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Second Time Around

Build strong relationships and long-term sales by winning repeat business.

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This story appears in the May 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To the ordinary entrepreneur or salesperson, closing and finalizing the sale is the completion of servicing the customer's needs. But for the pro, this is only the beginning. Ted Levitt, former editor of the Harvard Business Review, puts it this way: "The sale merely consummates the courtship. Then the marriage begins. How good the marriage is depends on how well the relationship is managed by the seller."

Therein lies the secret to repeat business and building a solid referral system. It all comes down to following up in a way that has a positive effect on the customer. Some examples:

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