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Marketing Your Products
 
Don't Overlook Your Most Profitable Source Of Business
November, 2006
 

by Bob Leduc

A new business owner called me this morning with a question I hear often. She asked, "What can I do to build my business faster? I'm making a small profit but can't seem to generate enough sales to make the real money in this business."

As Karen answered some of my questions it became clear she had done a good job of targeting a niche market. She also provides a compelling reason for prospects to do business with her instead of with her competition. She was obviously effective at attracting customers because she already had over 100 of them. In fact, she was so busy chasing down new customers she completely overlooked her existing customers as a source of additional business.

HIGHLY PROFITABLE AND EASY TO GET

Your existing customers and clients already know and trust you. They experienced proof of your ability to help them solve problems when they bought from you the first time. It's easier for you to get more business from them than to get business from new prospects. It's also more profitable than business from new prospects because you get it without any advertising expense.

Some businesses have natural repeat sales built into their operation. Most MLM companies sell consumable products that periodically need to be replaced. A website hosting service collects a new fee at regular intervals to keep your site up. These replacement needs automatically generate repeat business. But how can you generate additional business from customers when it's not automatically built into your product or service?

HOW TO TURN A ONE-TIME SALE INTO REPEAT BUSINESS

To capture additional business from your existing customers you have to find or create additional products or services and offer them to your customers. You can do this even if your business automatically generates re-sales. These new products must be related to what your customers originally bought.

Start by asking yourself what else you can offer your customers and clients to improve their lives in the same area as their original purchase? One type of product every business can use for repeat sales is instructional material. It can be a book, videotape, audiotape, software or any combinations of them. One pet store owner I know regularly sends her customers special postcard offers for some of the books and videotapes she stocks in her store. She sells a lot of books and tapes this way. It also generates a lot of profitable referrals from her customers.

AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

Affiliate programs are becoming popular among small businesses marketing on the internet. The affiliate program handles all aspects of the transaction and pays you a commission. All you have to do is announce the product or service to your customers and include your endorsement of the program. This can produce a significant number of sales if the product or service is closely related to what your customers already bought from you. The commissions you earn will be almost 100% profit.

You must continuously find new customers to grow any business. The cost of finding those new customers is a big expense. Maximize your return on this expense by getting all the business you can from your customers. Invest the time to create or locate other products or services you can offer to your customers. You'll be amazed at how much it increases your business volume and profit margin.


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