We all want more customers, more sales and more profits. Well, most of us do. As a business coach, I’m sometimes working with business owners who do not want more sales, just either smoother business operations or better quality of business – but that’s a whole other blog.
Because most of us do want more business, sales and profit – we need to become customer and sales magnets. How do we do that? Thought you’d never ask. : ) Here are my tips as a serial entrepreneur, salesperson and experienced business coach.
How to be a customer and profit magnet
Branding & Perception
Before you even start, you need to be sending the right messages. I speak at a number of places (universities, business breakfasts, national conferences) and if I turned up in jeans and thongs, it would not matter how spectacular my presentation was, it would not be taken terribly seriously – and neither would I. How we present (personally) and our business is critical. Do you operate a business from a Hotmail email account? Do you have handwritten quotes? Is your website riddled with spelling mistakes? Gosh, can you even be found online? Are your contracts clearly something which came out of a Cornflakes box? When someone goes to your online booking system, so they see almost the entire week upcoming is open and free? If you’re a brand new business, did your invoice number start from 001? Get your message right, clear and professional first before you even start marketing. Now, when I say professional, I work with both professional services and tradies – there is a relevant level of professional in all industries. It won’t be the same between say an accountant and an electrician, but it will be present.
A big part of what I do is work with clients around their marketing. You need to identify your ideal client and yes, I know we’ve all heard this, but I think it’s something we are not always crystal clear on. What are we offering? It might seem obvious – but the message some business owners send out there makes me think they are either lacking clarity around their service or product, or simply are not great at communicating it.
The other aspect is that you need to have a marketing plan. A road map of what you are going to do, when and how. Who is going to do it and what’s the budget for each item? Whether your budget is $100 a month or $100,000 a month you still need strategy, a plan and know how. What worked in marketing 5 years ago does not work today. What works today probably won’t work in even a year. Just look at how much Facebook has changed in the last few months.
And of course, diversification is critical. I know of business owners who relied on only one means of marketing and when an algorithm or rule changed, they suddenly were up the proverbial creek, minus the paddle. Have a range of strategies and be sure to track what is working.
Ok, so the magnet is working and you’re attracting business. What now? A lead, opportunity or prospect is just that – they are not a customer – yet! It’s now your job to convince that person they need to buy from you – and not one of your likely many other competitors. Getting them to your door is just part of the activity, you need to get them to step through and walk in.
The first thing I can say you need is a documented sales process. Why documented? Well, for two reasons. If you have staff (or likely will have staff or team) then they need to know how things work in the business. I, for one, don’t like having to explain the exact same thing 50 times (who does?) so having systems make it easier to teach and train your team, plus it’s more likely to ensure consistency. The other critical aspect is that when you document, you are looking at it seriously. I will work with a client to see the gaps in their sales process (or the superfluous or repetitive steps) to create a result-focussed method. Once you build a great process and learn it, you won’t need to refer to the documented plan each and every time, but it’s a great way to get started.
Onboarding a new Customer
So they have signed on the dotted line, agreed to buy or handed over their credit card details. Job done, right? Nope! Absolutely not! Whilst ongoing may be considered ‘customer service’ I consider it also as part of the sales process. Do this wrong and one of three things will happen:
- They will ‘off-board’ and promptly go to your competitor
- They will hang in there short-term, but likely won’t stay long nor buy much
- They will share their experience with friends and associates.
Do you want a new client saying to their bestie on the weekend “Wow, I just started with this new XYZ business and I’m absolutely loving what they have already done for me!” …. or “Jeez, wish I’d never signed up with XYZ – do you think I can get out of the deal?”
What is your onboarding process to ensure that there are no regrets, that you fulfil your promises and even exceed them? Yes, I did say process, as like with all aspects of doing business, it should be a process for a business.
Now again, client retention is part of customer service but it’s also part of your marketing. Great client retention improves profit. It costs 7x as much to get a new client than to retain or upsell to an existing. Great clients are also able to be used in your marketing. The obvious is a glowing testimonial from a client saying how wonderful you are. This is HUGELY powerful in the marketing process. Are unhappy, dissatisfied or discontented customers likely to sing your praises and rave about you? Of course not, in fact, likely quite the opposite and soon you’ll develop a less than favourable reputation. Another statistical fact:
‘68% of clients leave due to perceived indifference’
In other words, they don’t feel loved or valued. You may not have actually done anything wrong, but you haven’t exactly done things well. Because you haven’t actually done anything specifically wrong, they won’t complain, they won’t tell you, they will just go – and likely never return.
Another super interesting fact is that if you look after a client and have a reasonable relationship with them if you offer them another service, they are 50% likely to take that up. Perfect example – my car cleaner is a lovely fellow Bob. He does a great job, fair priced and reliable. When he said to me “Donna, would you like me to do a polish on your car?” … I said yes. It was that easy (for both of us). If he asked 100 of his customer this question, I’d bet he’d be flat out till Christmas. Looking after your customers make upselling or cross-selling to them pretty easy. They already like, know and trust you … you are well on the road to another transaction.
If you’d like help with any aspect of the above, please reach out to me – via my website, social media, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call my mobile direct on 0411 622 666. Learn how to become a success magnet!