It never ceases to amaze me when I hear a businessperson completely undermine their existing customer base and insist on spending their time and money exclusively to search for new ones. This is a common mistake made by many, leaving a hard earned relationship underutilized and money on the table.
Think, for a second, if right at this moment you had a database of everyone you ever came into meaningful contact with. Every business card you collected at a chamber of commerce event, everyone who you did business with, everyone who said they liked what you do…would that be a large list?
A better question: do you currently have that list?
Continuing on that train of thought: do you think it would be easier to sell something to someone on that list, or a complete stranger?
Loyalty programs are nothing new. We sign up for them all the time; at the grocery store, gas station, golf course, you name it. There is value in getting a consumer to carry around an affiliation with your organization. It is designed to engender trust, respect, and exactly as the moniker suggests…loyalty. There’s an implied understanding that a consumer will frequent one of their loyalty destinations, before going with someone else. A very powerful relationship for any marketing professional.
Yes, we must continue to fill our businesses with new patrons, giving us a renewed revenue source as some of our clients inevitably go away. However, consider where this new base of clients should come from. A billboard? A radio ad? What about one of your “loyal” clients asking one of THEIR friends to give your business a try?
Invest in your existing clients, show them you appreciate their business, and they will take good care of you. Consumers have choices, and a little loyalty goes a long way.