The Fortune Is In The Follow Up

 guerrilla marketing

Some kinds of marketing are very expensive. Other kinds are relatively inexpensive. This article is about marketing that is free or nearly free. Of the many kinds of free marketing, such as publicity or word-of-mouth, we'll concentrate here upon two types of free or nearly-free marketing:

  1. Enlarging the size of each transaction -- free
  2. Going after repeat sales -- nearly free

The first, enlarging the size of each transaction, costs you absolutely nothing. The customer has already decided to make a purchase from you. And all you've got to do is make it a larger purchase. You can do that by offering a deluxe version, by offering the item or service as part of a package, or by turning the single purchase into some kind of subscription. That means if a person hires you to wash their carpets, you say, "I can give you a very special price if you sign up for carpet washing every three months."

The cost to enlarge the transaction is zilch. Customers don't become offended when you make the offer. Instead, many of them appreciate it. A bookseller decided to put three books, all related, into a wicker gift basket. If a person was interested in one of them, the bookseller would point out the gift basket. Very often, the person would buy the whole package, tripling the size of the transaction. The cost of marketing the package was zero.

You can be certain that car dealers, such as Mercedes-Benz, provide a lot of upgrade training to their sales staffs. A person drives to a Mercedes showroom with the idea of buying the least expensive model. But that's probably not going to happen -- due to that upgrade training. Upgrading the size of a transaction is simple because the person has already decided to buy from you.

You job now is to come up with deluxe versions and package offers. Perhaps you can even link up with one of your fusion marketing partners -- and make a "commission" on each sale for which you're responsible. Again, that represents no cost to you.

Repeat sales is a method of nearly free marketing -- one with a payoff very disproportionate to your investment. Why do you suppose most businesses lose customers? Poor service? Nope. Poor quality? Nope. Well, then why? Apathy after the sale. Most businesses lose customers by ignoring them to death. A numbing 68% of all business lost in Australia is lost due to apathy after the sale.

Misguided business owners think that marketing is over once they've made the sale. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Marketing begins once you've made the sale.   It's of momentous importance to you and your company that you understand this. I'm sure you will by the time you've come to the end of this session.

First of all, understand how guerrillas view follow up. They make it part of their DNA because they know it now costs six times more to sell something to a new customer than to an existing customer. When a guerrilla makes a sale, the customer receives a follow-up thank-you note within 48 hours. When's the last time a business sent you a thank-you note within 48 hours? Maybe once? Maybe never? Probably never.

The guerrilla sends another note or perhaps makes a phone call 30 days after the sale. This contact is to see if everything is going all right with the purchase and if the customer has any questions. It is also to help solidify the relationship. The what? The relationship. Guerrillas know that the way to develop relationships, the key to survival in an increasingly entrepreneurial society, is through assiduous customer follow-up and prospect follow-up. And we haven't even talked yet about prospect follow-up.

Back to the customer. Guerrillas send their customers another note within 90 days, this time informing them of a new and related product or service. Possibly it's a new offering that the guerrilla business now provides. And maybe it's a product or service offered by one of the guerrilla's fusion marketing partners.

Guerrillas are very big on forging marketing alliances with businesses throughout the community -- and using the Internet, throughout the world. These tie-ins enable them to increase their marketing exposure while reducing their marketing costs, a noble goal.

After six months, the customer hears from the guerrilla again, this time with the preview announcement of an upcoming sale. Nine months after the sale, the guerrilla sends a note asking the customer for the names of three people who might benefit from being included on the guerrilla's mailing list. A simple form and postpaid envelope is provided. Because the guerrilla has been keeping in touch with the customer -- and because only three names are requested -- the customer often supplies the names.

After one year, the customer receives an anniversary card celebrating the one-year anniversary of the first sale. Perhaps a coupon for a discount is snuggled in the envelope.

Fifteen months after the sale, the customer receives a questionnaire, filled with questions designed to give the guerrilla insights into the customer. The questionnaire has a paragraph at the start that says, "We know your time is valuable, but the reason we're asking so many questions is because the more we know about you, the better service we can be to you." This makes sense. The customer completes and mails the questionnaire.

Perhaps after eighteen months, the customer receives an announcement of still more new products and services that tie in with the original purchase. And the beat goes on. The customer, rather than being a one-time buyer, becomes a repeat buyer, becomes the kind of person who refers others to the guerrilla's business. A bond is formed. The bond intensifies with time and follow-up.

Let me put this on numeric terms to burn it into your mind. Suppose you are not a guerrilla and do not understand follow-up. Let's say you earn a $200 profit every time you make a sale. Okay, a customer walks in, makes a purchase, pays, and leaves. You pocket $200 in profits and that one customer was worth $200 to you. Hey, $200 isn't all bad. But let's say you were a guerrilla.

That means you send the customer the thank-you note, the one-month note, the three-month note, the six-month note, the nine-month note, the anniversary card, the questionnaire, the constant alerting of new offerings. The customer, instead of making one purchase during the course of a year, makes three purchases. That same customer refers your business to four other people. Your bond is not merely for the length of the transaction but for as long as say, twenty years.

Because of your follow-up, that one customer is worth $400,000 to you. So that's your choice: $200 with no follow-up or $400,000 with follow-up. And the cost of follow-up is not high because you already have the name of the person.

The cost of prospect follow-up is also not high and for the same reason as with customers. Prospect follow-up is different from customer follow-up. For one thing, you can't send a thank-you note -- yet. But you can consistently follow up, never giving up and realizing that if you're second in line, you'll get the business when the business that's first in line messes up. And they will foul up. You know how? Of course you do. They'll fail to follow up enough.

  1. Make a list of three ways you can enlarge the size of each transaction.
  2. Make a list of five ways you can follow up with each customer.
  3. Make a list of three ways you can follow up with each prospect.
  4. Keep track for one month of the follow-up mail, postcards, telephone contacts and email follow ups that you receive from businesses that you patronize. Ask yourself which follow-ups motivate a purchase on your part.
  5. Think back about the purchases that you've made during the past year. Determine which ones were the result of the business enlarging the size of the transaction. Then, figure which of those methods that you might utilize.

If you'd like to speak to Bruce Doyle 'Global Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer' and the Team about 'Your' Marketing Apply for a Complimentary Strategy Call where we'll conduct a Marketing Audit for You.

 

About the Author

Bruce Doyle

Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer (personally mentor by Jay Conrad Levinson)

Global Business Coach of the Year Hawaii 2003, Author of 4 Business Books, Entrepreneur and Founder of UnlimitedBusiness.com

Bruce has worked with 1000's of Business Owners over the past 20 years plus he's owned and operated over 30 Businesses across a range of industries. His focus is teaching business owners how to dramatically GROW PROFITS and GET MORE FREEDOM IN THEIR LIVES. 

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