As I’m writing this post and listening to Beethoven on YouTube (all nine symphonies in one video!), and appreciating the spring weather, I got to thinking.
In this way, the temperature is a lot like money. Most of us aren’t happy with extremes, but we’d all like to be comfortable.
Let’s face it, if given the opportunity, most of us would choose to earn a little more money—or maybe a lot more.
Sometimes, though, we feel like we’ve hit a wall, or that increased income is out of our hands. As a business owner or manager, what can you do to bump up your revenue stream a bit?
You may have more options than you think.
1. Ask current customers to buy more.
You might scoff and roll your eyes because this solution seems so obvious. While it requires some finesse, asking for more sales from existing customers is one of the most economical ways to increase revenue. It takes a lot of resources to sign on new customers, so leveraging existing relationships can save time and money.
This approach is infinitely customizable, depending on your company and industry. It also helps you leverage customer loyalty—which requires you to be a company that your clients believe in.
You might recommend add-ons or upgrades to items that your customers have already purchased, perhaps with a discount. Let them know about new products or services you offer. Encourage them to increase the frequency of their purchases. Provide incentives for renewing contracts early.
“Get customers to buy more” is a fairly obvious strategy, but one that calls for creative brainstorming.
2. Never stop learning.
Even if you experience great success from Step 1, don’t get complacent. Keep studying your current and potential clients and stay up-to-date on market research.
Existing customers are a valuable resource that can teach your sales and marketing teams a lot, if you just ask. Study customer data for patterns and preferences. Conduct brief surveys and interviews to find out what your existing customers like about your company and products, as well as what else they are looking for.
You might even contact failed leads and ask them why they decided not to become a customer. Learn how you might prevent these failures and missed opportunities in the future. Go a step further and study your competitors in the same way.
3. Use email marketing.
Our lives are saturated with content: emails, TV ads, magazines, text messages, junk mail, radio. It’s difficult to cut through all the different messages that your customers encounter every day.
Email marketing may seem like adding your noise to the ongoing chaos, but it can pay off. The trick is to make it work by providing valuable, no-BS content that gets to the point.
Use email marketing at appropriate times: when you have something new to offer, during a promotion, when past customers haven’t made a purchase in a while, or when a reorder is due. Experiment with your email content and style and test different calls-to-action to find what is most effective. Personalize as much as possible.
4. Practice reciprocity.
When someone does something nice for a person, that person often feels obligated to return the favor. This is known as the “law of reciprocity,” and psychologists and sociologists say it is deeply rooted in the human psyche.
You can apply this law to your business in many ways. Maintain a blog that shares consistently helpful and entertaining content, hold giveaways, and use appropriate lead magnets. Build goodwill by donating to a charity, sponsoring a community event, or volunteering at a local organization.
Giving stuff away can seem counterintuitive, but it has benefits. Giving away ideas, products, and profits can help you increase your leads, customer loyalty, and revenue.
5. Use subscriptions or retainers.
Take a page out of Netflix’s book (or Spotify’s, or Blue Apron’s, or Dollar Shave Club’s, or Amazon Prime’s, or any newspaper or magazine’s…) and use a paid subscription model. Service providers and individuals may also offer retainers.
This type of approach is best for products or services that you have customers purchasing regularly. It helps secure future sales, generating revenue before most of your expenses. Whether you’re an individual freelancer or a multi-level company, implementing a subscription or retainer service can also help you define a specific scope of work, and add charges for any work beyond those limits.
This can be used for a wide variety of businesses, including software providers, dentists, salons and spas, auto mechanics, lab products, and medical device companies. Get creative!
What tactics have you found most profitable for your organization?
Need help with marketing content or sales copy to help implement some of these ideas?
Leave a comment or an email and let me know!