Can you remember the last time you bought a pair of shoes? Chances are the salesperson recommended some products to go with your new pair of sneakers or high heels, like polish or insoles. While such upselling might be annoying, it often works. In fact, your business will expand dramatically if you can convince just one out of three clients to buy a little bit more. But that’s not the only way to expand your business. Another strategy is to convince clients to remain loyal to your company.
Well, there are plenty of ways to keep customers coming back, but premiums and loyalty programs work especially well.
For instance, chain stores like Sears have loyalty programs that reward customers for frequent purchases. In such programs, customers usually earn points for every item they buy and, as these points accumulate, they can be cashed in for discounts. As a result, the client will want to keep buying from the same store rather than miss out on this bonus.
Another way to make your business grow is to expand your client base by giving your salespeople a piece of the profits. For example, lots of companies pay their salespeople a percentage, say 10 percent of the profit from every sale they make. Naturally, the prospect of a commission incentivizes your staff to recruit new clients – but you can motivate your salespeople even more by letting them keep 100 percent of the profits from their first sale to every new client.
This might seem like a pretty big reward if a sale averages something like $200, but if the average client spends that amount five times per year, your total profit from them would be $2,800 over three years, even after the $200 bonus you gave the salesperson.
Not only that, but such an incentive can motivate sales staff to recruit ten times as many customers.
People tend to assume that the road to success is necessarily a rocky one, and therefore needs to be walked in tiny, manageable steps. But if you truly want to succeed, baby steps aren’t the way to go. Instead, you need to think big and take quantum leaps.
A quantum leap is that bold move into an area that your competitors haven’t thought of yet. Instead of focusing on what’s difficult and what doesn’t go according to plan, look for paths that others haven’t spotted.
For example, a chemist at the 3M company was trying to develop a super-strong glue, but ended up with a very weak one instead. Everyone thought of it as a useless failure; that is until a fellow scientist found the perfect use for the product. He applied it to pieces of paper, in the process inventing the Post-it note – and we all know how that particular invention turned out.
The point is, to make breakthroughs you don’t necessarily need to invent something from scratch or even revolutionize marketing. All you need to do is find a novel approach, discover a great application for something that already exists or simply introduce an existing product to a new market.
Just consider the innumerable cappuccinos bought at Starbucks locations across North America this morning. The coffee chain didn’t invent this beverage; they just copied it from everyday European cafés and it became a huge success when introduced to US markets.
So, to find the breakthrough that will carry you soaring forward, you need to think boldly. And that means you should only consider your competitor’s approach as a reference point, so you know how to diverge from it. This way, you’ll discover opportunities that can make all the difference for your business.
It’s probably clear that a thriving business is built on clients, and lots of them. But how can you outcompete the rest of your field and bring in the customers you need to succeed?
Well, a tried and tested way to make your product or service more attractive is to minimize the risk to your customers. After all, people don’t like uncertainty and, to make potential clients choose you over the competition, you need to eliminate as many risk factors as possible.
For instance, imagine you’re in the market for a pony, and find two ponies of equal quality. One costs $500 and the other $750. However, the seller of the more expensive pony offers you a 30-day money-back guarantee to see if the horse gets along with you. He also offers you free hay and training in pony care, and to top it all off, if you do change your mind about the pony, he’ll come pick it up and clean out the stable, free of charge.
All of a sudden, the $250 difference doesn’t seem so big and the more expensive horse becomes the obvious choice.
So, to win over as many clients as possible, try offering them a better-than-risk-free guarantee or a BTRF. A BTRF is way more attractive than any standard guarantee you’ve seen because it doesn’t just promise the customer a total return of their money if they’re dissatisfied, it also offers to compensate them for the time and effort your product cost them.
Such a sweet deal makes it very difficult for anyone to say no. For example, say the pony you buy eats too much or keeps bucking off its rider; with a BTRF, you can get your money back, plus compensation for any inconvenience.