Customer Satisfaction Test: Will They Buy Again, Right Now?


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Athletes who are having banner years instruct their agents to renegotiate their contracts right away, to wangle lucrative extensions, extra years of gravy, because when you’re hot, you’re hot.

Technically, their teams have no duty to come back to the table, as long as there is a prior contract in effect. Teams can coldly say, a deal is a deal. Talk to us later.

But they don’t, because they fear offending their star player, especially when his or her career is arcing upward. Plus, they want to lock-in future performance at present prices, if they can.

If management is satisfied with a player, they’ll talk with him and his representatives and be willing to elongate or to sweeten the deal.

The same thing applies to nearly anyone in business. If you want to know where you stand with a customer, how satisfied he is, try selling him again, on the spot.

There are incredible advantages to this strategy:

(1) You may get lucky, and grow your business, right away.

(2) If you succeed, you’ll tether your customer to your firm for a longer period, making him resistant to the persuasion of competitors.

(3) When an existing client chooses to buy more, generally, he rationalizes that he’s doing it because he likes you, what you’ve been providing, and how you go about what you do. In other words, he persuades himself that you’re doing a good job and that he’s happy with you. Buying more is conclusive proof to you, and to him, that he’s satisfied.

But what if they don’t like how you’re performing? What, then?

They’ll tell you by hemming and hawing, hesitating, using non-committal language.

They’ll say, “Let’s see how this first program goes, and we’ll take it from there. "

Their lack of comfort, confidence, and satisfaction will be revealed, and you can address it right away, in the open, by asking, “Are you happy with our performance so far?"

If there are problems, you’ll hear a, “Yes, but…" reply.

If they say they’re pleased, you can add, “If you still feel this way at the end of the program, should there be anything standing in the way with regard to expanding it?"

Again, the reply will tell you where you stand. If it’s squarely on quicksand, you’ll know before you completely submerge. In a hopeless situation, you can focus your marketing energies elsewhere.

Trying to sell more to determine where you stand with a customer is a worthy use of your time and effort. It’s like the advice boxer Jake LaMotta’s manager gave him in the movie, “Raging Bull":

“Take the fight. If you win you win; and if you lose, you win!"

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. Gary’s programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. A popular guest on radio and television, worldwide, Gary is headquartered in Glendale, California. He can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: .


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