By Suriaa Kanakapally
Andrew’s daughter Alessia was born few years ago.
At the time of her birthday, the hospital partnered up with a photographer and offered a photo package for the family.
Andrew was shocked at the genius this hospital and photographer exhibited in their marketing. Overall, he was pleased with the package, the timing, and he paid gladly for the experience. In fact, he seemed thrilled.
Fast forward few years, and he hasn’t heard from the photographer again.
The photographer has not made any effort to contact Andrew and sell him on a 1st year birthday package, 2nd year birthday package, etc.
No follow up whatsoever.
Andrew, being an astute marketer, pointed out how business owners are leaving cash on the table by not following up on anniversaries.
The photographer has missed potential opportunities for repeat business.
Likewise, DJs, florists and wedding planners are also missing out on numerous repeat business opportunities.
And they may be suffering profusely because of this one mistake.
Have you done something similar in your business lately?
Is your wedding business a one hit wonder?
Are your customers likening you to a one night stand?
I have made this mistake numerous times myself.
I’ve dazzled the customers, provided great service, bonded with them and then did not follow up after initial transaction.
Mind Hack: view every transaction as a repeat transaction and the beginning of a whole progression of transactions, especially the anniversaries.
Your customer will have a sentimental value attached to the wedding anniversary, and they can be easily persuaded.
This makes the sale relatively effortless.
You can even bundle in extras or offer packages to maximize transaction value.
Would you be tempted if you were offered a discount on a family portrait or flowers on your wedding anniversary?
Can you use a discount offer or coupon to sweeten the deal further?
Sample Offers For Repeat Business and Referrals
“As a sign of good will for being our past customer, we would like to do your first portrait for 50% off.”
“As a sign of good will for being our past customer, we would like to offer a 10% discount + box of Godiva chocolates when you order any of our flower bouquets.”
“As a sign of good will for being our past customer, we would like to host a dance party on your anniversary in partnership with ABC club. You and your spouse will get FREE food and drinks coupons up to $100 courtesy of yours truly.”
For wedding planners:
“As a sign of good will for being our past customer we are sending these two movie tickets for the latest romantic movie running at XYZ theatre and a box of Godiva chocolates. Show details are enclosed. We are rapidly expanding our business to serve many more happy couples just like you. Please send any of your engaged family or friends our way and we’ll take good care of them, too!”
Stay top of their mind by sending anniversary cards.
What’s the state of mind when Susie your customer does not hear from “old aunt Sally,” sister Martha and brother Jacob on her wedding anniversary?
She’s embarrassed that her own family should forget such an important date.
And at this opportune moment you the photographer, DJ or florist show up in her life.
Susie is thrilled! She will immediately bond with you.
The simple fact you remembered her and her anniversary will endear you to her.
You are no more a one hit wonder. You are a part of her celebrations.
You may be able to score her business without additional prodding.
We are wired from birth to think about anniversaries. Our society has programmed us to think that anything remotely related to anniversaries is SPECIAL.
A little voice in your head may prevent you from following up.
If you are new to the wedding business you will fall for the trap. Even the seasoned professionals fail at follow up.
Based on studies it takes 6X to 10X more marketing dollars to find new customers. You may go broke just trying to acquire new customers!
If you got their business once, there is a high probability you will get their business again, provided you have done a decent job.
In the month leading up to the anniversary send multiple mailings or follow up calls and emails to entice them.
Add your clients’ anniversaries to your marketing calendar.
Questions to Double Your Income
Ask yourself these questions:
How good is my follow up system?
How well is the follow up system converting?
Will I send both online and offline mailings?
Do my offers thrill and entice customers?
Am I doing everything possible to bring them back in?
Is my marketing re-kindling that marriage day joy?
Jog their memory and tell them a story or event that happened at their wedding or a funny picture that you captured.
You need a system to remind you when to send out your marketing materials.
I believe you can at least double your business with this kind of follow up. Even 3X and 10X seems doable.
It’s the power of repeat business, folks. Use it or perish at your own will.
Suriaa Kanakapally graduated from Wayne state university with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2005. He currently works in India as an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering department at a local university. In his spare time, he works on his own businesses and writing projects. He has experienced a series of catastrophic business failures, but he is relentlessly building his businesses back with the help of mentors.