The information below is not new. It’s not my opinion. I learned it from Jay Abraham, known for his guru-status as a master marketer, author, and mentor to hundreds of successful people and business owners. I’m not certain Jay Abraham was the first to distill this “3-Ways” philosophy. It was probably determined decades (or perhaps generations) before him. It may have been Jay Abraham…I most certainly did learn it from reading his books.
The 3 Ways are simple and straightforward and even if you’ve heard them or read them before, they’re worth pondering frequently. Doing so will help remind you to keep these facts in mind every time you invest in marketing, manage your people, and interact with customers. You may come up with some other ways but their most likely a subset of one of these 3 main ways.
A continuing flow of new customers is one way to increase sales. It’s also necessary in order to maintain sales. We will always lose customers through attrition: they move, they change providers, change lifestyles, they die…So, it’s important to keep a customer acquisition strategy in your marketing plans. Here are a few New Customer Acquisition Strategies:
Offer more selection, offer higher-priced options. Create incentives such as combining products or services to reach higher purchase plateaus. Do you know the size of your average sale? Set aside some time with a pen and a notebook and brainstorm some ideas on how you can create some value-added products or services (or combinations of products or services) to stimulate larger sales.
I was consulting a restaurant recently. They always had a selection of homemade cheesecakes. At the end of the meal, their wait staff would say, “Would anyone care for dessert?” That’s not how you sell dessert! I created a dessert menu featuring 4-6 selections which I trained the staff to deliver while the dinner plates were being cleared. Dessert sales soared. EASY! (We would have used a dessert cart if the dining room was situated differently.)
Did you know that adding this: (*) next to certain menu selections will increase the sales of those selections? It’s true! You don’t even need to explain what those symbols mean. You can train your staff to say, “They’re the chef’s specialties.” These should always be the dishes (or products or services) you love to deliver because you do them well and they’re profitable. Can you think of some dishes, products, or services you can emphasize so you can sell more of them and charge more for them too?
How often do you serve the average customer? Get that pen and notebook back out and write down some ideas you have to increase customer frequency. Here are 3 ways I have used successfully over the 3 decades I’ve been in business:
Collect customer contact information and keep in touch. It’s not your customers’ job to think of you all the time..it’s YOUR job to remind them. Use email to inform them of your new menu, your specials, your promotions. Send them special Birthday Vouchers. When people give you their email address, they are TELLING you, “Send me your offers!” This is a gift, so don’t be shy to deliver. Use email.
This is an extreme example but a true one. I have also been known to show up at customers’ places of business. There is a bonding which takes place in these types of scenarios. I’ve found that most business owners become closer and more loyal with more face time and more handshakes.
One more thing:
Never forget about giving your customers a 5-star experience. There’s no substitute for it.
Consider this example of how a 10% improvement in each of these 3 areas create dramatic results:
Let’s say your average customer spends $30 per transaction. Let’s say you see him/her once/month. That’s $360 in sales per year. Let’s say you have 500 customers like this one. That’s $180,000 in sales.
Let’s say you increase your customer base, your average-size sale and your customer purchase frequency EACH by 10%.
Now you have 550 customers, each spending $33.00, 13.2 times per year. Here’s the math: 550 x $33.00 x 13.2=$239,580.00
That’s almost $60,000 in increased sales…a 33% increase. How much profit will you gain from a 33% increase in sales?
It’s good to have your eye on a goal and plans to help reach the goal. I hope this stirs your imagination and motivates you to take action.