Small businesses generally have a limited understanding and acceptance of the difference between “customer acquisition” and “selling to existing customers”. They often think all sales are the same or should be. So you either have a no, low, mid or high profit sale. Every sale is measured on an individual, day-to-day basis with little forward thinking and “bigger picture” strategy.
It’s a myopic approach that keeps a lot of businesses small – which is good for the businesses who get beyond it.
It’s also bad for the businesses who say, “we’ve never done it that way before and we’re not changing”. Remember that…
- Nothing stays the same.
- Evolution is constant.
- You either swim or sink.
- Floating without a life raft is not a solution.
- You don’t get points for being stubborn in everything you do – especially in your business.
There’s no one answer that fits all businesses, but when a business – of any size – separates customer acquisition campaign(s) from their regular sales campaign(s), they get more control and predictability over their business.
What business serious about their success doesn’t crave more control and predictability in their operations and financials?
The bulk of your sales and profitability should result from your customer list AFTER the initial sale that gets them on your list.
You need to work out what sequence of products and services is a natural flow for your customers.
You also want to know what your best customers buy or need, before what you sell and after what you sell.
Then you need to create campaigns that get more of your offers in front of more of your customers.
Measure the results as you go.
Tweak to improve, test everything.
If you run out of things of your own to sell to your customers, partner with other businesses. Just figure it out because there are businesses truly thriving at any given time -no matter the economy or pandemic because they did.
Whoa you say! Just figure it out?!? It may not be that easy.
First, stop thinking everything you do to gain an edge, to be more successful is going to be easy. We never said it would be.
Who told you that – your last marketing or business development person?
Second, don’t make things more difficult than they need to be. Just because you have to do something you haven’t done before or you’re not yet great at, doesn’t mean you can’t pull it off.
It may mean you need to sharpen your critical thinking skills for a start. That’s because if you don’t think as much or more about how to grow your business than you do in how to run your business, your focus is not where it needs to be.
Your marketing can and should go beyond just what we’ve covered in this post, but the point is to get started doing better. Doing things maybe differently than you have in the past.
And if you can’t figure this out, get someone who can help you. For many businesses it’s the difference between prospering, just surviving, or closing the doors for good.