Whether you’re taking on a new product, hoping to boost sales for an existing one, or just want to find ways to reach more customers, it can be challenging to convert a one time customer into a repeat client. With so many materials on the market, dealers who carry them, and even online sources for ordering, the competition is fierce. A builder may take the time to check out different sources for the materials they use, but he’s unlikely to keep coming back if he feels that there’s a better option out there.

Converting new builder customers into repeat clients is crucial for any materials dealer. It’s the repeat business that allows you to grow and helps you provide better materials. When you have an established relationship, it’s easier to recommend new products or to make suggestions that may benefit you both, than it is with a new customer.

There are many strategies that can help you convert first-time customers into repeat clients. Utilize them to help boost your return business and benefit everyone involved.

Boost Your Initial Rate

Even the highest conversion rates are unlikely to reach 100%. So, for this reason, your best strategy should involve boosting your base customer numbers, meaning that the more people who come through your doors, the more people you can end up converting in the end.

So, while a large part of conversion is in keeping existing customers, you still need to start by bringing more in through the doors. You do this through any attraction means necessary. This can be advertising sales or new products, putting up banners that proclaim a deal and reaching out to previous customers through email lists and old-fashioned paper mailers.

The more people you begin driving through your doors, the higher your later rate of return will be.

Personalize Your Approach

Engagement is incredibly important in an age where many people communicate electronically. By personally engaging with builders as they enter your doors, you’ll be setting the first stones in place of a new relationship.

Engage each client as they come to your site. Find out more about the project at hand and make personalized recommendations for the right product. Explain why you believe this product or material makes the most sense. This personalized touch will go far toward having builders want to return and do business with you again.

Follow Up

If you’ve taken the time to recommend a product or material, try to follow up with the builder in some way. If he comes in for another job, ask how that material worked out. If you don’t see him in the store, drop an email or make a phone call to find out. This feedback can be invaluable, not only in building your relationship but also in tailoring your approach in the future. If you find something worked or didn’t work the way you intended, you can use this information with the next builder who comes in. In doing so, you’re now building the foundation of trust and experience that ensures builders will want to return.

Ask for Feedback

Everyone loves to be asked for their opinions and advice. It makes someone think more highly of you if they believe you think highly of them. During your follow up with builders, if you encounter something unexpected, ask that builder to expand on it. Have them make an appointment with you to give you their feedback or consider sending out follow up questionnaires. If the builder believes you’re going to take the time to modify your inventory or approach based on their feedback, they’ll want to return to you the next time they need supplies.

Close the Deal

Every new customer that walks through your doors should be treated as a potential repeat client. Practice these steps until they become second nature in your way of doing business and watch your repeat client base grow.