Today I have created my blog and this is really an important day for me. Hence forth you shall be getting creative stuff from me which I hope touches, moves and inspires you.
Today I am sharing a story which plays an important role in my life and I am sure it shall add some value to your life also.
David was a very ambitious and proud man, who was desperate to be very rich. To this end, he traveled the globe, spending years away from home searching for a diamond mine. He knew that once he owned a diamond mine his dream of riches would come true. Unfortunately, David ended his days neither rich nor happy. After he died, the local condominium developer bought David’s property and started to dig the foundation. And what did he find? He found that for all these years David was sitting right on top of a very large, very rich diamond mine. I tell this story to remind us to look first in our own back yards for the glittering opportunities. We all carry within us hidden diamonds, waiting to be discovered. Whenever we start a new project, its launch or marketing, there is so much hidden treasure already available and we can always use it constructively, learning from the mistakes of the others.
The Diamonds in My Own Back Yard story is a powerful model to use when developing strategic growth plans. Seldom do we look in our own backyard for the answers to our growth needs. For example, before planning new products, take a close look at your existing product line for growth opportunities.
Always apply the Diamonds model when you are developing strategies to increase sales to fuel business growth. In other words, do not first think about new clients, new markets, or new products. Think about the diamonds in your backyard; namely your present and past clients. They are the ones, after all, who know you, love you, and buy your products. Moreover, if that is not a good enough reason remember it costs ten times more to land a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer.
Here are some proven strategies to nurture the diamonds in your back yard:
Keep in regular contact. It is an old adage but true, “out of sight, out of mind”. You must keep in touch on a regular basis with your present and past clients and prospects. One way to do this is through a regular newsletter. With the advent of Internet tools for creating and distributing very professional-looking electronic newsletters, it has never been easier to keep in touch. But, make sure your message has value.
However, face-to-face contact is still the most effective. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Contact customers who have not bought for a while and find out why. Meet for lunch, coffee, for a more informal chat. Stay in touch and nurture these valuable diamonds.
Whether you are business-to-business or business-to-consumer, provide easy payment options—cash, cheque, Paypal, credit card, etc. You want it to be as easy as possible to buy.
Provide free value. Suppose you are in real estate, free Vastu, or feng shui advice can come along with, similarly interior design guidelines etc. Provide free value for your customers on an ongoing basis. Hold free half-day seminars. Give them a gift subscription to Enterprise magazine. Thank them!
Educate. Do not assume your customers know all about your products. Educate them in all of your products and make sure they are brought up to date on all new products. They can only buy from you what they know you have. For example, include product catalogues and/or new product announcements in with your invoices.
Look at what your top five customers are not buying and talk to them about these products. This will give you a valid reason to get in touch (regular contact!) and potentially increase sales. Remember, you are not doing your customers a favour by not telling them about products that could benefit them.
Collect referrals and testimonials. Your customer base is the very best source for getting new customers. A referral from a customer who loves you and your products is the most powerful sales tool you could ever walk into a prospect with. And when your client exclaims, “You guys went above and beyond in getting me that widget,” immediately ask if you can put the testimonial on to your website.
Dig down deep and you will find lots of business opportunities right in your own back yard. When you find your diamonds, look after them really well so that no one else comes along and steals them! Enjoy your successful growth.