… and why they buy from you; then KEEP them!
Your business is built on a foundation of 3 things.
- Your Market – Customers, Competition, Unique Sales Proposition.
- Your Message – who are you going to talk to and how are you going to say it.
- Your Media – choose the right channel of communication with which to make sure you get the attention of your customers and prospects.
“The Customer is KING”. No matter what size your prospect is, it is really important to do your research. The more information you have about your market, your prospect’s business, the better prepared you will be and you will demonstrate an interest in their business. Also look for the best type of customers for your business – don’t sell to everyone. Your customer list is vital for success.
“What makes your offering different? “
Profile your customers be they existing or lapsed. It is likely that 80% of your income will come from 20% of your customers. Once you have a profile of your customers, you will be clear as to what sort of businesses typically want to do business with you. You can then use the intelligence to create or purchase a new list of suspects/prospects. Furthermore, make sure that you maximizing your effort by developing stronger relationship with your best customers – the 20% – so you can upsell and cross sell. From the 80% select those you wish to nurture to turn into better customers and politely get rid of those customers who are causing you unreasonable grief or worse still, losing you money.
Your customer list is really important to get right – they are your lifeblood so it is important to nurture and maintain this list. And when you do communicate your product/service offerings, ensure you know them extremely well – especially the advantages and benefits that will be relevant to your prospects and provide a solution to their pain.
This solution is your USP (Unique Sales Proposition) which differentiates you from all your competition. It is the reason why your customers buy from you and like any good relationship, keep in touch with them and ask why they buy from you and how they want to grow their business as it is possible that you could plan for new product/services to supply them with in future.
Finally, know your competition by understanding what they are able to offer and if any are being considered by your customers. The stronger the relationship that you build with your customers, the more likely they are to stay with you.
Once you understand who you are talking to – and once you have segmented and profiled the database, you need to think about what messages will be most relevant.
For example; the top 20% get upsell, cross sell and personal contact. 50% to 60% get a nurture approach and the bottom 20% or so get the polite “Let’s re-negotiate our business relationship” letter. The objective is to get them to buy your new product or service – NEW being the operative word. If something is not new or different; why should anyone want to buy it – providing of course you have ascertained that it is relevant to them.
Any message needs to switch on the emotions in a person. It needs to appeal to their desires and get them to do something.
All your communication should follow the A.I.D.A principle – Attention. Interest. Desire. Action. So when targeting one of your selected segments, rather than have a headline which says:
“This <product/service> will give you the edge you have been looking for”
Say instead for example:
“7 important reasons why your competitors will be sorry that you bought this <product/service>”.
A headline like this will get the ATTENTION of the reader. The purpose of this headline is to get them to read the next line and get their INTEREST. This creates a DESIRE and finally a call to ACTION. Writing powerful copy is an art on its own right and you need skilled people to create and deliver this.
You then can test your message with small campaigns (e.g. Google AdWords and Facebook) that leverage the internet with different headlines. You can then monitor and measure results using Google Analytics or similar so your communication can be fine-tuned to ensure only the best results are being paid for.
To stand apart from the rest you need to “Break the Mould”. People like to buy the unusual not the ordinary.
All very well to have your Market and your Message – but how are you going to get it out there?
I have already mentioned online media like Google AdWords and Facebook as these are low cost and high return options if done properly.
Traditionally companies blanket the media options using, to name but a few; newspapers, radio, email, leaflets and direct mail, and where they can afford it, TV. Not a bad thing to do but the targeting can be too broad.
There is still a place for traditional media such as Direct Mail and many company owners still like to receive post which when done creatively, can work wonders. Leave the TV and radio to the big organisations as these are not for limited budgets.
Choose the media to fit the message more tightly based on:
- Your geography; where do your customers live?
- Your demographics; who is your market?
- Your psychographics; what motivates them to buy?
Getting and KEEPING Customers should be the main focus of any business and should be driven from the top. Once you have developed a relationship and the TRUST of a customer, they will become a powerful ally for you and refer you to other businesses.
This article is republished by kind agreement of Jamie Allan
Tel: 07786 228553