Home » Business » Marketing and Advertising

Why Customers Quit Buying From Direct Sales Consultants

Mar 2, 2008
After 7 years of loyally buying from the same tree farm lot, I vowed this December to never buy from that farm again. The reason I made that decision is actually the same reason many customers that are pleased with a company will take their business and go elsewhere. The reason is Company Indifference.

Here's an interesting statistic regarding why customers quit buying from you and take their business elsewhere:

- 4% Feel the pricing is unfair. They aren't given enough "value" reasons to stay. (Check that out, only 4% leave because of price. This alone should convince you that a good sale isn't what keeps most customers around!)

- 9% Could no longer be serviced. They move their location, pass away, or their needs change (Obviously, you can't prevent this one).

- 12% Are disappointed with the company (Most business owners/entrepreneurs think this is the #1 reason).

- 16% Accept a competitive offer. You aren't there, but your competition is! (Visibility is key)

(Hear the drumroll!) - 55% of customers take their business elsewhere because of "Company Indifference" or "No Contact". (In other words, over half of your customers leave you because you show no interest in keeping them around!)

When you add up the last two reasons (A Competitive Offer and Company Indifference) you discover that 71% of lost customers actually value you and/or your company and only take their business elsewhere because they feel that you don't value them.

And I just happen to have the perfect case in point!

I won't ever own one of those fake Christmas trees. 10 years of living in Oregon has me spoiled. Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, our family took a wonderfully romantic drive into the hills to one of our favorite tree farms (we had a couple of favorites to choose from) and cut down our holiday tree for the season.

We built so many mini traditions into that one that I could write a book as opposed to an article. Suffice it to say, it was a great disappointment when we moved to Phoenix, Arizona where trees in grocery store parking lots are the closest thing to a tree farm you can find.

Our first year in Arizona I felt more disappointment than excitement the day we went to get a tree. Now picture that disappointment transform to satisfaction as I meet a family of Oregonian tree farmers managing the tree lot we chose. Then imagine the delight I felt when I recognize their tree farm name as one of the farms we frequented. As we shared some of our hilarious tree stories with them, they laughed and shared tales of being in a long line of family tree farmers.

Before we left, they suggested we sign their guest book so they could send us a postcard the following year informing us where their lot would be located. I was delighted to oblige.

The following year right around Thanksgiving I received a post card from the farm as promised. However, in addition to letting me know the tree lot's up-coming location, the postcard itself was a 10% off coupon on any tree purchase. Naturally, I returned and recognized the tree farmers as soon as I walked on the lot.

The next year I started looking for their postcard (key point) as the Thanksgiving holiday approached. When it arrived in the mail, I felt a sense of relief along with the anticipation of meeting up with the now familiar Oregonians. As I walked on to their tree lot that year, I felt a sense of pride to be one of their loyal customers (another key point).

The third and fourth years were a near exact repeat of the previous paragraph. Again, I received the postcard almost as soon as I started looking for it and was thrilled to buy from the same tree farmers' lot.

However, the fifth year I again started looking for their postcard the week of Thanksgiving, but it didn't show up. I thought I was just eager and that it would soon arrive, but it didn't. In addition to that, I didn't see their sign at any of the tree lots nearby.

Just when I thought I'd have to buy from another farm (and a major point here is that I didn't want to do that), I saw their sign one day as we were driving into the shopping mall, 5 miles south of their previous location! Now let me help you understand what that means here in the 5th largest city in the United States. Within 1 to 2 miles of my house, there are 4 tree lots during the holiday season. Within 3 miles, there are 8. Just imagine how many within 5 miles. Get the picture? Lots of competition!

I didn't understand why the ONE year my favorite tree farmers needed to let me know their location more than ever before, they hadn't, until I arrived on the lot. My favorite farmers weren't there. They had obviously hired out that part of the business to someone else. When I explained to the new people that I was lucky to find them because I hadn't received the yearly postcard notification, they apologized and offered me the 10% discount I was accustomed to receiving.

The sixth year I didn't receive a postcard in the mail, but I discovered my favorite tree lot located right next to our favorite privately owned coffee shop. This time I met a different couple managing the lot than the year before. When I informed them that I hadn't received a postcard this year again, I was told that they were now sending the notices by email and that one could print off the coupon. Hmmm. That would have been nice to know AHEAD OF TIME!

I was beginning to feel like a jolted lover, but because of the years of good experiences, I wanted to give them another chance (another key point) by filling out the "new" guest book and supplying my email address for them to contact me the next year... which brings us to the 2007 holiday season.

Did I receive a postcard this past year? Of course not. How about that email? No. I did, however, find them located once again near my favorite coffee shop. This time when I asked why I didn't receive a postcard or an email, the gentleman (a completely new face again) told me others had mentioned the same thing but that he didn't know anything about it.

You know the decision I made that day. And the reason I made it wasn't because I didn't like the tree farm anymore. It wasn't because I was sore at the owners for outsourcing the tree lot part of the business. It wasn't because I didn't like the new people managing the lots. And it certainly wasn't because I couldn't save a whopping 10% on a tree!

I made the decision to take my business elsewhere from now on because after 7 years of loyally buying from the same company, I feel unvalued; I feel their indifference to me. I can't help thinking that if it's not worth it to them to stay in touch with me, they must not care whether or not I buy from them - so I won't. I'll buy from someone else.

What can you do differently or more frequently this year to show your customers that you are anything but indifferent to the business they give you?
About the Author
Tammy Stanley directs The Sales Refinery, a sales training firm that assists sales professionals generate more business through powerful marketing, selling, and leadership strategies. Get her FREE report,"3 Simple Secrets to Attracting More Business" at http://www.tammystanley.com
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 198
Print Email Share
Article Categories