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Seek Out Your Most Profitable Customers

Latin Proverb. "If the wind will not serve, take to the oars." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

Ideally you want profitable customers pounding down your door, demanding your products and services to the point you can't delivery anymore. Customers so loyal that they ignore small mistakes and work with you on bigger ones. Imagine how much revenue you could generate if you had even a handful of customers like this.

Of course, you actually do-- these customers represent your most profitable customers to whom you have built a relationship with over time. These customers will accept you as you are, but most often don't represent a large enough segment of your customer base to sustain your business.

So when these customers aren't knocking on your door, you need to find them. This profitable customers won't always be buying, often you'll also need to seek out customers like them outside your current base. Here are a number of ideas for seeking out new high-value profitable customers:

  1. Ask existing customers for qualified referrals. Use specific questions to identify profitable customers inside your customers sphere of influence. These questions are developed by your sales qualification funnel and are designed to help your customers identify people they know who will most likely become buyers.
  2. Harvest your strategic partners customer base. Swap mailing lists with your strategic partners, do co-op mailings, or joint promotions that leverage the credibility of partner relationships. This could include endorsements or even product bundles depending on what you offer the customer.
  3. Visit the places suspect for customers who fit your profitable criteria. The key is to reach those who are likely to have the same characteristics of your profitable customers but have never heard of you. Unless you have a 100% market share, there are some customers that haven't heard of you yet. Use trade publications, educational events, and work the trade shows.
  4. Add more selling channels based on past experience in other industries. Computer hardware had success with distributors and resellers who integrated components, would the same work for your manufacturing equipment. Borrow ideas from other industries to introduce more ways to sell your product to end-users.
  5. Bundle commonly used services even if you aren't the primary provider. Add value to what you do by inviting service partners to integrate your product or enhance your services. Focus on those things that significantly improve the customers return on investment. Give the customer choices based on their individual desires.
  6. Use qualification tools to get more customers to raise there hand. Turn your website and marketing materials into qualification tools that get prospects to tell you what they want. Improve the quality of your market research and reach out to as many prospects as possible with lower cost marketing tools.

/ cultivate-topten | profitable-customers /

By Justin Hitt at August 26, 2003 4:07 AM  Subscribe in a reader


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