Never! Most people are only delighted to get something for nothing. It is such a rare occurrence these days that most people instinctively ask, “What’s the catch?”
When they discover that there isn’t one, they quickly line up to take advantage of the free offer. Now many business owners look at the cost and say that they can’t afford to just give stuff away. Their immediate thought process runs to
“Imagine how much money I could make if I sold that stock or charged for that service, it doesn’t make sense to give it away!”
Or does it?
Stay with me for a moment and I will let you into a powerful little secret behind growing your business through free offers.
Both people have the desire and are taking action whilst one person is having success and the other seems to have one set-back after another.
You may even have seen it within your own business too – suddenly you’ll have a rush of new clients and don’t really understand why and other times you’re taking all the action and nothing is working.
I have been doing some pretty intensive research recently into “success” and “failure” and I am pretty certain I know what the reason is. It might surprise you.
It’s the small things that can make a big difference. Just letting customers know how much you appreciate them can make them more loyal to you. Remember that your client base is one of your business’ most valuable assets. Looking after your customers and building relationships with them is one of the best things you can do to grow your business.
In business one of the most effective forms of marketing is referrals and word of mouth. Yet few businesses have a deliberate strategy to use that as a marketing tool. The relationship that you have with your customers will determine the long term profitability of your business. So it makes sense to be more deliberate in building relationships with your customers. You want to make them feel important.
Gestures that make Clients Feel Important
Taking on a challenge teaches you a lot about business.
On Saturday I shall be swimming Loch Ness, the largest lake in the UK. It has nearly double the amount of water in all the lakes and in England and Wales combined. No wonder it never warms up! It’s 22 miles long and just 9 degrees C. I shall be swimming with 5 other swimmers each of us swimming for an hour in turn. We may or may not see a monster!
I am raising money for Aspire, who help people with spinal injuries. I personally need to raise £1500 and so far have raised £1407.94 – so just £92.06 to go (although I’d LOVE to raise £2,000).
Both raising money and training for the swim has taught me so much about business.
Firstly, I started fundraising late – and Aspire were rather concerned as I had agreed to raise £1000 4 weeks before the swim – otherwise they could ask me to step down. Just 4 days prior to that I had raised £147! So I had some catching up to do.
However I had made a commitment and I was going to play full out to fulfill that commitment. So I posted on Facebook, I asked everyone I knew to support me and made clear my intention to raise £1,000 by 12th July.
I was relentless, continuously posting and reporting my progress. I didn’t doubt I could do it. Someone asked me “what happens if you don’t do it” and that thought hadn’t even entered my head. I knew that even if I didn’t hit quite the £1,000 I would have come close enough – not to be kicked out.
And by Friday I knew I had done everything I could – I had about £80 to raise but decided to take Saturday off and be with my family.
I woke up on Sunday morning to this:
I’d done it – I was thrilled!
And it taught me a LOT. Because I realised that there were things I wanted in my business that I didn’t apply this process to. Because to achieve anything you want, in life and in business, you have to:
What are you really giving your customers that’ll make them pay with a smile and keep coming back to you?
That’s what is going to increase your profits. Unless you can identify your target market and find a way to connect with them, offer them something that is of real value to them personally, you are just another business among a million others. No matter how good your products and services are, or how competitive your prices, you won’t get the customer’s attention. And you won’t get any revenue from them either. It’s like standing on a street corner talking through a megaphone just hoping that maybe someone will hear what you are saying. Now I am certain as a business owner you are smarter than that?
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – whether you’re selling to businesses or consumers – the most valuable asset you have is your customer base. In today’s economic climate it is vital that you do everything in your power to nurture the relationship you have with them.
So, here are some tips you can adopt to ensure your customers love you and tell all your friends about you:
Make visiting your business an absolutely incredible experience
As a customer we have come to expect “good service”. Therefore to stand out today – you need to go above and beyond the norm. So, you need to introduce some extreme customer care initiatives.
You can spend a lot of time and effort trying to convert them and in the end they may still say no, and for valid reasons. Remember that if they only meet one or two of the qualifying criteria, then they aren’t likely to buy. Your valuable resources of time and effort could better be spent elsewhere, on customers who are more likely to sign up with you.
A company that says they offer top quality service or a customer that gives the same company a great review?
A company will never admit that their service levels aren’t up to scratch so a business promoting themselves isn’t always that believable.
If you have been in business for some time you have one of the most valuable resources at your disposal – your existing customers. How can you use those customer resources to your advantage?
Mapping your buying process helps you to define specific steps that you can follow. You can also then create statistics to check how you are performing in each step of the buying process.
How else will you know what to improve on unless you can first figure out where you are going wrong?
Over the years many people have developed a negative reaction to direct mail. This is exactly one of the reasons that you need to get really creative. Your letter can’t just be another sales letter to be discarded in the dust bin. It needs to be eye catching and interesting.
It can even be quirky or funny it doesn’t matter, as long as it gets your reader’s attention enough to make them read your offer. With every sentence they read, you improve your chances of converting them to a customer.