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How to scare away new customers

We ordered a sample pack of a new kind of computer paper. We even paid $10 for the samples. They charged us $10 shipping.

We ordered $150 worth of parts from a catalog on our first order. We forgot a few things, so we bought $20 more. There was a $4 ‘small order fee’.

There are certain moments when you know you just found a new customer: First phone call, first visit, asking for samples, new customer buys twice in a week.

Set up a process to identify these actions. Give them extra samples. Send them links to how-to videos. Include a coupon for a free upgrade on the second order. Have the CEO call. Send a thank-you note. Do whatever it takes to get them to come back for a second order.

(When you order from, they call a few days later offering help and will even send extra parts, for free, if you need them.)

Getting a new customer is hard. Don’t blow it. Impress them instead.

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  1. Benny Shaviv February 8, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    funny part is that its a well known fact that its 6 times easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. 6 times! A new customer comes along and becomes an existing customer – that is exactly when we as vendors have the chance to make them fall in love with us. You should always love your customers and be there for them, but you should make it blatantly obvious to the new ones.

  2. Lee Bartelme February 8, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Which is why the pay-as-you-go system will never work for the newspaper industry. Let’s make our best customers pay… MORE? Talk about scare away the customers. $10 shipping for a $10 order doesn’t sound like a business plan to me.

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