Using Special Promotions to Generate Business

saleRecurring clients are the best clients because you know them and they know you; you have a track record together; you like providing services for them and they like paying you for those services. But sometimes, especially during times of economic recession, it may be difficult to get existing clients to purchase new products and services.

I am not a proponent of across-the-board price cutting or rate reduction for a number of reasons — it does a disservice to the provider; it’s difficult to rebound from; it can create resentment in the working relationship. But there are times when discounts, freebies, and specials for current clients can help encourage them to buy more.

Another big benefit of offering your clients this type of added incentive, is that it goes a long way in establishing client appreciation. It makes your clients feel more valuable and that can strengthen your relationship with them.

Here are some ways you can use special promotions to generate additional business from existing clients.

Bundles

One great form of discounts to offer to clients is bundles. Bundles encourage clients to sign up for two or more products or services when they may have only initially considered one. You get a tremendous benefit because you get additional work, and the client gets a discount for purchasing bundled products and services.

Along with bundling two or more of your own products and services, you can also bundle one of your own with a third-party product or service. This allows you to form a partnership with another company who may in turn bundle and market some of your services for you. It also gives you another way to meet more of your clients needs and advance your relationship.

Freebies and Giveaways

You can have a monthly raffle for a small giveaway, or provide a free minor service (or hour of service) for current clients. The purpose of a giveaway is to give the client a taste of the product or service you are trying to sell in order to get them to purchase the entire thing. It’s a teaser that helps the client qualify the purchase before putting out the investment.

Limited-Time Specials

Giving a percentage off a product or service for a limited time helps clients engage sooner and buy more. The key is to make it a very attractive offer with just enough time for the client to decide it’s a good move for them.

Buy One, Get One

This one obviously won’t work with everything you offer, but it can work with many products and some services that you bill hourly. You can give a month of free web hosting for one purchased, or provide an hour of site maintenance free for the purchase of one.

The key to using a special promotion is ensuring that the product or service you are trying to sell is needed by the client, and that the long-term benefits outweigh any short-term deficit.

Do you use promotions in your business?

Image credit: Ayhan Yildiz

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  • M

    Promotions are tricky and need to be dealt with cautiously. The biggest problem is some people left with the feeling of being ripped off (the ones who didn’t get in on the promos) and feel like they have subsidized others.

    As you’ve rightly pointed out, recurring customers are the best ones to maintain a long term relationship with. Some care in communicating and ensuring that everyone is left with a feeling of winning (or getting more for less/nothing) would help a lot.

  • George Susini

    I agree, you have to be careful with promotions as the may make your current customers want the same deal. Remaining competitive is difficult enough some folks are giving promotions right and left. Makes it very difficult to keep up with when promotions, like free hosting expire