Apr 292024
 

As we move forward into the new millennium, the marketing of our product or service becomes more and more essential. On an average day, your customer is being hit with a deluge of communications. Most of these communications do not ARRIVE at your customer, as he doesn’t have the ability or the desire to assimilate the sheer volume. A consumer can now, in a fraction of a second and with the click of a mouse or remote control, move from one communication to another.

So how do we increase the chance of reaching new prospects? Well, let’s step back for a second and look at a quote from by L. Ron Hubbard:

“The whole story of marketing is told in just a few words:

“ONE FINDS OR STRENGTHENS OR CREATES A DEMAND.”

We see that this gives us three areas to consider.

Finding a demand. Strengthening a demand. Creating a demand.

Finding a demand conveys the idea that the demand is there somewhere, we just need to locate it. A tried and true way of finding a demand is to ASK YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS. They know what you deliver. They know its value. Ask them to refer friends or family to you. Better yet, give them a reason to refer people to you.

Whenever a current customer of yours provides you with a new customer, give them back something of value. What should that value consist of? The first answer that comes to mind of course is “money”, but that is not the only valuable commodity to your customer and it may not be an appropriate exchange. If you deliver a service, perhaps a portion of that service delivered at no cost. Perhaps movie tickets or dinner for two at a nice restaurant nearby.

Motivating your current customers to help you “find a demand” can be extremely productive for your business. There are four keys to this kind of thing:

1) Find out what IS valuable to your customers. What WILL motivate them to bring you new customers? The simplest way to determine this is to ASK them. Survey a nice handful of your current customers to determine what would really motivate them to refer new business to you. In this type of survey, you may want to list out four or five suggested items and see which item comes up the most popular.

2) Ensure that the item to be exchanged does not “break the bank”. If you sell a high ticket item or service, then you can certainly afford to be more extravagant. Just make sure you’ve got that balance of “valuable to your customer” and “cost-effective to you”.

3) Let ALL of your customers know that you are implementing an exchange program. Get the word out on every possible line. Send out letters, include a mention of it in every phone call, have fliers to hand out to people at the cash register.

4) Deliver the exchange on time. Don’t be tardy when your customer’s due his reward. If you set it up that the referral must become a paid customer (and not just an interested prospect), then the moment the referred customer makes payment, deliver the exchange with the customer who created the referral. This kind of speedy exchange can motivate even more referrals.

There are other ways to “find a demand”. The people who purchase your product or service, where do they shop? What magazines do they read? What radio stations do they listen to? What internet sites do they visit? Which online and offline newsletters do they subscribe to?

You could put together a written survey to find out all kinds of things about your current client base. Ask them to fill out this survey while they are in your store or place of business. Or send out 100 or so by mail. You could give them a free item or a 10% discount for filling out the survey.

Every question you get answered will give you a clue where to look to find more “demand”. If a vast majority of your customers listen to a particular radio station, consider advertising on that station. If you find your customers like a particular newsletter, see if that newsletter will take an ad from you. What if your customers patronize a handful of stores more than others? Contact that store and offer to do “cross marketing” with them. You’ll have their fliers on hand at your cash register if they’ll do the same with you. Or you’ll mail out one of their fliers along with your monthly billing if they’ll do the same with your flier.

Marketing can sometimes be a daunting subject. When you break it down into finding, strengthening and creating a demand, the subject becomes much more understandable. And easier to apply.

In our next newsletter, we’ll discuss “strengthening a demand”. Stay tuned!

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