- By Stephen Pratley
- Posted June 6, 2017
If there are two big opportunities to sell that most businesses miss, one of them is after you’ve just got a result for them.
We know that. Most businesses forget to close the loop and move customers back into the sales loop.
Maybe they don’t have a follow-on product to solve whatever the next problem is (a bad Ecosystem).
Maybe the people capable of closing deals are only focussed on new leads.
But there’s far easier fruit to pick, that can help your profits and most importantly your cashflow.
I had a pretty awesome apprenticeship in direct response marketing, managing all the fiddly test mailings that noone else wanted to be bothered with.
My biggest and best client was Reed Business Information, who publish a whole portfolio of B2B magazines. Titles like Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Flight International, Farmers Weekly and loads more.
The kind of titles that get used on the fill-in-the-blanks round on Have I got News for You, but despite the laughter, earn millions each year for thier owners.
It was Reed who taught me the principle of “6 ’til it clicks”. The idea that you need to push a message a half dozen times before it will cut through the noise in the market and people are prepared to listen to your sales message in more detail.
They also taught me a fantastic lesson about follow-up in subscription businesses.
“Sell to hot buyers”.
Once you’ve sold something, don’t wait. Sell something else.
If you’ve got nothing else, sell more of the same thing.
The customer has just convinced themselves they want your product. This is the absolute best time to give them a good deal on more of it.
The particular mailing they ran was known as a “renewal at birth”. Despite the freaky sounding name, it was quite simple.
As soon as you ordered a subscription, you’d get a mailing offering you a 2nd year’s subscription at a big discount.
These were magazines selling at hundreds of pounds per year so the unit cost was next to nothing.
Reed’s costs are all in the content creation and customer acquisition.
Big drains on cashflow.
So getting that extra cash in early was worth a lot to them.
What and when to sell embodies Process and Ecosystem, the 4th & 5th steps of the MAPPED method.
See how your business shapes up here: