As stated in Gary Holt’s The Perpetual Money Machine, one of the best ways of generating new business is to resell to existing customers. Most businesses that have been around for a few years will have a pretty sizeable customer list or database that they may not be doing much with except having a gut feel that there has to be something useful to do with that aging list.
On top of the customer list there is the new paradigm that the web is king and even phone directories like Yellow Pages have made significant efforts to get their sites and their customers’ ads rated better on search engines. And of search engines what is the term most people use for describing the act of looking up something on the internet - they ‘Googled’ it, a name that is now a verb and a computing powerhouse. Where in your business day are you ever away from the internet? If away from your desk you have a smartphone and you likely have a Google powered Android smartphone that can search the web.
Additionally, a website is not enough anymore. You have to possess multiple methods to bring people to your site and to get other people to reference, mention, or link to your site or you risk just being adrift in the Internet. The answer is social media, having your company active on the web by writing knowledgeable and informative blog entries and having interesting content on Facebook that keeps you in their proverbial ‘mind’s eye’ 24/7.
So, how do these two needs intertwine? Your business needs to get active in social media and you need to start harvesting the wealth in that customer list before its value fades from lack of attention. What do you do? Simple, you use your customer list to initially prime your social media well in a simple process that can offer you more than reselling, more than social media, but an opportunity to see what your past customers think of you now.
It's as simple as following these steps:
- Contact your customers by phone and/or email.
- Have an offer ready to ‘thank them’ for participating. Perhaps a discount on a service or a simple magnet with your company logo and contact information for their refrigerator.
- Ask a couple of questions about their experience with your company. Offer follow up if desired- don’t let a negative response, no matter how old, fall on deaf ears.
- Ask them if you can put them on your email mailing list which will provide them with the latest news about products and services in your field and discounts or reminders. You have to have carrots even if you can’t offer carrots frequently.
- If they agree to participate, tell them that if they ‘Like’ your business on Facebook they will receive another, better, carrot via their act of ‘Liking’ your business on Facebook. Make the social media offer better than the others because their social media value will significantly outweigh their traditional marketing value since their friends will see and be recommended to you. You can send them the reminder to ‘Like’ your business in your first email campaign to them.
- Additionally if you are a service related company, you can even sell them on the ability to create service calls directly from your web and Facebook pages.
Voila! You have cleaned up your customer list/database. You've likely picked up some new business or sales leads and now have your company’s presence in front of these clients via email and social media. As you post a newsletter, make it a blog then everyone can receive it via Facebook, as well as the value it has of simply adding content to your website. As their friends see you on their site, they will start to follow you as well.
Seem daunting? It can be without help but that is where contacting Holt Marketing and Management Services comes in. We can help coordinate your campaign, we can craft ideas for ‘carrots’, we can even make the calls for you and give you the results of the survey. And if you haven’t moved into social media, then we can help you achieve that too. Again, this can range from setting up the process to actually coordinating with you to write and operate your social media presence. The key is to take action before that customer list loses its value from too much age and get your presence out where the new sales leads are- the social media internet.