Start Mining the Gold in Your Database: Part 2
Mining the Gold in Your Database means nurturing your clients, and this can be more profitable than a never-ending search for ‘someone.
When I ask this question of my small business clients and audience members, ‘If you had a magic wand and could fix one thing, what would it be?’, the most common response is emphatically: MORE CLIENTS.
If this is your answer as well, please read on to find out one simple strategy which can increase your bottom line immediately.
In my last Smallville article (Part 1), I shared my story of how I wasn’t mining the gold in my database.
This article (Part 2) shares a story from one of my coaching clients.
In my work with small business owners, I was talking with one of them about how they could increase their cash flow from their database.
Like many businesses, they have a database of clients happy with their products and services. But they also have gold they have ignored.
This client provides short course training In a particular industry area which must be refreshed every year or two. So I asked what their follow up strategy was to ensure everyone booked in for their refresher training.
The answer was just an email probably three months out from the expiry date, and that was really about it. And of course, they were wondering why they weren’t converting these potential clients who were familiar with their brand and training.
Find and create opportunities for recurring business.
So I said, ‘let’s have a look at how much recurring business could be possible’.
So we looked at what the real numbers were by plotting how many students needed to refresh their training each month, and then developed a documented follow up system of emails and phone calls.
This follow up system was implemented across a 60 day period, to ensure at least 80% of students booked in for their refresher training.
Why 80% instead of 100%? Because I’m realistic -no matter how good you are, it’s very difficult to retain 100% of your client base because circumstances change. People change jobs or move locations; they may not need the product or service anymore; they may want a change etc.
By developing a documented system and tracking the numbers, the cash flow of this business substantially increased. All because they mined the gold in their database.
Personalised follow up is essential.
Also, by adding in a few more personal phone calls into the follow-up system instead of just sending emails which can be lost, ignored or forgotten about; they were able to gain additional students from both that workplace as new referrals.
Now I realise we always need new clients coming into our world (attraction) and ultimately into our business (conversion). But too often, we spend so much time and energy into getting new clients, that it comes at the expense of our existing clients.
Think about the big telcos, internet and electricity providers.
Reward existing clients.
These big companies will bend over backwards to get you on board as a new customer. But if you’re an existing customer and try to get the same financial benefits, often we’re told, ‘I’m sorry we can’t we can’t match that’.
And this can often mean we switch instead of remaining loyal so are you nurturing and rewarding your existing and loyal customers, or are you inadvertently dismissing them to get the next ‘new’ sale?
So how are you mining the gold in your database?
Do you have a documented system to ensure you maintain and retain each client by continuing to provide value and further ways to engage with you? If not, why not because spending time to develop and implement this system can easily result in an increase in your cash flow and bottom line. And isn’t that what every business owner wants?
And remember: your database is the most logical people to be asking for referrals and thus gain new business because they are already your raving fans.
So where are you spending your time and effort?
Is 80% of your time being invested in finding new customers at expense of nurturing your database; or is 80% of your time being spent mining the gold already in your database because that is where the financial and the personal seeds need to be sowed to reap the financial and personal benefits?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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