This article is published in partnership with Insightly, providing CRM and project management solutions for small business owners.
If you own a business, there will always be competition. That is just a fact. But in the days of the internet and digital revolution, the pressure to gain and keep customers is more difficult than ever. It’s so easy for consumers to shop around or switch to one of your competitors if you don’t satisfy their needs right away with your product or service.
The good news is that there are strategies that can be used by businesses to grow their revenue not necessarily by recruiting new customers, but by nurturing the relationships they have with their existing ones. You see, it’s all about relationships. And these days, “relationships” can be anything from an in-person one to an ongoing email campaign that allows you to continually talk to your customers. There are many ways to maintain a relationship with your current customers.
With that said, here are four specific things you can do to grow your profits without having to spend extra money on marketing and advertising to new people:
Let Your Audience Get to Know and Trust You
Would you lend money to a friend if you didn’t think she would pay you back? Of course not! People are more easily persuaded by others that they trust. That is one of the reasons Oprah has the “golden touch.” If she recommends a book to her audience, it automatically becomes a best-seller. Why? Because they trust Oprah! They trust her opinion, so they will automatically do what she says to do. So in order for you to get customers to do what you want them to, you need to first gain their trust.
Once you gain their trust, they will most likely become life-long customers. You know the kind. There are people who will only by a Ford car. And yet other people shutter at the thought of using anything other than Colgate toothpaste. That’s because those companies have won their trust. They don’t want to settle for anything other than their brand. And because of that, they will keep coming back…and coming back some more.
Use a CRM
If you’re not familiar with the term CRM, you need to be. It stands for Customer Relationship Management. If the thought of staying in constant contact with your existing customers sounds daunting to you, then don’t worry. That’s exactly what a CRM does – it takes the work out of your hands and automates it. Companies like Insightly offer powerful packages that can help you maximize the conversation between you and your customers. It allows you to gather specific information and metrics about your customers and then use that to create targeted marketing campaigns that have strong importance to your customers like and tendencies.
A CRM simply makes building and maintaining the relationships with your customers as easy as 1-2-3.
Give Your Customers What They Want and Desire
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “what’s in it for me?” And most of you reading this have probably thought or even said it yourself! We all have. Let’s face it: we’re all inherently self-centered. If something doesn’t make us happier or our lives better, we are not very interested in it. So in order to persuade your customers to keep buying from your company, you need to tell them how it is going to benefit them. If you don’t give them irresistible reasons to keep coming back, they will eventually tune out and go elsewhere. If you focus on helping them achieve their wants and desires, they will be ready to “sign on the dotted line” every time. This is particularly important for businesses.
You might be wondering, “How do I know what my clients want when I don’t actually talk to them?” Actually, it’s quite easy. For example, by giving them a simple customer survey, you can find out a lot about them. Once you know your customers’ needs and desires, then you can tailor your messages and marketing activities accordingly.
Upsell, Cross-Sell, and Add-On
Maybe you started a company that sells dog-related products. And the reason you became an entrepreneur is because you have a passion for, and deep knowledge of, dogs. Many times, that’s how businesses are born. But just because you have a passion for everything related to dogs, it doesn’t always mean that you have the skill set to market and sell your products. It might even seem overwhelming at times. But it’s not as complicated as it might appear.
You may or may not be familiar with the terms up-sell, cross-sell, and add-on. But most likely you have been on the other end of it as a customer. For example, let’s say you are signing up for a business seminar. During registration, they might suggest an “add on” such as a book on the topic. An up-sell generally happens when you are buying a lower priced item (or even a free one), and then a company suggests a higher priced one in addition to that one (“up” means higher priced). As you can see, whether you are up-selling, cross-selling, or adding on, the whole point of all three of these is to keep your customers buying more. It’s actually a very effective technique.
The bottom line is that you don’t always have to put in a lot of time and money to get new customers. Yes, it’s a good thing to do, but not if you ignore all the potential that your existing ones can give you. Think of it as no different as cultivating a real one-on-one interpersonal relationship with a friend. Sure, you might not actually speak to them directly, but you want to make them feel like you are. And once they trust you, they will be loyal to you until the end.
This post was created in partnership with Insightly, a simple to use yet powerful CRM system for small business. With integrations to Google Apps, Office 365, MailChimp, and major social media sites; great mobile apps for tablets and smartphones; and easy access to a REST API for custom integration, Insightly is the leading small business CRM.