Operations

Targeting Your Current Clients

LCT Staff
Posted on June 1, 2000

The cold, hard numbers are discouraging. Very few people in this country, perhaps only five percent, ever hire chauffeured ground transportation. Maybe the Internet will one day be a tool to produce big revenue for the limousine industry, but right now it is long on potential and short on actual bookings. The reality is that building from the inside out creates successful limousine companies. Delivering a good product, retaining current customers and gaining referral sales is still a solid formula for success.

That?s the real-world advice of Jay Conrad Levinson, the best-selling author of Guerilla Marketing (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) and six other books on the use of ?guerilla? tactics in the marketing of your small business. In an exclusive interview with LCT magazine, Levinson says the first reason to focus on your current client list is the lower cost per sale. ?It costs six times more to make a sale to a stranger than to an existing customer,? he reveals.

Levinson says your marketing plan should focus on your existing customer list. ?I say 60 percent of your total marketing budget should be spent on your current clients, 30 percent on your prospects and 10 percent on the entire universe,? he adds. Step one in this process is developing the best customer list possible. As an example of the ultimate mailing list, he points to Harvey Mackey, chairman of Mackey Envelope Corporation and author of Swimming With the Sharks, 1988. His company is the world?s largest envelope manufacturer, with an average production run of around 10 million envelopes per day. ?Mackey knows the value of a customer,? says Levinson. ?He has a customer and key prospect list that includes up to 66 details per person. Harvey and his salespeople know the educational level of the people on the list. They know about their customers? and key prospects? families. They know what social clubs the client belongs to, where they like to vacation, and their favorite sports team. They are, of course, filled in on the business background, even on the office décor.?

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