How To Stimulate More Business

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 15th, 2010 18 Comments

I’m gonna run through a little checklist of consistent, successful small business marketing strategies that apply to virtually any businesses.

In fact, they are seven strategies that can help you stimulate new business, increase business from existent customers and build repeat business. You may not be able to use all of them in your business but you can certainly use some of them.

The first is a system of frequent buyer rewards. Today all major airlines and many hotel chains are using this technique to capture repeat business from their clientele. It’s common for car washes to use this simple idea – but many more businesses could uses this same idea. They issue each customer a little plastic punch card. After the customer pays for a certain number of washes, recorded on the card, they can then redeem the card for a free wash.

The idea of the frequent buyer type incentive is to encourage the customer to return to your business rather than spreading his business around. In order to make this type of incentive even more effective you can tie it to an expiration date so that the points have to be accumulated and redeemed within a certain time period.

Number two, discounting is probably the most commonly used marketing strategy in business. Just about every business in America uses discounts at various times in various ways. One word of caution about discounting: if it’s overused it loses its effectiveness.

The retail furniture industry, for example, is finding that ‘special this weekend only’ sale type advertising is losing its effectiveness the more they use it.

Also artificial discounting is very dangerous in the long run. The American automobile industry did itself great, apparently permanent damage with artificial discounting so that today everybody knows that the sticker price on a car is meaningless and every price is negotiable.

It’s important to have a logical reason tied to a discount opportunity. Otherwise you are essentially admitting that your regular prices are excessive. Inventory overstock, an anniversary, a holiday celebration, an introductory offer for new customers, a special offer on a new product or service, these are all examples of logical, acceptable reasons for discounts.

The third strategy is the use of premiums, which I believe is a much better way to incentive your customers and prospects to buy. I’ll covering this in detail in my next post.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

    18 Responses

    1. When you have these type of promotions, you should try to always use a physical card (like a business card to punch holes in or stamp each time they buy a pie of pizza.)

      When you try to become “technologically savvy” and just have the computer remember it for them, you have taken away an important element of the interaction between you and your client- and, at the same time, you have kept yourself out of sight in the customers wallet, which will translate to out of their mind as well.

      Another great marketing lesson! Thank you Dan!

    2. scott says:

      I think I’ll share #1 with my dentist while he cleans my teeth today

    3. Frequent buyer rewards is also something that is widely used in the coffee houses, in fact one of the high street coffee houses I frequent regularly has taken it a step further and are using an online system, so that you can check how many points you have.

      Premiums are also a great way to reward loyalty, and it can be relatively inexpensive too. The perceived value of these premiums however, can really enhance a businesses reputation and positioning – plus it is obviously more effective for the business than price cutting.

      Great advice as always Dan!

      Simon

    4. We have been using Rewards at our retail business for years now and it’s been very successful. We even have new artists we deal with give us a handful of their discs for free, which we in turn promote to our Rewards customers at an extremely low redemption rate (basically, if you buy two CDs, you’ve qualified for a free “new artist” CD).

      A GKIC member who does a great job with a Rewards program is Jim Rowe of the Roadhouse Grill. He offers a free appetizer just for signing up and check out his website to see how prominently he promotes the program.

    5. Charles Ra says:

      The first is a system of frequent buyer rewards, discounting and the use of premiums to stimulate repeat biz. taking not here Dan.
      thank you much.

    6. dave barber says:

      I agree that discounting is over used these days and people are getting wise to it however, it’s on the increase how many marketers are now pulling up a discount page as soon as you try to leave the main page some of these discounts end up with almost 75% off the original starting price it downgrades the product in my eyes and I’m sure customers click like crazy for 10 pages until they get the final price reduction.

      There are many loyalty schemes out there and I think they work very well I will be closely reading the blog to see what you mean by premiums.

      Thanks Dan

    7. Dave,

      the best way to deal with that issue is to give a different offer ($1 7 day trial instead of $79 dollar 60 day trial), so you can change the initial attraction offer without messing up the ability to keep the price high.

    8. Charles Ra says:

      yes Rabbi, $1 trial works great. it’s a giving hand and makes the customer to stick in.

    9. dave barber says:

      thanks Rabbi,
      A simple idea but will work very well, that is good advice.
      dave

    10. Rob Anspach says:

      You’ll attract more people with the word FREE than putting a $1 price on it.

      Free dinner for 4 (at Olive Garden) with every Sofa purchase.

      Free oil change for life plus free inspections with each car purchase.

      Free carpet cleaning (up to 100sqft) just to try us out.
      or Free room of carpet cleaning with each new referral.

    11. More? Yes.

      Better Target Market? Depends…

      depending on the product, a $1 offer might not out-pull a free one, but will generate a better net end result.

    12. Rob Anspach says:

      Maybe? But a highly targeted campaign to the right demographic and you’ll see an awesome pull ratio over a $1 price

    13. the late Gary Halbert has a video available on YouTube about when you change an offer to “we will bill you after 30 days” instead of an upfront billing, response tripled while refunds only doubled… a 50% increase after the dust settles at the end of the month.

    14. Charles Ra says:

      billing after 30 days, a great tool
      thanks

    15. Way to go, Rob — jumping the gun on Dan’s next post about the use of premiums!

      I have had incredible results — both personally and for my clients — through the proper use of premiums like the ones you mentioned.

      Looking forward to Dan’s next post about them.

    16. And yes, Rabbi, of course everything depends on what market you are targeting!

      What works best for WalMart doesn’t necessarily work best for Nordstrom’s.

      We all have different businesses and different target markets. The beauty of GKIC-style marketing is that the principles can be made to work in any industry, and to any target market.

      A fact that’s proven every day, around the world…

    17. Rob Anspach says:

      Steve, do I get a prize? (for jumping the gun)
      ooh, I hope so… maybe the book “The Ultimate Entrepreneur Success Secrets” – wait I have it already… (a very nice guy sent it to me)

      or maybe the book “Zero Resistance Selling”…wait, got it too!

      in fact got all of Dan’s books

      … but I don’t have Bill’s yet. Sorry Bill, just have too many books a head of yours at the moment… but you are on my list.

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