Business Strategy Consulting – Day 20: How to get your current customers to try your new services
*** Over 30 days, I’m giving you several “big ideas” to solve real-life marketing challenges. To submit your problem for consideration, follow the format today’s subscriber used, and then hit “reply” with your own specific details and challenges. My assistant will filter through these replies and forward me the best ones to review. MOST important – if you like what you are reading, show me some love, and forward this information around to a few of your friends and associates ***
Today’s question comes from Mike Jasky, who says: “Hi Craig, I own a Laundromat in NYC. My problem is convincing my customers (blue collar and lower middle class) to try my other services. Any help would be appreciated.”
You know what? This is a really interesting question, because I don’t know anyone who hasn’t either changed professions and started selling new stuff… started a new business… or began promoting someone else’s business to make some extra cash.
And smart people know, the easiest way to make money is to contact your existing customers and solicit them. Since they already have a (presumably good) relationship with you, it’s a lot easier and less expensive to do this, then to go out and ‘hunt’ for new customers.
There are, however, a few issues you need to be aware of when you’re doing this. And in Mike’s case, there are three of them, actually.
First, having an existing customer base and selling them new things that are directly related to the nature of your existing relationship, is easy. So for instance, if you own a yogurt shop, and you want your customers to go across the street and check out your new bakery or coffee shop… you’re not going to have any resistance. You’ve already got credibility in this area so your buyers will be more than open to giving you another shot at their business.
Second… and here’s where things get tricky… is when you have an unrelated service you want people to try. So if Mike owns a laundromat, and he also owns a coffee shop… now he’s going to have a bit of a challenge.
See, because of the lack of relevance between the services Mike is currently providing, and what he wants to provide, Mike has absolutely ZERO credibility as a coffee shop owner. In this case, because of this lack of familiarity, it’s almost like starting from scratch, with one exception.
But this one exception creates enough of an opening for you to make something happen, if you’re clever. The exception is that your buyers will at least listen to you, or open your piece of mail or read your e-mail, because they already know you.
Whereas, if you are a complete stranger, this isn’t true at all.
And so, in this case, since you are only getting ONE shot at this, you need to make maximum impact. And the way you do this is by making your current buyers an exclusive, and very compelling offer, to entice them to give you a shot at new business.
Exclusivity makes people feel special — that their relationship with you suddenly offers them a little-known and valuable benefit not available to anyone else.
And if your offer is compelling, it’s going to be hard for buyers of this service, to resist.
Remember, what you’re trying to do here, is essentially ‘buy’ new customers at a lower cost than it would cost you to get them if you had to go out into the marketplace ‘cold.’
The last issue that Mike’s probably going to have is this: typically, the owner of the laundromat, has NO relationship with his customers. And if this is the case, Mike should write a very personal note personalized (as in “Dear Craig”) to each of his customers, if he has a customer list.
If he doesn’t have a list, and he’s just posting information on flyers, then his invitation should be very warm and fuzzy. He should share personal information about himself and allow these people to get to know him as much as possible.
This will promote and prompt even more curiosity to try his new services.
Let me know how this works out. This is a challenging issue, but if you do what I am suggesting… you can really make some magic happen here.
Oh, and by the way, the fact that these customers are blue collar, is irrelevant. Same strategies would apply if you were a financial planner dealing with high net worth individuals as well.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. Some people can tell you where the money’s hiding — but this book shows you how to actually get your hands on it, faster than you’d ever imagine
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