By Allan Ferguson
Very often I’m asked by business owners about the best ways of balancing investment in money and time when there’s little leeway for error.
I sympathise with businesses running a tight budget because for many years my own businesses didn’t have the money or time for a lot of things.
At times it felt like the chicken and the egg in attempting to balance the focus of your investments. But through my experience I can share with you some tips that hopefully might help you decide the best path for your business investments.
I immediately found investing in sales training from experts such as Dan Kennedy, Joe Cunningham, Charlie Greer and Kenny Chapman to be one of the best ways of opening your mind and seeing the bigger picture for your business, and I highly recommend you do likewise. After this, the very next thing we then did was to invest in cleaning up our database.
Over the last ten years we had accumulated over 50,000 customers! We actually paid a company to clean that database up so we were then able to know whether dear old Mrs. Jones really did still live on Smith St and therefore still a potential lead for us.
You may then be asking “why would, with a tight budget, your decision be to invest in database maintenance?”
It’s a very simple answer.
Because you don’t want to be wasting your valuable resources sending marketing materials to someone who isn’t actually there!
Smaller companies may have several thousand customers on their database so you truly must know who is still living in the addresses you have.
If you’re going to invest dollars into sending stuff out, make sure you also invest in sending it to the right people.
This will also allow you to better understand your customer base and decide if you want to keep sending materials to each address.
Once you know this, the next step is deciding what persuasive material you want to send out. Let’s say you’re going to target your most popular suburb with a mail out.
Why not send a direct mail piece basically letting the customers know your business is still alive and give them a coupon of $50 off their next booking or maybe a special free service call?
Don’t just send a letter saying “Hi Mrs. Smith … we’re still here, call us on….” because that’s probably not going to entice anyone to call you.
The most important thing with the exercise is giving these potential customers an absolutely amazing reason to call you!
If you’re favouring calls instead of direct mail, why not identify your valued customers, ring them and book with them a complimentary safety inspection?
Then consider investing in training your technicians on how to do a really thorough home safety checklist, training your CSR on what to say with customers and how best to get your technicians in front of customers.
Understanding how best to get your technician to a customer’s door is one of the most important things your business can do.
In situations when you feel like you’ve either got to invest dollars or time, my personal experience suggests the answer to achieving your business goals is straight-forward.
I recommend both.
Allan Ferguson is the CEO of Service Professionals Australia.
To get exclusive insight into Charlie Greer’s training methods and bonus training tips for your business to implement, listen to Allan Ferguson’s Pipeline to Profitability featuring Charlie now