Here is a list of nine ways you can tap into your client base to increase your cash flow. It’s important to note that you must make sure that you always sell to your clients by creating real value and honor your relationship with them.
1. Upsell: An upsell is a richer, upgraded offering with which you move a percentage of your clients to purchase. For example, imagine a payroll company that normally offers to just take over the proper processing of employee paychecks. This company could offer its clients a complete outsourced personnel services package. Even if only 10 percent of the company’s clients upgraded to this full-service offer it might double the business cash flow. What can you upgrade your clients, or a subsection of your clients, to something that would better serve their real needs at a healthy profit?
2. Cross sell: When a client buys from you what else do they need that your business could sell to them? For example, a home furnishing business just sold a client new tile for her master bathroom. A cross sell would be for that business to offer the purchaser grout, tools, or other bathroom fixtures at the time of purchase. What else can you offer your clients at the time they buy from you?
3. Refer out: What other types of products and services do your clients need that you don’t provide? You can refer out on a fee-for- referral basis, on a profit split, or simply within an informal reciprocal relationship where a small network of businesses help each other generate business and serve clients.
4. Referrals: When you give great value to your clients ask them for referrals to other people they know who would benefit from your products or services. For example, at a typical Maui Millionaires workshop roughly half the people in the room originally became clients from referrals. Not only is the cost for a referral incredibly low, but you’ve got immediate trust transferred from the referring client over to this prospective client. This means that you’ll have a much higher conversion rate of referred prospective clients who end up buying from you.
5. People who said no: How much money did your business spend on its average lead? Yet how many businesses never market to a prospective client once they say no. Instead, ask yourself what else could you offer them to get them to say yes? Could you turn these types of leads over to a special sales team in your company that you authorize to make an irresistible “gateway offer” (see below)?
Or perhaps you could team up on these leads with another business, or even a competitor, on a joint-venture basis? Or maybe you can just keep them coming back to your business knowing that over time enough of them will eventually buy (proven out because you’ve tracked this via your client base).
6. Stale leads: Every business has a large number of leads that responded once to inquire about a product or service (either via phone, mail, Web, in person, etc.), but then just faded into the background. How could you contact these stale leads and entice them to become clients? Perhaps you could write a letter apologizing for letting their valuable needs slip between the cracks and offering them a special gift when they contact your office. Or maybe you could have your sales team create a special script and sales process to work just with these types of leads (see selling systems below). The key is that you’ve spent a lot of money and energy to get these people to raise their hands once, how can you capitalize on that now?
7. Empower your clients: How can you make it easier for your clients to get increased value from you in a way that decreases your costs? Can you get your clients to support each other? Can you set up self-service options for your clients online so they can find the answers they want without waiting in line? For example, our Maui Mastermind™ Online clients help each other. Sure they get answers from David and other Maui Advisors, but much of the value they get comes directly from the vibrant community we’ve collectively created where people help each other.
8. Content and product ideas: Get your clients to share with you their problems and pains, their ideas and desires. Let them beta test new products or services at a reduced fee or even free. Their feedback and buzz will more than pay back your investment. Also, every business needs cutting-edge clients. For us, our Maui Mastermind clients keep us on the leading edge. We have to scramble pretty fast to serve their needs and often work together to test our new business ideas or investing models. The winning ideas then work their way down to our other Maui Millionaires clients through our books, online courses, and live workshops. Your cutting-edge clients can be demanding, but they are worth their weight in gold. No business can hope to stay fresh and sharp unless it has a group of cutting-edge clients.
9. Testimonials: When you combine great value with simple systems for reliably asking your clients to share how your product or service benefited them you get irresistible stories. And stories sell. How can you get compelling stories of the results your clients gained from investing in your products or services? And how can you share these stories in ways that compel your other clients or prospective clients to do more business with you?
David Finkel is the best-selling author of over 40 books and courses, including The Maui Millionaires for Business. He is a successful business owner who has bought, built, and sold several multimillion companies over the past 10 years. To learn more about his tools for business owners, visit him on the Web at www.MauiMillionaires.com.