Are you looking for ideas to bring in more revenue? Well here's a simple, easy, cheap idea for you. Call your old clients.
Several years ago I wrote about the very clever Iain and Andy that own the Me Salons.
Among other clever initiatives described in the article, they had a weekly system called Raising The Dead.
They brought back 40 per cent of their non-returning customers with doing nothing more than a telephone call and saying "Hi, Debbie. We haven't seen you for six months. What can we do to bring you back to us". Not only did this bump up their revenue (and don't forget to think about the long term value of a customer) it also highlighted problem areas from the feedback. Issues they weren't aware of.
You might be thinking, Debbie, we do a newsletter. Well we do an online newsletter too. Calling isn't easy Debbie. You try picking up the phone and calling clients you haven't spoken with in years. And anyway, they run a salon, and their business, clientele is much different from mine.
You're right. It is incredibly hard!
Well, Two weeks ago I listened to a taped teleseminar session "Power Selling" that reminded me about calling past customers (this is from another article last month Up skill During the Holidays).
I got it from a website Speakernet News, and it was an interview with Steve Waterhouse, from the Waterhouse Group.
What Steve said to do works!!! We've been using it at the office since listening, and it's so simple you wonder why you didn't pick up the phone before.
He believes every business can double their business and never add another client. So here are a few opening lines and don't be afraid to call - no matter how far back it goes.
"I am so sorry that I lost touch with you. I just wanted to call and say how are you? I was looking through my database and I was so surprised to see your name and I remembered working with you. What has changed since we last worked together? What is going on? What is new? How are you? What else? Why? What do you want to accomplish? What are your struggles? Then listen. Do not pitch for business, listen. This call is to rekindle the relationship.
So if this shoe fits for you for bringing in more business, try it. We are. I've broken it into small pieces, 3-5 calls a day so it doesn't feel overwhelming. Yes, there have been a few awkward conversations, but so far my calls have been 95 per cent positive and will bring in at least two new pieces of business -and we've really only just started.
I'd love to hear back if you have any good conversation starters with previous clients or prospects.By Debbie Mayo-Smith Email Debbie