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ImageBusiness Coach Jason Economides sets out two of the most important money making rules for any business


When I work with young businesses, I can't help but think of my first training in customer service and sales.

I'm always amazed by how much easy low hanging business is lost by business owners skipping some simple techniques that can and should be implemented every single day and, what is more, these techniques cost absolutely nothing.

One of my first jobs was working as a waiter for a well-known international restaurant chain.  We were trained to follow a very set and proven procedure to ensure the very best customer experience.  We were taught to greet customers within 30 seconds of them walking through the front door, seat them within two minutes, take their drinks and garlic bread order within five minutes, serve their drinks within seven minutes, serve their garlic bread within eight minutes and so on.

Two Key Rules for Business

But two of the most important money-making rules that we had to follow was to ensure that:

  1. We made regular eye contact with our customers every time we walked through the restaurant, and;
  2. We regularly asked our customers if they wanted their drinks topping up.

Have you ever been in a restaurant where you were frantically waving and calling the waiter to come by just so that you could order another drink or order some more bread or just simply asking for your bill?  Frustrating, right?  I remember a recent situation when I was in a restaurant where it took me 15 minutes to get the attention of a waiter just so that I could order a drink.  By the time I managed to get his attention, it was too late and I had to leave.  So not only was I frustrated and thirsty, but the restaurant lost out on additional EASY business too.

What steps can you implement in your business that would equate to keeping eye contact with your customers?  How many courtesy calls can you make this week just to see how they are getting on with your product or service? It takes little time and no money at all to do this, yet the implication on your business is profound.

Follow Up

Following up regularly creates goodwill from your customer because you show that you care, and during that conversation you have the opportunity to offer additional products or services to your customer. Even if they're not in a purchase mindset at that time, they may know somebody that they want to recommend to you.

This is called the power of the follow up.  This is the number one easiest way to create additional income for your business, yet 95% of businesses don't seem to have any kind of follow-up system in place.

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The question I then get asked on this subject is how much follow-up is too much follow-up?  The answer to that is...there is no such thing as too much follow-up. That doesn't mean that you call your customer every three minutes; however calling them once or twice a week until you get hold of them is perfectly acceptable.  If they are an existing customer, of course, you will already have trust built up with them. If your follow-up becomes too much, you can trust that your prospect or customer will tell you to stop calling them.  No harm done.

Studies have shown on average you need to follow up at least seven times before a customer or prospect places an order with you, so it is a fatal business mistake to give up after the first telephone call.

Think of my example of the restaurant. Have you ever been in a restaurant when the waiter came round two or three times asking you if you want some more drinks, but each time you say no because you are not thirsty, but then on the fourth time you say yes?

You see the waiter doesn't know when you're going to be ready to order more drinks, but he keeps checking in with you until he hits a time that you are thirsty. This is no different to any other business. You need to keep contacting your customers and not only that, the customers actually expect you to do this.

Serve Your Existing Customers

A trap that many businesses get into is getting frustrated about business slowing down and constantly trying to find new customers.  The question I always ask is ‘have you served your existing customers to the maximum?’ The answer is almost always "no, I have some other service or product that some of my customers have not bought from me yet". If you already have existing loyal customers, make it your priority on Monday morning to select five customers at random and give them a call to follow up and see how they're doing.

Existing customers are also a great source of information if you're developing a new product or service. Why not ask the opinion of your existing clients about the new service you're rolling out and what they think about it and the price you are offering it at?  Since they know you well and there is trust built up between you, you should hopefully get a good honest answer and be able to tweak your offering to maximise the chances of success.

It is always easier to get more business from existing customers, than getting new business from new customers.  So take a look at your last year's order book, and see who you can call or meet up for a coffee.  Plan your follow up, get your diary out and actually write in the diary who you are going to call and when.

We hope you found this article useful, but remember it's not the acquisition of knowledge that will generate you money, but the application of it. So if you found this article useful, then put it to Full Use, by grabbing your address book and diary, and get scheduling those follow up calls.

Jason Economides is the CEO and Founder of ECO Business Academy, and has been in customer service, sales and marketing since 1996. For a free 1 hour sales training session to show you how you can find $10,000 in new business within 30 days guaranteed, contact Jason at info@ecobusinessacademy.com or call him on +44 7912 202 102.  All sessions are meat and potatoes only, no fluff or sales hype.  Additionally, you can download 10 free marketing training videos immediately at www.ecobusinessacademy.com

Interested in more advice from Jason?

Listen in to Jason’s specially recorded free webinar – ‘The Three Biggest Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business …and how to avoid them all.’


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