We’re starting in on the second half of the summer, and I have a question for you:
How are you feeling about 2017 thus far for your Frederick business?
Now that we’re over halfway through the year, it’s a nice time to take stock.
So, really, I’d be interested: How are things going for you so far? Send me a response to this note via email so I can get a feel for it.
Running a small business can be lonely … and I (perhaps obviously) like to be able to offer encouragement along the way, for you.
This week’s Note is a simple method to keep your best customers doing more and more business with you throughout the year. And as with the above, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.
Here we go…
Growing Customers For Life For Your Frederick Business
“There is only one way to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” -Aristotle
Customers for life are MADE — you don’t just “happen upon” them, in my opinion.
But the fact is, most Frederick businesses pay too much in chasing new customers and too little in building repeat business with their existing customers.
Which is unfortunate, because the satisfied customer will likely purchase again. And they will probably purchase more and purchase something different.
This matters, because it definitely costs less to motivate a known customer to purchase again than to acquire a new customer.
In fact, it’s probably most often the case that your (and my) customers are only fickle because a new competitor is paying more attention to them than you are.
In business-to-business marketing it seems that many companies make the huge mistake of having all their contact with their customers go through the sales representative. This leaves the customers vulnerable to theft if the representative jumps to another employer. It also leaves too much opportunity for negligence on the sales rep’s part.
Regardless of the layers of distribution between you and your customer, it’s a good idea to establish some kind of direct link as an owner or president. The owner of a restaurant can do that by coming around and chatting personally with the customers. The chief executive officer of a large company can do it with a newsletter and maybe a hotline telephone number.
Direct mail is perfect for cutting through these layers (in addition to, and on top of email). Here are some of the ways that direct mail can be used to communicate with established customers.
* Introduce new products or services.
* Give advance notice of and explain price or fee increases.
* Offer special discounts or premiums.
* Provide useful information.
* Give recognition to top customers.
* Announce seasonal sales.
I’ve rarely seen a business that could not increase and improve through increased direct marketing to current customers.
Do not make the mistake of assuming knowledge on the part of the customer.
Do not take shortcuts with existing customers and do not feel that you are boring them by telling your story repetitively.
If you have quality, service, guarantee, price or other advantages, point them out each and every time you deliver a presentation.
Even as a humble, non-guru accountant, I submit to you that American business desperately needs to place a new, higher value on the customer in this economy. Communicate with your customers, and you’ll do more business.
Feel very free to forward this article to a Frederick business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Frederick families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
J Allen & Associates