Article used with permission from Give to Get Marketing
By Joe Gracia
When talking about generating more sales in a small
business, very often business owners think that means
going out and finding more 'new' customers.
But what about the current customers you already have?
Too often we forget about this incredible resource sitting
right under our noses.
If you've served your current customers well, then they
already know, like and trust you. At this stage they are
much easier to sell as opposed to a complete stranger who
knows nothing about you or your business.
It's been said that it takes five times as much money to
sell to a new customer than it does to sell to your current
customers. I believe that's true.
Here are just a few ways to profit from your current list of satisfied customers.
Sometimes you need to educate your current customers on the many ways you can be of service to them.
You are so familiar with your line of products or services that you may assume that you customers are just as familiar with them. That may not be the case.
From time to time, remind your customers of your list of products or services. Don't assume that they know about them or how they can help them solve their problems, faster, cheaper or better.
Send them a post card or, better yet, a letter. Include a brief description for each product or service you sell as well as current prices and any special deals.
When you're talking with your customers, ask them if they are familiar with a particular product/service that you offer.
They can't buy it from you if they don't know you sell it.
Cross-Sell or Up-Sell
There is no better time to sell a customer more than when he or she is already in a buying mood.
Cross-Sell: Whenever a customer is buying something, think of a related item that would complement or enhance the first item and ask if they would be interested in it.
Up-Sell: If they are considering one grade of a product or service, simply let them know about the features and benefits of a better grade of product or service.
That's not high pressure, it's merely letting them know their options. Then they can make up their own minds which one would serve their needs best.
Never assume that your customers always want the cheaper version of a product or service. That is often far from the truth. Your customers want the best value for their money.
Follow Up with Regular Offers
One of the most powerful ways of increasing your profit in your business is by simply following up with your current customers and reminding them of your products and services.
If you simply wait for your customers to come back on their own, you may be waiting a long time. Customers have so many options today that you can't rely on automatic loyalty.
Remember, your competition would love nothing better than to lure your customers away from you. So you need to be proactive to ensure that doesn't happen.
What are the best ways to follow up with your customers?
Following up by mail is an excellent way to keep in touch with your customers, but you could also do it via email. With the push of a button you can have your marketing message sent out to hundreds, even thousands of customers in a few minutes.
My wife, Maria, and I actually follow up with nearly 250,000 prospects and customers every single week via email. The email service we use, Aweber.com, makes it easy and incredibly affordable.
If you'd like to learn more about how you could use this type of service to follow up with your customers and prospects just visit the following link. They even include a free trial. http://www.aweber.com/?201930
Follow Up with Special Offers
Sometimes just a reminder is all that is needed to motivate a customer to buy. But more often you need additional motivation.
Special offers can do the trick.
-- Special Preferred Customer Discount Offers
-- Buy Two, Get One Free
(My wife and I stopped in a local gift store the other day after dinner to simply browse, we had no intention of buying anything. 20 minutes later we left the shop with three bags full of games, and wall hangings totaling over $130 -- all because the owner was holding a 'Buy Two Get
One Free' sale.)
-- 20% Off
-- Free Gift With Purchase, etc.
Include a Special Offer in Their Current Purchase
When your customers make their purchases, slip a special offer coupon or flyer into their packages, or delivered with their products, or in your invoice mailing.
Or you can hand them a special coupon good for a discount or bonus the next time they visit.
Start a Continuity Program
Continuity Programs can work wonders for a small business.
You've seen them. The business provides you with a card that says something like Buy 9 Get the 10th One Free.
Each time you make a purchase, you get the card stamped or punched and then once you have filled your requirement you cash in the card for your free product or service.
Restaurants make good use of these types of continuity programs, but many other businesses can use them too.
Reformat Your Product or Service
If you provide expertise you can reformat that expertise into a book, an audio CD, a video, etc.
If your customers buy a book from you, a percentage may want an audio or video version also.
Sell Someone Else's Products or Services
You don't only have to sell your products and services. Many businesses have only one thing that they sell to their customers. But the sales don't have to stop there.
Any business can sell related products or services to their customers.
Make an arrangement with another business to sell their products and services to your customers for a commission.
Then you'll find that there's no limit to the number of additional sales you can make to your customer list.
Good Better Best
If you sell just one version of a product or service, you may want to consider creating Good, Better, Best versions, or Basic, Intermediate and Advanced versions.
Then, instead of selling just the lower end version, you can increase your profit by selling higher end versions.
Or if you sell a basic version, your customers could then buy the intermediate and advanced versions.
Package a Number of Items Together as a Special
Rather than just selling one item at a time, try packaging several related items together and offer the package at a special price. You will then end up selling 2, 3 or 4 items instead of just the one item.
Add-Ons for a Good Deal
If your customer is buying one item and you offer to have him buy two or three of the same item at full price, he will probably decline the offer, since there is no enticing incentive for him to do so.
But if you give him a terrific deal on the 2nd and 3rd items he now will have a very big incentive for buying the additional items now.
Some of you may say, I have given up some of my profit by giving him a discount on the 2nd and 3rd items.
If you sell shirts, for instance, and you customer decides to buy one shirt -- that will be the end of his purchase today.
However, by offering him a special discount for buying additional items, you now will make an additional profit that you would not have made.
That's a real Give to Get strategy.
Article used with permission from Give to Get Marketing