Landon, a computer reseller in Toronto, Canada, wrote it to ask:
“Michael, so much of what you talk about will cost money, but I’m stretched so thin right now that even a small expenditure is too much. If you had a turn around a small reseller quickly and without spending any money on marketing, how would you do it?”
There is a concept I teach called “leveraged marketing,” and it is the solution to your problem.
Two key insights make it work:
First, the most valuable asset your business can possess is its client list. You can do nearly everything else wrong in a business and still be financially successful if you understand how to build, nurture and leverage a client list. The fact that you are having cash-flow problems tells me you do not have this skill… yet. That’s ok, because the second insight will help you “piggy-back” on the success of someone who does.
The second insight says that if you don’t have your own well-nurtured client list to work with, another business who will give you access to their well-nurtured client list is the next best thing.
Let’s look at why…
It costs at least seven times as much to generate a new client than it does to sell something new to an existing client. A business that understands this puts enormous time and resources into building and nurturing those existing clients so they can generate cash flow, almost at will, by communicating with the people on it.
Without money and without a well-nurtured client list of your own, you should set out to find businesses in your community who do have a well-nurtured client list. Having those businesses make an offer to their clients on your behalf is the ultimate shortcut to gaining new clients quickly.
You leverage their list and relationship by making a special offer to their clients. This allows your partner business to present the special offer as “another benefit of doing business with us.” It could be a special discount, a buy one get one free promotion, a free audit or analysis, a discounted computer repair, or something else altogether. When a new client comes in to take advantage of the special offer, you have obtained a new client at little to no cost by leveraging the relationship they have with your partner business.
Now, you are probably wondering a few things. Why would a partner business want to do this? and How does the partner business make the special offer to their clients?
To get a partner business to send your offer to their list, you need to make it “worth their while.” Sure, they receive good will by sending a great offer to their clients, but most business owners will want something more to make the effort. Here are three options:
- Offer a percentage of every sale one of their clients generates.
- Offer to sell the partner business computer equipment at a discount when a certain number of their clients buy from you.
- Offer to promote their business to your clients in return.
When a partner business agrees, how do they go about getting the offer to their clients?
If the partner business is good at what they do, they already communicate, by mail, at least once per month with their clients. If they are collecting E-mail addresses, it could be weekly or even daily. Write out the offer and present it to your partner business for editing and approval. The less work you make them do, the faster and easier the process will go. If the partner business will agree, offer to print, mail and send out the letters with their approval. This way, all they have to do is give you their client list, sit back, and let it happen. Another option, less labor intense but with slower results, is to create a flyer or coupon that the partner business can give to their clients when they see them.
What all this means for you, Landon, is that you should seek out businesses with clients just like the clients you want for your own business. Approach them with a win-win idea: “I’ll make a special offer to your clients, they’ll appreciate the extra ‘perk’ they receive because they patronize your business, and I’ll also give you [whatever you want to give them in return.]” Once you get one business to agree, go find another. Do this and your cash-flow problems will be a thing of the past in no time.