By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
- Increase profits by raising your rates, lowering your costs, or both. Most of my clients insist that they cannot raise their rates, yet I don’t know of anyone to date who has done this and lost all their clients. In EVERY case, they add an instant increase to their bottom line and barely hear a grumble from their clients. If anything, it acts as price-shopper pest control for their business and helps them avoid wasting time with price-sensitive clients. How do you do it? Have the guts to – there aren’t any secrets here and it is that simple and straightforward.
- Increase the number of times a client spends money with you. I’m always amazed by the number of businesses I frequent that never make an effort to increase the number of times I visit their store or make a purchase. Probably one of the BEST in this area is Victoria’s Secret, who constantly send me coupons for freebies and discounts, and who send catalogues to me at least every other day. Yet there are companies I’ve spent hundreds of thousands with that have never bothered to send me as much as a lousy postcard (like my financial advisor, BMW, etc.) This is why I harp on my clients about doing a monthly newsletter (or at least a monthly mailer) to cross-promote the other products and services they sell. I’m often amazed at the number of computer consultants who have been in business for 5, 10, 15 years or MORE and who have NEVER followed up, called, or mailed old clients who have stopped calling or stopped buying. Clients will not spend more money unless you ask them to. I don’t know of anyone who’s ever had a client call them on the phone and say, “Gee, Harry, I have this big pile of money sitting here that I don’t know what to do with…you wouldn’t happen to have anything you could sell me, would you?” If you want them to spend more, you have to give them more reasons to.
- Implement a subscription-based service to increase frequency of purchase. In this industry, we call it “managed services.” In the business world, it’s known as “continuity income.” Lingo aside, it’s simply getting a client to agree to a contract where you are permitted to charge their card or invoice them for an agreed upon set of goods and/or services on a regularly scheduled basis. This is not a new concept. If you look at the lawn care, cleaning, pest control, accounting, or payroll services industries (to name a scant few), you’ll see they sell their services on a continuity basis.
- Increase the average transaction size. One way to do this is by up-selling or bundling services together to increase the average invoice or purchase amount. I’ve gone through purchasing two custom built homes and housing developers are masters at it. By the time you’re done buying the house, you’ve spent an additional $100,000 or more on upgrades. Another way of increasing your average transaction size is to focus your marketing efforts exclusively on selling a high-dollar product/service or high-dollar accounts. This would require target marketing that speaks only to those types of accounts and appeals exclusively to them. Most generic “we fix computers” type marketing won’t cut it because you’ll look like everyone else.
- Improve all or one of the “conversion percentages” in your marketing equation. The first percentage would be the number of people who respond to your marketing campaigns. That is, of course, provided that you actually do some type of marketing. After all, you cannot multiply zeros. Another percentage would be the conversion of leads to sales, or your closing percentages. Most computer consultants swear they are great at closing sales once they get in front of a prospect; they simply struggle to generate the leads in the first place. Truth is, the reason they are great is because they are only getting in front of the lowest hanging fruit. When they start doing true lead generation, the number will go down – BUT, you should always look to improve your percentage, whatever it is.
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