Ask The Expert Featuring Adrian Ulsh
Q. Hi Adrian, I’ve been a coach for 25 years, and Covid has tanked my practice big time. Any suggestions how I can quickly recover and get revenue coming in my door – FAST?
If you’ve been coaching for 25 years, I assume you have a large base of past clients.
It seems to me that a LOT of these past clients have also been severely impacted by the virus, and if you had success with them in the past, I would suspect they would now welcome you back with open arms.
I would recommend you immediately deploy a reactivation campaign.
Let me help you learn the secrets to reactivating past (stale) clients. New customers are a business owner’s personal addiction.
We can’t get enough of them. 99% of the marketing messages in the world today exist for only one reason – to pull in new customers. Business owners are hammered over and over that they need new customers.
Listen, if you’re a relatively new business, then, of course, you need new customers.
But if your business has been around for some time, and you have current customers, you can experience serious business growth by target marketing to those customers.
Consider which of the following situations seems easier?
Convincing complete strangers to do business with you, OR, getting customers that have already bought from you to come back?
Reactivating old customers is one of the quickest and most sure-fire ways to make more money and increase sales and profits with amazing speed.
No doubt you have heard the saying that it’s five times easier to sell to an existing client than to find a new one. Have you ever stopped to ask why this is the case?
It’s actually very simple. Existing clients have already overcome their fears of doing business with you, and they’ve developed a level of trust in both you and your business.
Fear And A Lack Of Trust
Fear and a lack of trust are the two key reasons why prospects don’t turn into clients.
You have to overcome these two obstacles to bring people on board as clients. This is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of marketing, and why you MUST create a sales process that’s based on a specific and well-thought-out strategy.
So, it always amazes me when a business will go to all the trouble to develop a new client, only to then completely forget all about that client after the initial transaction.
It just seems ludicrous that you would invest the time, money, and effort into finding a prospect and developing them into a client, and then let them wander off, never to be communicated to again.
Keep in mind the golden rule for business success. ‘Never let a customer or client forget you!’ It doesn’t take much to keep your happy customers and clients coming back to you again and again.
When they do come back, the profit margin is substantially higher than if you have to seek out a new client from a list of cold suspects.
So here are five strategies to bring your past clients back for more so that you fully monetize the value of each one:
Strategy #1 Is The Reactivation Letter
Send all of your past clients who you haven’t heard from or dealt with in the last six months or more a letter to say that you miss them.
There are a number of variations on this theme, however, the general idea is just to be back in contact with them.
Apologize for not being in touch for a while, and let them know you value them as a client and would love to help them recover their lost revenue due to Covid.
This particular strategy works well in transactional-type businesses, but it can be adapted to practically any type of business.
Strategy #2 Is The Exclusive Irresistible Offer
You must give them a reason to come back. The easiest way to do this is to create irresistible offers exclusive for past clients.
Make them an incredible offer that they can’t refuse and get them back doing business with you. Once they’re back in the fold as a happy paying customer or client, they’re far more likely to continue.
Strategy #3 is to offer New Products or Services
Sometimes your customers or clients just simply get bored. They move on because you’re just peddling the same old stuff over and over to them.
It’s really important to keep developing new products, new services, new ways of bundling your products and services together. This way you always have a reason to go back to them.
Strategy #4 Involves Client Appreciation
You should value your clients and show them that you value them. One of the best ways to do this is to use the Client Appreciation strategy.
This can take many different forms, but one of the best ways to do this is to hold a complimentary Client Appreciation Seminar or Webinar for your clients and past clients.
Invite them all, and provide real value to them. You will be amazed at how they will respond, and how their enthusiasm for doing business with you will be re-ignited.
Strategy #5 Is To Say Thanks
We live in a fast-paced world where few people take the time to simply say thanks.
Most customers and clients feel unappreciated, which is why they wander off over time, never to be heard from again.
Why not send them a simple handwritten card to let them know you’re thinking of them, and to say thanks for their past patronage. At the very least, this will help you maintain top-of-mind awareness with them.
These are just a few simple ideas to get you started.
The key is to maintain regular contact with them, continue to add value to them through the relationship you have with them and continue to offer them different products and services.
Whatever you do, don’t be like the Personal Trainer we spoke with recently at the gym. This guy was complaining about how difficult it is these days to get clients.
When we asked him about the number of previous clients he’s had, he told us the number was well over 100.
We asked him how he remains in contact with these past clients, to which we heard crickets chirping – stone-cold silence. He looked at us like we had lost our minds.
It had NEVER entered his mind to stay in touch with his past clients. We asked him to honestly estimate, based on his past experience, what percentage of his past clients had let themselves fall back into their previous behavioral patterns, which included poor eating habits and a lack of exercise.
In other words, how many of his past clients did he estimate were once again overweight and unfit and in desperate need of his help. He told us flat out, at least 70%.
So, think about that for a moment. When was the last time you spoke to all of your past clients or customers?
What strategies can you put into place today to reactivate them? If you do nothing, then you’re leaving large amounts of cash on the table that could easily be flowing through your business.
After all, there’s no point in marketing for new clients if you can’t take care of your existing and previous ones.
So, who is a reactivation candidate? To reactivate customers, you need to be attentive to the process.
First, to determine which previous customers to reactivate, define what reactivation specifically means for your practice. Most coaches define reactivation candidates based on their lack of response to previous marketing efforts.
The sequential marketing efforts that a coach may follow typically begins with acquisition, then proceeds to resell /upsell / cross-sell / downsell strategies, then moves to retention, and winds up with reactivation.
So, how do you differentiate between customers who require selling and retention efforts from those who require reactivation efforts?
First, and most obviously, if you know that you’ve lost your customer’s business, then you’ve probably exhausted your sales and retention efforts, and can assign the customer to your reactivation group.
If you don’t know whether you’ve lost your customer’s business, make inquiries.
If you find that it’s too expensive to keep in touch with customers, then analyze their buying history, such as the length of time since their last purchase, their number of prior purchases, and the length of time between purchases and average order size.
If necessary, apply industry averages to determine who might be a reactivation candidate.
But Who Do You Select For Reactivation?
Before designating customers as reactivation candidates, determine whether you have their correct contact information.
Exclude past customers who have outdated information that can’t be updated through third-party sources.
Also, review any customer service or third-party data you have on reactivation candidates and categorize the reasons for lost business as “controllable” – such as those that were shipped the wrong product two weeks after the promised delivery date, or “uncontrollable” – those that have moved from the retail area. If you’re to blame for the failed relationship, determine whether there’s value in re-establishing it.
Once you select your reactivation candidates, segment this group and test offers before spending money to reach them all at once.
If possible, use lifetime value to determine which segments may yield a higher return.
Try these simple steps and there’s an excellent chance you will reactivate several previous clients. Good luck.
About Adrian Ulsh
Adrian Ulsh is the CEO for Leader Publishing Worldwide, the largest online provider of coaching services worldwide. Adrian currently works with more than 500 coaches in 24 countries advising them on building 6 and 7 figure coaching practices.