Have you checked the back door lately? “Re-marketing” is knocking.

by: Courtney Pemberton

Any professional woman that can make a large crowd chuckle uncontrollably with the mention of a plumbers’ crack is pretty much my hero. Who is this delightful woman you ask? Suzanne Penley, CEO of Customer Focused Systems, a full service consulting, management and training firm. She recently spoke at the monthly AMA luncheon about the power of “re-marketing,” and I have to say it has been my most enjoyable to date.

We all know what marketing is but are you familiar with ‘re-marketing?” I suggest you familiarize yourself fast. The term ‘re-marketing” has received its own page on Wikipedia…and we all know that once you’ve made it to Wikipedia, you have hit the big times. Suzanne summed it up quite nicely when she said:

‘Do not worry about more customers…worry about more business.”

It’s so simple to do and yet we still have businesses lacing up their Superman Nike high-tops and racing to see who has the most clients at the end of the day. You spend tons of money marketing to possible clients that you forget about the ones that pay your salary…current clients. With that being said, I don’t think it would hurt to rent a mini-plane, fly it over Houston with a banner that reads, ‘Thank You Schipul Clients! If It Wasn’t For You, I Would Be A Hobo Under Highway 59 Right Now.”

Suzanne explained the fact that we are constantly trying to open new doors, but have you ever thought to check the back door? Personally, I think some of us are still spinning in the revolving door but that’s neither here nor there. ‘Checking the back door” can be as simple as calling a current client to see how they boded over at the ‘World Conker Championships.” That phone call had nothing to do with your product…but you have opened the back door to continued business. Do NOT underestimate the element of surprise…it’s a powerful tool and can often come down to whether you keep a client or not.

According to Suzanne, ‘re-marketing” exhibits 3 trends:

1.       Reliability: Take McDonald’s for example. You can go to a McDonald’s in Texas, Minnesota or even in Kiev, Ukraine and have the same exact meal. Granted, the happy meal toy and hamburger meat may vary depending on dining location, but the good news is…Ronald McDonald is still a ninja. The point I am trying to make here is McDonald’s has built their business around being reliable and it has worked. Suzanne put it in prospective when she said, ‘Don’t cut back on your main ingredients.” Continue to offer the same service that you offered in the beginning, don’t cut back…not even a little bit. What if I went to Starbucks everyday and ordered a caramel macchiato with whip cream on top, but one day they forgot the whip cream. That’s fine, it’s just one day. To my dismay, they continued to forget for an entire week…you better believe I am taking my business elsewhere…all I wanted was some whip cream people!

2.       Responsiveness: Clearly outline what customers can expect from you and stick to it. If you promised string cheese, a purple skip-it and a light saber, well by golly you better give them string cheese, a purple skip-it, a light saber AND a complimentary Dallas Cowboys key chain.

3.       Empathy: This was the most important trend and according to Suzanne, one of the leading sales and marketing techniques today. People enjoy doing business with people they like.   Stop telling people you are the best…show them that you are the best. Here’s an idea, be human! Nobody wants to discuss a business deal with a robot, and to be quite honest, I don’t trust anything that can’t perspire and enjoy a nice bubble bath.

Here’s the deal folks…existing clients are like your lovable grandma Camille…she’s old and repeats the same story about how she tooted trying to build a trampoline one Christmas, but if you listen to her and give her a call every now and then, she will always have fresh cookies waiting for you on the table.

Thank you for the awesome photo Jeremy Brooks!