ROCKWALL, TX (March 22, 2014) Yep, Double. I’ll post 5 ideas this week and in the next “Good News for Business” article, I’ll post the next 6.
First a caution. When a very small business is trying to grow (sometimes even a larger one), the temptation is to market in large amounts to mass numbers, investing thousands of dollars in broad campaigns with little chance of returning a profit on the marketing investment.
Before you start pouring new leads into your business, run through this checklist:
- Do you have a proven sales process that will help you convert as many of these leads as possible?
- Do you have a sales team that knows how to show your new customers how to buy more of what you offer?
- Are you charging a premium for what you’re marketing? After all, you’re one of a kind and you need to be charging like it.
- How much attention are you paying to your financials? It makes no sense to pour all sorts of new revenue into your business if you’re not 100% positive where every penny is going using budgets, cash-flow forecasts, and financial reports.
Assuming you can say “yes” to these four questions, let’s not waste any time getting you a bunch of new customers.
- Ask your “A” customers to become raving fans of your business. Rather than discounting services for your most loyal customers, give them a personal “thank you.” Offer incentive programs and demonstrate VIP treatment. When they rave about you, give them one request: “If you LOVE what we do (give service, great product, etc.) please tell others about us!”
- Get smart about direct mail. First, hold an online giveaway contest (an iPad for example) using social media or a landing page on your website. Require a physical address in order to enter. Next, send them an irresistible offer in the mail using a “3D” mail. Don’t waste money on slick flyers that land in 10,000 mailboxes. Send an odd-shaped mailer (a bank bag for instance) to the 200 or so people who entered your contest.
- Create a referral program. A creative way to do this is to hold a “closed door” sale. Invite your best customers and ask them to bring a friend. One-time only offers will be made at the event. Make the event fun and different.
- Weed Out the Bad Clients Contrary to popular belief, it is sometimes advantageous to lose customers if you’ll orchestrate the loss. Give priority to your best customers. When tied to #3 and #1, you’ll start having less space for the “C” customers and can ask them to become “A” customers or move along to a competitor.
- Build strategic relationships. Which other non-competing businesses in your area have a common customer demographic? How can you help that business get what it wants? For example, an upscale interior designer and a high-dollar real estate agent can really help each other. As Ivan Meisner says, “Givers Gain.” Who can you give to right now who will, in time, reciprocate?
There’s your first five. Get to work on those for a couple of weeks, and let’s see how you do. If you’d like to share your success stories, you can email me directly at email@example.com. Send me a great success story, and I’ll feature you in an upcoming article here to the good readers of Blue Ribbon News.
I’ll be back soon with 6 more ideas…
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