Make $1,000 More Per Customer as a Local Business Owner
As every lawyer or wealth manager will tell you - “I do not make promises. I can give you guidance and tactics/tips I’ve used in the past, but past success does not guarantee future success.” As much as we all love (hope you sense the sarcasm) to hear this fantastic feedback, especially in the moments we need help most, this blog post will act as the same.
I will touch on a few primary elements of how you can take your existing customers and turn them into profit making engines, but in order to do so, you are going to need to work hard. Much of this work will take days and possibly even months until you start to see it pay off. But don’t fret, because the good ‘ol days will be on their way and you will start to see the impact in the long run.
So, where do we begin?
Let me first ask you. Do you know who your customers are? Do you have a customer persona? Do you know who you’re serving? I mean, after all, these people are the reason you are in business. Never forget it!
The better you know your end customer, the more you will be able to relate to them and eventually the more you will be able to earn from them (with good intentions, of course). The first step to getting to know your customer, is by getting down the basics.
Pretend you are going on a date with someone new. What are some of the first things you are going to be asking them in that very first date? What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? What are your hobbies? When’s your birthday?
Imagine the power you could have as a local business owner if you had this information. But, wait, I will get into that in just a bit.
I can definitely understand why collecting all of this information from your customer may seem too difficult, especially if you don’t use any kind of computer to collect the information. And, trust me, I don’t assume that you are going to be asking every one of your customers to stand aside for 30 minutes so that you can ask them all these questions. That would be silly, and probably would waste more of your time than if you had not done it at all. Introducing….MEMBERSHIPS!
For those of you who didn’t know why all of the big brands offer memberships, here’s your quick 1 minute lesson. You walk into a huge department store, and select all of the items you’d like to purchase. At checkout, the cashier asks if you’d like to join their membership program which you get 10% off each month through the mail to use for future in-store or online purchases. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, it is!
But what they’re really doing is collecting your data. What’s the next thing the cashier will do after you tell him you are interested in getting the membership?
Any guesses? That’s right!
They will open up an additional tab inside their computer (often a basic point of sales system) and they will start asking you questions. Guess what questions? That’s right! The same questions I had mentioned to you above. What is your name? Where do you live? Your age, etc. They will also likely ask for your email - I didn’t mention that above, but it’s one of the most important pieces of information you want to collect.
Next thing you know, two months later, you receive an email from that huge department store owner. Discount sale with your favorite products going 15% off. What do you do? You walk down the street, start browsing for new purchases, and stand back at the same cashier that gave you the membership.
So, where’s the catch?
Remember when I said that you can turn any customer into $1,000 more of business? Well, here’s the way. The cashier collected your email address, then the department store sent you a discount offer. That discount offer got you in the store to buy things you likely weren’t planning on purchasing had you not received a discount. And, that’s the power of retention marketing my friends.
So what’s in this for you?
You can quickly and easily adopt this into your own local business storefront. As I mentioned, some of the most important pieces of information you want to collect on a customer is their name, email, phone number, place of residence, birthday, and anything more you feel is relevant. If you are in a specific niche, you can also ask for more information on what the customer is looking for within that niche?
For example, if you sell surf boards, you can ask the customer, from a list of 5 surf board types, which one he loves most. This way you can keep that data, and send a highly targeted email to that customer the next time you want to run a sale on specifically that type of surf board. Pretty cool, right?
Here are a few starting points for how you can get this started:
- Decide what information is relevant to your business - Start with the most basic. Name, Email, Phone, Place of Residence, Birthday and anything else you feel is relevant to your business. Try it out. If you see a positive response, keep it. If it confuses people, try rewording it or just delete it and try something else. There is no right or wrong. You just have to try
- Find out where you can source cheap membership cards - Ask around through other local businesses or google searches. I most recommend finding a local business nearby that offers the type of membership you would like to offer, and asking them where they get their cards from. Don’t overspend on these. They don’t need to be fancy or well designed. If they are useful, no one cares how they look or feel as long as they can be kept in a wallet.
- Print out 10 basic forms with all of the information you’d like to collect - Make sure that this looks professional. It does not need any special design, just should be formatted properly and structured easy to the eye.
- Once you have your membership cards ready and your forms ready, put them next to the cash register and wait for your next customer to purchase
- Upon purchasing, ask if they’d like to receive a members card with lifetime 10% off (just an example, you can offer whatever you’d like, but make sure it’s attractive)
- If they say yes, you can give them the form that you printed out, and have them fill it out. Once they’ve filled it out, thank them and hand the printed membership card. That’s it! As simple as that.
Once you collect 10 forms, you can already start working on your retention marketing. Before you know it, your sales will rise. And to no surprise to me (and I hope to you either), your customer counts will stay the same. How is this possible? Because you’ve generated new internal value. You’ve taken existing customers, and turned them into return customers by offering them something of value. Making $1,000 from each customer may not be instant, but as I said in the beginning of this post, over time, you will see it.
There are many more advanced ways of collecting this information as well as taking advantage of this information in ways you could never imagine. This will of course be covered in future blog posts on the topic. Good luck!