This is a story reminding us that a quality database is an asset that you can convert into cash or that others may pay you for.
Q: How do I increase sales?
Q: How do I find new customers?
One of the most successful retailers we know, Bob Orenstein, says that knowing your customer means you know much more than their name, address, phone number and email. He says knowing means understanding them, even if your database has over 2000 contacts. You must find meaningful ways to understand and keep track of each person. In Bob’s case, he is personally part of his customer base which makes it easier for him to get inside the minds of his customers. But you have to remember that you are only one person and you have to listen to others even if you are part of your audience.
Q: How do I ask for referrals?
Step one of a referral program is to ask your current customers to send you new customers. We are convinced that many owners are afraid to do this because what if the current customer says that they aren’t comfortable referring? What has the owner just discovered? That there is a problem with that particular customer relationship. Oops. The good news is the owner can work to solve that problem and the referral program has already paid off as it helped to convert a luke-warm customer to a hot customer.
Step two is contacting the referrals.
Step three is tracking the referrals.
Step four is rewarding the customer who made the referral.
We know a hairdresser who gives a 20% discount off a customer’s next visit when that customer has brought in a new customer. This is perfect. Everybody wins and the happy process repeats itself.