Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How I Doubled Sales Twice -- And You Can, Too

Do you own a business?

Want more revenue?

This is for you ...

Back in the 1990s, I doubled revenue twice in four years -- to a comfortable six figures -- for a resume service I operated amid fierce, price-cutting competition.

The methods that worked then still work today. They can get you more clients tomorrow.

Here's what I did: followed up, kept clients happy, and generated referrals.

1. Follow up
Using CRM software (Goldmine), I followed up by email and phone at least three times with every qualified prospect. And I used it to mail all clients at least once a year with news and/or promotions.

If I were doing it today, I would use as my CRM. And I would mail clients every month. Not email -- snail mail. Prospects would get a monthly newsletter by mail, too.

2. Keep clients happy
My strategy was simple: I tried to over-communicate. That solved most problems when they were tiny flickers of dissatisfaction, before they grew into bonfires of anger.

Examples: I told clients what to expect at every stage of the process, then told them exactly why I did what I did for them, to resell them on the thought that choosing me was a good idea. Also, I sent them an extensive "user guide" to help them actually use what I created for them.

All of which worked very, very well.

3. Generate referrals
I used 10+ different referral methods, but the easiest to explain here is my formalized referral system.

Here's what I told clients:
For every new client you send my way, I'll discount their order $20 (as a gift from you), pay you $20 cash, or send you a $20 Amazon gift certificate. I settled on these 3 choices after much input from clients.
Any client who referred two or more people was upgraded to Best Client status in my CRM. These clients got more mailings, more phone calls, and all-around "rock star" treatment. They responded by referring even more new clients. Virtuous circle.

What do all three have in common?

None of them requires you to spend another penny on advertising.

You can grow your business from the inside -- heck, double it -- by converting more prospects (by following up diligently), retaining existing clients (by keeping them happy), and "cloning" those clients (by generating referrals).

Try any or all of these in your business. Grow your business from the inside. Repeat as needed.

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