David was a very ambitious and proud man and was desperate to be very rich. To this end he traveled the globe, spending years away from home searching for a diamond mine. He knew that once he owned a diamond mine his dream of riches would come true.
Unfortunately David ended his days neither rich nor happy. After he died the local condominium developer bought David’s property and started to dig the foundation. And what did she find? She found that for all these years David was sitting right on top of a very large, very rich diamond mine. This story illustrates a powerful marketing model; Diamonds In Your Backyard.
When you are developing strategies to increase sales to fuel business growth don’t think first about new clients, or new markets, or new products. Think about the diamonds in your backyard; namely your present and past clients. They are the ones, after all, who know you, love you and buy your products. After all it costs ten times more to land a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer.
Here are some proven strategies to nurture the diamonds in your backyard:
Keep in regular contact. It is an old adage but true, “out of sight, out of mind”. One way to stay in front of past clients is through a regular newsletter. However, face to face contact is still the most effective. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Contact customers who haven’t bought for awhile and find out why. Meet for lunch, coffee or martini for a more informal chat. Stay in touch and nurture these valuable diamonds.
Provide free value. Recently, a major bank launched an incentive program to get new clients. They offered a really cool gift to every new customer who opened an account with them. No free value for existing clients; nothing for those loyal customers who had been with the bank for many years. Take a lesson from this. Provide free value for your customers on an ongoing basis. Hold free half day seminars. Thank them!
Educate. Do not assume your customers know all about your products. Educate them in all of your products and make sure they are brought up to date on all new products. They can only buy from you what they know you have. Look at what your top five customers are not buying and talk to them about these products. This will give you a valid reason to get in touch with them (regular contact!) and potentially increase sales. Remember, you are not doing your customers a favour by not telling them about products that could benefit them.
Dig down deep and you will find lots of business opportunities right in your own back yard. When you find your diamonds look after them really well so that no one else comes along and steals them!