Insights from Dana
Hidden in Plain Sight, Increasing Your Revenue through Data

So many people just blank out when they hear the word “data.”

We think data means crunching numbers, and we would rather do anything but that. So we pretend that we’re ostriches and stick our heads in the sand, hoping that if the numbers can’t see us, they’ll go away. That isn’t quite how it works.

Here’s the thing: your financial numbers are only one kind of data.

I want to talk about the data buried in the history of your business and how you can apply the knowledge and insight that your historical data has to offer to increase your revenue.

Diving into the Data

Back when you first started your business, you didn’t have past or current clients to reference. Every client was a new client, so that was where you needed to focus your time and energy.

Now that your company has survived the startup years and become a viable business, you’ve created clarity around who you serve, the solutions you offer your clients, and the results you deliver.  You also have historical data to look back on that tells you who your clients are, what they’ve purchased from you, and the price they paid. 

What results did they get?

What was the value of that result to them, specifically? 

What could they do afterward that they couldn’t do before? 

Whether you’re selling a program, a service, or a product, the answers you need are hiding in the history of your business, and I’m going to show you how to uncover them.

Organize Your Information

When I’m working with my Catapult clients to increase their revenue, the very first thing we do is create a spreadsheet to organize their data and mine their business for insight. For this exercise, we focus on the last three to five years of client history to ensure we capture the most relevant insights. And I’m going to walk you through it step by step.

Identify Your Best Clients

The first thing you want to do is identify the clients who have spent the most money with you throughout your relationship. Once you know who these clients are, organize them in column A in descending order based on who has spent the most in your business. Put the lifetime amount of money each client has spent with you in column B.

Dialing into the demographics of these clients helps to paint a picture of who needs the solutions you offer and who is getting the most impactful results. You might consider factors like gender, age, and location. If your client represents a business, what is their role there? 

Depending on the products you sell or the services you offer, you may want to include relationship status, income, or other details that speak to who your ideal client is. Create columns for the demographics that are important to your business and fill them out for each client on your list.

Once you’ve dialed into the demographics of your ideal clients, create a column for each of the following questions:

Why did this client buy from you? 

What did they buy from you? 

What were they looking for? 

What result did they get from the solution they purchased from you? 

What could they do afterward that they couldn’t do before? 

What was the value of that to them? How can you quantify the ROI for this client?

Exploring these questions and identifying your client answers helps paint a big picture perspective of who your clients are, what they want, and the results or solutions they gain from working with you or buying your products.

Clarify Your Connections

Just like you need to understand who your best clients are and what solutions you create for them, you also want to know where you’re making those connections. 

For example, I have five different client acquisition strategies that I use in my business. 

  1. Networking
  2. Speaking
  3. Social media
  4. Conferences/events
  5. Direct selling

What client acquisition strategies do you use in your business?

Create a new column in your spreadsheet and fill in how each of your top clients came to you. Then create another column to get more specific about the details of each connection. For instance, if I met a client at a conference, what conference was it? Or, if a client found me through social media, was it on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook? 

This approach lets you see the big picture impact of your client acquisition strategies while also zooming in on where exactly you’re making connections that convert to sales.

Track the Trends

Now that you’ve gathered all this information, you want to look for trends in your client data. Start by looking back at the questions we explored earlier and why these clients came to you. 

What similarities do you see in the results they got after buying your product or services?

Maybe for the first time, you’re starting to see that there is actually a difference between the results that your clients in their 20s are getting and the results that your clients in their 40s are experiencing. 

As business owners, we often have our own ideas about why our clients choose us and what our clients get out of our work together. Once you have all of this information in one place, you can actually see what is really happening in your business, not just what you expect to see happening. And then, you can use that insight to inform where you’re going to invest your time and energy. 

Make Informed Decisions

This is where the numbers come in. Once I’ve filled in my client acquisition column and the specific connection for each client on my list, I sit down to calculate how much revenue each of my client acquisition strategies brought in. Then I break it down further, how much of that revenue came from each specific networking event that I participated in? How much revenue came in from each speaking engagement? 

Running these numbers tells me where I’m getting the most ROI for my investment.

Once upon a time, I was part of a women’s networking group here in Portland. Almost every month for six years, I would spend time connecting with amazing entrepreneurs, but I always walked away feeling like it wasn’t actually making a difference in my business. Eventually, I had to decide whether or not this was a group that I wanted to continue to invest my time and energy in. 

When I sat down to do the work of actually breaking down the time I was investing and the revenue that this networking group was bringing into my business, I was in for a big surprise. While the entrepreneurs I was connecting with and even having coffee with outside the group weren’t the ones who were signing up to work with me, they were consistently sending clients who weren’t part of our networking group my way. I wasn’t making any direct revenue, but I was getting a ton of referrals.

Even though our networking group focused on building long-term relationships, not sharing referrals, those referrals made up 80% of my business in the previous year.

Obviously, I stayed in the group because that is an absolutely phenomenal return. But, if I hadn’t dug into my data – not just the numbers but the relationships and connections behind the numbers – I would have left that group without a second thought.

Sitting down with my data helped me realize that what I expected to happen, what I thought was happening, and what was actually happening, weren’t the same at all. 

Running the same kind of calculations makes it clear which conferences, networking groups, and speaking engagements are actually moving the dial for my business and which ones just aren’t giving me a return on my investment.

All of this information is essential data that you should be gathering as part of your client onboarding process. Yet, most of the successful, driven business owners I work with haven’t been tracking these details in their records, which is why I wanted to walk you through this exercise. 

So that when you need to decide where to invest your marketing dollars over the next quarter, you know where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.

If you want to create a new product or offering, you have a clear picture of who your best clients are, what they want, the results they’re already getting, and the solutions they need, all in one place.

And if you want to increase your revenue, you know exactly where to invest your time, resources, and energy to have the most impact.

Want my Client Tracking Template? I’ve been using this tracker since I started Dana Corey Coaching nine years ago. It’s the very same spreadsheet I use with all my Catapult clients to help them dive into their data so they can see what’s really happening in their business and decide what comes next. Click here to send me a message and request your own copy.

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