As marketers, we aim to expand our market and attract new clients and buyers, but this approach should only be a means to an end. The essential purpose of a business is to sell more of its products and services, not necessarily selling to new customers and clients. Grant it, many new sales are a result of new customers discovering our business. However—and this is especially true once a business is relatively established—an important portion of sales are made to existing customers: people that already like and trust your brand. For this reason, it’s important to spend a significant portion of a marketing budget on the customers you already have, as opposed to those you still hope to gain. This is what Brad Swezey argues in his article in Florida Today, “Don’t Ignore Existing Clients When Marketing.”
“The worst thing you can do as a business, in my opinion, is to ignore the people who already know and like what you are doing. The reality is, however, most businesses do exactly that. And it is costing them thousands of dollars,” states Swezey.
Swezey proposes rewarding existing customers, enabling them to use your business again. The consequence of doing this, Swezey argues, is that existing clients will do your marketing for you through—the original marketing tool—word of mouth. Given a gentle nudge, Swezey states, existing clients will mention you on social media and to their communities. This is especially true when their friends and family are looking for a service. Swezey reminds us that third-party credibility is going to have a more powerful impact than any advertising you can dream of.
“So, you are going to accomplish what you wanted, which is more customers or clients, without the hassle of dealing with too many new clients or customers who are not yet familiar with how you do business. You are going to get a greater return on your investment too,” says Swezey.
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Brad Swezey is the president of JustSmallBiz Marketing; a company that focuses on helping small businesses grow through methodical marketing planning and results-based marketing implementation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org