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I don’t know about you but I love to learn!

Because the more I learn…the more I earn.

You know what I find is truly scary?

I recently read an article in the Washington Post and one number I saw recently said that the average American invests less than fifty bucks PER YEAR on books.

And one in four don’t read any books at all. Those same people probably spend much more than that at Starbucks each and every month.

Is Starbucks more important than training your brain for success?

It’s sort of sad to see where people place their priorities. They think nothing of dropping $2,000 on a plasma television … but ask them to invest that in attending a seminar or a home study course and stand back for all the excuses.

Fortunately, I discovered that the more I learn the more I earn … and I invest in my education.

Creating success means developing an insatiable appetite to learn about all kinds of subjects – but the one area in business that can substantially increase your income is marketing.

I invest my time and money in books, home study materials, newsletters, audio programs and live seminars which usually runs around $15,000 a year.

With the information age upon us, never before have we all had access to so many experts and such powerful training materials as we do now…And those who are not looking for and investing in these tools are missing out on some incredible breakthroughs in their business.

However, I will save you some time and money today.

I have summarized some of the main points that I’ve discovered. The ones that you should all immediately start applying to your business. These are just a few of the tips I have learned from my mentors and other Marketing Masters like Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Clayton Makepeace, Jay Abraham and Ted Nicholas.

These are tips I gladly paid big dollars to learn (and use every day in my businesses) … and I want to share them with you.

From there it is completely up to you to make it happen!

Will you keep doing what you have always done?

Or will you make a change and profit beyond your wildest dreams?

It is entirely up to you. I want you to profit, but I can’t force you to want to make a profit. I can’t force you to implement these tips, I can however, guarantee that If you take action on just a few of these, you will experience some powerful results.

So let’s get to it…

Consider that there are only 3 ways you can grow your business. You can increase the number of clients, increase the average sale price, or increase the number of times they buy in a year.

Most people (90%) focus on increasing the number of clients – and it is the least effective and the least profitable. So what can you do to increase the other two areas?

Think about the lifetime value of your clients. Maybe your front-end sale is $40 but how many times will they buy in a month, a year, a lifetime?

Add the numbers up – what is one client worth to you in a lifetime? How much do you spend to obtain 1 new client? Do you see the difference here?

Most people spend under $10 to obtain one new client and yet the lifetime value of that client is $1,000. Do you see the problem? For every $10 you invest you receive $1,000. How many $10 bills will you now invest in client acquisition?

Pick up the phone. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and fire off e-mails, but in an ever-more-disconnected world, people appreciate personal touches. Call your best customers to thank them.

Check to make sure that they are getting the most out of their product or subscription, and take that opportunity to inform them about other products or services you offer.

Reactivate “dead” customers.

Contact past customers who previously paid for your product or service. The quickest way is to call them and say…”Hello, it’s Rob. I’m calling just to touch base and see how you’re doing, since it’s been a few months since we last spoke.” Ask them what’s going on with their business, home etc.

Don’t specifically ask them for their business but end the conversation – “Well it’s been good talking with you. Keep in touch, and if there’s anything I can ever help you with, don’t hesitate to give me a call.”

This lets them know you are interested in working with them, without putting the pressure on them to give you an order right then and there.

You can send a letter if you prefer. The point is to keep in touch and serve them better. You’ll be surprised how many past customers will give you some more work!

Reactivate “old” leads.

A study by Thomas Publishing reveals that most salespeople, regardless of the industry, give up too early; 80 percent of sales to businesses are made on the fifth sales call, but only 10 percent of salespeople call beyond three times!

The best way to reactivate these old sales leads is to mail them something, anything. Then call to ask whether they got your material, whether they have an immediate or future need, and what the status of that need is.

Create a REFERRAL system.

These are a tremendous source of additional sales. Write to all your existing clients offering them an incentive or special discount for introducing people to your business.

This will increase the number of referred clients. Better yet, offering the new, referred clients a special unavailable, no-other-time deal, will increase the response. You are giving a win-win situation to everyone involved.

An example is a photographer who gives the referred clients 10% off their photographs and gives the introducer a free 24 x 12 print of a photograph.

Another example is an accountant who gives 50% off the next year’s self-assessment fee to clients who introduce new clients to the practice; these new clients are then given an introductory fee for their first year.

Cross sell and Up sell!

Employ cross selling and up selling tactics to increase revenue from new and existing clients. It’s so easy to sell more to an existing customer, once they’ve taken that first step and said, “Yes.”

Profitability is more important than ever so make sure you’re taking every available opportunity to sell more services to your customers by offering them an incentive gift along with the cross sell and up sell offer.

Set up a monthly contact strategy

Make sure you’re contacting your prospects and customers at least once every month.

Develop and implement a contact strategy so you will gain “Top Of Mind Awareness” by being in regular contact with your clients and prospects. Now maybe a good time to start that newsletter you’ve been thinking about.

Putting in place a contact strategy like this is one of the most powerful and effective things you can do. If you don’t already do this – I urge you to do it now.

You won’t believe the results!

Create a customer loyalty program

Once you’ve started attracting customers, you’ll have to worry about retaining them. You must provide not only a high quality product, but also exceptional customer service.

When money’s tight, clients expect more for their dollar. If you want to keep their business, you must keep them happy. Refine your customer service strategy to insure that every step from taking the order to delivering the product is client-focused and effective.

You may want to conduct a customer satisfaction survey or two in order to make sure your customers’ needs are being met. Also consider making your service more valuable to clients with faster delivery times, wider selections, or more flexible payment terms.

Every customer contact is an opportunity to make a sale

Take a long hard look at every scrap of virtual or actual paper your customers get from you.  Every order form … every thank-you page or letter … every package insert … every renewal or customer retention letter … and every telephone conversation they have with your customer service people.

At the very least, every one of these contacts gives you a great opportunity to strengthen the bond with your customers.  And at the most, they may offer you the opportunity to introduce a complementary product in a way that makes customers feel special.

Every sale is an opportunity to make another sale.

You offered them a product they’re excited about.  Ordering was quick, easy, hassle free.  The order confirmation/thank you letter or e-mail answered every question about the delivery of the product and reminded them of your guarantee.  The product was delivered in far less time than the customer expected.  The product itself surpassed their wildest expectations.  And of course, you threw in an unadvertised freebie or two (or three) as icing on the cake.

You now have one very happy customer on your hands.  So wouldn’t this be a great time for a follow-up mailing to every customer who ordered this month?

Wouldn’t this be the ideal moment to send a customer satisfaction survey along with a discount coupon for a complementary product?

Being keenly aware of your customers’ state of mind at every part of the buying process and creating extra opportunities to order is a fantastic way to multiply sales and profits in short order.

It is completely up to you to take action & create momentum in the growth of your business but like I said earlier, implementing just a few of these techniques is guaranteed to produce powerful results!

Self-made entrepreneur, author, speaker and self-diagnosed “Marketing Junkie” Robert Vico helps small business stop being marketing and advertising victims and once and for stop spending money on worthless marketing. For a copy of our book, click here. If you’d like more information on how promotional products can help your business, call 305-888-7301.

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