[fname], last week I talked about raising your prices as the easiest & fastest way to increase revenue, profits and grow your business.

Here are 3 other strategies you can use to increase sales & profits:  Specials, Referral Programs & Loyalty Programs

 

Let's talk 1st about Specials

I live in the city but travel a lot to the country. 

 

One small city I drive through often is Trafalgar, IN.  It's in the middle of nowhere and is literally a 1-stop light town at the intersection of 2 county roads. 

 

But recently a McDonalds went up (there was already a Burger King & Dairy Queen) along with a pizza shop.

 

Within 1 year the pizza shop when out of business while the McDonalds now has a constant line around drive through.  Why? 

 

One of the things they do is run Specials EVERY DAY and they communicate their specials by HANDING OUT FLYERS to EVERYONE who comes inside or through the drive thru.

Back in the city I know of ZERO McDonalds that hand out FLYERS to EVERYONE.  Why not?  They don't need to with natural traffic.  But when you're in the middle of nowhere you have to GIVE PEOPLE A REASON to keep coming back to you.  This business owner uses SPECIALS and guess what, it works (the pizza shop owner should have copied him).

Let's talk about Referral Programs.  Not just verbally asking people to refer people to you, I mean a PROGRAM that you can explain & show people that incentivises or rewards them when they refer to you.

 

Here's a $50 reward/incentive a local car dealer runs for car buyers who send them people that end up buying a car.

 

 

Here's a referral program from a mortgage broker.  The broker is willing to give his past customers a $25 Gift Certificate (that he buys for $20) if they send him someone who does a 1st mortgage or refinances with them.

The twist here is the broker is sending 3 pre-stamped postcards to his clients.

 

The mailing comes with a letter explaining if they would just address the postcards to 3 of their neighbors, family or friends and put them in the mail, he'll let them know if & when a referral comes in.

 

Also when someone calls he asks how they heard about him and he can get the referrer's name right from the postcard. 

 

And by pre-stamping the postcards he's inducing reciprocation since people will see the stamps and not want to waste them by not mailing the cards.

 

Professionals like ACCOUNTANTS or CPAs can even use this, especially around tax season. 

 

If you don't want to give money or gift certificates then host a drawing for some sort of physical prize.  Tell your clients if they refer someone who becomes a client, they get 3 tickets for the quarterly drawing for the flat-screen TV (iPod, Kindle, etc.).

 

The 3rd strategy is to create a LOYALTY Program so your customers, clients or patients come back MORE OFTEN and buy products or services from you.
 

In my city there's always competition for the pizza business.  We have a chain called Papa Murphy's that is what they call a take-n-bake pizza. 

 

You call and order it (or walk in) and they make the pizza for you but DON'T BAKE it.  You pick up the pizza, take it home and bake it yourself, all for $10-$15 a pie.

To help make sure their customers don't go down the street (to Little Caesars @ $5 a pie) Papa Murphy's developed a Take N Bake CLUB

 

They give you a business card that says if you get 12 of their pizzas and stamp the card each time, they will reward you with a Free Family Sized 1-Topping pizza.

 

Pardon the pun but if all this sounds a little 'cheesy' or beneath you or your profession, then you're not thinking like a marketer.

 

If you notice except for McDonalds, all these examples do NOT involve SALES or DISCOUNTS or giving away stuff for free.

 

They are PROGRAMS that reward your client or customer for a certain type of behavior, that of sending you more business OR coming back for more business.

 

The math on these has to work for you but for the customers or client, all they need is a REASON and ongoing REMINDERS and some of them will reciprocate.

 

The downside to these programs is that although they work, they do take time.  You have to promote them, talk about them, report on the winners and so on.  Like going to a gym for a workout, you can't just do it once and expect to be instantly more fit or healthy.  It takes time, repetition and consistency - like all things worth doing.

 

But once you start a properly structured PROGRAM you'll start to see the rewards.


Remember, good marketers borrow, great marketers steal! Jeff

Jeff Bell - The Marketing Doctor

Questions or Comments call 317-713-1244 & leave a message (I will not answer)

Sales & Marketing Results | PO Box 267 | Noblesville, IN 46061 | 317-713-1244