How to explode the lifetime value of your customers

Chief Creative Officer

It’s June!

Almost summer!

Let’s you and me head to the beach. (I know I burn easily, just go with it.)

Before I wrestle with the umbrella while you just stand there and watch, how’s about we have a little contest?

We’ll each open a hamburger stand. And whoever sells the most burgers wins.

Cool? Cool.

Before we start, think about any advantages you may want.

What could give you an edge over me?

Maybe you’d want a fancy grind of beef for a richer flavor.

Maybe you’d want to serve your burgers on buttery brioche buns.

Maybe you’d want to include a side of golden, crispy tater tots instead of fries.

Maybe you’d want to park your stand where there’s heavy foot traffic.

Maybe you’d want to offer the lower price.

Whatever you can think of, go for it.

And because I’m feeling generous … I’ll give you all those advantages. 

I only want one. And if you give it to me, I guarantee I’ll whoop the tar out of your lowly little burger shack. 

Wanna know what my one advantage would be?

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A starving crowd.

Gary “the Prince of Print” Halbert used to tell that story during his sales seminars.

He was a master of identifying markets that were hungry for a particular product. When he found one, he’d create the product, promote it until he juiced every last dollar from his mailing list, then find a new market and repeat the process.

That may not be your business model. But you can still make a killing with an audience segment you know better than any other …

Your current customers.

It’s painfully obvious when you think about it.

What could be a more mouthwatering prospect than someone who’s already bought from you, already trusts you, and is likely to welcome your sales message rather than reject it?

Still, I watch clients pour gazillions of dollars into new customer acquisition, but bristle at the thought of shaking a more fruit-bearing tree.

They say they don’t want to be “too pushy.”

You know who else doesn’t want to be too pushy?

Failures.

So, don’t you fall into the same trap.

Here are three deceptively simple ways for you to make more money from your existing customers.

💡 Cross-selling 
A customer who has bought one product from you is likely to buy another product that speaks to that same interest. 

The key to making this pitch work is they have to be a satisfied customer—and preferably one that you’ve built a relationship with. If you’ve gone too dark for too long, you’ll seem like a stranger lifting their wallet on a train platform. 

You’ll have even greater success if you can give them a free trial. A no-obligation offer instantly dismantles any fear of loss. Plus, the more someone uses your product, the more ownership they’ll feel. Then, they’ll be less likely to cancel. 

💡 New product launches 
When offering new products to existing customers, you can tap into the power of exclusivity to make them feel like part of a special group.

Give your best customers a special “sneak preview” before your launch date to get them excited. Or grant them early access and/or an exclusive discount before your release to the masses. But maybe the easiest way to score a surge of early buyers … 

A waiting list.

If you want someone to make a large commitment, it’s wise to get them to agree to a smaller one first. Because being consistent with earlier actions is a common decision-making shortcut.

If you can get potential buyers to join a waiting list or pre-register for your product (with no obligation to buy), then many will follow through with a purchase. You may not convert everyone, but you’ll grab more sales this way compared to making the bigger ask right away.

💡 Referrals 
Some people think you need a fancy referral program to get new business from current customers. I say all you need is a mouth.

If you can catch someone at a high point of satisfaction, that’s the best time to ask for a referral. Because when they’re smack in the middle of getting a ton of value from your product or service, your ask is practically friction-free.

Also, don’t be afraid to tell them WHY you want a referral.

One of the most powerful trigger words in marketing is “because.”

As nonsensical as it may seem, saying: “We’d love a referral from you because we want more new client business” is actually stronger than saying “We’d love a referral from you.”

I’ve been because-ing the crap out of my copy since I heard that. And it works.

Doesn’t feel too pushy now, does it?

If it does, hit reply. I’m always happy to talk anything out.

Right after I slather on more sunscreen. 😎

Here’s a song to play you out >>>

See you next time. — Matt


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Chief Creative Officer
Matt is a professional storyteller. That used to be a thinly veiled way to say you still lived with your parents. But the truth is stories have existed since the dawn of humanity and they still have the power to move people, even if it’s no longer from the path of a charging mammoth. Throughout his career on both the agency and client sides, Matt’s work has been known to compel audiences to indulge in higher thread counts, abandon Lenten sacrifice, or move to the suburbs. He’ll even conjugate a noun if he has to. The bottom line: Matt is our agency twofer. Strategy and Creative. The Big Idea and Stealth Deployment. He’s a single expense yielding a dual return. And who doesn’t love a bargain?

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