My friend Michael Attias runs a catering-software business that helps restaurant owners generate a significantly higher profit margin in their business by selling catering. The other day he was explaining a new done-for-you online marketing service he was about to launch that would drive new catering business to the restaurant, but that many restaurateurs would consider “pricey.”
He argued (backed up with logic and reasonable business math) that while the first order may be break-even, they could easily make that back from the repeat purchases made over time — and therein lies the hair in the proverbial butter with his argument. MOST restaurateurs don’t track sales metrics like this and don’t have a CLUE what the average client is worth, how often they repeat purchase, what their referral activity is (or isn’t). Because of that, I predict he’s going to have a TOUGH time selling this service, even if he can logically demonstrate the long-term ROI.
But this goes for just about any business. Ask your average insurance agent how many of their clients have bought car insurance but haven’t bought life or homeowner’s insurance … or ask your average dentist how many patients they have who have come in for a checkup but haven’t bought a tooth-whitening service or product … or ask your average CPA how many clients have bought bookkeeping services but haven’t hired them to do their payroll, taxes, or estate planning. Ninety-nine percent of the time this will be answered with a blank stare.
Is this stupidity? Laziness? Lack of ambition? All of the above mixed into a big, giant ball of what-the-fudge? Got me. But whatever the reason, I can tell you that there’s very little thought or action given to figuring out how to further monetize every client they have. How about you? Is anything being done strategically in YOUR business? With CONSISTENCY?
The question is usually answered with a big, fat “no,” followed by a loooong list of excuses. (By the way, people who are really good at making excuses are rarely good at making money.) So here are a few simple ideas…
How to monetize clients strategically
First, get in the habit of doing quarterly business reviews or quarterly technology reviews. Even SMALL clients can benefit (and be further monetized) by a biannual meeting. A simple and quick search on the Technology Marketing Toolkit Dashboard for “Quarterly Business Reviews” will serve up a number of highly valuable resources to help you in getting this done right.
Second, track EACH of your clients’ purchases, as well as what they could buy from you but don’t. For our sponsors, I use a simple spreadsheet with columns. I could use Infusionsoft, but we’re essentially tracking under 100 active sponsors, so this is just as easy. I share this because some of you reading this will tell me you can’t possibly track all of this. Baloney. If you have a LOT of clients, then get a CRM like Infusionsoft (we now resell a custom version of it for our members) and start tracking.
Next, create an incentive plan to get customers who’ve bought A to buy B and C, and those who’ve bought B to buy A or C, or both, etc. I’m going to tell you, it will be a LOT less expensive and a LOT easier to systematically and methodically move clients to buy more from you than it will be to find and convert NEW clients.
Oh, and you can’t assume that because you “talked to your clients once” about a service, that they remember it, the value it offers, the benefits, and that you offer it. If you disagree, try this test: Walk into every client with $1,000 cash and offer to give it to them on the spot if, without cheating and going online, they can successfully name every single product or service you sell. You’ll keep the $1,000 for sure.
If you want to be successful at getting clients to buy other services you offer, you have to talk to them about those services FREQUENTLY. Nudge them in your newsletters. Bring it up in your quarterly meetings. E-mail and remind them. Often.
Robin Robins is the CEO and Founder of TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com, the largest sales and marketing consulting firm in the IT channel, specializing in sales-generating marketing campaigns for MSPs, VARs, and solution providers. To date, over 7,000 IT services firms have enrolled in one or more of her programs. Click here for more information and to request a free one-on-one marketing consultation and marketing roadmap for your IT services firm.