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Steven C. Bursten
Internet Power for
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Favorite Customer Marketing

Sometimes "Common Sense" doesn't work.
This is one of those times. Listen to your head, not your stomach

Favorite Customer Marketing doesn't make sense to most independent business owners. What does make sense to a major player is to spends thousands - sometimes hundreds of thousands - on costly media to attract new customers. But it just doesn't feel right to spend 20% on existing customers.

Fly by the numbers

Look, I thought that way for years. But learning to fly an airplane on instruments taught me that sometimes you have to believe the dials and numbers, not your stomach. The more you learn about Favorite Customer Marketing, and the more you study the numbers, the more you will be a believer.

Kitchens and Window Coverings - where's the connection?

Len Casey, a former marketing professor at Florida Atlantic University, and close friend for over 20 years, introduced me to the concept of Neighborhood Marketing. It was powerful, and became the backbone marketing concept for the largest window covering and decorating organization in America today, Interiors by Decorating Den. Later, Len introduced the idea of customer follow up to boost word-of-mouth buzz. Let me share an example that is relevant to our window covering business (and to flooring, remodeling, and any other home products).

As worldwide executive for Dupont's Teflon Division, managing Silverstone and Corian counter tops; and after twice winning the International award for excellence in marketing at Dupont (only person ever to do so), Len and some investors purchased the top, high-end, kitchen cabinet company in America, Heritage Kitchens, and later St. Charles Kitchens.

As President, Len focused on dealers who were coachable and wanted to earn more profits. In a business where the typical operator sells $2-3 Million a year, Len was able to help many of his dealers double sales, and improve gross profit margins. Now, put this in perspective. These are dealers who sell $60-100,000 kitchens, each! How many $100,000 kitchens will a customer buy in a lifetime? Probably one +, maybe. So who would think that customer follow up would make a difference, when a customer will probably never buy from you again? Well, Len proved that it works, and convinced me. Now, If you want to get into the Big Money in window coverings, it's worth learning WHY it works. www.strategyacceleration.com

Who Is A "Favorite" Customer?

A "Favorite" customer is one of those wonderful people who take up less time, buy better products, appreciate high quality, love your service, respect you as a professional, and allow you to earn better profit margin. And, all the while they foster a pleasant working relationship as you serve them. These are customers you consider as your friends. They will buy from you again and again over the years. They tell their friends about you. Then the cycle repeats, as their friends become favorite customers, and tell their friends. That's what "Favorite Customer Marketing" is all about. It's about the LIFETIME value of every customer you sell!

Simple, But Not Easy

What's not to like? Who wouldn't want more customers who are that wonderful? Actually, the principles are simple - but not easy to believe. And, in the past, it's been hard to put the principles to work. Why? Because it all starts with a customer list! And most businesses don't have a customer list! A customer list is your entry ticket. Without it, you can't even play the game. Next, you want to add appointments that you and decorators went on who didn't buy. Then you add realtors, friends, and referrals sources. Some people will send you a lot of business, but never buy from you themselves!

It Takes A List To Play

The point is: Invest in people who know you, like you, trust you, and want to see you succeed. When you get a newspaper lead, half the sales interview is building credibility that you are a competent, reliable person (and business) the customer can trust. When you market to your database, that battle is already won! Now people can focus on your message without suspicious filters of the general public!

In the Past it Was Tough - Today, it's Do-Able

Today, with Internet technology, it is finally possible - and affordable - to build a database. You can use it for all the reasons you wanted to before - mailing lists, phone follow up, easy reference, and more. And now, you can do something you could NEVER do before: send low cost, colorful, exciting, interesting eNewsletters and promotions your customers WANT to receive.

Why its Worth It

It is worth it to begin a database marketing strategy, to focus on your best customers. It will pay off with higher closing ratios, increased average customer sale, more frequent repeat purchasing, and dramatically increased referrals. It won't happen over night, but it will happen, and it will pay off more quickly than you would expect. To understand why Favorite Customer Marketing works, and why you want to do it in your business, start by understanding the principles about Favorite Customers and how to find them:

  1. Favorite Customers have similar attitudes, interests, and income.
  2. Favorite Customers live in similar neighborhoods.
  3. Favorite Customers work in similar jobs and careers.
  4. Favorite Customers are respected in their community.
  5. Favorite Customers attend the same church, belong to the same country club, are members of the same organizations, and mix in circles with people like themselves.
  6. Favorite Customers are opinion leaders that others look to for ideas.

It all boils down to this simple, fundamental principle:

Favorite customers socialize with friends who have similar interests, and their opinions are respected by the people they know.

If you buy the concept, then we'll show you how to apply it affordably! Start with a database. Begin today to ask customers, friends, and everyone you meet for their e-mail address. You can start today by ordering our CustomerTouch Marketing System. It's affordable, easy to use, and will get you started down the right path. Then stay tuned. We'll bring you new ways right along to build the business you've always wanted.

Belief leads to action. Action leads to results.