Doing Business can definitely feel like war.
You might have heard the saying, “Business is a combination of war and sport.”
Not only do some businesses survive, they thrive.
They emerge victoriously.
So why is it that others experience crushing defeat, leaving them beaten, broken and bankrupt?
Whether it’s war, business or sports, what differentiates the victors from the losers comes down to a few things.
Many strategies and concepts were used to wage war back in the day. Could they work in today’s modern business world?
I turned to one of my favourite books – Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War” to find out…
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is concerned with generating new leads and making sales online.
Unfortunately, most business owners neglect the opportunities that exist within their existing customer base.
A fundamental and often forgotten metric is your Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).
What does it mean?
CLTV is a prediction of the net profit resulting from the entire future relationship with a customer.
To find out how valuable your customers are, ask yourself this:
- How much does my business make on the first sale?
- How often do my customers do repeat business with me?
- How much do I make on those repeat sales?
- How often do those repeat sales occur?
- How many days, weeks or years does my average customer continuously do business with me?
- Do my customers recommend me to others? If so, how often?
Once you have a clear understanding of the real lifetime value of your customer, you can figure out exactly how much money you can afford to spend to acquire new customers.
Typically, the company that can afford to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.
So what does this have to do with Sun Tzu’s quote and more importantly with online marketing?
Let’s say you’ve just acquired a new customer today. Let’s call him Steve.
With Steve, you’ve now gained the opportunity to multiply.
A week after his initial purchase, you use E-mail Marketing to send an offer to Steve.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is the art of building a list of people that are interested in what you offer and what you have to say.
What you send them can be in the form of newsletters, promotions and other useful information related to your business via email.
So you proceed to send an amazing promotional offer to Steve.
It’s an upgrade for the first product he purchased from you. It has tons of additional and premium features, and it’s 50% Off this week only!
Steve opens your email and thinks to himself…
“You know what, that sounds great. I could benefit from this”
Boom! Just like that, Steve makes a second purchase from you.
Fast forward one week. Steve is so happy with his initial and secondary purchase that he tells his friend Stacy.
Next thing you know you get a call from Stacy and guess what? You just made another sale.
Here’s the great thing about this.
According to American Express, happy customers tell (on average) nine people about their positive experiences with a company.
That means you can have 100, 1000 even 100,000+ people on your email list that you can reach… All at the snap of a finger – For Free!
That means as long as you keep providing value and keep your subscribers engaged, a percentage of your list will continue purchasing.
So as long as you deliver quality products/services and your customers are happy, they will keep referring you.
• Build and maintain an email list
• Give your customers a reason to refer you
• Don’t stop your sales efforts after the first purchase
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to call a business, credit card in hand, ready to purchase, only to get no response.
So I leave a voicemail, and I drop them a message on their website contact form.
Next day, no response.
Three days go by, no response.
A week goes by, still nothing!
It’s almost like they don’t want to take my money!
So I called another company, luckily somebody picked up, and I purchased from them instead. Sound familiar?
Harvard Business Review conducted a study to understand online lead response time and its impact on sales performance.
2,241 companies participated in the study and their response time to an inquiry was timed. Here’s what they discovered:
- 37% of the companies responded within an hour.
- 16% of the companies responded within 1 to 24 hours.
- 24% of the companies took more than 24 hours.
- 23% of the companies percent never even responded.
Are you kidding me? 23% never responded to the lead at all.
We live in the age of Netflix, Fast Food and Amazon “Next Day” Shipping.
Consumers are more impatient than ever before.
The faster you respond to a lead (potential customer), the better your chances of making the sale.
Here’s 3 ways you can improve your lead response time:
1. Add a Live Chat or Chatbot to your website
Live chat allows you to provide near-instant response times.
Rather than have the potential customer wait a few hours for an email response or a callback, they get a lightning fast response.
This keeps the website users engaged, and they can get answers in real-time.
Check out these 2 to get started -> Drift or Intercom.
2. Use an Email Autoresponder
Let’s say a potential customer sends you an email inquiry.
Using a tool like MailChimp you set up a simple automatic email response:
“We received your inquiry! One of our team members will be in touch shortly.”
This assures the customer that you received their message, and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible.
3. Get a Call Answering Service
Nothing is worse than calling a business and getting their voicemail.
If consumers are calling your business, they want to talk to someone right away.
This is why a call answering service (virtual assistant or receptionist) is useful. It allows someone to handle all your inbound phone inquiries.
They’ll speak with the customer and relay the key information back to you via email.
• Speed up your lead response time
• Always be quick when replying to emails
• Take the time to actually respond to your leads!
Knowing the enemy…
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – you’ve got competition, either locally or globally – depending on the size of your company.
Who are your competitors? How are they doing?
Chances are some of them are doing just as good, or even better than you are.
When is the last time you checked what your biggest competitor was up to?
What new promotions are they offering?
Are they running ads? Where?
Business is a war fought over market share.
In today’s information age, information is power.
Curious about how one of your competitor’s websites is doing?
Go to similarweb.com to spy on their website traffic numbers. You can see where that traffic is coming from and more.
Understanding your enemy (competitors) is just half the battle.
To get to know yourself and your business, you must ask:
What makes my business stand out from the crowd?
What is my unique selling proposition? (USP)
The answer should be clear and compelling.
A killer USP can make the difference between a prospect buying or flying.
You should feel confident that given the choice – a random prospect would choose you over everyone else.
Here’s how you come up with a USP:
Start from the perspective of your ideal customer.
What would make them want to choose your business over others?
Next, ask yourself what you can offer that your competitors can’t.
For example, let’s say you own a cafe.
Your USP could be something as simple as offering a money-back guarantee if customers don’t love the coffee.
It could be something innovative (and crazy) like having 12 pugs jump on you while you have a coffee.
No seriously – that’s a real thing at the Pug Cafe in Kyoto, Japan.
Check out the staff area on their website:
- Understand the competitive landscape
- Identify and keep tabs on your competitors
- Have a unique selling proposition
Many businesses seem to jump into marketing – not understanding how it works and not having enough preparation.
This usually results in a failed campaign and thousands of wasted advertising dollars.
Preparation and calculation are vital to any marketing campaign.
You’ve probably heard the term KPI before – short for key performance indicator.
Although I’m not quite sure what kind of calculations our friend Sun Tzu was up to, KPIs
are the calculations you must make in your temple (or office) before the battle is fought
(before the marketing campaign is launched).
These could be things like:
• Clicks (to your website)
• Cost-per-click (CPC)
• Conversion Rate (Percentage of people that bought)
• Customer Acquisition Cost
Clicks – How many people are visiting your website?
Cost-per-click – How much are these people costing you?
Conversion Rate – How many people end up purchasing?
Customer Acquisition Cost – How much does it cost you to acquire a new (paying) customer?
• Calculate and understand your Key Performance Indicators.
You might be reading this and thinking you’ve already tried Facebook Ads or Google Adwords and got little to no results.
Or maybe you have a website that’s just accumulating hosting bills and not generating any sales.
Many people and companies run ads or invest in a website because they are told that it’s a good idea without really understanding the proper strategy and execution to make it work.
Facebook Ads, Adwords and a killer website are all powerful tactics that can generate massive amounts of revenue if done correctly.
That’s the problem.
Most people don’t have a proper strategy in place to launch their campaign, so they end up losing tons of money and thinking “This stuff doesn’t work for us.”
Talk about “Fire, ready, aim!”.
You have to have a concrete plan first.
Once you have a strategy that is tailored to your business, everything becomes much easier.
You stop losing business opportunities…
You stop “guessing” and “wondering” what needs to be done…
You can finally relax, knowing you have a system in place to do the job for you.
• Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you want to win at business, create a winning strategy that is proven to get you results
• Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
If you need help getting started, click the link below and let’s have a chat.
Together we will help you:
• Discover the significant issues that are holding you back (and your growth)
• Decide where to get the right cost-effective traffic
• Create a strategic plan to grow your business and give you a blueprint that we used for our clients with much success
Don’t hear the noise before the defeat.
Grab your free strategy so you can start prospering and defeating your enemies on the modern battlefield we call the internet.
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions, drop a comment below or feel free to drop us a line.