Tuesday, October 22, 2019

All Clients are NOT Created Equal – And You Should Not Treat Them as Such

March 16, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Client Lists

We all know that getting contact info such as name, address, telephone #, email is important so we can continually keep in touch with them to promote our products and services, BUT, and this is a big but, what if we knew from our conversations, or from very deliberate questions we ask our clients while we are working with them through our “pipeline or funnel”, more specific, and sometimes unusual information that we can use to sell to them things they like – be it photography related or otherwise?
Think about this for your business.

You should try to get as much contact information about your clients when you are speaking with them and during the time you work with them from start to finish – from your initial contact to final delivery of their product.

Here’s an example, let’s say one of your standard questions you ask is: So where do your kids like to eat the most, where do you go most often? What are your top 3 restaurants? You can make this a casual conversation while you are building rapport – but at the same time you are gathering information about your customer’s buying habits.

You find a pattern of similar restaurants or eating establishments that many of them go to. You make notes of this on the forms you use to collect the information (which you should be doing anyway so you can remember little things about what they mentioned and use that to generate conversation down the road, such as if they were going on vacation you can ask them later – how was your vacation?).

Let’s say they eat at a local pizza place and many of them have that in common, or they shop at a certain store for kids clothing. This is valuable information. You then segment your marketing lists (online and offline) to specific areas each client has in common with others. Sometimes it will be more than one area and overlap – since we all have several interests and hobbies.

Maybe it’s by geographic location and town or zip code. Don’t you think those folks will feel special and elite if you send a promotion to them about something going on only in their area and no one else gets the same promotion? You could run a special for only residents of a certain zip code.

I happen to know that one of my clients likes root beer floats. There are several ice cream shops in the area that I could approach to joint venture with to add value to my packages and products as a way to say “thank you” and that they can give to their customers to cross promote me. I can joint venture with them and once I find out the percentage of clients I have on my list that like ice cream – I can go to the ice cream shop and ask them for a coupon from them that will give my clients added value and bring them additional business.

It can be anything! 20% off the total order, buy one get one free, 50% off.

Do you live in a particularly hot area – even though many of us like ice cream any time of the year (especially New Englanders)?

Can you imagine how many families and kids get ice cream cones in the summer? (Hint: an added summer promotion from you and the ice cream store).

The more you can find out about your customers wants, desires, shopping habits, spending habits, places of recreation, vacationing habits, etc, the more you can put them in specialized categories when you send out special promotions and reach that hyper responsive audience.

This will not only give you additional opportunities to market to these people, but you can offer a special package and one that commands a higher price because it speaks directly to them, for photographing them in flight or from the ground or just as an X skydiving member. This kind of information allows you to charge premium prices because people will invest in a specialist rather than a generalist.

You will then get more businesses to joint venture and cross promote with to their customers because you are both speaking the customer’s language.

Think beyond the “generalities” and beyond what your competition is doing and this will help you differentiate yourself and stand out from every other corner photographer.

You’ll also learn who your ideal client is and what motivates them.

Bottom Line: Add 4 non-related photo questions to your list of questions to ask your clients to drill down and start discovering who they really are. You can then take this further and continue to drill down on each level to a sub niche, and a sub sub-niche, etc. until you are so specific that you have 5 people you know who like to tandem skydive at X place 3 times a year during the month of August.

Time Limit: 30 minutes

Photo Credits:
Photographer: Bill Perry
Courtesy of: www.freedigitalphotos.net

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