How To Expand Your Products/Services
And Increase Customer Revenue
“I want to show you here, that all Marketing Pro’s
are NOT ALIKE … When you see the
difference below, hopefully a new world of hope,
enthusiasm and interest will emerge …
IF you invest in one!” …
Are You ready?
let’s go …
Provide Your Customers With a Continuous Stream
of Products and Services They Need and Want
If a trusted clothing store wrote you a letter about special merchandise that they just received, detailing the style, quality and price, would you have a tendency to go check it out? Especially, if the store focused the offer on items of interest and you hadn’t purchased clothes lately?
- So, when was the last time that you sent a letter to your current customers, telling them about new merchandise or additional services you provide or letting them know about a special deal?
If your Dentist sent you a brochure with pictures, educating you on the new “one-time, in-office teeth whitening procedure” they now perform. Would you be prone to calling them if you desired whiter teeth? How much more likely would you be to get this procedure done than if they never sent such a letter or discussed this with you in person?
- So when was the last time you tried to introduce your clients to other products or services that you provide but which they don’t purchase? And have you educated them on why this would be to their best interest?
If you buy a furnace, or water purifier or a bicycle, do these items ever need to be serviced? Or if you buy a software program, do you ever wish you had someone to train you on how to use it?
- Do you provide training or service on the items you sell? If so, when was the last time that you followed up with your clients to see if they had a need?
This strategy focuses exclusively on how you can get
your customers to purchase more of what you provide.
Often existing and past customers are forgotten by businesses. The assumption is that when they need something they will come in or call. Businesses with this attitude are missing out on an enormous amount of revenue that comes from staying in continuous contact with their customers.
Providing your customers with a continuous stream of products and services involves:
- Staying in continuous contact with your customers
- Conditioning them to purchase more often
- Expanding their purchase patterns to include more of what you provide
If you provide a quality service and a quality product, then your customers will be open to a variety of items that you introduce to them. It cost 500% more to get a new customer them to keep the ones you have. Why put your time and capital at risk to acquire new customers until you fully tap your existing customer reservoir to the max.
Three customer types create opportunities for
motivating your customers to continually purchase
Customer Type #1 – Current Active Customers
Your current active customers should be purchasing from you regularly. In addition, they should be open to purchasing other products and services that you offer as well. So what other products or services do your customers need that are related to what you originally sold them?
Customer Type #2- Inactive Customers
Customers are inactive for a variety of reasons. What else can your customers purchase that’s related to the original product or service they purchased (even if they don’t need the original product anymore)?
For example, did they previously purchase golf equipment but haven’t purchased again in a while? Maybe it’s because they don’t need any additional clubs. But they might need golf balls or a special putting gadget or possibly golf lessons?
This is where your customers either were dissatisfied or stopped using you, or they were indifferent and use someone else out of convenience. Often businesses assume that once they lose a client, they have lost them forever. This is a costly error. If they stopped using you due to indifference, you merely must show them how you have improved or are now better at meeting their needs. Then provide a compelling offer, such as a free trial, and you will win a substantial percentage of them back.
Customer Type #3 – Prospects that inquired but did not purchase
People often need to “kick the tires” and get comfortable with making a purchase before they take action. Another reason why people inquire but don’t purchase right away is the fact that they need more information before making a decision. Someone learning about laser corrective surgery may need to do research and get educated on the risks and what specifically is involved. Or they may need to convince their spouse to spend the money.
The important thing to point out is that many of the “non-purchase” prospects are really customers waiting for the right time or offer or education in order to move to purchase and therefore, consistent follow up is critical to winning them as customers.
Three opportunities to get these three customer
types to purchase continuously from you.
Opportunity #1 – Offer Your Customers the Same Types of Products or Services That They Currently Purchase From You.
Your customers have already demonstrated in the past that they will buy certain items from you. So don’t wait for them to come back. You can trigger their repurchase by sending them a letter, calling them or discussing it at the point of purchase. This one opportunity is overlooked by 90% of small businesses today.
Opportunity #2 – Expand Your Customer’s Purchase Patterns by Selling Them Other Products and Services They Don’t Currently Purchase From You.
If someone buys a product or service from you, what else might he or she or a family member need that you provide? Businesses make the fatal mistake of thinking people are aware of all of the products and services they sell. As an example, if you provide landscaping maintenance, do your customers know about your fertilizer program or mosquito abatement or snowplowing in the winter?
Expanding your customers purchase patterns may also include motivating them to purchase more of the current products and services they already buy. Your customers may purchase exclusively during the week, for example. Therefore, getting them to also purchase or take advantage of your service on the weekends would have a dramatic impact on your revenue.
Opportunity #3 – Provide Service or Training to Your Customers
If your product or service involves the need for future service then you should be the one providing this to your clients. For example, when a Carpet Company installs carpet, they know that the customer will need their carpets cleaned within 1-2 years.
If your product or service involves the need for future training then you should also be the one providing this to your clients. For example, if you’re a Consultant and help a company implement a new computer system or sales training program, there is typically a need for follow up training to ensure the client maximizes their results?
How these leveraged opportunities
apply to different business types
First, let’s look at Repeat Purchase Businesses
A Video Store can send their inactive customers a coupon for a “free movie” or ” buy one get one free” or “free popcorn and soda with a movie.” They can also send their clients a letter educating them about the value of cleaning the internal parts of their DVD player on a regular basis. They could further offer to sell their customers tickets to other family or entertainment activities.
A Telephone Service Provider can once again offer their customers voice mail or call waiting. Customers are generally given an opportunity to purchase these services only at the point of installation. Perhaps they didn’t think they needed call waiting initially or perhaps they had an answering machine which later stopped functioning.
Random or Infrequent Repeat Purchase Businesses:
A Wellness Physician may have over 3,000 patients; some come on a preventative health basis and the balance come only when they’re ill. This doctor stocks a premium line of vitamins and minerals, which he prescribes only for specific patient concerns. He may reach 10% of his patients in this way. This means 90% of his patients are completely unaware of the incredible benefits of these vitamins (they’re five times more absorbent and have a molecular structure that binds them to the cells 80% more effectively than standard vitamins)
What if he wrote a letter to the 90% who don’t buy these vitamins … passionately educating them on the benefits? Created an Email Marketing or DRIP Campaign?
What about an Accountant? She can tell her business clients about her Consulting services. Rather than wait until year-end, she can provide quarterly evaluations which helps keep her clients on track.
An Orthodontist can educate his patients (the parents or adults) on having their children come in at a younger age to get preventive work done. He can offer to put braces on the parents – even educating them on the “invisible braces” that are available.
Single Purchase Business.
A Contractor can stay in contact with their customers and suggest home improvements that would enhance the client’s home. If they had done a large job initially, they should have good insight on the customer’s needs and potential wants. They can also suggest a patio cover for the patio they previously installed. Or offer to screen their porch. Finally, they can suggest installing a built-in entertainment center in their basement.
10 Step Implementation Process
(I dive deeper into this for clients)
Step 1 – Identify which products or services would be good candidates for an offer to your clients.
Step 2 – Which types of customers are you going to make your offer to
Step 3 – Determine why someone would want to purchase these items from you
Step 4 – Select just ONE to get started
Step 5 – Determine marginal profitability
Step 6 – Designing Your Program
There are 4 elements of the program you need to customize.
First is a Customer Database. Your customer database will enable you to evaluate your customers purchase patterns to identify both their current frequency of purchase and lack of purchases of items you feel they should or would purchase if educated and motivated to do so.
If a Wellness Doctor tracks his patients by specific ailment (back pain, arthritis, headaches etc.}, he can recommend specific vitamin and mineral supplements to specific ailment groups.
Element #1 – Determine what the offer will be
The first thing you need to do is to determine what your specific offer will be to your customers. At what price will you offer the product or service? If you are merely “re-activating” or reminding your customers that it’s time to purchase, then you may not need to reduce the price at all.
Another example would be a Hair Salon. They certainly should consider a “free first visit” when they’re trying to Cross-Sell their customer to use their manicure service or motivate the husband to come in as well. After all, their Lifetime Value is enormous, and the probability of them converting to a regular customer is so high because of their current relationship.
If you’re introducing your customers to your training or maintenance service, then you may choose to offer some incentive to motivate them to let you demonstrate the quality of your service and the benefits they can derive.
The next thing for you to consider in your offer is
whether you need to motivate your customers to purchase
by including value added benefits or bonuses?
The Yellow Page Publisher could charge full rate if they also included free design work and offered to increase the size of their Yellow Page advertisement as a bonus. The important thing in this example is the fact that the client perceives they’re getting $100 per month in free Yellow Page advertising. Plus another $300-$400 in design work, both of which costs the publisher zero.
Reduce or eliminate the risk of the purchase
Offering a guarantee is of virtually no risk if you first scientifically test the offer and measure the returns. If the increased profit exceeds the cost of returns, then you only win with the guarantee.
If your customer is merely purchasing their regular item(s) then there is generally no need to offer a guarantee. You may however want to test a money back guarantee to see if it stimulates additional sales.
If you’re expanding your clients purchasing patterns, or introducing them to your training or maintenance service, you will want to strongly consider a guarantee. This can either replace any discounts or value-added services so the offer is irresistible!
For example, the Hair Salon could charge full price for the manicure with a 100% money back guarantee. They could take this a step further by providing a value-added bonus – free polish, a pedicure, a sample basket worth $10 or free movie tickets and so on. They could even discount the first visit 50%.
Let me explain why you should be willing
to make such outrageous offers.
First, be sure you understand the Lifetime Value of your customer.
The Hair Salon that adds a manicure to their client’s purchase will generate $1,000 of additional revenue per year (Over $5,000 over the five-year average customer life). Now, using a 50% margin, that’s $2,500 in their pocket! That’s well worth offering two stacked incentives plus a guarantee to get a customer to add manicuring to their regular purchase pattern. The cost is peanuts compared with the profit stream.
The Hair Salon can now upsell this client nail conditioning products, premium nail polish, a nail dryer, etc. And since the client comes in more often (hair + nails) the salon now has many more opportunities to sell them shampoo, brushes and so on. This continues to pile on the profits.
They can then condition this client to come in at desired intervals. This increases their profits by another 10-20% or $250-$500, compared with their previous pattern.
In addition, they have added a whole new referral source. If the client is happy with the manicure, then they will gladly refer the salon to their friends, family members and co-workers.
And if they get just one new referral customer from their “expanded” client, they will duplicate this $3,000 lifetime manicure profit. And if that new referral customer either expands their purchase pattern to include haircuts or refers someone else, the salon earns another $3,000 and so on.
Element #2 – Determining Your Script
Now that you have identified your product or service that you will offer to a specified group of your customers, what are you going to say? Your offer should contain these 8 elements that make up a Compelling Offer:
- A specific self-serving benefit headline (and sub-headline) or first paragraph.
- The specific benefits and outcome they will receive.
- Product or Service Benefits and Features.
- The reason they should purchase the item and why from you.
- The specific actions youwill take (including price and terms)
- The specific action theyare to take.
- A Compelling Bonus or Incentive, if appropriate.
- How you will minimize or eliminate their risk.
- PS – the headline for the headline – the key elements of your offer.
This is powerfully targeted and highlights the importance of your customer database.
Incidentally, most people feel that it takes a special talent to write a good offer. As long as you include the key elements, and write to one customer at a time, your offer will be better than 95% of the so-called “copy writers” that don’t know your clients or business like you do. If necessary, have someone edit the letter for grammar and punctuation if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Element #3 – Delivery or Communication Method
If you’re making the offer at the time of purchase, who will ask the client … you or your staff? Or will you mail the postcard? Or include the offer in your catalog? Or will you communicate by phone? Your program can and should encompass multiple delivery methods.
Element #4 – Follow Up
Most businesses tend to drastically under mail their clients. Conventional thinking is that you don’t want to bother your clients. This is costly and erroneous information. The more you mail them, the more they will purchase and the more they will refer you because you’re top of mind. You will know precisely how often is too often when the profits from your mailing are exceeded by the cost.
Four opportunities to resell your
customers after the initial purchase
Opportunity #1 – A day or two or some appropriate amount of time after the sale
Here the focus is twofold:
- To lay the groundwork for a future sale and to remind them that you will be following up in 3-6 months for their next service or maintenance.
- To up-sell, cross-sell or lay the groundwork for future up-sell or cross-sell opportunities.
- The person that buys a computer may realize that it’s too slow and will want more memory.
Opportunity #2 – Send a letter or call 30-60 days after the purchase to see if you can further meet your customers’ needs
This is your opportunity to once again try to expand their purchase patterns by introducing another related product or service. Or to condition them to purchase more often. Or to ask for a referral. Or to educate them on the need for an upgrade or maintenance service or additional training. After all, you have gone out of your way to identify their needs, meet these needs and then follow up to help in any way you can.
Opportunity #3 – Periodic mailings or calls (every 4-6 weeks) to your clients
This is the hidden treasure that alone can double many businesses. In fact, it’s so simplistically powerful that it can increase your revenue 20% or more immediately, if you don’t currently do such follow up.
There are two reasons why this follow up
will produce such profound results:
1) Customers need to be reminded about your services.
Jay Levinson says that 80% of the reason customers are lost is due to apathy. They simply forgot about you or felt you forgot about them. By simply remaining top of mind when your customer thinks of the need for the product or services you offer will motivate them to purchase again.
2) Educate customers on trends, improvements, potential pitfalls and buying opportunities
You can send a newsletter, write a letter or have a point of purchase discussion. Focus on providing value to the customer.
- Sometimes you will try to get them to purchase additional products and services.
- Sometimes you will tell them about special sales, exclusive merchandise or limited offers you have available before release to the public.
- And sometimes you will simply be providing value and building your relationship.
A Realtor’s expected resell cycle is five years, so they can’t very well send monthly mailings trying to sell the customer. They can however, educate their customers about the recent sales activity. People love to know what their neighbor’s house sold for. The Realtor can also provide tips on organizing their garage, growing a greener lawn, refinancing when appropriate and so on. (Your Market Dominating Position)
Opportunity #4 – Special Occasions
This includes birthdays, holidays, and their customer anniversary. These times represent a great opportunity to make special offers. You can send them a “buy one get one free” certificate or a special savings certificate good for a 25% discount on their birthday or customer anniversary. You can send them a letter to tell them about your special Christmas collection and let them know that you’re giving your preferred customers a one-week advance opportunity to purchase before making the items available to the public.
Step 7 – Test Program
Test before you roll out your program. You may want to select a sub-group of the customers from those you have selected to target. In addition, you may want to get some feedback verbally before proceeding with your mailing.
Step 8 – Teach your staff and validate
If your staff is communicating the offer either at the point of purchase, via phone or they’re responsible for sending the letters, postcards or catalogs, you need to make sure they’re following the guidelines you established in your test.
Step 9 – Set-up measurements/tracking
It’s critical that you measure what’s working. Your plan includes several follow-up mailings and opportunities. Therefore, you need to monitor:
- The number of customers that receive the offer.
- The number that purchased and the amount they spent.
In addition, you want to determine what frequency of mailing produces the greatest results.
Step 10 – Reward/Incentives for staff
Once you have a benchmark for expected results, you can determine an incentive system for your employees if applicable.
Provide Your Customers With a Continuous Stream of Products and Services They Need and Want …
This strategy focuses exclusively on how you can get your customers to purchase more of what you provide ...
Three customer types create opportunities for motivating your customers to continually purchase …
Three opportunities to get these three customer types to purchase continuously from you …
How these leveraged opportunities apply to different business types …
10 Step Implementation Process …
Do you need to motivate your customers to purchase by including value added benefits or bonuses?
Let me explain why you should be willing to make such outrageous offers …
Four opportunities to resell your customers after the initial purchase …
There are two reasons why this follow up will produce such profound results …
As Always, Here’s To Your Success!
Business Coach & Marketing Strategist