Keeping in touch with your existing customers and clients is a critically important part of your small business marketing system.
The cost of securing a new customer is much greater than the cost of getting an existing customer to use your services and products again. Some studies indicate it takes seven times more money to acquire a new customer than it does to sell an existing customer the same product or service.
It’s no wonder the lifetime value of a customer or client is calculated to be worth at least ten times the money you made the first time you did business with them.
What you need to do is find ways to make your business, your product, and/or your services applicable to your customers and clients again and again. Some businesses have “one-time-use” products. These are products that once purchased are not purchased again.
Finding ways to sell the same product or service again, requires some strategic thinking. I’m not suggesting planned obsolescence. Find ways to up-sell or cross-sell the same customer with variations of our main product or service. For example; if you sell an information product in the form of an audio tape series, then offer a video version of the same program.
It is matter of maintaining the customer relationship and then offering them more choices.
Here is a technique for maintaining clients and customers that I teach in our small business marketing bootcamp. We’ve used it for years in our business, and frankly didn’t think to share it in this article until one of our “Plutonium Level” subscription members told me his story.
It is called the “rip and read” technique. I read about 15 trade journals, magazines and newspapers each week. As I read, I look for articles and stories that may be of interest to my customers and prospects. When I see it I “rip” it out and send it to my client with a comment on a post-it note: “Saw this and thought it would be of interest to you. Best, Brian” That’s all there is to it. I probably send 20 or so a month. It keeps me in the front of my clients’ minds.
My business associates think I look like fool constantly “ripping” on planes, in airport lounges, and on trains, but once you see the benefits of doing so, you will start ripping too.
One of our “Plutonium Level Inner Circle Member” is a financial planner. I gave him this suggestion in one of our monthly one-on-one marketing coaching sessions and in less than one month he got results.
Here’s what he wrote me: “I cut an article out of the Star Ledger (our daily New jersey newspaper) and sent it to one of my clients. He called back and sent me a check for $40,000.00 (Deposited in his annuity).” One proven and tested system led to a big commission for him. All he did was use the tip.
How often do you contact your existing customers? Clients need contact at least 4 times per year. Try to keep in touch 8-12 times per year, depending upon the type of services you provide to a particular client.
Commit yourself to using this technique for three months and see what happens. Track your contacts and track the results. You will be sold on its value and I know you will continue to use it.
If you’re a small business owner that wants more profitable customers and fewer aggravating small-paying sales, then you need to maintain your VIP customer base. Pick your favorite VIP clients and court them like they were a king or a queen. “Rip and Read” for all your VIP clients.