Why Focusing on New Customers may Not be the Best Way to Grow.
Today we have Ken Varga, a business strategist that has generated over 6,000,000 clients and built 35 businesses during his career. Some of the businesses he built include: banks, a basketball league, an airline, an insurance brokerage, and a multi-level company.
Ken currently helps businesses implement marketing strategies to find and acquire more customers to build their business. He will speak to us on some of his time tested methods of creating and keeping life long, loyal clients.
In this Interview Learn:
- The greatest asset of any business
- The most important key to a successful business
- How to create life long loyal clients
- The Lifetime Value of a customer
- Why you’re losing business by neglecting your clients
What is your Background Story?
I have created 35 companies with over 6 million clients in my career. I’ve had many wonderful things happen in my life. The great thing that happened was that I was born to be creative.
After creating 35 businesses, I sold the last one in 1999 and retired. I spent my retired day’s reading many books. However, I began to lose the creative abilities I was blessed with. That old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is very true.
So at the age of 74, I embarked on another career to help other business owners create customers. I have a coaching program to show them how to gain and increase their clients and customers.
In all my other businesses and what I teach other business owners, is that
“Marketing is the Engine that makes everything move.”
You don’t get any real profit without marketing.
Unfortunately when economic times are bad, like today, what business owners cut back on, when they shouldn’t, is their marketing budget.
What’s the most important skill needed to become successful in business?
The greatest asset of any business is their Customers and Clients!
So the most important skill needed in any business is the ability to create life long customers and clients. You need loyal customers who will keep coming back, purchasing more and more from you over their lifetime.
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners put the most terrible employees at the front line, handling the clients and customers. This can totally turn off any potential business.
For example, my wife and I were shopping and she picked up some clothing. We were in line and the girl at the register was in the middle of checking people out, when the phone rang. She stopped what she was doing and picked up the phone call. It was obvious that she was talking to one of her friends. She held up everybody in line to talk to one of her friends.
So my advice to business owners is to always be careful who you have representing the face of your business.
How do you Create Lifelong customers?
The number #1 way to create lifelong customers is to build a relationship with them.
Communicate regularly with your customer base.
It scares me with what I could do today with the internet.
Before the internet, I did snail mail in communicating with my customers. I used to send out close to 3 million pieces of mail every month.
Creating lifelong customers is all about constant communication. Today at the press of a button via the internet, you can be in front of your customers every month.
You may be wondering what you’d say to them every month. You can say anything.
In my coaching program, I have letters and templates to use during Valentines, Christmas, Anniversaries, etc. All these different holidays can be used to keep in touch with clients.
“Just wanted to wish you a happy Valentine’s day. Did you know the history of Valentines started this way?”
It goes on explaining the history of Valentine’s, Labor day, Christmas, etc. Just with those letters, you can be in front of your clients 6 times a year. It’s important to be able to do this.
It’s the constant communication with your clients that will make a difference.
When I had my previous companies, I had a 99% retention rate. 99% of my clients stayed with me.
So it’s really that important to stay in touch and send out Holiday Greetings?
The best way to maintain customers and keep them coming back is through constant communication and maintaining a relationship with them.
Let me as you and your readers a question.
“When was the last time you sent your client or customer a birthday card? A physical Birthday card?”
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
My wife and I go out to eat regularly. These restaurants recognize me but they don’t have any data on us. Have you ever gone a restaurant and they created personal data on you? Did they ever ask for your birthday or anniversary date?
All they need to do is take that data and send out an email. Saying,
“Just wanted to wish you a Happy Anniversary. If you dine with us on your Anniversary, a bottle of wine will be our gift to you.”
What would a bottle of wine cost compared to several anniversary dinners?
Customers want to feel appreciated. And this is one of the biggest reasons companies lose business. Over two thirds of people that stop buying from a certain company say that they feel unappreciated or that they don’t matter.
A simple Thank You can go a long way.
That’s right. What does it take for a business owner, after the time of purchase, to send a Thank You note or card?
Those are the things that make a big difference.
One of the things you have to do, is to be aware of who your customer is and build relationships with them.
Also, how many times are you in your car driving, not doing anything?
What would it take to pick up your phone and give them a call,
“Hey Johnny just wanted to give you a call and wish you a Happy Birthday personally. If there’s anything you need, just let me know.”
Don’t you want to be unique and stand out in the mind of your client and customer?
Where you will be at the top of their mind when a friend or relative says, “Hey, I need help with my taxes…” and immediately they recommend you.
Wouldn’t you like that?
But in order for that to happen, you gotta be unique and different to stand out in their mind.
You gotta be asking, “How can I make them feel special or appreciated?”
If you do some of these these things, you will stand out.
You’ll be the only one that actually sends them a physical card on their anniversary.
But you have to do this regularly. Having constant communication is key.
They need a system in place to turn each client or customer into a Raving Fan, who will bend over backwards to tell their friends and family about you.
Right, the focus is always on getting new clients or customers.
Most businesses only focus on getting new customers and clients. Then when they get them, they forget about them and move on to try and get the next new client or customer.
And it’s very sad. Because it costs more money to create a new customer than it does to keep and work with your existing customer base.
It’s actually cheaper to reach out to your existing customers and get them to come back to you and purchase more often.
They don’t fully realize and reach the potential for the Lifetime Value of each customer.
Can you explain the Lifetime value of a customer and why it’s important to know?
It’s important to know, because if you don’t know the amount of money you’re potentially going to get from getting a new customer, you won’t know how much you should be spending to get that new customer.
So you need to determine and know the Value of a Lifetime customer.
If a person comes to you one time. What is the profitability of that one person over their lifetime?
Let’s use a restaurant for an example. Say a person visits your restaurant once a month and spend about $50. So that person will spend about $600 a year dining at your restaurant.
Multiply that over 5 years and that’s $3,000. If you feel a customer will stay with you for about 5 years, that’s the life time value of a potential customer, $3,000.
Now you know that you can spend potentially up to $3,000 just to get one customer.
This sounds like a lot, but it’s to put in perspective, how much your marketing budget can be.
Some companies get $100,000 when they make one sale. So they can spend a lot more to get one customer than a restaurant does.
But again, unless you create lifelong customers, it’s all meaningless. You’ll be throwing away your effort and money on marketing.
I see too often businesses lackadaisically running their business. There is no communication or collection of data from their clients.
It’s easy to do. All you need is a small piece of paper on the table that says, please give us your name, email, birthday, and anniversary. We’d like to reward you with a gift on those dates.
It’s that simple.
But it’s all about maintaining constant communication to really make difference.
What is the best way to get new clients?
It’s all in prospecting.
But it doesn’t make any sense if I showed a business owner how to get 25-50 new prospects a month, which is what I do with my coaching program, teaching how to build up their number of prospects.
You have to consistently communicate with your clients so that they become life long, loyal clients. You have to keep them coming back to you. Wanting more services from you. If you neglect them, they’ll forget about you won’t be returning.
Too many businesses online work so hard at creating a customer. Then they forget all about them once they become their customer.
It’s all in doing the different things that need to be done in order for you to stand out.
For example, I recently did a webinar for business owners. The webinar was about getting clients through Meetup. You or your staff can go on there to network. In the process of networking you can meet people that will eventually become your clients.
I teach my clients how to do it uniquely to fit their business. They join the meetup groups and create groups. They can send welcome messages to new members,
“Hi John, just wanted to take a moment to welcome you to our meetup group. Please tell me a little about yourself, my personal email is…..have a great day.
Ken Varga (555) 555-5555”
When people respond to your greeting, that’s when you start building relationships.
When you go to the actual meeting, and meet people, you always want to listen to others and let them tell you about themselves. It’s call the Law of Reciprocity. When they talk about themselves first, they feel obligated to ask and tell about yourself. That’s when you open the door and start that relationship.
Not many businesses keep in touch this way.
No they don’t!
And that’s what’s so shocking.
Can you imagine those that do this consistently with all of their clients?
They’re going to be leaders of the pack!
They’re going to be at the top of the head of every one of their clients minds. So that when one of their friends or co-workers need a service you provide, they will immediately refer them to you!
And it’s all because of this relationship that your building with them.
I see so much about affiliate and network marketing online. But they’re still not understanding the value of constant communication with their clients!
If you look at me and my blog. I send out valuable information twice a month on how to get a valued customer.
Compared to the way you used to do business, how has the Internet changed things for you?
It scares me to think of what it could have been with my original companies. I could have had 20 million clients.
But today, with internet, it’s so simple to communicate with clients, at the press of a button.
Even with affiliate marketing, where people try to sell products online. They never follow up with the customer, communicate, and build their relationship with them.
It’s insane that businesses don’t develop and keep an ongoing relationship with their clients or customers.
It’s criminal that they don’t.
Aside from not maintaining relationships and forgetting about previous clients, any other pitfalls or major issues you see for businesses?
The other pitfall I see is marrying the wrong person.
You need somebody that is helping to build up your confidence and believes in what you’re doing.
Because, no matter how you look at it, failure will always exist. When you pick yourself up, you need somebody there standing by your side to help you get back up. If you have the wrong person, keeping you down, it can make or break your business.
I know a sharp individual that built a great business. After getting married, his wife demanded too much time with him. She always wanted him at home, and he kept getting backed up and behind with his business. He was unable to deliver on his promises and failed at his business.
So you need somebody standing behind you, understanding what you are doing and supporting you.
Anything else we did not discuss you’d like to mention?
Always have a passion for what you are doing.
If you don’t have a passion for what you’re doing. Go somewhere else and find something you’ll have a passion for.
Because if you don’t have a passion, it’s going to show.
You’ll just be doing the motions and your staff and prospective clients will know it.
And you’re not going to create clients that way.
You need passion to become profitable.
Finally, what’s the best way for people to contact you?
For anybody reading this, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or message me on LinkedIn. Send a connection request so that I can connect with you.
When you message me, if you mention that you heard of me through “AUXO,” I will give a free 45 minute phone consultation and business assessment. I can give a detailed strategy and plan steps on how to go about building up prospects and effectively getting clients.
They can get one of my books from here as well.
Currently the CEO at The Insurance and Financial Advisor Marketing Group, Ken Varga is a businessman who has built 35 successful, profitable businesses in his career of 38 years. One of Ken’s off-line businesses had over 460,000 ongoing customers.
Ken is the author of over 300 information products, including the best selling book, “How to Get Customers to Call, Buy and Beg for More!” All of his works are based on his experiences of developing hundreds of thousands of customers through expert marketing.
He has an eye for what works, and a way of conveying his knowledge and intuition to his listeners so that they will profit from it immediately…for years to come.
At this high point of his career, Ken is focusing on being a mentor and motivating force for entrepreneurs, executives and sales professionals.
Bob Chesney, the former president of the American Speakers Association, president of Chesney Communications, and the director of Window on Wall Street, the longest running financial program, interviewed Ken. You can access a portion of this video interview here. When you view it, you will get a feel for Ken, his knowledge, his presence, his sincerity, his enthusiasm, and how he can lead you to success.
As ken says: “For years I have consulted with corporations and even mom-and-pop stores that need some help, because I really like to solve problems. I like to give people the little secrets that I know will work which will give them real success! That is exciting to me. That has become my passion.”
“I have a system that any business can use to quickly double their business in one year, and have locked-in customers for life.”