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Marketing to Existing Customers

All too often, small business owners ignore marketing strategies to build revenues from their existing customers. Any business that has successfully served clients for a period of time should explore methods to keep known customers coming back to buy again, buy more and buy more often.

It's a well-know marketing fact that strategies designed to reach existing customers are far less expensive than strategies to attract new customers. Why? You're preaching to the converted. Existing customers are already familiar with your business through prior experience, and - hopefully - trust your products or services. New or 'non' customers have no such experience with you, and therefore it requires more energy and money to attract them.

Here are some easy strategies to help build revenues from your existing customers:

1. Help your customer to buy more. Considered a 'volume' strategy, it is always easier to encourage a customer to spend a little more at the time of purchase. Use suggestive selling to offer an additional product or service that complements their purchase, for a nominal price. McDonald's famous expression, "Would you like fries with that burger?" helps that company to increase the sales value of each customer transaction.

2. Help your customer to buy more often. 'Frequency' strategies keep customers coming back to buy from your business again and again. For example, Mr. Lube reminds you to change your automobile's oil and filter every 5000 kilometers, by placing a simple sticker on your windshield. Coffee shops offer "coffee cards" with your 12th cup free.

3. Show your customer appreciation. It's just common sense - treat your customers like you prefer to be treated. Let your customers know how much you appreciate their business, again and again. 'Loyalty' programs can include some kind of tangible gift, offer, event or service, or a simple call or note to say "thank you for your business."

The value of just one customer over the lifetime of your business can be enormous. By developing and following simple strategies to keep and delight your existing customers, you will reduce your overall marketing costs over time.

Roger is co-owner of BizLaunch, a company focuses on helping entrepreneurs start and grow their own small business. Passionate about helping entrepreneurs, Roger has worked with thousands of people through his informative seminars, columns and TV appearances. Find out more about Roger at www.bizlaunch.ca or by linking from the Last Minute Training website.

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