I often work with clients who are frustrated because they hire people to execute tactically for them, and they’re not operating strategically.
It is important that you operate from a strategic perspective and that you have a plan. When you’ve got a plan and you’re operating strategically, the world is your oyster.
The purpose of this post is to make sure you are not leaving money on the table due to lack of strategy. Here are several strategies you can use to find “hidden money” in your business:
The first thing we’re going to talk about is referrals.
If you’re not staying in touch with your customers, clients or patients, then you’re not top of mind for them. They probably won’t think of you for their future needs or refer you to their circle of influence. This is lost money for you.
Let’s discuss a very simple way to build out a referral system. This doesn’t require high tech. It doesn’t require a lot of bells and whistles. It is simply a referral system.
I call it the Keep in Touch System.
The Keep in Touch System
There are four principles to the keep in touch system:
1. It’s not only who you know that counts, it’s who your clients know. That’s so important.
Identify 250 people that are your clients, or people that you know in your sphere.
This may seem like a lot of people, but I guarantee you, if you start tapping in and look at your phone, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram… look at all these different places, you’ll find 250 people.
2. Pull open your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, like Salesforce or HubSpot, and start filing those names and plugging them into your CRM.
If you’re a busy entrepreneur, you may want to have a VA or somebody on your staff help you.
3. You’re going to take those 250 people, and you’re going to start to break them down into three categories:
A: The people who refer you these are the people who are power advocates for you. These are the people that you know, you could call in the middle of the day and ask them for a referral or a shout-out and you know they will give it.
B: The people who we would like to move into being a power advocate, but they’re not quite there yet. We’re still warming them up. They may have made a referral, but they’re not doing it consistently. You may not feel like you have enough credibility yet to be able to even ask them for referrals. So that’s really important to just be aware of that as well.
C: The people that you probably are really not interested in necessarily working with again, so you’re probably not going to focus as much on the Cs, but you may still want to keep in touch with them.
4. Follow up with these people!
How to Follow Up with Clients
Educate your clients about how you work, your value to them through regular, tangible actions performed without fail. Have policies, FAQs and procedures in place and clearly stated.
You can do this on your website, social media, contact forms, contracts and face-to-face, when appropriate.
Let your clients know you are there for them and to let you know if you have questions. You want there to be an open invitation to communicate with you. Make it easy for them.
Keep in touch consistently
Keep in touch with your clients, personally and systematically.
For your “A” people, write, with an actual physical pen and piece of paper, a nice note card or company letterhead, every single month! This is something that can be done without a huge investment. The gesture is what matters!
Share something of value with them that is relevant to their life. It may be a $5 Starbucks gift card, movie tickets, or an anniversary card. It may be tips from improving their lives in whatever area is your specialty and it should be timely!
Start thinking about and mapping out the next 12 months.
You may use someone on your team to assist you with this, but it is important to keep in touch with your “A” list of people to show that you care about them. This effort will help you stay top of mind for them when they are ready to purchase again, or to refer you to others.
If you don’t currently have a referral program in place, I highly encourage you to start one.
The numbers are really extraordinary, in terms of the amount of revenue that’s out there when you just tap into these existing relationships with people.
Sixty-five percent of new business comes from referrals, people are more likely to buy something when they’re referred by a friend.
Referral programs make customers more loyal.
Word of mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%.
These are all important things for you to consider.
Upsell and Cross Selling
Upselling and cross selling are really important strategy for finding “hidden money” in your business.
Let’s look at the difference between the two:
Cross selling is encouraging the purchase of anything in conjunction with your primary product.
For example, if a customer has already purchased a subscription to a marketing tool that you’re selling, cross selling would encourage them to purchase a subscription to your CRM.
When you go to a fast food restaurant and they ask if you “want fries with that,” that is cross selling.
When I go to see my chiropractor, and she talks to me about supplements, acupuncture, or nutrition, she is actually cross selling while I’m there for an adjustment.
Start thinking about in your business… what other things can you sell, just by simply asking?
Upselling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary purchase, more expensive with an upgrade or a premium.
For example, if a customer had already purchased a subscription to a marketing tool that you were selling, upselling would encourage them to purchase an additional integration with another marketing tool.
Think about your own business again… where can you upsell and where can you start to cross sell?
Work with your salesperson, and your entire team, to discuss ways you can implement upselling and cross selling to your customers.
Get to Know Your Audience
What does your audience want or need? What kind of experience do they want when using your product or service? What kind of experience do they actually have?
One of the best ways to learn this information is to take a survey. I am a big, big advocate of surveying people.
After any sale, you need to understand what is happening for your customer. Are they happy with their purchase? Are they enjoying the product or service? What do they feel is lacking from their experience?
Let them know that you really care about their experience and completing a survey would be helpful to make sure you are serving to the best of your ability. You can use SurveyMonkey, a phone survey or a mail-in survey that you include in their shipment to collect data.
The next piece of this is really spending some time and building out your customer journey.
The customer journey begins the moment somebody interacts with your business. It encompasses what happens during the life cycle that they are your client/ customer/ patient.
We want to identify how they’re using the product or service, how it will help them grow, and when they get to the point that they’re seeing results thanks to the product.
At this point, they’ll start telling other people about it, driving referrals. This is an opportune time to connect with them again to learn if there is a faster way to help them get to the results they desire.
Use this information to think about problems and offer solutions that map to your product or service so you have a clear idea of what the challenges they are facing, and then how you can be the person to help them with product or service.
Can you educate them via blog posts, video tutorials, package your services differently, upsell or cross sell other products or services to help them achieve their goals?
New Offers to Old Clients
Within this realm, there’s a big opportunity if you aren’t already using email marketing, to be able to stay constantly in touch with your people.
Email marketing can be used to create new offers to people who are your existing clients. This is where we can systematically follow up with these people to see what their experiences are like and get feedback from them.
Based on their answers, think about solutions to upsell and cross sell to them.
What are other ways to offer new things to existing clients to keep them coming back?
How have their needs changed?
What are some new things they may be interested in?
How can you continue to serve them?
To recap, we covered the need for a “keep in touch” system:
1. Create a database
2. Put it in a CRM
3. Prioritize your A, B, C system
4. Stay in touch with people consistently, personally and systematically.
People will know that you care, they will be interested because you’re staying in touch with them.
Next, we talked about upselling and cross selling.
Understanding what your client/ customer/patient needs, and then being able to offer them solutions in addition to whatever they’re currently purchasing is a courtesy.
Finally, we talked about knowing your customer and their customer journey. You can use surveys to ask about their experience with your business and products or services. This allows you to better understand their need going forward.
Start applying these strategies to uncover the “hidden money” in your business.
If you need help improving your systems and strategies, please reach out and let’s book a call to discuss how to move your business forward!