to feel understood by the brand and four times more likely to believe the brand caters to their needs.

With these insights, your approach to customer interaction shouldn’t be limited to the time of their next order. Proactive follow-ups to measure satisfaction after the initial purchase are key, especially for high-value orders or in sectors where repeat orders may take longer. This ongoing interaction helps strengthen the customer-brand relationship.

This responsibility isn’t just on the sales and support teams; your marketing department also plays a vital role. They should be crafting communications that not only keep your customers informed about your company but also provide valuable insights on how to maximize the benefits of their purchases. Crafting emails with compelling subject lines and content that gets straight to the point is essential. Providing email examples and tips on writing effective messages can keep them interested and engaged. Remember, taking the time to craft these communications shows your commitment to not just selling a product, but building a lasting relationship.

Step 3: Understand Their Emotions and Identify Openings

Most people think customers purchase for logical reasons, but the opposite is actually true. Around 95 percent of purchase decision-making is subconscious, says Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman. While Zaltman addresses emotion on a broader scale and how brands can improve their offerings and positioning by learning how customers feel about them, the same is true of individual sales professionals.

Your customer is purchasing for an emotional reason and justifying that purchase with logical ones. Of course, the reasons will vary by industry, product, and customer, so it’s up to you to do the digging to find out their emotional reasons or supply them with logical reasons to justify their decision if they’re already feeling pulled toward the purchase.

This is one of the reasons having a sales or support touchpoint between purchases is important. After the customer has had the opportunity to use the product or service you’ve sold them, you should be reaching out with a quick, yet personalized, follow-up email to gauge their satisfaction. An affirmative response means you can follow up with an order request when it’s time to order again if they don’t do it on their own. A negative response or bad feedback is an opportunity to address their concerns, so you can get the customer ready to place the next order.

Step 4: Proceed As if It’s a “Yes” or Make a “No” Uncomfortable

In the sales process, customers who have shown satisfaction may not require significant persuasion to confirm the next order. When in regular contact and the customer has expressed contentment, it’s typically a sound tactic to proceed as though they’ve implicitly agreed to a following purchase. Prepare and forward the purchase order as a gesture of expedited service, emphasizing your willingness to modify it as necessary, to establish credibility and show attentiveness.

However, if the relationship with the customer isn’t strong enough to confidently anticipate their readiness for another purchase, initiating contact with a phone call is often more effective than an email. Establishing a dialogue that aligns naturally with your approach and is tailored to the customer’s unique situation is crucial in securing a positive reply and reinforcing your credibility in the sales process.

However, you’ll want to follow a few guidelines as you probe or close:

  • Focus on their needs and use the word “you.”
  • Stick to questions that can only be answered with “yes” or “no.”
  • Word the question in such a way that “no” is an uncomfortable answer.

How to Ask for the Next Customer Order Examples

  • Are you comfortable enough with the solution to place a full order this time?
  • I’ve prepared your purchase order to ensure you get expedited service. Can I count on you to follow through by the end of the week?
  • Can I get your go-ahead on this?
  • Are you feeling confident enough to get the next order going?
  • Are you ready to give me the green light on the next order?

These questions are easily ignored via email when a customer is on the fence, which is why it’s important to pose them in person or via phone. It’s ok to reach out to them via email after attempting a call, but then you want to focus more on your attempt to reach them and uncovering when you’ll be able to reach them via phone.

As you move forward with subsequent orders, customers are much more likely to purchase without needing nudges. However, until purchasing from you becomes a habit or the easiest way for the customer, you’ll want to reach out to them to guide them to the decision each time.

What to Avoid When Asking

Sometimes, the things you don’t do are as important as the things you do.

  • Don’t strongarm the customer. While you can push someone to make a decision they’re not comfortable with to close a sale, chances are that the sale will fall through, and you’ll lose the customer for good.
  • Don’t offer a discount before the customer has missed a vital ordering milestone. Although discounts can be helpful if a customer says they’re looking at a less expensive option or they’re not taking the next step despite being guided, it shouldn’t be the go-to. It devalues the brand and sets unrealistic long-term expectations.
  • Don’t discuss problems unless the customer brings them up. It’s better to address issues in post-sale phone calls from the customer service team and focus on key features and benefits when closing a subsequent order. Again, people buy based on emotions, so you want to talk about the things that have specifically made this customer happy.

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Factoring can’t help you close a sale, but it can give you some breathing room by paying on open B2B invoices while you’re waiting for other sales to close. If you’re interested in learning more, request a complimentary rate quote from Charter Capital.

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