If I asked you what you knew, really knew, about your clients what would you be able to tell me?

Could you describe them in detail? Know exactly what they’d bought and when? How old they are, where they live, what their education level is, whether they’re predominately blue or white collar- the list goes on.

Chances are, you couldn’t. And many of you are likely asking, “Why would I bother, anyway?”

The short answer is, “Knowledge is power”.

The more you know about your prospects and clients, what they like, dislike, what they’ve bought, how muchtop4percent they spend and how often, the better you can target them with new personalised offers they could respond to.

Couple of recent examples come to mind.

Anyone who shops at Woolworths would be familiar with their Everyday Rewards Card.

Every time you swipe your card at the checkout, their systems record EXACTLY what you purchased. As the cards are registered, they already know where you live, your gender, your supermarket spending habits, know how often (and where) you buy petrol (as you want their discount).

Given all this information, it’s possible to send targeted offers. For example, if you buy pet food regularly, you’re likely to have pets. They’ll know if it’s dog, cat or birdseed and can then offer you related products. If you predominately buy red wine, they could send you other suggestions to try.

Or if you buy baby milk formula, they could offer you specials on other baby products etc.

Interestingly, I haven’t yet received any special offers from Woolworths – but they certainly have the ability to do so.

Our mobile phone provider, Crazy John’s recently sent me an offer to upgrade our phones and change our contracts without an early termination penalty.

Vodafone is losing customers to the opposition (and having just subsumed Crazy John’s into the parent company) is obviously trying to lock us in for another couple of years.

Knowing our contracts expire in a couple of months, they’re trying to get in early with an enticement (read bribe) to stay.

Strand Bags is a local retailer we’ve bought travel luggage from. A couple of days ago, they sent this to Barbara via email.

“Hi Barbara Sauter

As a valued Loyalty Member who has purchased luggage with Strandbags, we would like to present our lateststrandbag range in light weight travel cases. As part of this launch we extend to you an exclusive 50% off offer…”

They know what we’ve bought before, have put a time limit on the special (creates urgency) and can track whether we take them up on the offer or not through the custom barcode. Smart!

And my final example (although I could go on and on), is Spec Savers – a local optometrist franchisee.

Barbara has used them for years and regularly gets special offers with vouchers for lenses, new glasses etc. Yes they do a great job, but reminding your clients never hurts and keeps her going back.

Now these examples are all product based sales, so what if you’re a service based business?

Frankly, nothing’s different.

If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper specialising in business compliance, you know your clients’ financial position. This opens up other possibilities – maybe recommending a self-managed super scheme, investment opportunities (maybe referring them to a specialist), and even marketing and sales advice (by referring them to us! *smile*)

Or a wedding photographer who regularly keeps in touch and invites clients back for a family portrait when the kids come along and then more as they grow up?

How about the hairdresser who knows the visit cycle of every client and sends reminders to book if they haven’t done so themselves? And the reminder could extend a special offer – some extra service thrown in rather than a discount?

Take Barbara’s hairdresser, Darren for example. She’s been going there for 12 years and spent around $10,800 over that time. With a couple of referrals she’s sent him, he’s made $21,600 due to one client and her referrals alone!

And yes, Darren sends birthday vouchers and other gifts to keep people coming back. Not that he needs to in Barbara’s case – but it’s appreciated anyway. Your clients love to know you care about them.

Of course, you’d need to have a system to capture all this data and then the wherewithal to use it. The great news is you don’t have to be a Woolworths or Vodafone to be able to afford a system to do this.

There are some extremely sophisticated and affordable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Data Capture systems readily available for use with small to medium businesses. Having done extensive research into the market I recommend only two.

These systems capture every aspect of a sale from where the initial enquiry came from, every interaction be it via your website or a live salesperson, how they progressed down the road to becoming a client, to what theyCRM Heart bought and when.

Data that you can easily analyse to figure out who your top clients are, what they buy and what else you could possibly recommend and sell.

And of course a good marketing and sales CRM goes much further.

We configure your CRM system to automate as much as your marketing and sales process as possible, while measuring every step your prospect takes to see where conversion could be improved.

We measure which lead sources bring in the best clients, individual choke points (where clients abandon the process); even down to EXACTLY what they do on your website. We can test different ads, offers, price points and even sales copy in real time, all aimed at increasing conversion from prospect to a sale.

Nothing is left to guess work. Knowledge is power.

Now, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of putting a system like this together and managing it, don’t be.

You’re an expert at your business – delivering whatever it is you do.

Setting up an effective CRM, marketing, testing and sales conversion is a specialised area, and best left to us.

We live and breathe this stuff, know what works, what tools are in the market, and how to put it all together to get you more sales.

If you’d like more information on our automated lead acquisition and sales conversion programs, with our underlying technology which holds it altogether, contact us on (02) 9499-7958 or reply to this email.

Rashid & Barbara.

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