In sales there is something called the 80/20 rule. It’s when 80% of your sales come from just 20% of your customer base.
Every client is important, but you will always have about 20 percent of your client base that drives approximately 80 percent of your revenue. The companies I’ve worked for – large and small – have experienced the 80/20 rule and it was always super obvious who their top clients were. It doesn’t matter if you sell direct to consumer or if your business is primarily wholesale, this rule will apply. The key is to serve these Top Clients so they stay happy and (hopefully) loyal.
So where do you find these top clients? The most effective channels for acquiring top customers is by:
Personal contacts: These clients come through friends and family and in some cases can be your friend and family.
Personal referrals from top customers: Your top clients can be your best referrals and can be the driver in acquiring more key customers.
Customer events: Events like trunks shows and retail or wholesale shows can be a wonderful way to find future customers and introduce them to your jewelry. Don’t underestimate the power of face time to convert prospective customers into repeat shoppers. Beyond driving sales, these events can also provide invaluable conversations that can help you understand what clients like and dislike about your jewelry. These one on one “focus chats” can really provide wonderful insight.
Partnerships: Partnerships with stylists, bloggers, nonprofits or other organizations that have a similar audience/customer profiles are effective ways to reach potential top clients.
KEEPING TOP CLIENTS
Now that you have your top clients, you want to make sure that you keep them happy and loyal. How do you do this?
Listen and Learn: Get to know your customer. Learn about their likes and dislikes, their style, the brands they like, what they like to do, where they like to vacation, if they have a family, etc. By asking questions and learning about your client you will develop
a relationship /partnership. This kind of a personal “seller-buyer” relationship (and the trust that accompanies it) is critical to building and sustaining top client loyalty. It is all about the relationship.
Keep them involved: Keep your clients involved with your business by communication through newsletters, blogging or even calling them to see how they are or asking for their opinion/feedback on your new line or something else that you are working on.
Meaningful gestures: Just like in any relationship, little surprises and gifts go a long way to keep a client smiling. For example, sending a hand written thank you note for their order or sending them a holiday gift for being such a great client. Never underestimate the power of a small, but thoughtful gesture.
Take Action Now:
Write down 3 things you are going to do to find and grow your Top Clients. Please share your 3 things below. After you have done these 3 things, please come back and share with us how successful you were with growing your Top Clients.