Study after study has shown that increasing sales from existing customers is far more cost-effective for any organization than trying to attract new ones.
In fact, according to Bain & Company it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. If you can focus your efforts on upselling and cross-selling to your existing customers, you’ll be more profitable.
It isn’t rocket science, but few companies actually do it. Actually, I should say few companies actually do it effectively.
In this article, I’m going to share with you 5 quick and easy ideas you can start using in your own business to get your existing clients and customers to buy from you more frequently.
1. Survey Your Customers to Identify Points of Frustration
What are they so worried about that they would happily give you some of their hard-earned money in exchange for a solution you could provide?
The best way to get this information is to conduct a survery. When conducting a customer survery, it’s important to keep it short and to the point. I would recommend a maximum of three questions. Here are three that you can use:
First: What problem or frustraction are you currently experiencing in your business in regards to X (X being the category of products/services you offer) that keeps you up at night?
Second: If you could wave a magic wand and have the perfect solution to that problem, what would it look like?
Third: Have you looked for a solution to this problem? If so, what did you find? Understanding your customers on a deep psychological level will help you sell more products and services to them. It will open new possibilites you haven’t even thought of. Knowing how your customers think and what problems they are facing is crucial to getting them to buy from you more often.
2. Upselling and Cross-selling Complimentary Services
To quote one of my favorite personalities on one of my favorite TV shows “you’re not a company yet, you’re just one product.” (Mark Cuban, Shark Tank).
Is your company offering complimentary products or services to your existing customer base? Are they getting things from somewhere else that they could be getting from you?
Here’s an example from my own business:
The core of my business is writing email autoresponder messages for clients that increase sales, nurture leads, and reduce customer turnover; three primary goals for any successful company.
However, in addition to writing autoresponder marketing messages, I also help clients design their conversion funnel, setup their autoresponders, and even consult with them on their overall marketing strategy.
It’s something I can help them with and make money doing it, so why not?
3. Introducing a New Product/Service & Marketing it with a Loss Leader
Have you ever gotten your room or other services comped while staying at a Casino hotel? That’s a loss leader. If the pit boss at the casino sees you dropping major $$$, they may comp your room and everything that goes with it.
They lose a little money on the room, but who cares? They are making it up on the backend.
You can use the same strategy to your advantage.
We mentioned surveying your customers earlier. Once you’ve done that, and have a clear picture of what additional products and services you could offer that they would be willing to pay for, it’s time to create your loss leader promoting it.
A loss leader needs to stimulate interest in the product (such as a free report, webinar, etc.) and show your customers that you’ve created a solution that solves their problem.
You may lose a little money giving away the report, book, webinar, etc. but if you’ve done your market research it will more than pay for itself on the backend.
4. Offer a Monthly Membership Program to Generate Recurring Revenue
Think your business doesn’t lend itself to a monthly recurring revenue model? Think again. You don’t have to own a golf course, gym, or sell razor blades like Dollar Shave Club in order to generate predictable, recurring revenue from your existing customers.
In fact, I’ve worked with a successful, multi-million dollar dental practice that offered a monthly membership for their patients to save on dental care.
Even if your business doesn’t have a service that you perform on a monthly basis, what could you offer that someone would pay for? Think about it. It could change your business.
5. Create Email Marketing Campaigns to Engage Your Customers on a Consistent Basis
Here are a few stats for you:
- Email marketing yields an average 3,800% ROI for businesses in the United States according to a 2015 report.
- 67% of marketers say email is core to their business and the best path to increase marketing ROI.
- When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more.
In an article I wrote a few weeks ago, I covered some best practices you can use to write more effective email copy.
Here are three quick tips you can use to engage your customers via email and get them to buy more from you:
First: Add value. Many people want to discount their services, but this seldom works. Instead, you should keep the price the same, but create a value added offer. For example, if your business offers multiple subscription levels, give customers the opportunity to buy the features and benefits of the higher level product for the cost of the lower level one.
Second: Offer guarantees exclusive to your business. For example, Bike shop owner Chris Zane gives his customers an incredible upgrade offer they won’t get anywhere else.
Third: Create an immediate OTO (one time offer) upsell for new customers. This tactic involves offering customers a related product add-on or additional service that will make their life easier.
The key is to create a sense of scarcity by making it a one time offer. If they don’t get it now, they’ll never have the opportunity to get it again.
This is a “double whammy” because you strike while the iron is hot (they just bought from you), and you use authentic scarcity (a powerful conversion tactic).
That’s how it’s done.