Category: Client Retention

Multiply Your Profits – Part 1

In the last series of posts we explored different ways that you can maximize the resources you already have within your business. Following on from that topic, over the next few weeks we will delve into our next series which is all about multiplying your profits. In today’s post we will focus on 3 ways to gain your business more valuable clients.

These are:

  1. Call in the Troops
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  3. Black Sheep Clients

Call in the Troops

Finding and securing new clients can be exhausting and expensive. Instead, work with other companies to help you find new clients. Find solid companies with secure, positive relationships with their customers/clients. You will need to ensure that their products/services are not directly competitive with yours.

Contact prospective partner companies and talk with them about helping promote your products/services to their clients. Always offer them a commission on the sales that come from their client lists.

Be sure to include these key points in your proposal:

  • Ensure that your products/services don’t compete with theirs.
  • The partnership will not take away from their current or future sales.
  • The partnership will increase their profits.
  • They won’t have to do nor spend anything on the partnership.
  • You will produce all needed marketing materials.
  • You will offer an unconditional guarantee on all products/services.

Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork

If you take the time to put together a solid referral system you’ll draw new customers/clients out of the woodwork through people you already know. You can start doing this by showing all your current clients how much you care about them.

Then show them how your products/services can significantly improve their lives or businesses. If you can do this consistently, they will naturally and comfortably bring new clients right to you.

Black Sheep Clients

One of the best ways to rejuvenate business is to find your stray clients and offer them something amazing. First you need to understand why they strayed and are no longer purchasing from you. There are generally three reasons why customers/clients leave. They are:

  1. Unrelated causes that have nothing to do with you
  2. A problem with their last purchase
  3. They no longer benefit from your products/services

The best way to bring these clients back is to simply contact them. If you don’t make the first move, they may never come back. You can make an appointment to visit them or call them if it’s not possible to meet in person.

Talk openly with your stray clients. Let them know you noticed they were no longer working with you and that you’d like to talk with them about their experiences with you and how you can improve things to work together again. Take the time to make them feel special and work hard to make sure their experiences with you going forward are the best ever.

This wraps up the first three areas on how to multiply your profits. If you need help working on any of these ideas or processes, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with an experienced business coach.

Maximise Your Resources – Part 3

In the last post we spoke about another three ways you can work on maximizing your current resources. These included:

  • Revealing your business’ soul
  • From breaking even to breaking the bank
  • Stand up and stand out

Today we’ll talk about the last three areas you can work on to maximize your current resources. These are:

  • Create an offer they can’t refuse
  • Would you like fries with that?
  • Stay away from the edge of the cliff

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

The secret to success is to stay ahead of your competitors- maintain the competitive edge. To do that you need make it easier for your customers/clients to say “yes” rather than “no”. In order to do this you’ll need to eliminate all the psychological, financial, physical, emotional and other road blocks they may have.

You can take the risks for them by offering warranties and guarantees that make the customer feel more confident in you, your business and your products/services. You also must be serious about your offer and follow through if a situation does arise. The quickest way to the bottom is to play games or take back a warranty or guarantee.

Would You Like Fries With That?

It’s the oldest trick in the book. I mean, really, how many times do you fall for it? Every time you sell a product or service, you need to offer an add-on, upgrade or back-end product to go with it. These products must be complimentary to the original product being purchased and must create a higher perceived value.

Avoiding the Edge of the Cliff

Continuing to test and measure your systems, products, marketing methods and all other aspects of your business allows you to see problems before they occur and therefore avoid falling off the edge of the cliff.

Here are a few specific areas you can test for potential improvements:

  • Marketing
  • Sales Copy
  • Customer Service
  • Sales Letters
  • Sales Presentations
  • Employee-Customer Interaction

Through testing these different areas you will find products/services where you can raise the price, maybe others where you can lower the price or offer that product as an incentive item, and find many others areas for improvement that will better utilize your current resources.

This wraps up our series on how to maximize on your current resources. If you need help working through any of these or the previous areas, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our amazing business coaches.

Maximise Your Resources – Part 2

In the last blog we discussed the first three areas to work through when maximising your current resources. These were:

  • Recognizing the obvious
  • Unconventional breakthroughs
  • Facing the facts

Today we’ll cover the next three, which are:

  • Revealing your business’ soul
  • Breaking even to breaking the bank
  • Stand up and stand out

Revealing Your Business’ Soul

Every business has a soul and you likely felt it the strongest when your business was just starting out. It’s the passion, novelty and motivation you had at the very beginning. Sometimes we can lose these things along the way as our business’ become stagnant. You must break out of that rut and get back to your business’ true soul.

The philosophy of putting your client’s needs above your own truly is the key to success. You need to serve your clients not sell to them. They want to build a relationship based on trust, not a used car. Add to these responsibilities your ability to solve problems, handle difficult situations, be a friend to your clients and focus on offering valuable, high quality products/services. Only then will you get back to the basics and find you have more resources than you thought.

Breaking Even to Breaking the Bank

One of the classic and most used ways to attract clients is to offer them a ridiculously low price on their initial purchase, to then lock them in for future purchases. You see this approach with movie or book clubs and even credit card companies who offer lower interest rates for the first six months.

Essentially, you are offering them a deal on their first purchase and then you offer them back-end and add-on products along the way. These are naturally higher prices and will bring them in to more of an intimate relationship with you and your company.

Stand Up and Stand Out

You need to stand out from the pack among your competitors. They only way you can do this through consistency and value. You do this by discovering what your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is and perfecting it.

Here are some tips to help you find and develop your USP:

  1. Look for vacant needs in your industry.
  2. Use preemptive marketing.
  3. Use a technique that is clear and succinct.

This wraps up this week’s blog post. If you need help with any of these areas and techniques, try our GUIDED TOUR to access a wealth of resources and tools.

Maximise Your Resources – Part 1

Over the next few weeks we are going to discuss how to gain the most from your resources to help your capital go further and increase your profit margin.

Today we’ll cover three different ways to maximise what you already have. These include:

  • Recognizing the obvious
  • Unconventional breakthroughs
  • Facing the facts

Recognizing the Obvious

Sometimes when you are too close to something, you can’t see the big picture. You need to take a step back and really look at the resources you currently have in front of you. You may be surrounded by opportunities that can boost your career and help your business become more successful.

Unconventional Breakthroughs

Don’t sit around waiting for breakthroughs, you need to create them yourself. A breakthrough is merely a new way of doing things or finding a new thing to do for the same or better results. You should be having regular brainstorming sessions and encouraging your team to come forward with breakthroughs or ideas any time they have them.

Some great examples of breakthroughs are:

  • A health and beauty company discovers a side effect of a product that can be re-marketed and sold.
  • A company creates a roll-on deodorant inspired by the shape and size of a ball point pen.
  • The founder of Nike poured rubber onto a waffle iron and created the most innovative and successful running shoe ever.

When attracting or strategizing for a breakthrough there are some key objectives you need to keep in mind. These are:

  1. Look for the hidden opportunity in every situation.
  2. Look for at least one cash windfall for your business every three months.
  3. The more value for your client, the better your breakthrough.
  4. Create multiple streams of ideas to find the best breakthroughs.
  5. Effective breakthroughs can remove risks and resistance.

Face the Facts

Before you can put your breakthroughs to work you need to face the facts of the processes and systems that are not working for you and work on correcting them or get rid of them all together. System analysis is a good way to do this. Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses, and compare them to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

There are some great questions you can present to your team to get a handle on where your business is right now. These are:

  1. Why did I first start this business? Why am I in this industry?
  2. What products/services did I offer then? Which were the most popular?
  3. Why are my customers/clients buying from me right now?
  4. How did I generate new customers/clients then?
  5. Which of my marketing efforts were bringing in the best results?

Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, you’ll know better how to approach your weaknesses.

These three areas we’ve discussed will give you a starting point to begin utilizing your current resources to their fullest potential. If you need any help with your strategic or systems analysis, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our amazing business coaches.

5 BIG Mistakes – Part 3

In the last 2 posts we covered the first four big mistakes you can make that can adversely impact your chances to seal a deal with a prospective client. Today we’re going to talk about the fifth big mistake: Up Cash Creek Without a Paddle.

Even when business is good there’s still a chance of running out of cash flow. You must always be prepared for a slow in sales or a surge in expenses. One of the keys to balancing your cash flow is to get your clients to pay on time. This can seem like a nightmare, but is absolutely essential to a successful business.

Here are some tips to speed up the payment process:

  • Always send invoices on time and adjust your records for potential audits.
  • Learn how the client processes payments on their side and find out precisely where to send invoices.
  • Find out who’s in charge of processing orders and payment, so you know who to contact if required.
  • Have a follow-up procedure in place, just in case.
  • As a last resort, call your contact to ask questions.
  • Always make sure your invoices are correct before sending them out.

You also need to make sure your cash flow is protected. You can do this by:

  • Always knowing which accounts need to be paid and when.
  • Negotiate with your suppliers for the lowest cost possible.
  • Have a bank contingency plan in place.
  • Build your own inventor network.

These are all great ways to protect the cash flow of your business and prepare for potential slow sale periods. These last few posts have been about landing those ‘big fish’ clients. The clients that are essential for the success of your business. It’s imperative to take the time to work through each of these steps carefully and correctly for the best outcome.

If you need guidance with this process, try our GUIDED TOUR for access to a wealth of great tools and resources as well as our business coaching staff.

5 BIG Mistakes – Part 2

In the last post we covered two of the five biggest mistakes you can make when dealing with ‘big’ clients.

Today we’ll cover the third and fourth ones – taking on more than you can handle & putting all your eggs in one basket.

Taking on more than you can handle

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and you can easily lose control of everything. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and high quality products/services, but don’t want to know about your behind the scenes operations to get those things done.

Look out for some of these signs that you may be taking on more than you can handle:

  • Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
  • Employee morale is low.
  • Upset clients.
  • You’re feeling stressed.
  • You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.
  • Profits are going down.
  • You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
  • Your clients/customers leave.
  • Resources are being reallocated.

Here’s a plan to help you react positively when you are facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:

  • Help increase sales in a short period of time.
  • Alter your products/services for the better.
  • Fulfill promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  1. Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the clients needs.
  2. Review your operational system.
  3. Anticipate future problems better.
  4. Communicate better.
  5. Include costs in your quotes.
  6. Always have a back-up plan. 

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

You can allow your company to become dependent on any one client. Eventually or for certain periods there is going to be a slowing down period. In order to stay in the game you need to remain diverse.

If you’ve ever mishandled a client, you could drive away future potential clients as well. In order to keep a balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do.

  • Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your prospective clients company.
  • Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
  • Stay exclusive.
  • Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
  • Spread your contracts out.
  • Price your products/services correctly.

You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your main client. This can generally be measured in sales or profits. Take a look back at the processes we’ve discussed thus far to help you find more clients to keep this all in balance.

These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all. If you need help with any of these tips or tricks, try our GUIDED TOUR to get the help you need fast. 

5 BIG Mistakes – Part 1

In last week’s post we spoke about the power your prospect has and how to utilize that for the benefit of your business. Today we will talk about 5 big mistakes you can make that may jeopardise the deal with your prospect.

These are:

  1. Failing to meet the client’s expectations
  2. Mishandling a client crisis
  3. Taking on more than you can handle
  4. Putting all your eggs in one basket
  5. Up cash creek without a paddle

Any one or combination of these can not only jeopardise the partnership, but also have the ability to take down your company as well. In the coming weeks I will delve into each of these mistakes, but for today we will cover the first two.

Not Meeting Client’s Expectations

It’s essential you give your client’s exactly what you promised during the negotiation phase of your partnership. If an event does occur where it’s impossible to meet the client’s expectations, you’ll have to figure out a way to fix the situation and also determine where it went wrong.

A couple of things could have contributed to this problem:

  1. Poor salesmanship. This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
  2. Lack of communication. This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department.

In order to avoid these mistakes, it’s essential to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff can follow:

  • Think before you speak.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Perfect your process.
  • Pre-format over-deliverables.
  • Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
  • Define success.

Mishandling a Client Crisis

Crisis’ will happen, but how you respond and fix them will define your company and interaction with your clients. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.

Here are some simple tips to help you deal with client crisis’:

  • Take responsibility and apologize no matter who is at fault.
  • Act swiftly and effectively.
  • Step in and take control of the situation.
  • Never point fingers or place blame.
  • Stay in constant communication with your client.
  • Stay calm throughout the situation.
  • Keep your eye on the ball.

Now, that you know the top two mistakes, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis. Next time we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th mistake you can make when working with ‘Big’ clients.

If you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to get all the help you could ever need.

Maintaining Momentum

In the last post we discussed how to navigate the negotiation stage with your prospect and how to nurture and build on the relationship you are creating with them. Today we’ll talk about the power your prospect has and how to utilize that for the benefit of your business.

One of the most important aspects of this is to keep your cheerleader cheering. This refers to the partner you created in the company who needs to stay loyal to you in order to continue a profitable partnership with your prospect. You can keep this partnership going by offering or doing a number of things to show your appreciation. Some of these things include:

  • Sharing the limelight.
  • Thanking their company with new products/services.
  • Emotionally connecting them to your company.
  • Knowing when to leave them alone.
  • Staying on the front line.

Now that you have some ideas of how to maintain solid relationships, you’ll need to seek out people to build these relationships with. These alliances will help you find bigger clients that stay with you for the long haul. You can often get a foot in the door by offering them something they need:

  1. Power
  2. Information
  3. Better work experience

These are all great ways to feed your alliance. You need to go into a relationship considering the things your prospect can offer you besides money. These can include:

  • The opportunity for your business to expand.
  • The opportunity to learn from the experience and find ways to grow.
  • The opportunity to improve your processes, systems and other means of doing business.

These are some of the best ways to strengthen your alliances and keep your partnerships fresh and content.

If you need help with any of these tactics, try our GUIDED TOUR for great tools and resources that can help you every step of the way.

The Negotiation Stage

In the last post we spoke about getting a feel for your prospects personality to best match it with your appropriate sales person. Today we will discuss how to prepare for the first meeting with your prospective client.

Here are a few things to consider for your first face to face meeting:

  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the meeting.
  • Anticipate potential concerns from the client.
  • Check to make sure you are completely prepared.
  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Bring support staff with you.
  • Use and respect the clients’ format.
  • Always follow through.
  • Ask for what you need and seal the deal.
  • Find ways to simplify your prospects life.
  • Find ways to boost your credibility.
  • Build and nurture relationships.
  • Learn from “no” – find out what didn’t work so you know how to change it for the next time.

Having the confidence behind your company and product will help to catch that big fish. The next step of the process is negotiation.

Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:

  1. Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
  2. Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what really matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
  3. Don’t give in too quickly.
  4. Negotiate with a person, not a “company”. Don’t let their answer be that they would like to, but can’t.
  5. Don’t sell yourself short.
  6. Mitigate your pricing. If you go to low you won’t be able to raise it back up and you need to make a profit.
  7. Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
  8. Your services should always count as costs.
  9. Boost margins with add-ons.
  10. Handle request for proposals with the utmost care.

These are some ways to ensure both parties are getting the best possible outcome from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build on your relationship as they will be more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.

If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting process, try our GUIDED TOUR to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources to help you be successful. 

Who’s Your MVP?

In the last post we discussed how to determine who your prospect will be and how to make a lasting first impression on them. Today we are going to talk about getting a feel for your prospects personality so that you can best match it with your appropriate sales person.

Firstly, it will be helpful to profile your salespeople’s personalities. There are essentially three different selling personalities:

  • The One In The Know
  • The Pal
  • The Pitbull

The One In the know

This salesperson offers knowledge, experience, comfort and trust. They can make a concerned customer feel at ease. In order to be successful they need plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, references and case studies, if possible.

The Pal

Much like it sounds this salesperson is great at building relationships. They can instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends in no time. They work best with clients who are looking for friendship, information and in a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife. The resource’s this personality type needs is help pairing with the right client, entertainment and the right information to meet the client’s needs.

The Pitbull

This personality type is a little more aggressive than the others. They are all about business and the bottom line. This may seem harsh to a lot of people, there is a set of business people out there that want the same thing and respect someone who can get down to business. This salesperson will need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. They’ll need plenty of resources and access to products and services. They are best placed in environments where they can work independently, exercise their authorative discretion and seal deals quickly.

These personalities can all be successful when each is used in the right selling environment. You can see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more prospective clients and for a longer period of time.

If you need help figuring out which of your salespeople fit into these three areas, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches to get your plan in action.