GROW YOUR EMPIRE: Serve Your Current Clients
You Don't Grow Alone
All businesses need a market, and those markets are ultimately made up of people. Whether you market to the elite, or to the masses, it is vital to create community around your product or service. Unfortunately, community building is one of the last skills many entrepreneurs learn. Consequently, you can invest hours in education, thousands in technology and uncounted moments worrying, and still not grow your business to it's potential. It's time to think about how you will grow your Empire, Your Majesty. And I don't just mean your email list.
Your Community is Your Empire
Do you think of your business as an EMPIRE? Or, do you believe an empire is only for mega-stars like Amy Porterfield or Chalene Johnson? Think again.
EMPIRE: (an extensive) territory or enterprise under single domination or control
For example, consider the way Queen Elizabeth sets the tone for the nation of England. Although England is a constitutional monarchy, with the bulk of the direction coming through Parliament, Queen Elizabeth is a powerful force in the nation. She still has much to say about how the nation will run. The people may not always agree with everything she does, but they staunchly "own" her as their very own Queen.
Likewise, you have a community - an empire, if you will - to rule. This empire is not only built from your past and current clients and customers, it also includes future clients and customers, and the community at large. Surprisingly, most entrepreneurs ignore the area of community building, so their empire is ripe for take-over. Importantly, each of these groups require intentional, targeted attention. To put it differently, to some you are the Queen, to others you are an attraction, and to still others, you are an ally. In order to Rule Your Realm, you must understand the needs of each.
Part One: Your Current Clients
Surprisingly, your current clients and customers typically receive the least amount of attention from you. However, you aren't alone. This happens to all of us. We invest hours of time cultivating a new client, sell our products to them, and then run off to find a new one.
I'm curious, have you ever calculated the Lifetime Value of a Customer? Check out this information for a real wake-up call! In this case study from Kissmetrics, the calculated lifetime value of ONE CUSTOMER at an average Starbucks, with a typical purchase of $.5.90, is $14,099!
Are you beginning to wonder how much money you might be leaving on the table when it comes to your current client list?
More than Money
However, the important thing to realize is that this graphic does not show the number of people that average customer brings with them to Starbucks. It also does not account for the other tasty treats or gifts that customer might buy at any given time.
Consider your client experience. Do you have a way to encourage your customers and clients to bring people into your "store"?
Referrals and introductions to your business occur when your customer feels appreciated. After all, it isn't just about the products or services they purchase from you. Specifically, it is about how you make them feel in the process.
To illustrate, think about the last grocery store line you stood in. When you got to the register, did the cashier pay attention to you, or keep talking to the friend in the next line?
Yeah...that right there...that feeling.
Now, think about the last client you served. Did you pay close attention to them, or were you already thinking about the next item on your to-do list? Do you "appreciate" the client who purchases a small item (like maybe $5.90) as much as the one who purchases your largest product or service?
Empire Building is a Process
Listen, this article would be a book if I went into all the ins-outs, ups-downs and in-between of building community. In fact, this is just part one of a group of articles about the process.
For now, ask yourself: "Am I building a community or a check-out line of dissatisfaction?"
The most important thing to do right now, is think about how you can create a better customer experience for your current clients. When was the last time you sent a "thank you" to them? Do you regularly offer special purchases or services for your current community? What kind of appreciation event could you schedule for your clients.
It's important to remember that behind every name on your email list, every thumbs-up, heart, and retweet in Social Media, and every signature to the credit card receipt, is a real live human being. She has a life of things asking for her attention. If you want to stand out from the crowd, hand her something other than a bill for services rendered. Create a community she can feel proud of and is excited to bring her friends along.
And, if you want to know more about getting new customers, read part two of this series now.
Rule Your Realm, Your Majesty