I was sent an email yesterday from a rock-band called Marillion (best known for 80s hit Kayleigh) letting me know about their new album and world tour. Now before you all tell me how sad I am for receiving emails from Marillion, I want to point out how very clever they are!
They don’t have the broadest fan-base in music and they don’t sell-out stadiums when they tour, but what they do have is a small, though extremely-loyal following – like me!
I buy every album they release, I buy tickets to see them live, I buy their T-shirts…Hell, I even use one of their mouse-mats for my computer! (Now you can call me sad!)
And this is why they are very clever – they know they are never going to get to #1 in the charts, so they don’t try! They know they are never going to get a guest slot on X-Factor, so they don’t try! They know they are never going to win a Brit Award, so they don’t try!
But what they do know, with some certainty, is that their existing fan-base (like me) will always buy their albums, their concert tickets and their T-shirts – so they always make sure I’ve got lots of different things to buy from them! The reason being it’s a damn sight easier to sell to me than to try and convince someone who has never heard their music before to buy their album.
Let’s look at how this can work in your business…
A client of mine recently told me that their biggest challenge was to get existing customers to repeat-buy from them. So I asked them: “What other services/products do you have that your customer would want to buy from you?”
The short answer was not a great deal – so unless you’re selling nuts and bolts it is unlikely that you’re going to get many repeat-sales. So create something more for your customers to buy!
Just look at the Marillion Model – I like them enough to have bought from them already, so it’s extremely likely I’ll buy from them again. All they have to do is give me enough opportunity to buy (new albums, tour tickets etc) and let me know what they have on offer (regular emails/blogs/Tweets etc)
To my mind the Marillion Model is all about selling deep to your existing customer-base, and not spending all your time trying to sell wide to new customers – this a far more cost-effective method of increasing your sales.
Apply the same model to your business, and you’ll start preaching to the converted – in other words, people/companies that already like/know/trust you – and they will buy more from you as long as you make it easy for them to see how their world is going to be a better place as a result of buying more from you!