David was an ambitious and proud man who was desperate to be very rich. To this end he traveled the globe, spending years away from home searching for a diamond mine. He was sure 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. The moral of the story … stop focusing your efforts searching for new clients and new marketing activities. Look more closely at the opportunities that are sitting in your own backyard. Who are the Diamonds In Your Backyard?
When you are developing strategies to increase sales don’t think first about new clients, or new markets, or new products. Think about the Diamonds In Your Backyard; for example, your current and past clients. They are the ones, after all, who know and love you and buy your products. And, what’s more, it costs ten times more to land a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer. You have already invested your time and energy to build this relationship.
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 communication. Be it a newsletter, a Blog, an occasional article. Fact is, 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. What ever you do … Stay in touch and nurture these valuable diamonds.
Provide free value to those who have already bought. 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. I’ve been a customer for over 20 years. I was really ticked off. Take a lesson from this. Provide free value for your customers on an ongoing basis. Hold free half day seminars. Thank them for there business and encourage them to buy again and more.
Educate. Do not assume your customers know all about your products. They only know what they bought last. Educate them in all of your services 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.
Here is a classic real life example of Diamonds In Your Backyard. The Four Seasons, the premier hotel chain in the world, decided it was time to diversify. They decided a complimentary market to their hotel business was Time Share properties. Their first venture was in California and as befitting a global organization noted for its top quality service and higher prices their Time Shares were top of the line and priced above the market norm.
Sales were slow to say the least. Then someone had a brainwave. Out in the world there were literally thousands of people who were clients of the Four Seasons hotels. People who loved the hotels and the personal service they always received. The Time Share marketing campaign shifted gears to target their own clients and sales boomed. They had recognized the power of focusing on their clients; their Diamonds in their Backyard.
Dig down deep. Ask yourself who are the diamonds in my backyard? I guarantee you will find lots of business opportunities right in your own back yard.
Remember, when you do find your diamonds, look after them really well. You don’t want any one else coming along and taking them away from you.