We’ve all been there. You’re a business owner and you’ve been busy with customers but now you need new sales? You automatically think about setting up a new marketing campaign. But that’s going to take time and money and uncertainty. And the sales will appear at in the future.
Here you go again!
But what if we could offer another way? A quicker way that would not only generate new sales – today – but would also strengthen your business?
Your existing customer base. You see, there’s more sales to be made from your current customers. You just need to know how to unlock the sales that are hidden in plain sight.
Unsurprisingly, businesses of all sizes pay so much attention to lead generation that they overlook the profiting potential of the customers they already have. This is a mistake. In fact, according to a study by Influitive, more than half of surveyed small businesses report a significant profit boost when investing more effort in marketing to existing customers. What might also surprise you is that Forbes have gone as far to suggest 90% of the customer value in B2B businesses is obtained after the initial sale.
So how is it done? We’re going to tell you.
Firstly you don’t want to scare your loyal customers away by suddenly bombarding them with sales emails. Profiting from this group is a little more strategic than that. But the good news is, it’s easy, it’s cost effective and can be implemented today.
Here are the three simple steps:
Profile your customers looking at two key criteria – when did they last make a purchase from you and what was the value? Because not all customers are created equal. And when you do a little digging there might be some who don’t buy as regularly as you like and or place smaller than average order values. By ranking your customers you might well find some surprises.
The ones who place larger orders, more regularly are the ones who should be top of your list for Step B. There will also be customers who maybe are the slow payers, the ones who take up a lot of your time and your team’s time that you might decide you can do without. And probably there will be a group of customers in the middle
For the top tier of customers – those placing large, regular orders, ask for a testimonial or a referral. This will have two effects. Firstly by asking you really cement your relationship with that customer.
Testimonials are great for future marketing and the good new is, 70 per cent of your customer base will be happy to oblige if asked. Testimonials increase your brand’s authority, influencing more new customers to buy from you.
Referrals in your marketing help to bring l bring in a tidal wave of already convinced new customers who know someone that loves your business and trusts them enough to buy from you.
For the middle group of customers encourage bigger orders or more frequent orders by offering upsells or cross sells.
Cross-selling and upsellng can be mutually beneficial to you and your customer if done correctly. Both techniques provide maximum value to the buyer whilst bumping up your revenue simultaneously. What’s more, there’s no marketing spend necessary, and the two techniques are easy to learn and can be immediately implemented into the daily functioning of your business.
But what is cross selling and upselling and how do the two differ from each other?
To upsell a product or service, you simply promote the benefits of a higher end alternative (a premium product) or an upgrade to whatever it is your customer is looking to purchase. For example, if you go to a restaurant and order a bottle of wine from the bar, the bartender may persuade you to try a slightly better and more expensive alternative because he feels it’ll go better with your meal. You gladly accept, and you’re both happy as a result.
Using this same technique in your business serves two main purposes. First, it helps your customer to visualise a superior product or service to the one they were initially tempted by. This not only excites them, but makes them feel looked after. Secondly, it bumps up your average order value and customer lifetime value, which, as you know, is essential for growing your business. Furthermore. upselling to your existing customers is easier than selling to new ones, so it’s a critical skill to learn if you’d like to expand.
Not too dissimilar from upselling, cross-selling also focuses on promoting another product or service to a customer that’s ready to buy. But instead of persuading them towards a superior alternative, you draw their attention towards add-ons that compliment the purchase they want to make. For example, if you enter a beauty store and buy a face cleanser, it’s likely the sales staff will also promote the accompanying toner and moisturiser too. Cross-selling builds on the positive customer experience and adds value when done well, ultimately creating a deeper relationship. This too increases customer lifetime value and helps your business to grow.
For the final group – the unprofitable group – consider what you can do. A healthy business owner / customer relationship is a two-way street and there will come a time when certain customers simply aren’t benefiting you (or benefiting from you) anymore. Handing customers to someone else gets rid of any dead weight. Unprofitable customers are holding you down, but instead of dumping them, you can move them to a more appropriate service. This is a win / win technique.
Set this up as a repeatable, ongoing system. Whether you use your Customer Management System, an excel spreadsheet or a page of A4, the system doesn’t matter. The fact that you review your current customers and reach out to them on a regular basis with an appropriate message does. It will build deeper relationships, increasing customer loyalty and allowing you pick up niggles and issues earlier.
To help you take action straight away I have created a Checklist “6 things that you can implement before close of business today – with just a little effort”.