Would you like to know some effective ways to increase profits in your business WITHOUT getting new customers? Without knowing who you are or what business you’re in, I can tell you that with near certainty that there’s a massive source of untapped revenue sitting in your business. Where is that untapped revenue? It’s from your existing customers.
In this article I’m going to give you 15 ways to increase profits and extract maximum value from your own customers.
The greatest secret and one of the best ways to increase profits and grow your business via marketing.
Russell Conwell, who was one of “the forefathers of motivational speaking”, had one lecture he loved and gave the most. It was his ‘Acres of Diamonds’ lecture and he delivered it more than 6,000 times. This lecture wasn’t some fantasy, it was a true story he heard in Iraq.
His speech made the point that most people look everywhere for opportunity, happiness, etc. except under their own feet, where they are most likely to find it.
This translates to one of the greatest secrets of making money and one of the best ways of increasing profits via marketing: virtually every business owner fails to fully mine the gold in his own customer list, every retailer fails to mine the gold in his own neighbourhood, every restaurant owner fails to mine the gold in his restaurant, etc. while constantly scrambling for the next lead, the next prospect, the next customer.
The core asset in your business
The biggest challenges I hear from business owners is: “I need more leads”, “I need more customers” or “I need more clients”. They have no qualms about going out to spend hundreds if not thousands of Euros a month on Google Adwords, Social Media marketing, newspaper ads, radio ads, flyer drops, you name it but then they baulk at the cost of doing a monthly mailing (printed, not email) to their existing customers.
One of my mentors Jay Abraham literally built his fame and fortune by going into established businesses and helping them maximise their core asset: their own customers. The beautiful thing is you don’t have to spend €25K to go to one of his seminars to get this strategy.
Here are 15 ways to increase profits, and extract maximum value from your own customers:
#1. Offer more products and services – “the mini-conglomerate theory”
No matter what business you’re in, there is at least one (but likely many) more products or service you could be offering your customers. For example, if you’re a personal trainer and you encourage your clients to take supplements, rather than them buying their supplements elsewhere couldn’t you sell them?
Or if you sell bouncy castles for kids birthdays parties could you also do clown hire or face painting? The best thing is that your customers are more than likely buying these products and services anyways so they might as well buy it from you right?
#2. Make offers to them more often
Another misconception is that you should get a customer to make a sale. The proper thinking is that you should make a sale to get a customer. Once you get that customer as long as what you’re offering them is coming from a place of value you could and should keep offering them more and more consistently and repeatedly.
Now, the pre-requisite here is that you’re not selling snake oil and you don’t constantly bombard your customers with just offers.
#3. Reward frequent purchasers
You probably have some customers that pretty much buy everything you have to offer right? What have you done lately to reward those customers. Have you called them up to tell them you appreciate them? Have you sent them a thank you card (yes, a physical card, not an email)?
If not, you should, people love recognition, and something as simple as a call or card will go a long way.
#4. Reward high-volume purchasers
Similar to above, how are you currently rewarding your high volume purchasers? Have you a system for ‘bumping-up’ single purchasers to multi purchase? You can do so easily by offering incentives for higher purchases and then rewarding those customers that buy more often.
#5. Incentivize greater usage
What can you offer your customers to encourage them to use your product or service more often? Have you a client that you’re seeing maybe once a month but you know that they could benefit meeting you more often? Have you communicated this to them? Could you come up with a bonus offering to your customers for when they use your products more often?
#6. Create “VIP” groups – i.e., memberships with special privileges
People, no matter from what background love exclusivity and love to feel a sense of belonging. Do you currently have a membership or group income stream in your business, and if not why not? Having a “VIP” group or membership is a fantastic way to add massive value and monthly continuity income to your business.
This can work for any type of business a coach, trainer, restaurant, hairdresser, retail store, coffee shop, and while it involves some work, the benefits are well worth it.
#7. Learn more about each customer, and tailor offers to match
How much do you actually know about your customers? For them to become customers in they first place they obviously know, like and trust you but just how much do you know about them? The more you can find out about your customers the better.
When you know exactly how they think, what they like, what they dislike you can make tailored offers to them. But equally if not more important you can start to clone them and find prospective customers similar to them.
#8. Communicate frequently… with information, education, even fun (not just another pitch)
Related to point number two, you need to make sure that you communicate frequently with your customers. You could (and should) send them useful information, articles, newsletters (online and printed), educate them on your business offerings and even send them some fun stuff.
One thing you want to avoid is constantly sending them pitch after pitch. While this may bring results in the beginning, you’ll quickly burn through your customers and word will spread.
#9. Communicate consistently – you build relationships with regular communication, not haphazard
You also need to ensure communicate consistently. How frequent this is will be different for each business, if you decide to communicate every day then stick to every day. At the bare minimum I would say keep in touch with your customers once a week and preferably using multiple media.
For example I communicate with my customers via email twice per week, once a month via a printed newsletter and once a month in person at my monthly seminars.
#10. Analyse your customers and separate them into A-B-C groups based on responsiveness, then develop strategies to upgrade Cs to Bs, and Bs to As
Look at your customer list, have you a pocket of customers that buy higher priced products and services and another pocket that buy lower priced products and services. These are two different types of customers (when it comes to describing them in terms of your ladder of ascension).
You should separate your customers based on their responsiveness (for example “A”, “B”, and “C”) and communicate with them separately and develop strategies to move your Cs to Bs, and Bs to As.
#11. Identify and focus like a laser on hyper-responsives
Some percentage of your customers will buy EVERYTHING you offer. Make sure to give them plenty of chances to do so. We all have mavens in our business. When you identify them and focus on them you can add more value to them and offer them more products and services while at the same time finding out more about them so you can replicate them thus adding even more value and profits to your business.
#12. Sell continuity programs that provide regular, predictable cash flow
A lot of online marketers and agencies say “content is king”. I disagree, wholeheartedly, continuity is king. If you don’t have continuity income in your business currently, you are leaving massive amounts of profits on the table.
- If you’re a book store owner you could have a book of the month club.
- If you’re an online coach you could have a monthly membership site.
- You could do monthly paid seminars regardless of your business.
- If you’re an organic farmer you could have a weekly box scheme.
No matter what business you’re in, continuity programs enable you have regular, predictable cash flow which will be a breadth of fresh air if you always seem to have more month at the end of the money.
#13. Sell renewable products or services
As it’s said:
“if it doesn’t go down the drain, it ain’t a business”
What can you offer your customers that needs to be renewed? Using the personal trainer as an example, if he’s encouraging his clients to take protein powder and take omega 3 fish oils these are:
- products he could be selling,
- renewable products meaning that once they are used up the customer will need to buy again.
Imagine the impact on your business if you’re customers happily bought from you again and again.
#14. Become “the Go-To Resource” in your category for your customers — use and leverage strategic alliances and joint ventures
How many times have you been a “connector” for your customers? As you find out more and more about your customers (point number 7) you’ll discover that may have needs or desires outside of your business.
By collating the information, leveraging strategic alliances and joint ventures you can become “the Go-To Resource” in your category and elevate yourself in the eyes of your customers and pretty much eradicate your competitors.
#15. Periodically ask/survey your customers to find out what else they want and would buy from you
How often do you ask your customers what they want? Do you periodically survey your customers to find out their pain points, their frustrations, their needs, their desires? Doing so systematically can and will enable you to find out exactly how you need to be innovating your business on an ongoing basis.
Peter Drucker the “founder of modern management” said the two most important things in business is marketing and innovation and your current customers can hold the key to you constantly innovating and improving.
Most business owners and marketers drastically underestimate their customer’s capacity to consume more of their products and services. The bottom line is you should be absolutely doing more business with your existing customers versus chasing new ones.
Remember: a buyer is a buyer is a buyer is buyer. It’s infinitely easier and always more profitable to work at increasing the purchasing of your satisfied customers than it is to go out and add new ones.
What are your light bulb moments from this list of 15 ways to increase profits and extract more value from your existing customers? Are you doing any of these points successfully? Which one gave you your biggest ‘aha’ moment? How are you going to apply this to your business? What did you learn today that you can use to grow your business tomorrow?
Images: ”Customer is King / Shutterstock.com“
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