INCREASING RENEWALS AND RETENTION
What Coffee News franchisees know!
Where can you find a business that begins the year with already 50% of all the business you can possibly handle. A business that has another 25% of the volume coming from networking partners in the community. Your assignment is to spend the next 52 weeks to find the balance of 25% through your own efforts? This has been the consistent result for nearly 20 years in our business.
Businesses on Main street and the back streets start with no customers on the first day of the new year. They start from zero and work very hard to equal last years’ results. Some will be repeat business, but there is no guarantee existing clients will come back.
How can you increase renewals and retention with Coffee News?
Stop Selling Short-Term Ads In our first year, we sold 6-week ads, 13-week ads, 26-week ads and 52 week ads with the weekly prices decreasing the longer the ad run. Perhaps new advertisers did not want to commit for a longer term at a lower price if they did not think you would be around in a year. But the experience taught us that only 40% of 6-week ads renewed, while 80-90% of 6 – month ads and yearly ads renewed. The message was clear! Stop selling short term ads and refuse to take an advertiser who would not stay at least 13 weeks or longer. Naturally, you do not want a 6-week advertise to drop out and tell everyone they did not get any results, implying that Coffee News advertising does not work.
Deliver Service Consistent With Your Value Proposition and Brand Don’t oversell the ad, but do prepare the advertiser for what to expect from their ad. If you undersell and over deliver, your advertiser will be more inclined to renew. Coffee News works great for building brand awareness and serving as a community directory for business services. Coffee News is not the New York Times but it does a better job of promoting small businesses in the local community, than the Times.
Coffee News is very affordable for the small business owner where he can achieve repetition at a low price. Plus, for a few dollars a week, you can obtain the services of a Coffee News publisher to not only provide a well-designed ad, but who will refer business to them and educate them in how to improve sales.
Cross Selling, Up-selling and Asking for Referrals A cross- sell in Coffee News can be as simple as asking advertisers to attend a networking meeting with you at the Chamber, BNI or Rotary. Up-Selling is asking an advertiser to buy multiple editions or to extend their agreements for longer terms. Asking for referrals is an excellent way to obtain prospects for more advertising clients. A new advertiser who has just signed for an ad is in the proper frame of mind to suggest their business friends. Get names and phone numbers and ask for an introduction if you do not know the person being referred. If you practice this technique, you will never make a cold call again.
Use Your Own Data to Improve Your Marketing Results An advertiser who gives you a compliment or a testimonial should be encouraged to put it in writing so you can send it to current and prospective clients. Write the letter, if necessary, and ask them to sign it. Tell the advertiser about the awards Coffee News has won each year. Mention that all advertisers can give testimonials, if you ask. Every ad has a phone number in it! Talk about readership and the value of Coffee News to restaurants, etc.
Prioritize Retention It costs less money to retain an advertiser. If they call to cancel their ad, visit them immediately and try to save the ad or keep them in one or two editions, if they wish to reduce costs. Build the relationship through frequent visits to their place of business and offer ad changes to provide more service. Let the advertiser know when a competitor calls and wants to get in. Keep your advertiser aware of their competitors and let them make the decision whether to let them in. Think ahead for seasonal changes for advertisers and remind them of the holidays where they may want to run a special.
Never cut ad rates unless you get something in return. Provide more service to your advertisers at all times.
- Refer business to them.
- Invite them to networking events and be the host, not the guest at these functions.
- Make frequent visits to their place of business and take a copy of Coffee News that has their ad in it.
- Invite them to go to lunch where you have a Coffee News stand.
- Be a customer to them.
- Be a consultant, not a sales person.
- Share articles pertaining to their industry to show you are thinking of them.
- Offer to change their ad or give them some additional promotion in the What’s Happening section of Coffee News if it is a one-time event.
- Use the Coffee News counter card, “Have You Seen Our Ad in Coffee News?” to encourage customers at the check-out counter to acknowledge they have seen the ad.
- Invite them to sporting events, golfing, fishing, whatever they may like to do to build a deeper relationship with you
It is about farming, not hunting, when you practice relationship building for long-term retention.