Everyone knows the story of the Wizard of Oz.
Carried in a tornado to the land of the Munchkins, Dorothy is desperate to find her way home. She sets off down the Yellow Brick Road, hoping that the great Wizard of Oz will be able to magic her back to Kansas.
Following a lifetime’s worth of adventures – confronting a wicked witch and even flying monkeys – she finally discovers that if only she clicks the heels of her Ruby slippers three times, she’ll be back with Auntie Em.
“Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along,” Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, tells her before she departs.
“You always had the power, my dear; you just had to learn it for yourself.”
For some companies, that’s exactly what finding new business is like.
They work desperately hard to find new leads, investing in advertising, launching new social media platforms, experimenting with blogs, cold calling and public speaking.
They are willing to pour thousands into new marketing ventures, on a grand quest to find that ‘magic bullet’.
But all that time, they seem unaware of the ruby slippers on their feet – the simplest, easiest and most obvious way to generate new business.
That’s their list of existing clients and contacts.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had three companies coming to me asking for help building a new sales funnel. One turned out to have 7,000 existing email subscribers – all past customers. The other had 2,000. The third had painstakingly built up a pool of several thousand LinkedIn contacts, many of them viable prospects.
And yet they had never – never! – emailed or messaged any of them, nor did they have any plans to do so. They were looking for new ways to reach customers.
While a sales funnel is always a good strategy, it makes no sense to start pulling in new subscribers when you are failing to market to existing ones.
People who already know you, who have previously opted into your list and former clients will always be the easiest people to sell to, because they are already ‘warmed up’. You don’t have to spend too much time introducing yourself. Many of them have already shown a direct interest in what you sell.
Best of all, you don’t have to spend any money drawing them into your orbit.
They are ‘low hanging fruit’ – relatively easy to ‘pick off’.
…And that should always be where you start, for the quick wins.
If you have an email database, even just a few hundred strong, “Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along.”
So email your subscribers – click those ruby slippers.