Some Customers are More Equal than Others
Businesses will always say that all of their customers are important to them. However, when it comes to making money, your best customers are always going to be the ones who buy the most from you. So how do you identify which customers you should focus on? First segment your customer list, and separate your best customers from the rest. You know that they're more serious than others, and chances are, the reason they're spending that money with you is because they have more money to spend. The secret to growing your business is to continue to get these customers to re-buy from you and if possible, attract more customers like these.
Segment your customer list data in different ways. First, split clients up by the amount they spend. You can also segment them by the type of products or services they buy from you. In some cases, you can segment them by the year or the quarter that they start buying from you. Now rank your lists as A, B, C and D, with A being your best customers.
When you're developing a new product or service offering, do so with your very best customers in mind. Present the offering to the A list first. You have built a relationship of trust with these customers so they will want to buy from you. As long as your product or service offers them an attractive benefit (faster, cheaper, better, etc.) they are more likely to buy from you than anybody else. Once you get through the A list, move on to the B list and so on. By the time you get to the C list you need to consider how well you are doing. Is selling to the C list taking far more time and effort than selling to your A list? If so then perhaps it’s time to stop. Maybe your time would be better spent creating a new product or service to sell to your A list.
With your client list segmented this way, every time you have an idea for a new product or service, take it straight to your best customers and try to sell it there first, maximising your chances of success. You will have to try harder and invest more resources (time and money) to sell to the rest of your customer base or indeed, to new customers. Since all customers aren't equal, those who spend more money with you deserve more. As such your business can afford to spend more money on them in an attempt to cross sell to them and to retain their custom. You should reward your best customers. Show them that you appreciate them by making them feel special. Send them a card at Christmas and invite them along to an annual client drinks party. Anything that shows them that your company values their custom will help to maintain their loyalty.