Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

Good information the key to hitting the target

You have a short-term window of opportunity. It would benefit you and some of your clients. How easily could you get that opportunity to the right clients?
In time? Without wasting money on those not likely to take up the opportunity? More importantly, not burning your permission to contact clients by sending them too many irrelevant communications?

Let's look at Carole as an example.

When you work with a new client, you do research to gain insight into their business and industry. So do I. I made a round of fact-finding phone calls to members and suppliers of Cruiseco - Australia's largest consortium of specialist cruise travel agents. As usual, I asked about their databases and marketing. When three different cruise line sales managers said, "Debbie, you should call Carole of Bicton Travel in Western Australia", I did just that. Here is Carole's story.

"I started my travel company about seven years ago. We had two staff members. Today I have seven consultants and I can attribute it all to our customer database and how we work with it.

"Since we started using the database properly, our business has grown threefold.
"About five years ago we decided to put in an industry software database. I figured since we have to enter data when we make bookings for customers, we might as well enter it into a database. We keep information such as their passport numbers, their travel preferences, their club numbers. We have been told innumerable times by our customers that they love coming in, being recognised by us and never having to be asked a second time to supply personal information (like they did repeatedly with other travel agents.) This has helped spread the word of mouth and keeps us growing and growing."

I told Carole that Steve from Orion Cruises had said she had a successful customer database marketing campaign, and asked her to tell me about it.

"Well, Silverseas had a luxury cruise departing Singapore that they wanted to fill. One of the fields in my database is travel preference, such as deluxe, moderate, economy. I thought, why not target this cruise to the right people? I was able to immediately sort through my customers, selecting only those who preferred deluxe travel. They would be a prime candidate for an expensive luxury cruise. I then reviewed the list and sent out 24 letters, personally inviting them to look at the cruise brochure (which I enclosed). I wrote in the letter, I thought it was something they'd be interested in. Thirteen of those 24 people booked the cruise."

By my guess, that's over $10,000 income generated to Carole's agency from a $34.80 investment (24 letters at $1.45 postage).

With the right information in a database, you can target the right product and service to the right customers, instead of bombarding everyone with everything. How clever and thoughtful do you think those 24 people thought Carole was? Wouldn't you prefer dealing with companies that remember you, save you time and are spot on with their information to you?

Points to take from Carole's story:

Databases are not just for collecting information. What use is it sitting in the computer on the floor of your office or deep in the company CRM system? You keep customer information to use it, profit from it and add to your level of actual and perceived customer service.

In terms of succession planning or sale, which business would be worth more to a potential buyer? One that has a well-stocked database and can be worked? Or one that doesn't? A database can add substantial value to the goodwill component of your business value. Therefore, you benefit twice from maintaining one. As you use it, and when you sell the business.

Carole saw the opportunity. She had the database. She thought of a clever marketing idea. She targeted successfully. In this day and age, as in no other, targeting equals success.

Database information you keep should also be relevant to your client - not just you. Maintaining only what business they've done with you is relevant to you, not them.

Do you have customer service and relationship building information? Such as family, employment, job type, industry, age, interests?

Finally, but importantly, she didn't do it with email, did she? There is still a place for the physical; the ability to place the lovely brochure in someone's hand instead of hoping they'll click on it and hoping they'll right-click the place where the graphic should be and allow it to download for viewing.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! ( and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink


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