COMMENT:

I had coffee a few months ago with one of my favourite real estate sales professionals Paul Vujnovich.

Paul owns Harveys Real Estate Te Atatu and his business is consisently one of the most successful real estate firms in the country.

Paul told me that a key reason for the success of his business is his Clients for Life Marketing Strategy.

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I love the idea of having a Clients for Life Marketing Strategy and I recommend it for most businesses.

The first step in creating a clients for life marketing strategy is to work out the lifetime value of any new customer for your business.

"Lifetime Value" is the total amount of money that a customer will spend with you or your organisation over the time frame they continue to spend money on your products or services.

Here are two examples of Customer Lifetime Value:

1. I have worked with a number of real estate sales professionals. They tell me the average person buys a new home about every 6 years. So over a 20 year period they could buy around three or more homes. If the average real estate commission is say $10,000 it means the lifetime value of a customer for a real estate person could easily be $30,000 or more over 20 years.

2. I spoke with an accountant who told me their average client spends $2,000 a year on accounting fees and stays with them at least ten years. So the customer lifetime value of each of their accounting clients is around $20,000.

Important Point:

A delighted client or customer will often refer a number of the people they know to a business they really like. (And if you add in the value of these referral the lifetime value of a customer can often be worth a lot more.)

When I chatted with Paul he explained that you also must have a mind-set of wanting to create clients for life.

This means that when you go through the sales process just ask yourself: "will this action that I'm about to take create a client for life?"

And if it won't create a client for life, don't do it.

A common mistake in business (and I have made it many times myself ) is we forget about the long term value of a delighted client.

I had a good example of this around eleven years ago when we sold our current home and bought a brand new home.

At that time I had not met Paul Vujnovich so we used someone else.

The real estate salesperson we used handled both the sale of our old home and the purchase of the brand new home and did a good job.

The total real estate fees on both transactions was close to $50,000. And the salesperson we used would have received a good share of this amount.

This salesperson gave us a bottle of wine a month after we moved in and over the last eleven years has never made contact in any way. No phone call, no note, no messages nothing. (He basically disappeared from our life.)

Remember the saying "Out of sight out of mind?"

That's exactly what happened.

In the last eleven years we have purchased and sold other properties and come across a number of friends and colleagues who needed a good real estate person to help sell their home or buy a new one.

However we never recommended or mentioned the real estate sales person we had used because they never stayed in touch.

If this person had added value and stayed in touch even a little bit they could easily have earned another $50,000 or more in easy real estate fees from the sales and referrals we could have given them over the last eleven years.

(In case you were wondering that same salesperson is still working today in real estate. And is still losing a fortune in easy referral and repeat sales through not staying in touch with past clients like me.)

My main message today is the concept of having a "Clients for Life" marketing strategy in your business.

In other words you do things that will turn normal customers into delighted raving fans for life.

"One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising." - Jim Rohn

Action Exercise:

A useful starting point is to ask you and the people in your organisation the question "What can we do in our business that would create clients for life?"

And then put into action some of the ideas you come up with.

- Graham McGregor is The Added Value Marketing Expert™. Register at his website www.addedvaluemarketing.com and Graham will give you a free copy of his brand new free guide 'Easy Sales with Added Value Marketing'. (This guide contains ten time tested strategies that any business can use right now to create easy sales and delighted clients and is with Graham's compliments.)