Think about yourself as a customer. Do you collect airline miles? Do you get bonus points for refunds by using one credit card instead of another? What about store programs? Do you have a bonus card for a particular grocery store or pharmacy? I know some people who carry more of those store key-chain cards on their key rings than keys! Maybe you’re one of them. All of these examples are testaments to how well these programs work.
As the consumer, you benefit from these loyalty programs by getting discounts and special perks. These programs help to shape your future buying habits.
Every time you find yourself selecting one store or company over another because of your desire to build up rewards points, you can remind yourself that these loyalty programs work.
A big caveat to these programs working successfully is that loyalty programs must be easy to understand and use – for your customers AND your staff.
All customers are not created equal and that very notion is reason enough to establish a loyalty program. You want to encourage those who spend more with you to…well spend even more. The best part is that they’re very likely going to do just that.
Think of your company as a giant bucket of water. The water in your bucket represents your customers - the lifeblood of your business. Every drop of water that leaks out of your bucket is a lost customer and lost sales, including all future revenue. Ouch! If your company is like a leaky bucket - and every business is to some degree - then it is paramount to your survival that you continuously fill your bucket with more water. After all, no water, no business!
1. They’re impatient and want their Dream Business now, not later.
2. They care much less about ego than they do results.
3. They are more comfortable with risk and fast decisions.
4. They understand the value of investing in themselves.
5. They’ve decided that nothing or nobody will stop them.
Don’t be emotional about money - it’s just a tool that can help you build your Dream Business. Get crystal clear on your ‘needs’ and then be willing to ‘invest’ in your future to reach your goals faster. The hard truth is if you’re not 100% committed to your goal, and willing to put skin in the game, chances are you won’t get there.
Success leaves clues. Think about some successful entrepreneurs you know and ask yourself these questions:
- Do they talk with confidence?
- Do they make excuses? • Do they worry about what others think? • Are they action takers or do they put things off? Think about how you would answer these questions about yourself.
All customers are not created equal, and using a standard ‘promotion or discount’ for everyone makes no sense. While every customer should get a great ‘wow’ experience, those who are more loyal, those that spend more and refer more, deserve more.
There are three questions you want to prepare a ready and compelling solution for. Answer these ahead of time and you will see your revenues and profits grow.
- What else do my clients want if they accept my initial offer?
- What can I offer them right now?
- What can I find to offer them that I myself don’t have, but could obtain from another business?
If a customer chooses a particular item, can you find a compelling reason to induce them to upgrade and buy something that costs a little more (up-selling) and brings you a little more profit? If so, will your offer be in their best interests or yours? This is a key question. If you take the philosophical standpoint that “I’m here to do what is right for the customer,” then you will likely begin to win more customers than you can count. However, if you’re selfish and think, “I’m going to get as much money out of this customer as I can,” then you will lose more long-term business than you can even begin to imagine.
Second, for each item that you sell, think of complementary items that you might offer that would make the offer more attractive. If you’re ready to give compelling reasons why a customer should buy something else from you, then you have understood the concept of cross-selling. Fast food restaurants offer a soda at a “special price” for a cross-sell because the profit margin on sodas is so high.
Proper Timing - The best time to ask your up-sell / cross-sell question is AFTER the customer has committed to the initial purchase, but just before they pay for their purchase. Once they commit they’re instantly in a purchase mindset. But after they pay for their purchase, they have mentally closed the transaction.
Social media has been around for several years in various forms, but in many ways it’s just getting started! There are endless opportunities to use it to help your business grow and prosper. So if you’re sitting on the fence and wondering whether this is something you want to try in your business, I suggest it’s time to stop wondering and start doing!
Here are three important reasons that should convince you to get off the bench and into the game!
1. It Proves You Care!
If your company has a social media presence, it’s easy for consumers to provide feedback and interact with you, which tells your customers that you care! In many cases a social media presence makes it much easier to answer customers’ questions and avoid any unpleasant problems that can arise from a perceived lack of communication.
2. You Are Global!
Whether you currently have a local business or an Internet-based business, social media affords the opportunity to be perceived as a national or international company, and that can pay huge dividends!
3. Marketing Muscles!
If you’re a shy person by nature, social media can give you “marketing muscle” because you can communicate with people all over the world from the comfort of your home or office! Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s a good idea to retreat to your office, never to meet face-to-face with customers. The ability to have instant and effective communication is not only convenient but also incredibly effective.