Bar none, the most important asset in your Southern Oregon business is your client and customer list. This is even true if you are in a “capital-intensive” business with significant material assets. In fact, I’d be very interested to hear someone make a strong case that it isn’t true in EVERY business.
I’ll paraphrase Andrew Carnegie who famously said (my paraphrase): “If you take away all of my wealth, my products, my inventory, my equipment, my staff, in fact, virtually all assets and resources — but leave me my customer lists, I will have everything else back, in short order.”
He’s 100% correct. And, in the past, I have urged you to take the steps to ensure you are on top of this list for your business.
Letting you behind the curtain a little, it’s why I take the effort to send you these strategy notes on a regular basis. YOU are the lifeblood of our business here at Legacy CPA, and I want to do everything in our power to treat you with the utmost care.
In fact, within this line of thinking is a simple way to break down how you go about growing YOUR business.
And there’s one particular population that you might be neglecting.
Here’s what I mean…
The Three Kinds of Customers For Southern Oregon Businesses
“Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.” – Ann Landers
There are really only three kinds of customers (or clients, depending on what you do).
And when you think of things in this way, it can be a clarifying exercise, especially when you consider marketing budgets moving into 2020. I suggest you allocate budget towards EACH of these groups…
1) Existing Customers/Clients
This seems obvious, but frankly it can be one of the most under-utilized — and yet most profitable — groups of customers or clients to pursue.
2) “Lost” Customers/Clients
More about these in a minute.
3) Targeted Prospects (i.e. New Customers/Clients)
This is the “sexy” segment … but in my opinion, established business owners spend far too much energy and resources going after this group.
I’d like to posit a thought to you: most of your “lost” clients didn’t leave because you did something wrong.
Have you thought of that before?
Even as an experienced Southern Oregon business owner, it’s easy to take things personally, and to believe that when you lose a customer or client, you really messed something up.
Actually, many impartial surveys and data would indicate the opposite is true: it’s normally something happening in THEIR life or business that caused a change — not what your business did or didn’t do.
So going back to your list of “lost” clients or customers with a simple appeal for their business, to “give you another shot”, is actually a powerful strategy for recapturing business. Simply asking for them to return could get you a response, and that’s especially true if you do so in a way that might actually entice them.
Everybody loves being wanted.
But most small businesses make the mistake of either 1) not even trying to go back after former clients or customers, or 2) simply “keeping them on the list” for regular correspondence.
Actually what’s most effective is when you acknowledge that the client or customer hasn’t done business with you recently — and that you’d like to incentivize them to give you a shot again. It acknowledges that there is a relationship in play, and that the customer or client isn’t just a number to you.
Try it in the next few weeks … see what happens, and send me a note of thanks when you get some of them back. 🙂
I’m grateful for our chance to serve you and your business — and we are dedicated to its success, in every measure.
Feel free to forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.