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State Of The Union
For years, I would hear marketers, business consultants, coaches and thought leaders say from the stage that the easiest people to sell to are your existing customers. We all know that. If I heard one more person say, “The easiest people to sell to are existing customers,” I hated it. Here’s why. From 1992 to 1997, the tip of my spear as a growth consultant was signage, either a big outdoor electric sign, a banner for your window or a custom neon praying mantis sign that had blinking arrow signs that went by the side of the road. We were deep into the sign business. We had 40 sales reps and 2,000 signs in 40 states in five years. We were a pretty decent-sized sign company. The sign company was just the tip of the spear. Our goal is to get into the business owner so we could ask him 100-plus questions to define, “Do they need a radio? Do they need ValPak or Clipper? Do they need a salesforce and direct mail campaigns? What do they need?” Everybody needs a sign, but not everybody needs a sign now.
Every time I heard somebody say, “The easiest people to sell to are existing customers,” my mind would go, “I just sold Bob and Harriet an outdoor electric sign. What am I going to sell them this month? They only buy an outdoor electric sign once every ten years.” Every time I would hear, “The easiest people to sell to are existing customers,” it would drive me batty. However, in the 2000s, after I matured and got out of my own way, I realized, “Bob and Harriet do need another sign.” They need signs for their windows, banners, and other locations that have full-blown needs of signage. They have friends and relatives. If I had TOMA with them, Top-Of-Mind Awareness, they would refer me too. As I grew and matured as a business owner, marketer and growth consultant, I realized I do need to keep my company in front of my existing customers at all times. I cannot slip and let another company come in and get TOMA. TOMA is Top-Of-Mind Awareness. If I say hamburgers, who do you think of? Most people say McDonald’s and Burger King. They occupy your TOMA. If I say mufflers, who do you think of? Most people say Midas and Meineke, depending on what part of the country you live in because they do most of the advertising.The easiest people to sell to are your existing customers. Click To Tweet
If you have a product, say you sell shoes, a commodity, vitamins, as the tip of your spear like I used to, what in the world are you going to say to them when you call them up just to stay in touch with them, email them or send them a newsletter? Over the years, we came up with an outstanding methodology for staying in touch with and contacting your existing clients. I’m going to refer this show as the State of the Union. I came up with this in 2012. I watched a video. Somebody sent me a link to a video. It was titled State of the Internet 2012. It was made by a gentleman named Frank Kern. When you’re done reading, I strongly recommend you go to YouTube. Type in “Frank Kern State of the Internet” and watch his 37-minute State of the Union video. When you watch it, I want you to understand that Frank had one goal. This video was built to show off his credibility. I’ve never met Frank, but I can promise you that some member of Frank’s team emails the link to this video to all of Frank’s existing customers. Frank is a highly paid growth consultant in the internet marketing world. As good as he is, he knows there are other internet marketing consultants that could occupy his space someday and take away his customers.
I developed a one-year every-other-month approach to touch my existing clients. It doesn’t matter what industry I’m in. This method works. It goes like this. Step one, create some form of State of the Union video. It has to be a video. It has to be you. I recommend only five to ten minutes, not 37 minutes. It’s some form of State of the Union video that updates everybody watching it to the state of your industry. I would keep it shorter than Frank does. I would also mix in a little bit of where your company plays in this State of the Union, state of the industry. That’s month one. At the end of the video, you asked for nothing. It’s for information. It’s to remind people that you’re a stud and you know what you’re talking about. Two months later, you email out a link to a video that’s a testimonial story. It could be 30 or 90 seconds. It doesn’t matter. It’s a testimonial of someone using your product. Two months later, you email out a video that you have an idea that you’re considering doing in your industry and you’d love feedback from your existing customer base. You’ve come up with an idea. I’m sure you’re sitting on some right now. You’d love some feedback. You will get feedback from your customers.
All you’re looking for is interaction so that when that customer is ready in six months, two years or whatever, they think of you. Two months later, you do another testimonial story. Two months later, you do some industry info. You do some homework on your industry. It’s like the State of the Union Report, but this one is a little bit more granular. You just throw out some great info regarding your industry. In number six, it’s completed a year, another 60 days. The sixth one is another testimonial story. The goal is you’re staying in front of your customer because it is true that the easiest person to sell to is an existing customer. You have social proof. Trust trumps everything. You’re your own endorsement because they’re using your product. It has everything of the three-legged stool that people need to buy. They need trust. They need endorsements and social proof. The easiest people to sell to are your existing customers. The question is, “What do you say to them?” You do the six-step formula. That’s what you say to them to stay in touch with them. I hope this helps.