Your Database:  Gold Brick or Gold Bar?

Residing deep inside your customer database are these groups of customers, prospects, and people who were added for a whole variety of reasons.  You might use your database or more affectionately known as your CRM, to look up contact name when you need to call or email them.

They were added perhaps because they stopped by your booth last year for your free giveaway (btw – thanks for the free t-shirt, I sleep in it every week!), and chances are that your sales team followed up maybe once by phone or email to the tens or hundreds of leads, with no success in response.  Well, at least you didn’t have to see all those people grab your sway and run, and hey, you only needed five (5) good contacts to justify the road trip.

Today, I bring you really good news about what was left in your database as a “gold brick,” and how to turn it into a “gold bar,” of rich fortune and great value of business relationship and sales.  Turn your attention to ‘making gold’ from your database  . . .

Often when speaking with small business owners about marketing to grow their businesses, they unfortunately only hear ‘sales,’ until they hear a storyline from me.  Stories of current or even former customers telling them that they want to buy, but are not given an opportunity to do so.  This is true in non-profits and for-profits alike.

Although I agree sales are one of the most important tactics within a whole integrated marketing system, it is just that, one very important tactic.  As you have heard argued many times, “nothing happens until something gets sold,” however the process in which the product or service gets sold is often driven by marketing tactics to build the necessary customer journey to make the sales happen…  to turn your customers’ data into profits for you.  Are you ready for it?

But back inside the database, the information on customers, prospects, suspects, and others is jailed and locked up for many years to come, or the business collapses.  There is gold in your database that needs to be released to your bottom-line.

Here are 3 Things to get you started:

  1.  Do A Customer Analysis

–          Run a report if you can on who the customer’s area, what did they buy from you, when did they buy, where did they buy, how many times did they buy from you, how often did they buy from you, and how much did they buy from you.  Having these answers will allow much to be done for you!

–          Imagine, being able to clearly identify the avatar of your customers and their patterns, to target real messages that they will respond.  This way you can target your best kind of customers, with the best message and just turn the business spigot on, off, down or up as needed.

  1. Define the Impact of Each Customer Segment

–          As I have seen in non-profits or for-profits over 35 years, the Pareto principle is known as the 80/20 rule or the law of vital few.  The same applies to your database.  80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.  However, in the 20% or the 80%, there are different levels of motivation, need, urgency, and desire.  Obviously, the income impact of the 20% of clients is certainly one to investigate at the deeper level, so you can better understand how to find more of these customers.  Do you know your 20-percenters, your 10-percenters, your 5-percenters or even your 1-percenters?  Each segment may need something different from you to buy again!

  1. Ride the Customer Journey

–          Every customer segment or avatar goes on a “marketing and sales” journey with you and your product or service.  But it needs to be about them.  A friend of mine, decades ago called it a “You-Focus.”  The journey has to be all about them, as it relates to your product or service.  All messaging is about their journey and the after effects or outcomes that bring complete satisfaction.

My experience and observations with databases and the Pareto Principle of a “vital few” come to this:   it produces the majority of the outcomes you love … greater revenues and more profits!

To learn more about how to pull the gold out of your database, please contact me on LinkedIn or email me at

Rick Coltman

CEO/ Chief Marketing Strategist

Coltman Consulting Group, LLC

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