There are two classic essays about lost opportunity that remain as true today as they ever were. One is “Acres of Diamonds”, written as a speech by Russell Conwell, http://highered411.com/Readings/ACRES%20OF%20DIAMONDS.pdf , the other is “Greener Pastures”, by Earl Nightingale.
The link above will take you to “Acres of Diamonds.” Let me summarize Nightingales “Greener Pastures” for you. Nightingale makes the point that, when you are standing in your own backyard and looking off into the distance, every other yard or pasture seems to be a flawless green carpet. When you look at your own yard, you see the holes, the brown spots, the weeds, the torn turf. Of course, the point of the essay is that, if you could be transported to that far off patch of green, and look down on it from a height of 6 feet, you would see the flaws in it as well. It is only distance that makes it look better than yours.
In the same way, many business owners will spend thousands of dollars on Yellow Page ads, display ads in newspapers, and in flyers that cost hundreds to distribute every week. They are hoping to attract a few new customers. What they are ignoring are their own past clients. Folks who have already qualified themselves by spending money in the owners business. Marketing gurus like Jay Abraham and Dan Kennedy have made millions of dollars by going into existing businesses and convincing the owners to ignore the distant “greener pastures” and to focus on their own back yard “acres of diamonds.”
I have accumulated a lot of marketing material in the last 10 years while I have been learning this skill set. Here are some of the best ways to mine your own past customers for additional revenue…generally by offering them additional value.
- Make them more frequent offers
- Find a way to reward frequent purchasers
- Provide a reward or discount for higher volume purchases
- Organize a VIP club for your customers that comes with special privileges or discounts
- Communicate with them regularly through email (or direct mail if the purchase point is high enough)
- Identify your best customers and treat them better
- Create continuity programs (you’ll be needing this every two months…why don’t we just sign you up, bill you monthly and we will throw in free delivery)
- Regularly survey your customers to see if there are related products or services they would like you to arrange for them
- Create special offers for them by doing joint ventures with other local businesses or services