Practical Advice for Starting and Operating
Your Own Business.
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Business Owners! Can Customers Be Bought? You Bet! The Questions Is ... For How Much?
So, what's your thought? Can customer's be bought? Well, they certainly can be sold. I don't know of one person who has not had their information sold or traded to a telemarketer who hasn't been absolutely furious about it. As business owners, we are not in the business of selling customers, but we should be in the business of buying them. Some business owners might be saying, "I already do that - I buy lists," but I'm not talking list purchase today. I'm talking a different kind of customer purchase.Ironically, business owners often think of customers as an expense. After all, marketing to them costs money. Keeping stock on the shelves for them costs money. Servicing them costs money. Training a team to deal with them costs money. The list goes on.
What about you? When you see a customer, do you see another headache forming? What if I told you that a simple shift in your thinking would change all that?
Your customers can bring in more money in more ways than you might realize. For instance, look at these 9 ways customers can add value to your business, from just showing interest, to taking action, to becoming repeat customers, to turning into walking billboards for you and your business. Here's how the process generally works:
• They click on something you offer and view it
• If they like what they see and want more, they give you their contact information
• They purchase something from you
• They value what you have to say and the product or service you sell
• They buy more
• They feel like a member of a special group or team
• They feel privileged
• They refer their family, friends, and colleagues to you
• They shamelessly promote you
In reviewing this list, I am reminded of Mark, owner of an auto shop I go to. Mark instantly greets me with a warm and genuine hello and smile. He listens to my concerns. He assures me that his trusted team will do all they can to solve the problem. I leave feeling like my car and I are in good hands. I return with the problem handled. Later, Mark either calls me himself or has a trusted staff member call me within 48 hours to see how things are going. As a further follow up, I get an email asking how my service was and if there is anything he or his staff can do to make my next visit better.
Mark moved me from" clicking to sticking" in a couple of visits (He would have had me on the first visit, but I have to test everything to see if it's really as good as it sounds…and he was.)
My point? He bought me, and now I will buy pretty much anything he offers at pretty much any price he asks.
To start turning your customers into shameless promoters who regularly buy your product or service at pretty much any price you name, here are some key places to begin:
• View customers as "assets" rather than…well, drop the "t" and you'll get the idea.
• "Value" them; offer them value (now THAT's a business palindrome if I ever saw one!)
• Understand how conversion rates work. A quick formula that may help is:# of sales per period/number of leads x 100=conversion rate.
• Be proactive! Know your numbers! If you don't know the number of customers you're servicing and the average rate of sales over a specific period of time, you're guessing, and my guess is that's why you may be failing!
Understand that customers will pay more for something they both want and/or need and they can get it from you or your competition - make sure it's you. How? Sell them the experience. If it's a pleasant one, believe me, they'll come back. If it's not a pleasant one, believe me…they won't.
In closing, buying customers may sound a little harsh to some ears, but it's something every business owner needs to pay attention to and master. If you do nothing else but understand your cost per sale to help you make adjustments in your marketing, you'll have gained some ground toward gaining leads. Again, here's the formula:
Marketing campaign cost/actual number of sales = cost per lead
Say you're spending $1000 on your marketing campaign, and after a month of tracking, you see that made 20 sales. 1000/20= $50 for the cost of that campaign per sale.
Too steep? Then work on generating more leads to bring the average cost per sale down to a more reasonable amount. How? Check out the article: Business Owners! Time-saving Ways To Generate Leads To Bring Your Average Cost Of Sale Down.
In the meantime, get shopping! For customers, that is. (Getting a business coach isn't a bad idea, either!)
Our business coaches help business owners reach their goals by providing each with proven strategies to move their businesses forward. My 25+ years of business experience includes domestic and international ventures and business ownership. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article submitted Thursday, June 28, 2012 & read 42 times.
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