Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families

What’s more important than getting new customers?

Almost every business is hungry for new leads and new customers.

After all, that’s how you grow, isn’t it?

Just remember, the biggest expense for most businesses is getting new customers. It’s becoming more and more difficult and expensive, and it’s becoming harder to recoup the cost of getting a new customer with what you earn on the first sale.

The hardest (and most expensive) sale you will ever make is the first one.

Your biggest mistake might be not giving enough attention to the customers that you already have. Most businesses underestimate the capacity of their customers to consume.

Hopefully your customers will have good experiences after buying from you the first time, building trust. If your products or services deliver the transformation and solve the problem your customers were seeking to solve, they will probably want more. Remind them. Make “bounce back” offers when you deliver their order.

Instead of developing something totally new, how about offering a “new and updated” model of what they already bought? Isn’t that what auto manufacturers do? Doesn’t Proctor and Gamble offer a “new Tide” almost every month? How about offering a “premium” model, offering additional features or additional information?

If they bought a book, how about offering an “audible” and or video version? How can you translate the “different version” idea to your product or service?

You might not be able to develop enough offerings fast enough. How about offering someone else’s product or service as an affiliate and sharing fees or part of the sales price?

Also remember, instead of going to the “unwashed masses” with your promotional efforts, ask your existing customers for referrals. Referrals are the most cost-effective and the most responsive new customers, because people tend to associate with people like themselves. Your customers might do this (and hopefully already are) just because they like you and are thrilled with your products and services. You can also offer incentives and contests for referrals. For those who are uncomfortable with a personal reward, you can make a donation to a charity on their behalf.

Another source of customers who aren’t “unwashed masses” is your list of inactive customers. They tend to be more responsive than those who don’t know you. Consider contacting them with a “we miss you” communication and an attractive offer.

Think about many once-familiar names that have gone out of business. Sears. Montgomery Ward. Woolworth’s. Borders. Pier One Imports. Toys R Us. Blockbuster.

Being “big” doesn’t guarantee survival. It’s more important to be profitable and have strong cash flow.

Focusing on existing and inactive customers is a path to long-term profitability.

Would you like my help developing campaigns for your existing and inactive customers? Please contact me at to schedule an initial consultation at no cost or obligation.

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Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families