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Mining for Diamonds

This is a recap and an extension of our “Diamonds in Your Own Backyard” business model presented at the CAWEE breakfast January 11th.

It’s based on this short parable explaining a marketing strategy that is often forgotten.  This story is about Beth.

Beth was a very ambitious and proud woman, who was desperate to be very rich and live the life of her dreams. To this end she traveled the globe, spending most of her time away from home and her family, searching for a diamond mine. She was constantly distracted and convinced that once she found that diamond mine her dream of riches would come true.

Unfortunately, Beth ended her days neither rich nor happy. After she died, the local condominium developer bought Beth’s property and started to dig the foundation. What did he find? He found that all these years Beth had been sitting right on top of a very large, very rich diamond mine. She needn’t have looked any further than her own back yard.

What’s the moral of this story?  The first place we need to look for our riches is in our own back yard rather than constantly looking afar for glittering opportunities.

Keeping in mind that it costs ten times more to land a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer, ‘Diamonds in Your Own Back Yard’ is a powerful model to apply when setting your marketing and sales initiatives.

When you are looking to increase sales to fuel business growth, apply the ‘Diamonds’ model to your promotions with existing customers and contacts first. Think about where you have invested your time and money already.  Don’t default to promoting to new clients, new markets or new products first.

Who are your diamonds?

Go through your data base, CRM or whatever tool you use to manage your contacts and make the time to identify who your diamonds are.

How to nurture your diamonds?

Keep in regular contact:

It is an old but true adage; “out of sight, out of mind”.  You must keep in touch with your community on a regular basis. Your community is your present customers, past customers, referrers and prospects. It really has never been easier to keep in touch.  Regular newsletters, social media and email allow you to communicate with your community regularly. Look around you, what have you got to share that is of value?  What is new in your industry? How can you help? Once you identify it, share the news, be bold!

Networking:

Keep in mind, IRL (In Real Life) face-to- face contact is still the most effective way to start and build a relationship. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Contact customers or referrers who haven’t bought for a while and find out why.  Ask questions, listen to what they say. Stay in touch and nurture your valuable diamonds.

Research and attend networking events and trade-shows as a guest.  For example, your local BIA, chamber of commerce, event planners conference, bridal shows.  The most important piece of networking is to follow-up with people after the event, that is where the relationship building happens.

Provide free value:

You don’t have to give away free table arrangements or bridal bouquets to give free value.  Free value can come in the form of tip sheets, seminars, consultations and connections to other suppliers.  The trick with free value is you need to let people know they are getting it.  What are you currently giving away that your clients don’t even realize they are getting? Remind them that delivery, protective wrapping and floral consultation are all included.  They can’t tell their friends if they don’t know they are getting it.

Loyalty Programs:

A major bank launched an incentive program to get new clients. They offered a really cool gift to every new customer who opened an account with them. No free value for existing clients; nothing for those loyal customers who had been with the bank for many years. Take a lesson from this. Provide free value for your customers on an ongoing basis. Hold free half day seminars. Give them a gift subscription.  Send them flowers!  Thank them!

Tell them what you can do:

Do not assume your customers know all about your services and products. It is your job to educate them in everything you do and offer. They can only buy from you what they know you have. Include product catalogues and/or new product announcements with your invoices.  Share a successful case study as a means of explaining what you can do to help.

Collect referrals and testimonials:

Your current customers are the very best source for getting new customers. A referral from a customer who loves your work is the most powerful sales tool you could ever have.  When a client exclaims “You guys went above and beyond in making our event the best ever!” ask “can I quote you on that?” And, then do it!

Dig down deep. You will find lots of business opportunities right in your own back yard. When you find your “diamonds” look after them really well so no one else comes along and steals them. Always say thank you for your business we appreciate it!

You can’t wait for a miracle to take your business to the next level. As Peter Drucker wrote; “Miracles are great, but they are so unpredictable”.

Enjoy the journey!

Judi Hughes, Your Planning Partners Inc.