How do you define your best clients?
A few months back, I was rebuilding a website, thinking about the clients that might be most attracted to that site, and I realized the best clients weren’t the biggest buyers, but often the ones who more often referred me to other people. It’s always awesome when a client buys my products, but if they don’t recommend them, the sale isn’t always as good as it could have been… You know what I mean?
Some characteristics of marketing just open the door to referrals easier than others. And the results can be knock-out income in the bank! There are a few consistent concepts that happen every time a product or service is referred to another person, by your happy client.
- The client gets exactly what they expected from your products or services. The easiest way to fulfill this, is to set up their expectations and make those expectations happen as you say they will.
John knew his clients expected specific things from his website, because they’d been coming into his accounting office for long enough to know what services he excelled at providing, and exactly how he could meet their needs with those services. He was adept at finding the best ways to meet their needs in person, but online… He wasn’t quite sure how to achieve the same goal.
After a few weeks, he realized he was doing the same things he had always done, and his customers were happy. So he decided to figure out what he was doing and share it. He quickly recognized his easy, communicative style of writing as the thing they liked best, knowing if they asked him a question, he’d most likely be able to answer it, and that he’d answer it in ways they could share his answers. And they did. Not only did they share the answers, they referred people to his website to read his answers for himself. He was still getting the same kind of referrals, that had for years.
John had set up an expectation and was meeting it.
- Clients recognize added value services and depend on those, as much as they depend on the products and services they are paying for, so they refer other people for those services. Your appreciation shows. When you appreciate your clients and provide value added services or products, they will add value to your business by referring you to others.
1 – Include something extra when you send their product, a bonus or benefit of some kind that doesn’t cost you extra money, but adds benefit to their purchase.
2 – Add a layer of service to their package, such as a phone call to see how they’re doing afterward, or a note increasing the value of their purchase with more information.
3 – Provide incentives to purchase the next product, a discount, or added product, that they receive when they next purchase your products.
- Offer incentives for referrals. If you get a referral from a client, give them a discount on their next purchase, or an added layer of services.
Diane frequently markets for me, sending me client connections, or adding more ‘people to my list’ by recommending an article, or sending a new client my way. So, in return I’ll write an article for her website, or update her graphics package, so she’s got something valuable to show for the promotion she does for me. It may seem like a minor thing, but the reality is a graphics package or an article can be hugely beneficial for her online business, because it attracts new business to her site.
Way back in the beginning, I would announce the ‘additional services’ I was giving my clients for sharing the word, passing on my name, or linking new clients to my business, but then… I realized the number of new referrals coming from some clients was HUGE compared to others, and I needed to adjust my ‘benefits’ to fit the size of the benefit to my business. I couldn’t always give the same ‘amount’ to everyone, based on quality, content, time cost, etc. So I learned to offer value added incentives that didn’t always offer a name.
When I review a client’s business online, I recognize needs and offer benefits that make the most sense for what they’re accomplishing, or what they need the most to benefit more.
Ironically, the best benefits don’t have a price tag, but rather an additional value that isn’t necessarily price related.
Classic Marketing Principles Make the Difference
- Be seen more often.
- Promote Quality over Quantity.
- Set and meet your goals.
- Offer VALUE based incentives – ALWAYS.
- Increase your value rather than decreasing your price.
- Determine price point, and increase value to match.
- Don’t try to ‘price’ compete with others in your market, they know what their products and services are worth.
These essential concepts will help you over the hump, but let’s get together for a quick 20 minute review of your marketing plan and make sure you’re getting the most value for your marketing dollars.