Suppose you have ten fishing lines in ten different locations – chances are you will catch more fish. All the bases are covered. And of course when you find where the best fish are biting, you will make sure you put most of your efforts there.
So how many fishing lines do you have right now for your business?... website, advertising, referrals, customer loyalty program, signage, effective quote conversion, in store promotions, social media...
When marketing your business, you should have a minimum of ten different marketing strategies for increasing customers and sales in your business. Also make sure you check those lines for bites, and record where the fish are being caught. The biggest mistake many businesses make is that they don’t measure the results!
That promotion from six months ago - can you remember how successful it was; would you use it again? The only way you can decide that is by looking at the results. (If you are unsure how to measure this, email me for a free form and instructions.) -
How many customers came from it?
What was the cost of the promotion?
How much profit did you make?
All very important questions.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Done well this should produce a steady stream of customers to your business – however make sure you are getting back more than you are spending. If not, then you need to change your approach until you do.
· Centres of Influence
There will be key people or companies you are associated with that could be a great source of business and referrals for you. This could be a key customer who is already giving you referrals or even a supplier. Talk to them about how you could systemise referring each other customers.
· Joint Ventures
This is a company who has similar customers to you but does not directly compete with you. A hair salon and a cafe both have customers who would use both services, so you would make an arrangement where you refer business to each other with existing customers. Done well this is a very cost effective way of getting a lot of customers quickly to your business.
Attend networking events in your local area such as events held by your local Chamber of Commerce, BNZ who hold regular networking events every month for anyone in business, BNI, or trade shows. These will all have businesses that could be potential buyers for your products and services.
· Add-On Sales
There are always opportunities to increase sales to your existing customers. If you are selling men’s clothing, the perfect time to sell a tie to this customer is when they are buying a suit. This needs to be a focus for all staff and a deliberate strategy to increase sale value.
· Making the Sale (Conversions)
How good are you at converting walk-ins, enquiries or quotes? A case study I often use shows how a driveway company originally getting 1 customer for every 10 enquiries, is now getting 5 new customers from every 10 enquiries, just by improving their quotation process.
· After Sale and Repeat Sales
This is about getting your customers back more often. If a customer visits your business 3 times a year, by increasing their visits to 4 times per year, assuming they buy the same value as before, will increase business by 33%.
This is encouraging your existing customers to refer others to your business. You might give some discount or reward to your existing customers for referring you more business.
Is your website bringing customers and enquiries to your business? A good website will be bringing paying customers to you in the form of either direct sales or enquiries you can then convert to sales. Check to see how much business you are getting from your website - how many visits, and how many enquiries or sales. If conversion is poor, then you need to change your website and then increase the number of visitors to your site.
Most businesses spend a lot of time looking for new customers, and ignore customers they have already dealt with. Did you know that if you send your previous customers an offer, they are six times more likely to buy than someone who is a stranger to your products or services.
A database is simply a list of your customers and leads. It does not need to be complicated, and can be entered on a simple Excel spreadsheet if you do not have database software. This one is essential and every company without exception should have a database and be regularly contacting customers/potential customers with offers and information they will find useful.
By just working on one of these strategies every month, in 10 months you will have 10 streams of customers – what would that do for your business?!
Also be aware that not everything you try will always work first time, in fact if you are new to this, a lot of things you try will notwork. Keep at it because once you find the best fishing spot your bucket will be very full; it just takes time.
The fast track of course, is to get an expert fisherman who knows the tides, best locations, weather patterns, and the right bait for different fish. Even then he still needs to adjust to changing conditions – however compared to the inexperienced fisherman, odds are he will find more fish more quickly day in and day out.