Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What Is Your Repeat Business Strategy?

I received today, a email from American Express, a Small Business Newsletter. The first article is 3 Money-Making Marketing Strategies. The three stratagies or approaches that lead to higher sales in any business or industry are:

1. Increase the number of customers

2. Increase the average transaction amount

3. Increase the frequency of repurchase

My first thought was nothing new here. I saw those same three things in the book Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham. But I paused on strategy #3:

Strategy #3–Increase the frequency of repurchase
Too often, customers' repeat purchases are taken for granted and little thought or effort is given to encouraging and rewarding more frequent demonstrations of their loyalty. Repeat business is earned by giving customers what they want. More frequent purchases can be driven by reminding customers to order, suggesting new uses or anticipating their changing needs. Under what circumstances might your customers need to order more frequently? What usage situations could encourage more rapid consumption of your products or services? Established customer purchasing patterns rarely change for the better unless you intentionally intervene.

We speak with Interior Designers about their marketing programs and many don't have a strategy or just rely on referrals for new business. Referrals are an excellent way to get business, but doesn't go far enough.

Strategy #3 encourages repeat purchases. I immediately asked, "Do the designers who work with us, have a list of people they have worked with and do they communicate with them on a regular basis." That would encourage repeat business and encourage referrals. Or, how about a Blog and update the blog when you have completed a project and share the before and after photos with past clients. It's easy to send an email referring old clients to your Blog.

Here's another excellent way to encourage repeat purchases of accessories. Ask Michael to get dishes from the cupboard or put away dishes. He claims he is careful, but he can sure chip dishes! A friend gave us a green, kind of depression glass, salad bowl, made to have dipping sauce in the middle and veggies around the outside. Now it has a slight chip on the edge, a candidate for repeat purchase. I love him anyway. It does point out that many products need to be repurchased. Are you positioning yourself to be the supplier when that time comes?

Bev & Mike

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