The business builder is a chance to find out a simple strategy or technique to acquire more customers, get customers to spend with you more often or get them to spend more money when they shop. This edition’s Business Builder is simply focused on the acquisition of more customers.
This is about creating opportunity from what otherwise would be wastage. We’ve all had opportunities where we’ve met with customers, we’ve introduced what we’d like them to buy from us and it’s been too rich for them at that period of time, too big a decision. They were interested, but couldn’t say yes at that moment in time. Typically in those scenarios, we leave with our tails between our legs and we put it away for another day to revisit in the future. You’ve all heard about how effective it can be to upsell, to add to people’s purchases, to add stuff on top, to increase the average transaction value. But what I’m talking about here is the power of a down sell, the opportunity to acquire a customer when otherwise they would have said “no”.
Let me give you an example of an incredibly effective down sell that happened with a client of mine around 12 months ago. The client in question runs a relatively new start up accountancy practice looking to acquire new customers. The key service she was looking to introduce was a high-level accountancy, non-exec financial director position, a fair sum of money, a fair size investment. She’d meet lots of people who were interested in the proposition, they would show a level of interest, maybe ask for some details to be sent or written down, and then she’d typically get a response of “I’m going to need some time to think about it.” This happens in all of our businesses.
What’s the simple thing that could’ve been introduced as a product or service to get them on board as a customer right now so we could build their value over a period of time? What she chose to introduce was some fabulous online accounting software. In fact, it’s the same accounting software that we now use ourselves, and she’d introduced it to these clients for a low monthly fee for an initial start-up, and they took this product on board because it was a no-brainer.
Introducing your down sell is what I call your “Columbo Moment”. Columbo was famous for saying “Oh, just one more thing.” That was his chance to get his real golden piece of information.
You’re going to introduce your down sell almost as you’re heading out the door, as if it’s a no-brainer, so that you get more customers from your activity that you can then revisit to grow into the size and scale of customer that you would like. But a customer at a low value is far better than no customer at all.