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It’s not rocket science!

Here are four articles to help you with your DIY marketing learning curve.

Would you prefer to spend 4 hrs or 5 mins increasing sales?

Four winning questions to ask happy customers.

Four ways to salvage an unhappy customer.

How testimonials can be your best marketing tools.

1… Would you prefer to spend 4 hrs or 5 mins increasing sales?

Is all your energy focussed on attracting new customers?

Consider the downtime involved in sourcing every new client. How long does it take to:

  • research a new client
  • decide the best product/service to meet their needs
  • prepare a marketing proposal
  • schedule an introductory meeting
  • follow up telephone calls

Is that 3, 4 or 5 hours of your time? Now compare it to a 5 minute telephone call building a better relationship with an existing customer.

It is more cost effective to build upon the loyalty factor. Pick up the phone, dial a past client and ask for genuine feedback on their experience.

Pick up the phone and dial a past client every day:
.   personal attention is always a winner
.   satisfied clients mean repeat business
.   happy clients look forward to doing more business with you
.   regular clients refer you more business

Instead of sourcing new clients, look no further than your existing client base!

2… Four winning questions to ask happy customers

Don’t you love talking to clients who are happy with your service! When their responses are positive then capitalize on it!

Four winning questions to ask:

(1)   “What more can I do for you?” and really listen to the response

(2)   “Can I use your testimonial on my brochure/website?”

(3)   “Would you refer your friends/colleagues with similar needs?”

(4)   “Can I post you offers/brochures/business cards for your own use and to pass on to others?”

Two ways to value add:

  • After listening to your client’s response to “What more can I do for you?” respond with “I’ve been thinking about what you said” and explain a complimentary product/service you believe would suit their needs (either your product/service or another business you trust to refer)
  • offer to save your client time, set up an arrangement where you preempt their future ordering/servicing needs

The most important of all:

  • thank them for their business, say it is important to you and that you don’t take it for granted.

Pick up the phone and dial a past client every day

  • Personal attention is always a winner
  • Satisfied clients mean repeat business
  • Happy clients look forward to doing more business with you
  • Regular clients refer you more business

Instead of sourcing new clients, look no further than your existing client base!

3… Four ways to salvage an unhappy customer 

If the response is negative then learn from it!

You took my advice from Four Winning Questions To Ask Happy Customers, picked up the phone and dialled a past client only to be told your client was dissatisfied. 

Don’t despair – this is the cheapest market research you will ever get so capitalize upon it! 

There is always a chance to fix it and turn the unhappy client into a repeat customer.

Don’t get embarrassed or defensive.  Firstly apologise and mean it, then see it from your client’s point of view and if it is a genuine complaint, agree that is how you would have felt under the same circumstances.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. Bill Gates

Ways to turn it around:

  • Ask “How could I have done it better?” or “How could I have improved?”
  • Listen and learn from the feedback – you have the opportunity to create a better product/service without the cost of researching your market!
  • If appropriate, ask if you can fix the misunderstanding. With thought you can convert an unhappy client into an impressed one at this point.
  • Thank them for taking the time to share their views, say how important this is for your business and you hope to do business with them again.

The winning converter:

  • If you do action the feedback, ring the client when you are ready to trial the enhanced product/service.
  • Say you appreciated their feedback, acted upon it and want them to be the first to trial it at no cost/reduced cost.

Pick up the phone and dial a past client every day:

  • Personal attention is always a winner
  • Satisfied clients mean repeat business
  • Happy clients look forward to doing more business with you
  • Regular clients refer you more business

Instead of sourcing new clients, look no further than your existing client base!

4… How testimonials can be your best marketing tools 

Actively source testimonials and promote them on your website, work samples, social media sites, brochures, proposals, flyers etc.  

Make sure you ask permission to use them and always publish the client’s full name and business name or full name and suburb.  Initials alone and a suburb look fabricated.

Don’t be shy, ask customers for testimonials.  Most people who are happy with the product or service you have provided are usually glad to do so for you.

A great way to promote your services is to publish testimonials from a variety of clients to cover a range of your offerings.  

For example, if you have a graphics/printing/signage/storage business, collect different testimonials such as:

  • A client stating they had no idea how to present a product and you designed everything for them, how grateful they were and how many comments they received on the striking brochure.
  • A client with clever signage on their car saying how often they get stopped or contacted for appointments because people notice the effective sign writing.
  • A client who has used you for printing for years, is always happy with the print quality and values the fact that you print in volume, warehouse for them because they don’t have the space to do so themselves.

Publishing testimonials from 3 raving fans like this will do more for your product than you just expressing that you are a print, graphic and signage specialist.  People reading your testimonials will also learn of other services you provide they may not have been aware of, and this reinforces your skill set.

If you think the word testimonial might scare people off, then ask customers “for their story” instead.

When customers email you with praise, copy what they wrote, add a title and their name and ask them if you can use the following statement in advertising material and on your website.

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