A while back, I met a gym owner named Emily. She had been in business for about 8 years and was, to a certain level, successful. She had a sizable membership, people loved her, and they truly enjoyed the family feel they got working out with her team.
Her business was stuck, however, at a plateau in here monthly revenues. She wanted desperately to break through and grow further, but no matter how hard she worked (and she has one of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen) she couldn’t. She was feeling burned out. Sometimes she just felt like closing her doors altogether.
But she had this nagging sense about why she could not grow. She knew she should be following up consistently with leads and clients, but she just couldn’t get a handle on all the calls and emails and texts she needed to be sending every day. It felt like people (and sales opportunities) were falling through the cracks. And to make matters worse, the more her business grew, the more follow up was needed and the worse the problem got.
One day Emily decided she’d had enough. She determined not to invest any more money in marketing until she fixed her follow up problem. Long story short, once she got a follow up system in place her revenue shot up about 60% within just a few months!
The truth is that most small businesses are leaking opportunity, the same way Emily’s was, because of the way they manage the lifecycle of their customer relationships. Most small businesses do something to create interest – they advertise, hold events, network, drive website traffic, or whatever -, they then make some sales and start the process over. How do they look to grow? They increase their ad spending and/or grow their sales team. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is a better, less costly way to grow.
You see most businesses are losing opportunity in three big ways:
- Lost Traffic
- Lost Leads
- Lost Customers
For example, they might get 1000 website visitors which turn into 100 leads with 10 of those leads becoming customers.
But what about the 900 visitors that left the website without a trace? Or the 90 leads that weren’t ready to buy today? Or customers who never buy again after the first purchase. Sadly, they’ve simply vanished. Of course, some of these people will never buy. But many could with the right follow up.
These businesses are overlooking growth opportunities that can be realized by:
Capturing More Leads with a Lead Magnet
Recapturing Sales from leads who didn’t by with a Nurture Campaign
Making follow on sales to first time buyers by creating an experience that causes your customers say, “WOW!”
Let’s take a look at the highlights of how Emily’s gym grew by plugging the leaks in her business.
She offered three free workouts on her web page and also Groupon deals, capturing their name and email address in exchange for the special offer (Her Lead Magnet). She followed up with up to 19 emails, call and texts to schedule people who signed up to make an appointment to visit her gym. She then called and emailed to remind them of their appointment. This reduced her no shows. On the first visit she made a ridiculously inexpensive offer for a trial membership. She followed up with trial members with health, nutrition and mindset messages along with check in calls, adding value and helping them stay on track toward their health and wellness goals. For those who didn’t convert to full members, she offered a one-on-one nutrition consultation where she made another membership offer (Her Nurture Campaign). Once people signed on as clients, she had her coaches do monthly check ins, sent welcome gifts, asked for referrals and testimonials, sent unexpected thoughtful gifts on members’ birthdays as well as a couple of other times each year. (Her WOW! Experience)
And she put an automated system in place to keep all the activity organized and make sure every step got done.
Is your business leaking customers? Ask yourself, where is the biggest leak? Lost Traffic? Lost Sales? Lost Customers? Then get into action. Put a plan in place to offer a lead magnet, nurture lost leads and WOW your customers. Remember, nothing is going to improve until you change it.
About the Author: Dave Blanchard, Owner and Founder of Cognesis Marketing, is an innovative, customer-focused and results-driven marketing leader with expertise in startups, automation, and growth. He works with small business owners to transform their business from one that runs them to one that runs without them by applying the principles of Lifecycle Marketing.Dave has been passionate about producing marketing results for over 30 years and has helped well over a hundred small businesses grow, several by more than six figures.