Painting Your Business Bigger Picture
It’s Not About Making the Sale, It’s About Gaining a New Customer…
Too many businesses make the mistake of focusing on the cost of winning a single sale instead of looking at marketing as a long-term investment. For sustained business growth, it is best to emphasize relationship building – to turn your attention to the long-term potential profit that comes from repeat business.
How to Build Long-Term Customers
Long-term customer relationships are built on experiences, not on one-time sales or short-lived promotions. While a great promotion will bring someone in the door, an enthusiastic greeting and a warm, inviting atmosphere develops an emotional and physical connection. To build on this connection, construct detailed customer files so that you and your employees can be sure to ask about important events in your client’s lives. Understand the root of the reason they are seeking your service or product and use that information to make them feel nurtured.
If you are struggling to focus on the softer aspects of growing your business, it may help to think back to your motivation for starting in the first place. Most entrepreneurs started out with the expressed ambition of ministering to a specific community by providing an exceptional product or service. Re-focusing on serving your community is a great way to balance the strain created by handling the daily, sometimes less rewarding, aspects of running the business.
Why Should You Build Long-Term Customer Relationships
Building lifetime customers significantly increases margins and allows you to stay ahead of your competition. A greater initial investment is often answered with substantial returns when the each customer is approached from the aspect of building a relationship and not just acquiring a commodity. Long-term clients often become ambassadors for your business – people naturally want to share when they have found something great!
Many chiropractic offices excel in this area. There is a significant investment to meet the initial needs of a new client – the office will often provide a free consultation and layout a detailed treatment plan. When the client feels that the provider has exceeded their expectations and believes that the treatment plan will meet their needs, the decision to commit to several weeks or months of visits is much easier to make.
So the chiropractor can now afford to spend more money than the first visit might produce because their new client will be coming in regularly for the next few months. (It’s similar to the idea of a loss leader, if you know what that is.)
Part of building a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers is to reach out to them on a regular basis to thank them for their business by sending them cards, smaples, free gifts, or valuable coupons/deals. In addition to building reciprocity, continuing marketing efforts keeps your business at the forefront of their mind.
Building long-term customers is a valuable aspect of every business’ marketing plan; one that appreciably optimizes your marketing dollars.