A good handful of my friends loved the show Breaking Bad with Bryan Cranston. The show is about a broke high school science teacher, Walter White, who turns into a Crystal Meth drug dealer.
Walter fights rival drug dealers and his cancer diagnosis so he can provide enough money for his family, so they never have financial troubles again.
What’s interesting is very few of my friends watch the spin-off show Better Call Saul with Bob Odenkirk, which is just as good. In Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman is Walter White’s crooked lawyer who advises him how to launder money, avoid the authorities and navigate the criminal underworld.
In Better Call Saul, the spin-off is a prequel to Breaking Bad, and follows Jimmy McGill (Before he became Saul) who is fresh behind the ears as a lawyer.
When Jimmy first starts out, he is a broke public defender, only representing people who can’t afford an attorney. He’s so broke, the only office he can afford is a broom closet in the back of a nail salon.
And every day he checks his voicemails, waiting to get calls back from prospects, but nobody answers.
There’s even a scene where he meets a husband and wife at a diner and right when he hands them paperwork to close the deal, the wife talks the husband out of it, and tells Jimmy they’ll think it over.
As someone who’s sold in-person before, I’ve heard “I’ll think about it” more times than I want to admit.
I’ll save you watching 4 seasons of the show to make my point. Due to some trickery and backstabbing, Jimmy loses his license to practice law for one year. So for a year he has to pay the bills using his other talents.
One of his big talents is the gift of gab. He is fearless and can talk to anyone. He finally accepts a job as a sales manager at a cell phone store. The show is a prequel and takes place in the early 90’s so the cell phones are all flip phones.
His first day on the job, Jimmy is pretty much bored to death. He is staring out of the store window and no one is coming in. Knowing full well that he needs to do something off the beaten path, he does 2 things to sell a ton of phones.
- He re-positions pre-paid cell phones altogether. On the front of the store, he paints a sign, “Is the Man Listening? Privacy Sold Here!” After his sign goes up, someone calls the store and places an order.
- After he sells his first order proving he’s onto something, Jimmy leaves the store and hits the streets. He goes to a hot dog stand in the middle of the night wearing a track suit with his pre-paid phones in hand. He talks to all sorts of shady people who could use those pre-paid phones as burner phones. Jimmy sells a car trunk full of phones that night, to basically a brand new market of customers.
Now, I’m not going to give too much away, but Jimmy eventually becomes a lawyer again and gives himself the name Saul Goodman. But he’s basically stuck with the same problem that a lot of businesses face, which is how do they get clients.
So in the first episode of this new season, armed with a new colorful suit and a circus tent, Saul goes back to the parking lot of the same hot dog stand and talks to the same exact people who bought his pre-paid phones.
In the circus tent, he makes them 2 offers:
- He hands them a free pre-paid phone with his office number on speed-dial.
- He offers them 50% off any non-felony related cases.
Now that offer isn’t bad. It’s actually kinda clever, but the main take-away is everybody is looking for new customers, but your old customers are your new customers.
Your old customers may not buy everything thing you offer. But they will like you, trust you and listen to you and are more likely to close than a brand new prospect.
Even Dan Kennedy has said, “A buyer is a buyer is a buyer.” If you have an email list, there is a certain percentage of people who will buy every product you offer them.
They will buy Product A, but they’ll also buy Product B and Product C, even if they don’t need it or never even use it.
So if you have an email list with buying customers, it’s important to sell other products and services to them. You can sell newer versions of products, sell consulting services and even sell someone else’s product for a commission.
You can also use those customers for references, testimonials, or set up a system for getting referrals.
Just like in Better Call Saul, you can change your company name, your wardrobe, and you can even change your whole business, but your current customers are your going to be your gateway to getting new customers and new business in the future.