Category Archives: Marketing

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loyal customer

6 Must Do’s to Get and Keep Loyal Customers for Life!

In this day of abundant choices, instant access, and competition galore how do you get and create loyal customers?

1. Stop advertising and start innovating.

Too often the business owners spend countless hours and dollars on advertising and marketing with very little if any return. Very seldom does it result in a new client, and rarely does it result in creating loyal customers. In order to begin to dominate the market with your product or service, you must first become the innovator.

In the 1930’s a new brand of bread arrived. It was called Wonder. Wonder became the innovators in bread. Yes, innovators in bread. There are thousands of varieties of bread. How did they innovate something as simple as bread? They were the first to sell sliced bread. In today’s world it seems so simple but in the 1930’s it was innovative and changed how bread would be sold forever. How does your product or service compare to that of your competitors? What could you do to become the innovator in your market?

2. Create the Purple Cow.

If you haven’t already read Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow. Get a copy and read it today. Seth refers to creating a purple cow for your company. Americans see thousands of cows every day, black cows, brown cows, spotted cows, and don’t think anything of it. However, if we saw a purple cow we would immediately stop and take notice. We would take pictures, spread it to our friends and family, share it on social media, and probably even call a few reporters to get some pictures for the local paper. What about your product or service has a purple cow effect? What makes your customers want to talk about it, share it, or sneeze it all over everyone they know?

A local restaurant offered wine with every meal. They didn’t charge by the glass or by the bottle. They merely had a note with a bottle of wine at each table that said “Please enjoy the wine with your meal. Just let your server know how many glasses of wine you’ve enjoyed and he or she will add $3.50 per glass to your ticket accordingly.”

The reality is their customers may have never ordered wine with their meal. However, since it was right on the table it was easy to enjoy.

They also found that most customers, once opening the bottle wanted to take the entire bottle home and paid for it. In addition, an average bottle of wine cost the owner $7.00. With a $3.50 per glass charge, if the customer said they’d each only had one glass of wine the entire bottle of wine was paid for by the consumer. If they said they had 2 glasses of wine each the owner made a great profit. And their customers told everyone about it! One of the first questions customers asked when walking in the door was “is it true that we can tell you how much wine we have and you’ll only charge us for what we say”?

With a $3.50 per glass charge, if the customer said they’d each only had one glass of wine the entire bottle of wine was paid for by the consumer. If they said they had 2 glasses of wine each the owner made a great profit. And their customers told everyone about it! One of the first questions customers asked when walking in the door was “is it true that we can tell you how much wine we have and you’ll only charge us for what we say”?

What’s your purple cow? What will you customers want to share? What will turn every lead into a loyal customer?

3. Define your target market.

Americans are bombarded with over 30,000 advertisements and logos a day. Yes, a day! Think about it. Just driving down the interstate you often see thousands in a matter of an hour. Mercedes, Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Audi, McDonald’s, Wendys, Burger King, Shell, 7-11, Gas-Mart, Wal-Mart, Sony, Bose, XM Radio, Sirius Radio, Samsung, Apple, Mac, ….the list goes on and on. Turn on the radio, television, or laptop and it’s a blizzard of advertisements. Small business owners can’t compete by simply advertising. However, you can compete if you market directly to your target market. But you must first define who they are.

What is there gender? Women are most often the decision makers in child day care. Where do they live? Is your product or service available in a certain demographic? How old are they? The geriatric physician should market to a different target audience than a pediatric dentist. What form of media do they use? Does your target audience read the newspaper, use the phonebook, research information on google or bing, do they use social media to make buying decisions?

It all goes back to knowing who your potential customers are and then deciding how you will reach them.

Once you reach them, and they buy from you, give them a reason to come back, again, and again. Give them a reason to become loyal customers. If you’re unsure of how to design a marketing plan to reach your target audience we’ve got that too! Get 90 Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners with Little or No Budget.

4. Give your loyal customers a reason to come back.

Do you give your existing customers a reason to buy from you again? Something as simple as a loyalty program can be a game changer for your business. The average consumer will buy from you again if you’ve made them feel important. 68% of customers leave a business because they feel unimportant. How do you make your customers feel important? Do you send thank you cards? Other Special Occasion cards? Do you give them special treatment such as customer only private events? How often do you even ask them to buy from you again?

Chances are if you provide a good product or service, your customer feels they matter to you and they trust you, they will buy again.

Give them just one more reason to buy from you again and you’re sure to get their next purchase. They already know your product or service and like it. They’re already there buying. Give them a special “thank you” or “next visit” offer. They (and you) will be glad you did! Remember if you want loyal customers you must give them a way to show their loyalty!

How do you make your customers feel important? Do you send thank you cards? Other Special Occasion cards? Do you give them special treatment such as customer only private events? How often do you even ask them to buy from you again? Chances are if you provide a good product or service, your customer feels they matter to you and they trust you, they will buy again. Give them just one more reason to buy from you again and you’re sure to get their next purchase. They already know your product or service and like it. They’re already there buying. Give them a special “thank you” or “next visit” offer. They (and you) will be glad you did! Remember if you want loyal customers you must give them a way to show their loyalty!

5. Give them the Pickle… or the Coat.

In Bob Farrell’s book Give ‘Em the Pickle he discusses a letter a restaurant owner received from one of his lifelong customers who decided that he would no longer be a patron of his establishment. The reason? The customer asked for a pickle on the side. The server, who was new to the position, stated that he would have to charge him .25 for the pickle. After several minutes of unsuccessfully trying to explain to the argumentative server that he had never, in 25 years, been charged for a pickle he decided to leave. He also decided at that minute that he would write the owner and make him aware of his decision to not visit his restaurant again.He explained that it wasn’t the cost of the pickle.

It was the principal.

After 25 years of patronage, he was going to be charged for something that he had always perceived as an added value to his experience at the restaurant.Once the added value was taken away, in such a manner, he no longer felt a desire to visit the restaurant for lunch. As business owners, you must know when to give your customer the pickle. You must train your staff to add value to any experience your customers have. This may be an old concept. However, it still stands true today. Provide value and show your customers that they are valued and you will create loyal customers!

6. Empower your team.

Finally, if you truly want loyal customers you must empower your team to add value to any experience your customers have. A customer of Zappos received a phone call from a customer who wanted to return a winter coat. It was too large. The Zappos customer service representative asked that she not return the coat in exchange for a smaller size. He asked that she donate it to a local shelter because there were so many people in need, especially in the winter. He also explained that he would ship her a new coat in her size at no additional charge.
That’s an empowered team creating loyal customers for life!

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shocked at competitors

Who your greatest competitors are may shock you!

Before we begin, take one minute and write down all of your competitors that comes to mind.

Do you now have a list of companies that offer similar products and services? Do you have about 10 of your local obvious competitors?

My guess is that you’ve missed your largest competition and who they are may shock you.

Most business owners only consider the obvious direct competitors, missing their potentially largest competitors.

Ask any salon owner who their competitors are. They quickly rattled off 25 other salons. While the other salons are competition, they are not their greatest competitors.

Ask any attorney. I can assure you they will provide a list of other attorneys. Again, not their greatest competition.

What most businesses overlook when it comes to their competition is the educated consumer.

A salon owner would never consider Walmart to be their competitor. The salon owner would argue that Walmart is not their competitor. Why? Because the salon provides at atmosphere, quality products, services, and a level of expertise that the box color on the shelf of Walmart could never provide.

They may be right. However, the consumer, who wants to change the color of their hair has access to thousands of options within seconds. One search using the keywords hair color and 10 different box color options appear on the first page. Try it for yourself. Unless there’s a salon in your area who understands the power of and how to optimizing their site based on consumer searches, you’ll find box color options for pages.

Attorneys seldom, if ever, consider their greatest competition. Again, it’s the consumer. Every legal document known to man is available, accessible, and downloadable in seconds, usually at no cost. Even the large box stores carry a vast variety of legal documents.  Let’s not forget the Legal Zoom and Legal Shield. For about $19.99 a month the consumer has legal access at their fingertips.

Sure, there is a vast difference in the value of the advice, guidance, direction, and experience of an attorney vs the downloadable document. Salons provide an experience that box colors can’t.

However, unless you educate your consumer, they will continue to be your greatest competitor!

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hot air balloon marketing

90 Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners with No or Little Budget!

Marketing on little or no budget? Yes is it possible!

How many marketing strategies do you have actively working to drive business to your door? 100 or more? If it’s any less than 100 you’re missing countless opportunities!

I know what you’re thinking.

That’s impossible for any small business!

What if I told you it was possible and on a very minimal…almost zero budget?!

Visualize your business. Think of it as a porch with pillars. If you only have two pillars (marketing strategies) and one pillar collapses your roof (business) is sure to fall. However, if you have ten columns, each with 10 different support systems built in, your roof will have continuous support!

Before building your 10 x 10 marketing plan you should first DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET, and Follow this 9 Must-Do’s to GENERATE AND CLOSE LEADS IN TODAY”S MARKET!

Take a moment and list all the general marketing avenues you are currently using. Now, within each one of those avenues how could you utilize that avenue for more potential? If you’re using social media as an avenue what other social media platforms are available. I can think of 10 free social media platforms. The pillar (Marketing Avenue) is social media. The supports (Strategies) are the 10 platforms. That’s 10!

If you have a website what are the 10 things that you could do to generate and potentially close leads on your site? That’s 20!

If you have a referral program, what are the 10 ways you could generate referrals? That’s 30!

The list goes on and on!

Check back or email me at crystelsmith1012@gmail.com for a 10 x 10 downloadable marketing strategy list with over 90 strategies with zero or minimal investment required!

Marketing doesn’t require a hefty investment that’s tied to guess work. If done strategically, efficiently, and effectively it can generate and close more leads than you ever thought possible!

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generating and closing leads

9 Must-Do’s to Generate and Close More Leads in Today’s World!

9 Must do’s to generate more leads in today’s world!

Marketing in it’s simplest form is buying customers. As a business owner you must know what you’re willing to spend to gain a new customer, create a budget, set goals, market, track, adjust, and market again.

  1. Determine the lifetime value of your client.

    1. Average Dollar Sale
    2. Number of times your client buys from you
    3. Average number of years your client buys from you
Average Dollar Sale $100.00
Average Number of Purchases in One Year 6
Average Number of Years We Retain Our Clients 3
Lifetime Value $1,800.00

 

  1. Determine what you are willing to spend per client.

    1. If the average lifetime value of your client is $1,800.00 would you be willing to spend $100.00 to get them in the door? Would you be willing to spend $300.00? You must determine what you’re willing to spend for a new customer.
  2. Create a budget with an allowable acquisition cost per client and set a target goal.

    1. If a marketing strategy requires a $300.00 investment and your allowable acquisition cost per client is $100.00 then your goal should be to gain a minimum of three clients. Any less than three clients and your acquisition cost just went up.
  3. Target your client.

    1. Since you know your target market, use mediums that they actively use. If you are unsure of who your target market is, stop and DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET!
  4. Create the offer.

    1. Be clear and specific in your strategy. Tell your client what the specific offer is.
  5. Give them a call to action.

    1. So often advertisements lack a call to action. Customers are left with basic information about a company with either no offer or instruction to get the offer.
  6. Track your leads.

    1. If your strategy isn’t generating any leads you may want to change your medium,  your offer, or your call to action. If it’s generating leads as you expected you may want to boost your marketing with the medium.
  7. Track your conversion rate.

    1. What good are leads if you don’t close them. They are absolutely no good. As a matter of fact. They are costing you time and money. If you’re not converting leads you may not have set clear expectations. Or you may just need to just get better at closing the sale. If your prospect decides not to buy ask them why. Be sure to explain that you’re collecting this information to improve your message in the future.
  8. Wash-Rinse-Repeat

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Give them the pickle

Do You Give Your Customers the Pickle?

Give Customers the Pickle!

In Bob Farrell’s book Give ‘Em the Pickle, he discusses a letter a restaurant owner received from one of his lifelong customers who decided that he would no longer be a patron of his establishment. The reason? The customer asked for a pickle on the side.

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Do you know your customers

Ready, Aim, Fire! Directly At Your Target Market!

Define your Target Market

Americans are bombarded with over 30,000 advertisements and logos a day. Yes, a day! Think about it. Just driving down the interstate you often see thousands in a matter of an hour.

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Your purple cow

What’s Your Purple Cow?

Create the Purple Cow

First of all, if you haven’t already read Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow, get a copy and read it today. Until then, I’ll cover the important part: Seth refers to creating a purple cow for your company. You might now be wondering what a purple cow is. Something exotic? Not quite. ‘Different’ is good enough.

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Im not my target market

Your Target Market Goal—Stop the Shotgun Approach

Stop the shotgun approach and take aim at your target market!

What’s your target market and how do you plan to reach out to it? All too often, companies and business owners use the shotgun approach; they throw their marketing dollars in every avenue they can think of, hoping something will work. Trust me, I’ve worked for companies that actually encouraged their sales teams to use the shotgun approach: throw as many shots as you can and eventually something will stick.

What they typically forget is one of the fundamentals of business—creating their target market.

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