Secrets to Success
How to mine profits in your own backyard
Part nine in a 13-part series
The fastest, easiest way of increasing your profits lies with your current clients.
That's Law No. 8 of the "12 Laws of Online Marketing with Business Blogs, RSS, and Podcasts."
I've seen systemized strategies in this area improve relationships, extend loyalty, and increase profits of 40 percent or more. Business blogging is a powerful tool to have on your side when you're executing these strategies online.
Most businesses approach marketing from a "lead-generating" standpoint to get as many new clients through the door and into the selling cycle as possible. As a result, their advertising and promotions are geared almost exclusively toward generating new prospects.
But new business is not the primary source of increased profits -- your existing client base is.
Previously, I stressed the Lifetime Value principle: The first sale you make to a client rarely represents the total of their capacity to do business with you. The first purchase usually represents a client's test of your ability to deliver on your promise.
If you have delivered what you promised, you've established trust with that client. They want you to offer them more solutions, to serve more of their needs. If you do, you're saving them from having to "shop around," wasting their time and money. Now your words mean something because you've backed them up with action.
How much time and money should you invest in your current clients? Here are some guidelines:
» Sixty percent of all your marketing efforts should be devoted to reselling your current clients.
» Twenty-five percent of your efforts should be spent converting inactive clients into active, repeat buyers.
» Fifteen percent of your marketing should be devoted to gaining new leads and converting them to active clients.
These figures will fluctuate depending on the maturity of your business. If you're a start-up, most of your marketing will concentrate on converting prospects to new clients. As you build your client list over two years or more, you can gradually shift to these percentages.
Here are two ideas to help you build loyal, long-lasting relationships with your clients.
» Set up a business blog exclusively for customer service and support of your products/services. Through client interaction, the blog becomes a valuable resource for your internal research as much as it benefits clients.
» Create a private password-protected category in your business blog that contains premium "client only" content. By providing private access to premium articles, podcasts and videos for free, you make your clients feel special while educating them about your products and services.
Keep your eye on the most lucrative part of your business: your current client base!
See the Columnists
section for some past articles.
John-Paul Micek is the lead business coach at RPM Success Group Inc. Reach him at JPM@RPMsuccess.com
or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.
Deborah Cole Micek, chief executive officer of RPM Success Group, is a business success coach and life strategist. Reach her at DCM@RPMsuccess.com
or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.