Dangle an Offer That Can’t Be Refused

Three individual businesses solved their prodigal customer woes with twists on the same advice from Los Angeles marketing consultant Jay Abraham: Dangle a freebie. 

The secret lies in the strategy:

  • A retail store mails $20 vouchers to customers who haven't come through its door within nine months; research shows 40% of those using "welcome back" certificates return for years.
  • An attorney offers inactive clients free two-hour consultations: half accept, and he reclaims 25% as paying clients down the road.
  • A heating and air conditioning company extends free tuneups to no-calls; 40% reply yes, and 65% of that group reinstate their active status. 

Follow Abraham's action steps to repeat this success. 

  1. Communicate regularly with customers to avoid misunderstandings. 
  2. Draft a heartfelt, respectful letter, fax, or email indicating your desire to work with them again. 
  3. Starting with the most recent inactives, send the correspondence, then assign someone (if not you) to follow up in person or by phone. Those who simply fell out of the habit of phoning you typically will arrange a new deal on the spot.
  4. For dissatisfied former clients, offer something special at no charge. Tag it with the message that "even if you only take advantage of our make-good offer but never do business with us again, it's important to us that your last transaction with our company be a positive and satisfying experience." Remember, this gift doesn't need to tie in with your product or service. A book or tickets to a ballgame represent appreciation as well.

If clients no longer need your service, thank them for past business and ask for referrals. 

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