This post is part 2 of my summary of Brad Sugars’ business seminar on 20 October 2014. Read part 1.
Every business needs a referral system (or multiple systems). His dog food company gave away dog bowls or personalised dog coats to customers who referred new customers. There was an ongoing offer to give away 1 weeks’ worth of dog food for referees and new customers. One lady got free dog food for 3 years! She was their best ever customer as she brought in so much new business.
Measuring your conversion rate alone will help you improve it. Brad helped one business owner increase conversion rate from 17% to 49%. That’s nearly treble the business.
Brad told us to ask customers in a sales script:
Thanks for your call. Just so I can help you best, would it be okay if I asked you a couple of questions?
Make sure that your questions lead towards value, not price. It’s harder for a potential customer to wriggle out of a deal if they can see the value in it.
Invite your customers to buy something from you every 3 months. Let them know all your products and services – they might want to purchase a commodity that they didn’t realise you offered.
Make sure you send them a thank you note for buying from you. Brad got a handwritten note once from a restaurant waiter, Phil. As a result, he returned to the restaurant on a regular basis and referred other diners there. Phil opened his own restaurant last year.
Increase your sales by offering upsells. Have a version of the McDonalds question: “Would you like fries with that?”
Measuring your average sale will help it increase. You can also raise all prices by 10%. The chances are you won’t lose any customers and you will increase your profits.
The cost and value of buying customers
There are two types of cost to buying customers:
- Allowable acquisition cost – less than the profit on the first sale
- Investment acquisition cost – more than the profit on the first sale
The latter type is the important one for repeat business. It may be more of an outlay to get these customers initially, but when they keep spending with you, you’re quids in.
Customers can be invaluable to you over a lifetime if you do good business and they keep coming back. Referrals are also worth their weight in gold – if your customers keep referring you, the number of referrals will increase exponentially. A chiropractor Brad referred to 38 other people actually generated a further 700 referrals.
Your offer and medium
The offer to each target group will be different as they have different needs. Know the emotional reasons for their purchase. For example, Brent Weaver says that “No-one needs a website. They want more customers and sales.”
The medium you choose and the words to use for your marketing message depend on your target audience.
Partner with a suitable business to bring in more sales. Brad surveyed the clientele of a women’s clothing store he worked for to find out about their lifestyles. He found that 30% of the best customers used the same hairdresser. He went to the hairdresser and asked them to distribute a letter to their clients, thanking them for their business and offering them a free gift of a silk kimono. When the 600 ladies went to pick up the kimonos (worth $16 each) from the clothes shop they bought on average $450 more of clothes. The hairdresser picked up more business from its grateful loyal ladies – a win-win!
Further improvements in sales at the clothing boutique were achieved by building more fitting rooms, giving them free champagne and new outfits to try and providing TV and beers for the women’s partners.
7 Marketing Strategies to Use Now
1. Get your existing house in order. Measure and test your current numbers and strategies.
2. Concentrate on getting repeat business from your existing customers. If you don’t have a database of them, create one. Offer customers reminders to buy again, e.g. “Would you like us to remind you to buy flowers for your wife’s birthday?”
3. Have an automated CRM system. Soffront is good.
4. Improve your referrals through these 4 ways:
(a) Make referrals easy. This could be through referral cards or social sharing icons, for example.
(b) Reward people who refer you. At minimum, write them a thank you note.
(c) Look after the people who are referred to you. They are special – an easier sell.
(d) Ask for referrals regularly. Don’t do it half-heartedly and sporadically.
5. Build alliances or host beneficiary relationships. These are businesses which have the same type of target audience as you, but you are noncompetitive. Establishing good relationships is key to good business. Networking has a role to play here.
6. Have multiple websites. ActionCoach has over 2,000! Website recommendations are:
(a) Each website must have ten pages minimum for Google to notice it.
(b) Incorporate video, particularly customer testimonials. Upload and tag them on YouTube for extra Google ranking points.
(c) Blog regularly, every few days.
(d) Offer free information and downloads to your visitors. You must give first to receive.
(e) Let people interact with you on your website. Allow them to comment on your blog, subscribe to your newsletter etc.
(f) Create a sales page.
(g) Make it super easy to contact you. Names, email addresses and phone numbers should be obvious, not buried away.
7. Use social media well. It’s a powerful business tool. Pick two or three to use and do them well. Don’t do all of them badly.
(a) Facebook – the most important one. You can create unlimited groups targeted to your niche(s). Add new content 3-8 times daily.
(b) Twitter – good if you can write headlines well. Tweet at least 8 times daily.
(c) LinkedIn – for marketing and recruiting.
(d) Instagram – ideal for visual merchandise.
Don’t forget the ‘social’ in social media. Converse, engage and help people. Share your clients’ successes – that will benefit both of you.
Brad urged us all to do the following:
- Take immediate action
- Keep learning (Brad’s read over 2,000 business books)
It was a fantastic seminar and really inspiring. Afterwards I got a photo taken with Brad, thanks to Claire Carpenter of The Melting Pot. I didn’t buy all his books though!
I’ve since had a business strategy meeting with local ActionCoach Alan Smith, so big thanks to him for giving his time for free.
I hope these posts will help you target your marketing better and improve your business – if you liked them, please leave a comment.