Increase your Repeat Business

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Cultivating repeat business is a smart move because you’re leveraging time and money that you’ve already spent. Here’s how you can do it for your business:

 

1. Find out what your customers want.

In many ways, you’ve already done this step. You’ve completed some thorough target market research, and continue to review your customer’s purchasing patterns. You also continuously test and measure your marketing copy so that you are sure to tap into their motivations. Don’t you?!

To go a step further, you need to find out what they need from and think about their experience with your business. You need to figure out what is important to them and what they may not care about.

Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Conduct a survey of your existing customers. Create a short customer service feedback survey, and ask all your customers to complete it. You can easily do this through online survey programs, or hand out cards. You may need to provide an incentive for customers to fill it out – like 10% off their next purchase, or a chance to win a prize. Keep the survey short – about 10 questions – and focus on asking a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions. I use survey monkey.
  2. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers. If it is appropriate, nurture a social relationship with your clients. Take them out to lunch or dinner, or a sports game. In these relaxed environments, you’ll be able to easily learn new things about your customer that will show you how you can go above and beyond their expectations.
  3. Go to trade shows and industry events that matter to your customers. This will give you insight into what your competition is doing, as well as what products or services your customers are interested in. Remember that if your customers are keenly interested in a topic – like the environment, for example – that is not directly related to your business, you may also benefit from attending.
  4. Keep on top of trends and anticipate needs. Keep on top of trends in your industry so you can stay up to speed and on par with the competition. Also, if you follow what your customers are doing – if, for example, they’re athletes or high-powered businessmen – you’ll be able to anticipate their needs.
  5. Always ask for suggestions and feedback. Provide an ongoing place where you customers can provide their feedback or suggestions in an anonymous form. Review these cards regularly, and make changes and improvements where possible.

2. Give your customers what they want.

Now that you have cultivated a greater understanding of what matters to your customer base, you can start giving it to them! Here are some general suggestions for ways you can enhance your customer’s experience.

Remember to take their feedback and incorporate it wherever possible. Don’t be afraid of getting creative – unique touches will make sure your business will be remembered and revisited.

Here are some guidelines for enhancing your customer service:

  • Everything you do should be customer-driven. The service the customer receives is exactly how they would like to be treated when buying your product or service. It is reflective of your target market, and appropriate to their lifestyle. Customers would probably not appreciate white linen tablecloths at a fast food restaurant, but they would appreciate a 2 minutes or less guarantee.
  • Make your customer’s life as easy as possible. Your customers are coming to you for a solution to their problem or need. They’re coming to you to make their lives easier, so go a step further than just providing the product or service they need. Make it nearly effortless for the customer to spend money at your place of business. Convenience can take many forms – location, product selection, value-added services like delivery – and it is also consistent.
  • Be consistent with your products and services. The standards you establish for customer service need to be maintained by every person in your organisation. Same goes for every product in your business. Expectations should be clear and followed through. When customers know what to expect (and are happy with the service), they will choose your business because they trust that you have their best interests in mind. They want their buying experience to be risk and surprise-free.

Easy really! – More on this next time…

How to Write an Effective Headline in 6 Steps!

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1. Identify who you are trying to target.

You need a clear understanding of who you’re writing for and what their motivators are before you can attempt to reach them.

If you are trying to target a more specific group within your target market, you can choose to segment your market into sub-markets by demographic or behaviouristic characteristics. For example, you might choose to focus on only men, or only women with children under five years of age.

The more specific you can be with your market, the easier time you will have identifying and reaching their emotional ‘hot buttons.’

2. Identify what you are trying to communicate.

Once you know who you’re speaking to, clearly define what message you need to communicate to them. Be specific, and even write it down in plain language before you start drafting your headlines.

To clearly articulate your message, ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you have a solution to their problem?
  • Do you offer a new product or service that they need?
  • Can you provide the information they’re looking for?
  • Do you have a better option for them?

3. Identify the motivators or “hot buttons” that will elicit an emotional response from your audience.

Take the list you drafted above, and highlight or write down the words that will pique your target market’s interest, or trigger their ‘hot buttons’.

If you’re selling vacuum cleaners to young mothers, you’re going to want to identify words that would appeal to her desire to keep her home germ free for toddlers, and make her cleaning efforts easier and less time consuming.

When you’re writing for sales and marketing, always try to paint a picture for your audience. Carefully select descriptive words they will relate to and resonate with, and strong power words.

For example, phrases like “challenging outdoor experiences” would appeal to physically fit readers, but not those who don’t like to exercise.

4. Choose a type of headline that will work best based on the emotional motivators you have identified.

Direct Headlines clearly and simply state the offer or message, without any attempt at humour or cleverness. Pure Silk Scarves – 40% This Weekend Only | Brand New Security System Just $99 Per Month

Indirect Headlines are subtle, and often use curiosity to pique a reader’s interest before providing an explanation in the body copy. Clever puns, figures of speech and double meanings are often used. 

News Headlines mimic a headline you would read in the newspaper and are a great option for a new product announcement or industry scoop. These work best when you actually have news, and can stay focused on benefits, not features. 

Question Headlines ask the reader something they can closely relate to or would need to continue reading to discover the answer. Questions are easy to read, and can immediately tap into your reader’s emotions.

‘How to’ Headlines indicate that the rest of the copy or the offer itself will describe a step-by-step process of interest or use to the reader. These two words create headlines that work wonders. How to find a job in a recession | How to start a profitable internet business from scratch.

Command Headlines are similar to direct headlines, but always start with a strong verb or command for action. It usually focuses on the most important benefit you offer your reader. Triple your energy in just three days | Stop wasting money when you travel.

‘Reasons Why’ or ‘Ways to’ Headlines precede lists of tips, suggestions, product benefits or even mistakes of interest to your target audience. Keep the list to a reasonable length or you’ll run the risk of losing your reader. Eight ways to save money around the house 

Testimonial Headlines use other people’s opinions and expertise to persuade a reader to keep reading and begin to build trust. Quotation marks are used to indicate that the words are a testimonial, not the words of your business, and they can increase readership by almost 30%. 

5. Draft at least ten different headlines and pick your best three to test and measure.

Use the number of words you need to get your point across, without writing a paragraph. Remember that your headline needs to do one thing: get the reader to keep reading.

Don’t be afraid to draft pages of headlines or sift through the pages of a thesaurus before you get yours just right. Sometimes you’re only a word or two away from transforming a boring headline into a really effective one. Some examples:

Example Headline Templates

  • How to become the smartest _____ in _____
  • How to end ______
  • How I improved my _____
  • How to develop _____
  • Seven ways to add to your _____ without cleaning out your bank account
  • How to begin _____
  • 12 innovations in _____ design
  • How to enjoy _____
  • Introducing the four key rules for _____
  • How I _____
  • Six things to check when buying a new _____

6. Always test and measure the effectiveness of your headlines. Try two at a time and compare which generates the best results.

As always, you will need to test and measure the strength of your headlines. Try to test at least two “hot buttons” in different media to determine where your target audience’s reaction is the strongest.

You can leverage off of the information gathered from testing and measuring your powerful offer as well. For example, if the offer geared to safety and security concerns was a roaring success, headlines that tap into those motivators will also be successful.

You can apply these headline writing techniques to all your marketing materials.

5 Ways to be a Confident Networker

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Groucho Marx once said ‘I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member’!

So my first tip is:

1) Value yourself and your time. Its easy to go to every lunch and breakfast meeting advertised and achieve very little. Work out the cost of your time on an hourly rate and use this when prioritising and planning your strategy for marketing, networking etc. Believe that you have something fantastic to offer to the right people or business.

If belief in your product, company or yourself is 8/10 or less, what would make it a 10/10?

2) ‘Me Ltd’

I do a whole workshop on this one. It isn’t about the branding of your company, I leave that to the experts, but about how you portray yourself to the world via social media and face to face. It needs to be consistent, authentic and have integrity. What makes you different? What is your USP? Make sure your target market knows who you are, what you do and how you do it. And if you can’t describe your target market, then that’s the first thing you need to do!

3) Get Confident

In my workshop ‘Confidently Smart Network’ I show you how to use Neuro Linguistic Programming to feel confident working the room and how to put together a brilliant elevator pitch to make you feel confident when standing up to speak or for first introductions My top tip here is to go to any networking event with the mindset that you are there to help others connect with each other and to build relationships. Think outwards rather than inwards. You will make far better relationships with this attitude than trying to get people to help you.

4) Make a list

Go back over old ground on this too. Who are your past clients and what could you offer them now? Friends, family, neighbours, school gates, hobbies – who do they know that fits your target market? Get introduced or go for coffee. Also think of companies that have the same target market as you. Consider joint ventures or being able to use their database with a special offer etc.

5) Blow Your Own Trumpet

Use testimonials in everything you do. Website, brochures, presentations, social media. Use LinkedIn to get recommendations. And change your ‘features’ to ‘benefits’ in all communications. Its not the F Word but the B Word!

6) An extra Tip

Come on my workshop or ask for in-house session at your company! Previously delivered by yours truly for Business Link, this is my most popular and highly praised workshop which I am delivering to East of England and via Suffolk Chamber soon.

And get more hints and tips about this and your marketing strategy here