Growing your business is a constant challenge. Prospecting and finding new customers is as critical as the work that you do. It raises the obvious question, who should you be marketing to, and where can you get the best return?
A natural inclination would be to think the biggest audience for your marketing, such as the general public, would provide the biggest return. Larger numbers mean a larger return, right? But that would be wrong, or at least a bit misguided.
An old marketing axiom states: “Existing clients make the best prospects”.1
A marketing guru expands, “Odds are existing customers already trust you and if they have been satisfied so far with your services they can more easily be converted into return customers”.2
Marketing to the general public in advertising, mass mailings, and even social media campaigns, means sending a message to strangers; people who have no experience with using your service. Without the familiarity and trust that current customers have the barrier to getting new work from them is higher; more difficult to overcome than with a customer with whom you have built a reputation.
So, how do you market to current customers? Here are a few basic steps. Start by identifying your A-list clients. Problem customers are not who you want as return customers.
Existing customers may not be aware of other services you offer. Use sales follow up, mailings, any correspondence you are currently using.
A recent project we did for our client, Marc Dutton Irrigation, illustrates how this worked for them.
Every spring Marc Dutton Irrigation sends out a contract letter to past and current customers providing them with a schedule for signing up to have their irrigation systems turned on. This year, we added to the letter an offer and explanation of their landscape lighting service. This is a service their irrigation system customers were not aware of. The response was good. By adding it to a letter that Marc Dutton Irrigation was already going to send out, the landscape lighting offer to customers did not cost them anything.
- Set up a referral program
Offer something to a current customer who refers someone to you that signs up. Satisfied current customers are your best ambassadors.
- Use the power of testimonials
What you say about your company speaks well of you, but what customers say about you speaks loudest. Add testimonials to your website, use them in mailings.
If you need help with targeting current customers, give me a call for a free consultation.