Many Long Island and Stamford area small business owners believe that the easiest customer to “sell” to is a referral customer, but in point of fact, the best kind of customer to sell to is … one you already have.

So, that being the case, it sure does make sense to make an investment in your relationships with your customers, yes?

You may have noticed that this is a theme I return to frequently here in my blog for Long Island and Stamford small business owners. Why do I that?

Simple: as we look at continued uncertainty in world and national economies, the one asset that can never be taken away — and your *greatest* advantage over any other business in your space — is the relationships you have with your customers.

So, as your numbers cruncher and (perhaps in some sense) “coach”, I know that when I can convince you to make this kind of investment, you’ll thank me — and use my accounting services here at Michael J. Kessler, CPA for longer! So it’s not simple “charity” on my part to keep spending time on these Notes for you.

I hope that’s not disillusioning. After all, when you and your Long Island and Stamford-area business do well, it helps us to stay in business.

But all that aside, here are some more ruminations on this theme, specifically about how to use direct mail to build those “existing customer” relationships…

Kessler On 7 Ways To Increase Existing Customer Sales
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – Michael F. Kennedy

I’ve spoken before about the value of a regular communication plan with your existing clients and friends here in Long Island and Stamford (and beyond). And as I’ve done so, here are some things which I’ve discovered for you to carefully consider:

#1: Most Long Island and Stamford small businesses pay too much in chasing new customers and too little in building repeat business with their current customers.

#2: The satisfied customer will likely purchase again. And they will purchase more, and will purchase something different.

#3: It definitely costs less to motivate a known customer to purchase again than to acquire a new customer.

#4 BIG IDEA: Customers are only fickle because a new competitor is paying more attention to them than you are.

In B2B, many companies make the huge mistake of having all their contact with their customers go through a sales representative. This leaves the customers vulnerable to theft if the representative jumps to another employer (especially if they are local in Long Island and Stamford). It also leaves too much opportunity for negligence on the sales rep’s part.

Regardless of the layers of distribution between you and your customer, it’s a good idea to establish some direct link. The owner of a restaurant can do that by coming around and chatting personally with the customers. The chief executive officer of a large company can do it with a newsletter and maybe a hotline telephone number or an open email address.

Direct mail is also perfect for cutting through these layers (in addition to, and on top of email). Here are some of the ways that direct mail can be used to communicate with established customers.

#1: To introduce new products or services.
#2: To give advance notice of and explain price or fee increases.
#3: To offer special discounts or premiums.
#4: To provide useful information.
#5: To give recognition to top customers.
#6: To announce seasonal sales.
#7: Warm relationship building for its own sake

I’ve rarely seen a business that could not increase and improve through increased direct marketing to current customers.

Do not make the mistake of assuming knowledge on the part of the customer.

Do not take shortcuts with existing customers and do not feel that you are boring them by telling the same story repetitively.

If you have quality, service, guarantee, price or other advantages, point them out each and every time you deliver a sales presentation.

American business — especially here in the Long Island and Stamford area — desperately needs to place a new higher value on the customer in this economy. Communicate more with your customers and you’ll do more business.

Feel very free forward this article to a Long Island and Stamford business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way?These particular articles usually relate to business strategy because, as you know, we are Profitability Consultants also specializing in tax preparation and planning for Long Island and Stamford families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Michael J. Kessler, CPA
(516) 449-2852
(203) 658-5092

PS–Join us for our show Business Profits In The Real World Saturday afternoons at 4 on 103.9FM WRCN where we bring you Long Island and The New York-Metro’s most successful business owners sharing how you too can bring your business to among the most profitable in your industry.  No radio? No problem! Listen live at LINewsRadio.com – or can’t listen live?  Hear our past shows at MichaelKesslerCPA.com