Graham McGregor 's Opinion

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: A costly (yet easy to fix) marketing problem

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

I talk to a number of different businesses every month and 83 per cent of them have a costly marketing problem.

Let me explain by asking you three questions:

Question 1: Which group of people is it easier to make sales to?
A: People who remember you positively?
B: People who don't remember you positively?

Question 2: Which group of people are more likely to provide regular referrals?
A: People who remember you positively?
B: People who don't remember you positively?

The answer to both questions is very obvious.

People who remember you positively are easier to sell to and they are also more likely to give you regular referrals.

Now let me ask you the last question: What is your 'system' to get people to positively remember your business?

By 'people' I mean:
1: Existing clients and customers who have spent money
2: Key centres of influence that can regularly refer new clients
3: Potential prospects who know you but haven't yet bought

The answer from 83 per cent of the businesses I talk to is this...

They don't have a system to get people to positively remember them.

And because of that, many businesses are throwing away a fortune in repeat and referral sales every month.

Let me give you a simple example so you can see how costly this problem is.

About a year ago I had a problem with my lounge furniture.

I had two lounge suites that were looking tired and old. I thought that they would probably need to be replaced. However a friend referred a business that cleaned lounge suites.

They explained that their tired and old looking lounge suites came up looking brand new after using this firm.

That sounded pretty good so I used their services myself. Well the results were amazing. My tired looking lounge suites suddenly looked fresh and brand new again. And I didn't have to spend a lot more money buying new furniture.

I was a very happy customer.

The problem is I never heard back from this cleaning business. (They did a nice job, got paid and basically disappeared.)

So for the last 12 months I've forgotten about them. In this time I could easily have given them a number of good referrals.

Let's say my referrals could have produced $500 of new sales in a year for this business and let's say that 50 other customers could have done the same thing.

That's $25,000 of easy sales this cleaning business didn't get. Ouch!!

I'm embarrassed to say I've forgotten the name of this firm as well. I could probably find it if I searched my records. But if you asked me who they are I couldn't tell you quickly.

The big problem is I don't remember this business regularly.

A lot of businesses have the same problem. They do a good job and their customers like them. But their customers don't remember the business regularly. So the business loses a fortune in repeat and referral sales.

So how do you solve this problem?

I have a simple solution for Herald readers.

Send me an email using the email link at the start or end of this column.
In your email tell me three things...
1: What type of business you have and who do you sell to?
2: What does a typical customer spend with you?
3: What were your total sales for 2013?

In return I'll email you a helpful guide called 'The lost sales marketing solution.'

This guide covers helpful strategies on...
1: How to get people to positively remember your business
2: How to get easy sales
3: How to get regular referrals

If that's of interest just contact me and I'll email you this guide. (With my compliments.)

In the meantime, think about the importance of being positively remembered regularly by your customers and clients.

'Profit in business comes from repeat customers; customers that boast about your product and service, and that bring friends with them' - W. Edwards Deming

Action Exercise:
What can you do this week to get people positively remembering your business?

Graham McGregor is a consultant specialising in memorable marketing. You can download his 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage' Ebook at no charge from www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com

Graham McGregor

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

Read more by Graham McGregor

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