I know that there are a lot of businesspeople who would answer the question of this post’s title, “How much advertising are you doing to your current and past clients?”, with something like, “Why would I advertise to people I’ve already advertised for?” or “I spend all my advertising on my prospective clients only.”
Here is what I would like to tell you based on my extensive experiences: If you are not spending money or making any efforts to advertise to current or past clients, you are literally leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table.
Don’t Forget About the Customers You Already Have
The clients that you already have, have already worked with, and who you’ve already spent your advertising money on are a great source for profit and business growth.
Here is an example: I once worked with a dentist who had contacted me to help him grow his business through his advertising. He had recently made additions to his team of dentists within his practice, but found that he didn’t have enough active patients on his roster to him himself and his dentists busy.
He wanted me to come in to help him find a bunch of new patients, and I was prepared to do that, but first, I asked to see his list of 2,500 patients who were considered “inactive” and hadn’t come in for a cleaning or treatment for at least a year and a half.
I suggested to this dentist that we don’t look to recruit new patients yet, but we look to concentrate our efforts first on those who had already used his services. What we did was mail our 1000 letters to just half of the list of inactive patients. The letter added a personal touch and talked about how we hadn’t seen them in the office in a while, and we highlighted the benefits of a teeth cleaning for their health and for feeling fresh and clean.
What resulted is that we had 160 of those people we sent the letters to call the office and book an appointment. Once we had those people in for their return appointments, they were able to have them book another appointment, making them regular patients again.
We actually filled this dentist’s schedule 3 months into the future, and it only cost us around $400 to do this letter mailing! What could have cost us tens of thousands of dollars to generate 160 new clients cost us only $400 to get people through the doors.
Maximizing Your Investment
The beauty of this approach is that what we did here is really maximize on the investment of the efforts and strategies that had gotten people to become patients of this dentist in the first place. He had already done his advertising and marketing to get the people in the door, they were already his patients; it was just a matter of putting in some efforts to reactivate them.
What this dentist and I did together is execute just one strategy to be able to generate clients on demand.
Without Clients on Demand, Your Business Won’t Grow
One of the most important pieces of wisdom that I like to give to those I work with and those who work with me in training programs is that you can’t build your business without the ability to generate clients on demand.
Without a client base, you cannot expand your facilities, you can’t bring in new staff, and you’ll spend a lot of your marketing budget on strategies to bring people in with hopes they work out as clients.
When you understand the principle that without clients on demand, your business won’t grow, you realise you cannot remain complacent and just sit back and wait for people to come to you, or hope that people you’ve already worked with will come back as repeat customers.
As a businessperson, you should always have several strategies at the ready to be able to reach into your existing client base and generate clients on demand. It doesn’t sound easy, sometimes it’s not, but when you do hit the right stride, you’ll find that you will save money on advertising costs and you’ll in the long run develop a stronger relationship with very satisfied clients.
How Can This Help You?
Of course, every businessperson wants to be able to see some personal benefit to the strategies they enact to gain more clients.
When you are able to generate more clients on demand, you grow your business, which means a few things:
- You add profit to your business
- You can afford more overhead to support your business functions
- You can hire others to work with you and act as a backup for you
- You can plan for the future to avoid any losses during slower times in terms of business growth
- You can possibly earn yourself the freedom to have time off, go traveling, and return to an ever-growing company
Most of all, when you are able to build a business that literally grows itself through maximising its own investments, you automatically build the value of your business. If you ever want to sell your business, having a strongly developed client base will literally earn you hundreds of thousands towards your business valuation on the market.
What are Your Strategies?
Now that I’ve demonstrated how important it is to focus some of your advertising energies and resources on your current and past clients, I invite you to reflect on some of the ways that you can enact some strategies to breathe new life into existing relationships.
What if I offer only a one-off product? Well, that is when you consider the lifetime of your product or service. Is there the possibility your clients would be interested in upgrading, replacing, or purchasing a newer version of the product or service you offer? Contact some of your past clients and find out.
Take some time to seriously think about the people you have already done business with, and I’ll invite you to shift your strategy, just for a trial phase only to start, and start investing your time and efforts into your existing clients rather than new ones.
In further posts, I’ll be sharing some more effective strategies and philosophies for growing your client base, increasing the lifetime value of your clients, and getting your clients to buy more from you and more often.