12 Ways To Add Value for your customers


Below are ways to add value for your customers:


1. Gift vouchers – provide added value and convenience

• You can sell gift vouchers to people who can then give them away as gifts or prizes
• Great profit booster – you’re being paid upfront for products and services you are yet to provide and some people simply forget to redeem them
• You should always keep accurate records when you sell gift vouchers to make sure they get redeemed

Do everything you can to grow your database… and an unredeemed gift voucher is one less potential client
• Inform the person who gave the gift voucher that it has been redeemed so they can talk to the person who received it and possibly receive a second “thank you”
• Tell voucher purchaser that you will call the recipient two weeks before the voucher expires so they don’t miss out before the expiration date

2. Make an offer to “buy one, get half free“
For every $100 gift voucher purchased, offer the purchaser another bonus certificate at 50% of the value of the original gift certificate for themselves
• Assume client X purchases a $100 Gift Certificate for a friend and also purchases a $50 Gift Certificate for their self
• The friend spends their $100… your actual cost is $50 wholesale, so you just made a $50 profit
• Client X now has a $50 Gift Certificate to spend on something that costs you $25… so you end up making $25
• In this example, the money isn’t what’s important… the fact that you now have two very happy people is important
• Client X just got something for nothing, a rare occurrence these days… but you now have two very satisfied clients… and each of them have a mouth and ten friends

3. Trade-in offers is a great way to generate extra sales
Any business that offers anything new could start using trade-ins as a tool to growing their business
• You’re lowering your margin on the sale of the new item
• People like to trade in something old for new and it definitely makes their buying decision easier
Offer to donate all traded-in goods to a needy charity
• They’re paid a trade-in on the old product and helping out a charity as well; you also get a tax deduction
• Promote that “all traded-in items will be donated to charity” and get a write-up in the local paper
• Advertorials are better than paid advertising… you will reach more people and generate positive word-of-mouth

4. Product bundling – grouping together certain products to create ‘packages’ which you then sell to your clients

If you’re in a service-based industry then “discount books” do the exact same thing
• At the heart of all value-added propositions lies the need to help make your clients’ decision-making process easier

Examples

  • A dentist could offer 30% off a teeth-whitening program after each visit by a patient
  • A landscaper could offer a garden maintenance kit after each job… including gloves, a spade, a rake, a broom, clippers, a compost bin and so on
  • A photographer could bundle enlargements, a photo album and a CD of all the photos taken
  • A locksmith could provide an alarm system, roller shutters, a fire protection system, a car alarm, a personal attack alarm, exterior alarm warning signs and stickers and possibly an ozone detection system where appropriate

5. Financing If your products or services are considered on the expensive side, you should offer your clients some sort of finance option where they can pay their purchase off over 1, 2 or 3 years… but you still get paid upfront. You can charge your clients interest or… through a finance company… offer an interest-free option
There are also many companies that will offer to finance your clients or purchase the loans from you. 
6. Buy one – get one free offer
only works if you can purchase a particular item at a low cost in bulk so you can make a significant profit • You own a clothing store and decide to offer a “buy one T-shirt and get a second one for free!“ • Each T-shirt costs $5 wholesale – you sell them for $15 • The customer receives two T-shirts then for $15, and your total cost is $10 • You end up with a profit of $5
ALWAYS have a strategy in place to up-sell and cross-sell each customer and you can easily increase double or triple your profit margins 
• Perfect this strategy and confirm that 70% of customers are being up-sold to an additional product or service with a significantly higher profit margin… you can then offer the 2 T-shirts for $5 and use them as a ‘loss leader‘ • This is where you actually lose money on that particular sale but more than making up the difference through your up-selling strategy
7. Price matching when a business makes an offer like “find the same product at a cheaper price and we’ll match it”… or if you’re really aggressive, you can offer to give the customer 10% additional off the original price. Many businesses use this as a conditioning tool to create the impression that this business always has lower prices than everyone else when, in reality, a lot of what they offer is at the same or even at a higher price than their competition
8. Extended warranties and guarantees offer to clients to back up the stated manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee
• It shows that you’re more than willing to extend the life of the warranty or guarantee due to your belief in the product • However, some inherent risk is involved since you’re gambling on the product you sold actually lasting the distance • Contact the manufacturer about extending the warranty for your customers only
9. Free storagebusinesses that are able to provide free storage of the products or items that they sell can provide added convenience for their clients
Free, temporary or permanent storage could help a lot of people who want to buy your product today but, due to a number of reasons, can’t have it delivered at the present time and since you’re storing it for them, you can now offer multiple up-sell and cross-sell services to dramatically increase your revenue and profits
ExamplesBoats, caravans, trailers and horse floats; by offering to store their purchase, you’re seen as providing a safe, secure and easy to access storage option on their behalf. You can offer to provide additional services they require, make modifications, offer custom paint services and charge for routine and required maintenance 
Wine – ideal for purchasers that don’t have a wine cellar, frequently move or may consume the wine if kept in home. This allows you to market actively to wine collectors to increase sales
Building materials – customers decide to renovate in 3 months but want to purchase materials and supplies now. Free temporary storage allows you to lock in the sale today and offers you additional up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
Furniture and antiques – free storage means they can go ahead and shop for specific styles, colors and price when sales come along
Gifts – no one wants to risk the chance that their “perfect” gift will be discovered prior to the special occasion
ALWAYS establish a maximum storage date, and if that date is exceeded, be sure you have the customer’s agreement that a fee will be paid to you when they do pick up the item… or that after 30 days past the expiration pick up date, all items in storage become your property
10. Prizes and competitions
If you offer prizes and competitions and your competitors don’t, more people will choose you because they stand to gain something for nothing

  • Think strategically about the prizes you offer 
  • Consider using joint venture partners and offer their products or services as prizes in your competition
  • Ask them to donate one of their best products or services
  • Create a “basket” of prizes or gifts valued at $1000
  • Run a group competition where each customer from every store goes into a drawing to “win a $1,000 gift basket”
  • All of the stores can promote this drawing and use it to compel additional sales

Attorney could offer to update the customer’s will.The local butcher could offer a free meat platterThe hairdresser could provide a free shampoo and blow-dryThe health club could kick in an hour with a personal trainerGardener – free lawn mowing with trimming and edgingPhoto shop – a series of free picture frames Local tire store – free alignment or oil changeLadies clothing shop – free scarf or winter glovesDry cleaner – free dry cleaningLocal restaurant – free dinner for two
11. Discount cardsa simple way to reward your loyal clients… ensure repeat business… and generate great word of mouth
By offering a ‘10% off’ Discount Card to your loyal clients, you’re taking a 10% hit on margin but you’re generating reciprocity and ‘good will’ in your business. Can you offer your services to your customers in the form of a booklet where they can buy ten and then get one free? A lot of people will use you if you reward loyalty when others don’t
Two additional considerations – first, if you offer a buy ten – get one free discount card, consider giving each new customer credit for the first one or two purchases on the card. Second, if you have a product or service that appeals to kids and you have a way to capture the date they were born, send them a discount card good for a free whatever as a special birthday present. This works especially well for restaurants, yogurt and ice cream shops, retailers offering clothing and low end jewelry, video games and entertainment establishments like movie theaters, bowling centers, ice skating rinks
Examples

  • Hairdresser – buy five, get one free ($30 product voucher)
  • Chiropractor – buy one get one free treatment
  • Dentist – bring the whole family twice a year and receive free mouth guards for the kids
  • Stock broker – for every ten trades executed in one month the client receives their first trade free next month
  • Cafe – every tenth coffee for free

12. V.I.P. customer programs Recognize and reward your best clients
As simple as providing a discount card or, depending on your level of creativity, you could combine several strategies mentioned in this presentation. Consider a V.I.P. Customer Program that… – combines a discount of 10-15% off all non-sale items – comes with extended warrantees and guarantees – free home delivery – various prizes – interest-free financing

Robert Ritch

Robert is an expert in marketing and finance. He has developed these skills over a 25-year career specializing in business turnarounds.

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