Fortunately, early on I realized that a business’s most important asset is its customers. When you get them, by God don’t let them slip away.
I also learned early on that you will not keep them for life based on the value of what you are selling. Sure you’ll keep them for maybe a couple of years, but value alone won’t keep them hanging around.
If you look around the room at any one of my events, you’ll find people who have been with me for five, ten, even twenty years or more. GKIC’s own Dave Dee is a perfect example of someone who has been following me for nearly twenty years.
As a result throughout the years, I’ve been fortunate to have had customers spend $100,000 or more with me.
We don’t do it anymore, but there was a time where I had clients’ credit cards on file with permission to swipe their card and automatically send them product whenever I came out with something new.
And I can reliably predict sales when I send an email out that sells something.
You don’t get to this position by blind folly. But having said that, you can get to this position using somewhat less-than-obvious techniques.
Which brings me to series fiction. If you want to build customers for life, series fiction is a good model to study. To demonstrate, here are three things series fiction author Rex Stout did that created a desire for his new books so bad that even in death people didn’t want to let go. These are things which you too should apply to your business to keep people coming back for more…
- Make readers eager for the next installment. Author Rex Stout (1886-1975) published Fer-de-Lance in 1934. It was his first book in which his Nero detective character Wolfe appeared.
People loved this character so much they couldn’t wait to get the next book about him. This love for the Nero Wolfe character continued for the rest of Stout’s life. He wrote more than seventy Nero Wolfe books and stories.
The Nero Wolfe character and his adventures was so enduring that Stout’s family found another writer to continue to write the novels after Stout’s death. People continued to love Wolfe so much there was even a TV show created around the Nero Wolfe character and his right-hand man, Archie Goodwin—25 years after Stout died.
Create that same eagerness in your customers—that desire to hear what you are going to do next. Build that excitement and anticipation to open and read whatever you send them. Every time. Week after week. Year after year.
- Get “famous” with your target audience. Stout began his writing career in 1910 and didn’t become a full-time writer until seventeen years later. Although he published three novels which received favorable reviews before his first Nero Wolfe book, none of them were best sellers.
It took him 24 years to figure out how to create a character that would get and more importantly—keep—people interested. It was the “keeping them interested” part that ultimately made him famous with his audience.
Look at any of the big celebrities in sports and entertainment and in the information marketing world such as Jimmy Fallon and Frank Kern. They’ve found ways to hold people’s interest which in turn has built their celebrity.
Stout discovered that you have to deliberately and strategically create, develop, and use personality to build your celebrity—and your following.
- Keep your customers involved, active, and responsive. (Tweet this!) Next week in New York City, the 37th annual Black Orchid Banquet will be held. The event includes speakers discussing Nero Wolfe and Rex Stout topics, song parodies, toasts, themed quizzes, etc. to celebrate Rex Stout’s legacy.
This is just one of many offerings that keep Wolfe fans engaged. For instance, for a fee—you can also subscribe to a Newsletter that explores Wolfe’s life and/or become a Wolfe Pack Member.
Keeping a relationship going like this is not a common thing. How long do your customers stick around? One year? Two years? Five years? Twenty?
This does not happen by accident. And in the business world you’ll find very few people that have customers who stay with them for life. You have to think about how you keep people interested enough to stay for life (and beyond even.)
If you’d like to know about the principles I use that has allowed me to keep customers for decades while boosting lifetime customer value, customer retention, and overall profits…and how you can too, then click here now.
P.S. – Get “The 10 Rules to Transforming Your Small Business into an Infinitely More Powerful Direct Response Marketing Business” for FREE. Click here to claim your customer-getting, sales-boosting tactics.