Source 1: Existing Customers
Here are two ways you can use your relationship with existing customers to generate additional business.
1. Offer Them Related Products or Services
Your existing customers already know you and trust you. It's easier and cheaper to get more business from them than to get any business from new prospects.
Find or create additional products and services you can offer to existing customers. Your new products and services should be closely related to those your customers originally bought from you.
For example, I recently spoke with a network marketer selling nutritional products. She also works with a health club that pays her a commission for each new member she signs up. She told me that over one third of her income is generated by offering the related product to her customers.
2. Ask Them to Help You Find New Customers
Do you have a system to get referrals from satisfied customers? If not, you are losing a lot of profitable sales you could easily get.
One way to get referrals is with a brief Customer Survey. Send it by postal mail, email, fax or post it on a web page. The one I use asks only 3 questions:
- What did you like best about our product (or service)?
- What can we do to improve the value of our product (or service) for you?
- Who do you know trying to solve (state the problem you solved for your customer)? ...or: Who do you know that wants to (state the benefit provided by your product or service)?
The first two questions focus attention on the benefits you provide. Your customer is more likely to volunteer referrals when they're thinking about the value of those benefits.
You also gain something else with the first two questions. The first question often generates a response you can use as a testimonial (with your customer's permission). The second question may provide an early warning of a problem you need to solve ...or alert you to an opportunity you can exploit.
Source 2: Previous Non-Buyers
Most prospects will not buy from you the first time they hear about your product or service ...or the first time they visit your web site. You can recover many of these lost sales with a follow up system.
Your follow up system can be as simple as contacting previous prospects occasionally with a new offer. Or it can be more complex such as distributing a weekly newsletter with topics related to your product or service.
Problem For Internet Marketers: Many visitors to your web site want what you offer - but they are not ready to buy right now. You cannot follow up with them if they click away from your site before you find out who they are and how to contact them.
The Solution: Post a complimentary offer on your site for something valuable to prospects in your targeted market. Deliver it only by email so you can capture the email address of each visitor who requests it.
For example, offer a complimentary subscription to your email newsletter if you publish one. Otherwise, offer a special report, a source list or other valuable information they cannot get anywhere else.
Tip: Try to get each prospect's first name too. Use it to personalize your follow up messages. People cannot resist reading something when it is personally addressed to them.
Include existing customers and previous non-buyers in your marketing efforts. Both are a prime source for easy sales. And you don't have to spend money on advertising to get them.
Bob Leduc © 2003