When times are good and you are flush with clients and excellent prospects, you don’t mind spending money on your marketing efforts. You can see results of your marketing. You don’t mind dedicating the components, and the funds, necessary to further the knowledge of your business in the minds of the public. These efforts seem appropriate since you can see results. You can see when your marketing brings in new business, and your income is growing.
However, what happens when your prospects seem to dry up, your clients stop doing business with you for whatever reason, and every prospect that you have hesitates, or declines, to close the deal? These become bad times, and so many businesses cannot justify the budget that they had when business was better. They cut their marketing budget to the bone and believe that their past efforts will result in new business.
How do new prospects hear about your business and what you offer to the public? Does the knowledge just fall from the sky? It doesn’t unless you put the knowledge out to the world; business doesn’t just create itself. You must make some effort to make others know about your business, what you have, and how to connect with you. The public has to know who you are, what you have for them, and how to get it. If they don’t, you don’t sell anything, and your business will cease to exist.
When times are bad, take a good look at what your marketing plan is. What has worked in the past, and what has not? Be honest and evaluate everything; decide to work smarter, not harder. Do not start to just work cheaper, but look at how and where you are spending money and how to get a greater impact for the same or less expenditure. If you keep doing what you have always done, why are you surprised that you keep getting what you have always got? Maybe you should reinvent your marketing plan.
What brought in the clients that you already have; what makes them happy and keeps them as clients? Ask them what caused them to do business with you. Thank them for their business and for their information. Then look at what you may be doing differently since you acquired their business. Maybe you need to go back to the way you performed before. Remember your continued marketing efforts are the way your current clients see you, and they tell everyone else. Why did some of your lost clients leave your side? You should ask every client that cancels why they are leaving and see if you can fix the problem.
Of course, some clients just don’t need your product or service anymore; some go out of business, some move, and some die. If you don’t know the reason, and you should, ask them. Contact them and ask, if you don’t know. Maybe that act itself will cause them to return, or maybe they will speak fondly of you to others. It takes 10 times as much to get a new client as it takes to keep one that you already have. You have already spent the money, time, and effort to get the client. Why not spend a smaller amount and keep them instead of spending 10 times as much to get a replacement. Your current clients are your unpaid advertising and sales representatives. That is, they are if they are happy clients.
Appreciation Marketing is about keeping your current clients and turning others into clients by showing gratitude to everyone for what their relationships mean to you. How is Appreciation Marketing working for you in good and bad times? Your comments are welcome here, or you can email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. We all can learn from each other and show that Appreciation Marketing works all the time, every time.