My favorite sweet-treat establishment, Rita’s Water Ice, opened a franchise location in Miami Beach recently, with more on the way, I’m told.
I went there last week and purchased a few quarts of water ice to take home with me, along with a couple regular-sized water ices to consume on the spot.
Total spent: $32.05
As Anna and I consumed our treats, we talked theories on how Rita’s figured out how and where to open their new locations.
Anna suggested that Rita’s did research to find out where people whose tastes fit the water ice menu — Philadelphia and South Jersey natives — lived, and opened up there, knowing they had customers with a built-in taste for water ice.
The Rita’s manager held open the garbage can flap as I tossed my now-empty regular size cup in it. He asked me how I’d liked it.
As I told him that it was great, I let him know that this wasn’t my first rodeo. I’d actually worked at Rita’s as a teenager.
He was immediately intrigued, and when I told him that I was from Philly, he confirmed Anna’s theory: they’d researched that many Philly and Jersey “snowbirds” lived in the area of the new Rita’s.
I was in their target demographic.
We introduced ourselves to each other, and the manager asked us to come back inside so he could give us something.
He grabbed a coupon book, good for a year’s worth of free water ice (one per week, that is) and gifted it to me.
Here’s why that matters.
The free regular-sized water ices that I’d get with those coupons are worth roughly $250.
By giving me that coupon book, the manager gave away $250 in potential value, should I come to claim them (Rita’s is a good 20-30 minutes from me).
The bet the manager made was that —
1) I’d come back and use the coupons (I will).
2) That when I come to use those coupons, I’ll probably buy more stuff at the same time (I will).
This was a smart bet — after all, he’d just seen me spend $32. I’m a buyer.
Let’s split the difference and say that I spend an average of $18 — the median between $5 and $32 — each trip.
Without factoring their costs, each Dre Baldwin visit to Rita’s makes them $13 profit, on a $5 investment.
And those $5 coupons absolutely ensure that I will make more trips to Rita’s than I would have made without them… AND that, as long as that manager is there, I’ll still drive to THAT Rita’s even when closer locations open next year.
This is how a business invests in customers.
Let me tell you something a smart marketing guy once told me: the money in business is made in the back end — not in the front.
Stated differently: the products you sell to get a customer “in the door” don’t have to make you money. You can break even or even lose money on these transactions.
Once that person is IN, though, assuming that their first purchase delivered enough value to bring them back, every dollar spent after that is profit for you.
The problem many businesses have is their unwillingness (or inability) to give much value up front. They see that they’re not making much off their transaction, and lower the value they give accordingly.
Thusly, though these businesses make sales, their customers aren’t IN and never come back. So the real profit is never realized.
That Rita’s manager made himself an extra $250-400 in profit by giving me that coupon book.
But maybe you don’t have coupons to give away — I don’t either.
What can you give up front, then, that is of high value and will bring people back to your “store”?
A blog is a product.
So is a podcast or YouTube channel.
Or the albums you upload to SoundCloud.
They all serve the same purpose: give so much value up front, that your audience comes back — or even better, so much value that they can’t *not* come back — ready to pay for even more from you, since the up-front stuff was so good.
Bottom Line: your front-end offerings need to be better.
Give so much value up front that you “buy” people’s attention and loyalty.
Amateurs make their money on the front end.
Professionals make their money on the back end.
I shared how I did this with my own up-front “products” in my book Work On Your Game. You can get the hardcover, plus several exclusive bonuses here: http://WorkOnYourGameBook.com