How to get clients buy more (and often)!
10th November 2010
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Are you a small business owner? Do you want to grow your business in 2011? And by that I mean increase the turnover and profitability (you do know your vital stats right?). Generally speaking there are 3 ways to grow any business:

  1. Increase the number of clients
  2. Increase the average purchase value
  3. Increase the frequency of the purchase

Many business owners focus their time and energy on the first strategy – attracting more leads and converting them into sales. They embark on costly PPC campaigns, network like mad at all possible events, send 1000s of leaflets or direct mail letters.
But the easy money in your business rests in the other 2 strategies. You are simply asking people who have previously bought from you to buy more or to buy again.
Getting that elusive first purchase is the hardest deal to close for any business, whether you are B2B or B2C.  Your prospects are terrified of making a mistake, of picking the wrong product and wasting money. Fear of getting it wrong is the main reason that stops them trying something new – you.
So why would you then put all your sales and marketing energy into developing new clients? Of course every business needs a stream of new clients but you will see stronger, more predictable revenues by encouraging existing and past clients to buy more from you more often.
How to achieve this? You will need to put in place a process to encourage customers to come back to you, and this process needs to be as format as any processes in your business. Here are the key steps we use in TJConsulting:

  1. Make regular clients feel part of something special. Set something up to reward them for their business and make them feel special. For example, you might give extra products or services to your best clients. If they believe they are getting something free that other people have to pay for, that gives your business and enormous psychological advantage. And that’s very good for retention. Our VIP clients receive a wide of range of discounts and freebies as a thank you for staying with us.
  2. Set realistic expectations and plan to beat them. If you know you can deliver within 24 hours, then say it will be delivered within 48 hours. Not only can you delight your clients by appearing to deliver early, but also when things go wrong (as they do sometimes), you have an extra 24 hours in which to fix the problem. And if that fails – apologise and explain what happened. Most people will understand as long as you are honest and upfront.
  3. Remember the little things. Do you know when you clients’ birthdays are? Where they are going on holiday this year? It’s easy to send a Christmas card – we all know it’s Christmas time well in advance! But it’s the little things that will make you truly stand out. You can get an automated marketing system or CRM (client relationship management) to do the remembering and reminding for you. If many of your customers use social media then services like FlowTown or MailChimp Faces can pull a lot of their personal details from the public information displayed on social networks.
  4. Give things away! Clients already trust your expertise – that’s why they use your business – so when you give them valuable information for free it will be highly appreciated. Don’t be scared: clients are not going to steal your ideas or set up in competition with you but they will feel as though you are adding immense value to their business. That’s why in TJConsulting we run monthly free webinars covering various subjects related to online marketing and offer regular Business Healthchecks to all current customers.
  5. Make your business memorable. If you took two businesses selling the same things at the same prices, something fun and memorable, that’s unique to your business, can seriously affect the buying decision.

And if that fails – remember at least to get a full testimonial from each past customer to help you attract new leads. High quantity of quality testimonials will significantly improve your conversion rates.
What’s your way of getting your clients to come back and buy more and often? Please share here with us and other readers.

About the Author

Tamara B

Member since: 8th May 2012

I'm a Virtual Assistant offering secretarial, book-keeping and social media marketing services to small businesses and self-employed professionals. I design and write e-newsletters, blogs, websites and...

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