The Most Expensive Marketing Mistake I Ever Made


The Most Expensive Marketing Mistake I Ever Made

When I look back over my 39 years in business there is one marketing mistake that I wish I had fixed a lot faster than I did.

That expensive mistake was not staying in touch and adding value to three groups of people:

Group 1: My existing clients and customers.

This was pretty foolish because these people had already spent money with me.

And they were in a perfect position to make repeat purchases and give me referral business as well.

Group 2: My potential clients

These were people that I had met with or given information to, but had not yet bought.

I made the mistake of thinking that if they didn’t buy in the near future they were not worthwhile staying in touch with.

What I forgot was that people don’t buy for many reasons and a common one is that the timing is wrong.

And if I stayed in touch and added value, then many of these people would be happy to buy from me when the timing was better for them.

Group 3: My Key referral sources

These people were important to me because they could each potentially refer large numbers of new clients to me on a regular basis.

I recall when I was selling advertising many years ago. I had one business person I met who really liked me. And over a 2 year period he referred dozens of his business colleagues and was directly responsible for a huge number of advertising sales. Yet I made the mistake of not staying in touch and adding value to him on a regular basis.

It took one of my clients to make me realise I was making this costly marketing mistake. (At the time I worked for a company that sold investment property.)

In my first year I hardly stayed in touch with clients, potential clients and key referral sources. And I got hardly any referrals in this time.

One day a person named Steve wrote me a letter that said he was very surprised about not hearing from me after becoming a client.

He told me he was a good potential source of repeat and referral business and that I should treat him better.

I was embarrassed to get Steve’s letter because I actually knew the importance of staying in touch and adding value to clients. (I had just forgotten to do it.)

So I started sending every person on my database a personal note with something of value each month.

One note might include a couple of free movie passes with it and say:

  • “Thanks for being a client. I thought you would appreciate a couple of free movie passes with my compliments.”

Another personal note might include a short motivational article I had come across on something like goal setting.

It would say:

  • “Hi John, thought you might enjoy this short article on goal setting. Regards Graham.”

Within 12 months of staying in touch with added value I started getting calls, emails and even letters from people telling me how much they appreciated me doing this.

I also got referrals, I got repeat sales and best of all I now had a great relationship with many of my clients and key contacts.

My client Steve bought a second investment property and gave me a referral to a family member who also bought an investment property.

I learned two valuable lessons from this experience:

  1. Lesson 1: When you stay in touch and add value regularly to people you get positively remembered. And this makes it very easy to create a large amount of repeat and referral business.
  2. Lesson 2: It takes at least six months of consistently adding value to start enjoying substantial amounts of repeat and referral business.

What can you do to start staying in touch regularly with clients, potential clients and key referral sources?

How can you do this in a way that adds value every time you make contact with these people?

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  • Flora

    Great advice – “adding value” will implement more of this into our business. thank you for sharing Graham.

  • Graham McGregor

    My pleasure Flora. Glad you found my article useful. Graham McGregor

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