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So - you’re in business and you have customers: good job! But now you want to increase your sales and you’re considering advertising to get new clients. Wait! Reaching out to new customers is the most expensive of all the options that you have in front of you. Before you start down that path, ask yourself: “do all my current customers know the extent of what I sell?”

This may seem trivial but too often a business relationship with a client is developed for a specific product/service and once they get what they came in for, the process stops there. No other effort is made to get the clients back to the communication process.

What do we mean by communication process? We’re talking about your website, your email marketing, your newsletters, your presence on social media and all the other, more traditional communications that you may have with your clients. All the way to the invoicing. Every one of those opportunities are ways to let your clients know the entire range of your products or services. 

The easiest way to do this is of course to digitize your customer list into a database and to send a monthly or bi-monthly email with high information value. When we say high information value, we do not mean that you should promote your 50% discount of the month exclusively. In fact, those communications should keep promotional mentions to a minimum. Instead, they should be rich in interesting topics that will engage your customers. For example:
- You have a new employee;
- You plan to move;
- You have a new product or service;
- You have an opinion, review or comment on one of your products or services;
- Your opening hours change;
- You have events or special holidays coming up;
- You are opening a new market;
- You have just signed with a major player;
- There are changes in the environment affecting your field;
- Some research has been published that is relevant to your business;
- You are giving away free stuff;
- You write articles or produce other content marketing;
- You hosted a special guest;
- You participated in an event, etc ...

Another option to sell more to your existing customers? Selling the products or services of a complementary business. Admittedly, this strategy does not happen overnight. Several steps are involved - such as validating the quality of your partner, its operational capacity to carry out the additional mandates, its reputation, the desire to reciprocate, the level of interest of your customer in this product or service, etc ... but done well, this strategy can bring you more income with minimal impact to your advertising budget.

If you have any questions or comments on this month’s article, feel free to contact me.

Stéphane Elmaleh-Riel, B.Ed., MBA
Marketing consultant