The economy may be sluggish but that doesn’t mean business owners have to resort to price slashing across their product line. When sales are slow, the best thing businesses can do is boost customer communication.
"Customers are five to ten times more responsive to your marketing than people who have never done business with you," says David Coyne, a copywriter and marketing specialist in the business-to-business sector. "In a slower economy, put an emphasis on customer retention instead of new customer acquisition, which is more expensive."
Coyne recommends the following to keep your company name front and center in customers’ eyes.
1. Study your competitors’ marketing and advertising. Do your competitors have weaknesses you can exploit? Can you offer more than they can? Let your customers know.
2. Become a "solution-provider" instead of a business. Send out personalized letters to customers who haven’t bought anything recently and ask how they’re enjoying your product. Offer to answer any questions or help if they’re having a problem.
3. Cross-sell. Make sure customers know about your other products.
4. Have a Customer Appreciation Sale. Create a coupon or special order code that gives them a small gift or rebate.
5. Occasionally send out a short, non-sales letter. Maybe you came across an excellent website, free resource, or tool you wanted your customers to know about.
6. Offer a free email course or online training module so customers can learn to use your product more effectively.
7. Create a client-only membership site or bulletin board for posting questions and answers.
8. Send a follow up message after a purchase to reassure your customer she’s made the right decision and overcome any buyer’s remorse.
9. Ask customers for product testimonials and send them to customers who haven’t bought that particular product.
10. Create a free white paper or case study for customers only.
11. Develop a customer survey and offer a prize to those who complete it.