Marketing and selling are part art and part science, but sometimes, the simplest of tactics are truly the most effective. If you want to grow your business, make it easy for current and prospective customers to give you money. Here are four simple tactics to do so.
1. Contact them.
Far too many businesses are reactive when it comes to customers. Businesses wait around for the customers to contact them about purchasing their products and services instead of proactively reaching out.
My old cleaning service that I used prior to moving always waited for me to contact them for an appointment. Given my busy schedule, my home was often way overdue for their services by the time I got around to make an appointment. Now, my current cleaning service owner texts me regularly, which forces me to make the appointment a priority. This means that my new cleaning service probably gets almost double the revenue from me each year that my old one did.
My Gyrotonic teacher does even better. He doesn’t let me leave his studio without making sure that I book my next appointment. Again, if it were up to me to fit the time to contact him into my schedule, he would certainly see me less often.
If you own a spa, book the next appointment before the customer leaves. If you are an estate lawyer, contact your clients about reviewing their estate plans to make sure they are up to date. Being proactive with your existing customers can lead to a significant uptick in revenue and be helpful to managing your clients’ time in the process.
This can work with prospects, too -- offer to book a free or discounted service for them when they inquire for information before finishing the correspondence, whether it’s by phone, text, email, in person or in another format.
2. Create pre-payment plans.
If you have the ability to create bundles or plans for your services upfront, getting a commitment and prepayment not only can help your business’s cash flow, but it can also increase your clients’ utilization of your services. For example, I outsource my information technology (IT) support to a company who sells prepaid blocks of time for their services. This encourages clients, like me, who know they already have some support coming to use it; and, as a bonus, they don’t have to track the customers down for payment after the fact.
Existing customers already know you and your business. They hopefully like and trust you, too and for those who do, it’s fairly easy to find ways to get them to purchase more product just by asking for it. My IT support vendor, mentioned above, started working with me by migrating my email to the cloud. From there, it was easy to talk to me about purchasing general IT support, cloud back-up services and more.
Make sure that you are reviewing your customers’ purchase history to see what additional products and services you can be marketing to them, as add-ons or otherwise. If you don’t have ancillary products and services, poll your customers and clients to find out what services and/or products they might want from you that can help you grow with your existing customer base.
And, of course, borrowing from the advice above, don’t wait for them to come to you -- reach out to tell them about it.
4. Don’t turn away a sale.
Finally, be smart about how you respond to inquiries from prospective and existing customers, which is a fancy way of saying don’t forget to do it! I have a client who was dying to buy new accounting software for his multi-million dollar business, but he couldn’t get a rep to return a call. I have another client who tried to purchase digital rights management software, but couldn’t get anyone to return his inquiries. I have yet another client who was talking to a business development manager at an ecommerce company about an opportunity, who ostensibly fell off the face of the earth.
You get the picture -- your marketing efforts are useless if you drop your leads before converting people into customers (not to mention if you forget to continue to nurture your customers and lose them).
Customers have needs that are addressed by your products and services, so don’t make it hard for them to give you money and you will find your business rewarded in the process.