Have you ever wandered into a shop, picked something to buy, bought it with a “Just this, thanks,” paid and walked out? It’s like no one would ever have known that you had been there. And if they wanted you to come back, they wouldn’t know where to find you.
Businesses make this mistake time and time again: their customers buy from them but they never get their details. Then they just sit around and hope and pray that they will remember them… that somehow the “exceptional” service they have offered will keep them coming back for more.
You may not realise it but all that hoping does is cheapen the value of your business.
Where is the value in your business?
When you buy a business, what is it that you are buying? Where is its value? It could be:
- The equipment. (Just go to any auction site to see how “valuable” this is.)
- The team. (Would you have employed them?)
- The goodwill. (It’s all about goodwill. And what is goodwill but a bunch of customers that already buy from the business?)
Imagine for a second the difference between the following two statements if you were buying a business. Which would you pay more for?
- “Well we do about $21,000 per week.”
- “We have a database of 5,475 active customers, whom we market to once a month. This brings in $21,000 per week on non-promotional weeks and $29,000 when we run a promotion.”
Most buyers will be looking for the sure thing and are willing to pay more for it.
So where is the value in your business? It’s in your list of clients or customers.
If you haven’t got a list, you better start building one now.
Four Steps to Building a Client List
Step 1: Work out roughly what you are planning to send them. Is it to: Inform them, Educate them, Amuse them, Offer something to them (Promote something)…?
Step 2: Work out how to ask. “Hey, from time to time, we have some really great specials that we let our existing clients know about. Would that be something you’re interested in?” (Suits retail.)
Or: “Hey, we have tips and tactics that we send out to our clients regularly so they can [save money|make money|add your benefit here]. Would that be something you’re interested in receiving?” (Suits business-to-business.)
Step 3: Create something to collect the details on. Put a form together. Make sure you ask for full details, remember e-mail and mobile/SMS. Have a computer system to put them in. At worst Excel or e-mail, at best a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.
Step 4: Do something with it. Send out an e-mail newsletter, post out a new product offer, ask for referrals, or send them a birthday card. There are hundreds of what you can communicate to keep yourself in the front of your customer’s mind.
Get moving: your profit is waiting out there for you.
Don’t wait for business to call your phone or knock on your door, go out there and get it!
Steve Smit is a business coach with Reality Consulting. He works with business owners who want to increase their take home profits and work shorter hours. For a free copy of his “Business Accelerator Pack” visit www.realityconsulting.com.au or please email [email protected].
Image by Garry Knight