by Troy White
I am at a client event in Tampa this week and want to share some exciting news with you. The event I am at is for a very unique niche that targets the affluent buyers that you should be targeting. Why? Because they are the fastest demographic to recover from this economic mess we are all in. The trainers at the event are consistently sharing their success stories in the affluent market, and the rapid growth in demand they are seeing right now.
According to Pam Danzinger, the leading publication for affluent marketing, “At Parisian luxury fashion brand Hermes, best-known for its leather bags that start at US$7,000, sales are up 10%, while demand for Coach’s ubiquitous US$325 handbags has slumped. High-end New York City apartments may have seen their values plunge, but at Fifteen Central Park West, billed as the ultimate Manhattan luxury building, at least eight condos are reported to have sold for nearly 40% above what their owners paid for them in 2007. Now you’ve got to spell luxury with a ‘V’ and the ‘V’ is for value, and value doesn’t mean cheap." They want an experience, and are willing to pay for it”
One of the ways you can get your more affluent clients buying again is to give them what they want … a unique experience that no one else is giving them. What follows is aproven model for getting your affluent buyers buying again.
Even if you aren’t targeting a certain part of your business offerings to the affluent (which I think you should be), this STILL applies to you!
At times like this, your customers NEED to hear a calm, reassuring voice telling them there is a future ahead, and you are there for them no matter what they need.
Rather than someone telling them how the sky is falling and every one of us is doomed to financial destruction (which the media gladly does 24/7), they want someone to help them feel at ease.
Announcing your Emergency Customer Update
and Appreciation Events
These are mini-events (preferably live, if you can) … designed to show them your stance on the economy and how it impacts your industry.
This is also designed to help you get closer to your clients, at a time where everyone else is slashing their marketing expenditures and burying their head in the sand, waiting for it to pass over.
The more you are in front of them now, the more trust they will have in you, and the more value they will see in buying from you when they open their wallets again.
These can be breakfast meetings, luncheons, dinners or teleseminars … the point is to get out there and in front of those who buy from you.
Step 1: Target your audience:
- Figure out if you want all your clients to be invited, or a smaller, more targeted group. (Now is the perfect time to go through your list and find the perfect clients you want to continue working with - and not work so hard on the others.)
- Do some research with them to find out where they are at, how scared they feel, and what type of information would be the most help to them right now.
- Get controversial. Build a story that you will share with them at the meetings. Think through the stance you will take on the market, on the economy, on people’s mindset, and anything you can think of that may help them understand your point of view as we move into the unknown months ahead. Think about what Clayton did with his Imbeciles article – major controversy – and major kudos for him for being the one to say what most people were thinking.
- Create an executive summary or market/business update that you can hand out at your meeting.
- Make sure all the applicable players are involved. Everyone within your company should be there. Partners, suppliers, customers, etc.
- Ask your clients to invite their friends and associates.
Step 2: Meeting Venue and Ambiance Setting (the marketing theme you want to use):
- Find a nice, clean, professional venue to hold your event at. Do not go overboard or too lavish here. If you have a nice office boardroom, use that.
If you are holding an evening event, you may want to bring in wine professionals and have a tasting event, or professional sushi chefs to show them how easy it is to make simple at-home sushi rolls.
(If you are doing wine tasting or are offering drinks, do your event first, then the drinking … hecklers come out of the woodwork when alcohol is added.)
- Design them to be smaller, more intimate, and more personal. In order to show them you honestly do care about them, do not pack them in with 200 others.
Step 3: Strategically invite the groups of people you would like all in the same room at the same time:
- If you have no choice but to do a teleseminar, tell those you are inviting that it is a small group of people that will be on the line. They have been chosen to be part of the panel to discuss ____(your topic)_____. The last thing you want is a line full of people … you want intimate discussions with your best, most coveted clients.
- Preferably, place personal calls to each person you want to invite. (Remember, small groups of eight people will not take a lot of phone calls to fill.)
- Tell them the intentions behind the meeting (value added content, market updates, and strategies for them to weather the storm).
- Invite your most affluent clients as well – try and have them in each group.
- E-mail them – but personal e-mails … no mailing services.
- Even send FedEx packages, if your products and services justify it.
Step 4: Wow them at the meeting:
- Show them the historical facts behind recessions. Help them understand what a recession is, and what happens during the typical cycle. (Sounds basic? Most people do not know this … be the one to help them understand.)
- Hand them your market-update sheet or package.
- Make sure they get great content, great food, and great company. You can even bring in an outside speaker to talk about related areas of interest.
- Do NOT pitch them anything here. This is not the time or place to be selling anything … now is the time to show pure value and content.
- Have respect for everyone there – start and finish right on time.
- Give them a gift … something simple yet memorable. Put together your own quotes book of your favorite inspirational quotes and have them printed up by a print on demand supplier. Have your company information in the book and a catchy title for the cover. It costs you next to nothing, but it will have a lasting impact on them. (You can even have their names custom-printed on the cover. Print on demand is very inexpensive these days.)
- Educate them about what you have planned for the next 6–12 months in your business. And tell them you will send them monthly updates as part of this session. (Make sure they understand the information shared is private and not to be shared.)
- Make sure all of your people are in attendance, dressed professionally and prepared for the meeting.
Start putting one or two of these on a week, and watch what kind of a response you get.
This may sound unusual … but that is the point.
No one else, especially your competition, is doing this.
Show them how much you care about them and their future right now and they will respond in kind when they feel more confident in the economy.
They may feel helpless about the economic conditions out there, but you can help them see the upside, and give them specific strategies for the challenging times ahead.
Never forget …
… During recessions, many businesses fail …
… But it is also the time when absolute riches can be made in any industry, if you position yourself correctly with your existing clients.
Find a few ways to make these lessons work for your business…
To your success,
Editor, Small Business Mastery
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A Final Note:
If you have specific subjects you would like addressed, or have any comments on what you have seen here, please submit a comment below and I will see how I can help.
"Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
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