How to increase sales using KARE method

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Do you want to reach your business goals? Of course you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t set goals.

How to increase sales by segmenting your customers using the KARE method

And you can have a variety of goals: increase sales, higher profit, more productive sales team, etc…

A few years back I attended an interesting conference in San Diego.  It was about Marketing and Sales for Compounding Pharmacies put on by PCCA. But the information is transferrable to other businesses.

A method to focus and help you achieve your goals.

One of the seminars was about reaching your goals by segmenting your customers/clients into 4 Categories. 

It is called the KARE method.

(It was put on by Troy Elmore of the Sandler Sales Institute of Houston. I will provide a link to Troy’s website at the bottom of the page. So what I’m about to write is what I’ve learned from him….thanks Troy)

As a business owner you realize that you have limited time, energy and money so segmenting can help you focus. 

If you’re like me – trying to run in 8 directions at once – then you’ll appreciate this focus.

Here is the exercise:

You take your customers and potential customers and put them into one of four groups.





KEEP Group

Your good current customers that you want to keep you obviously put them into the KEEP group. This is a group that you are happy to have at their current level of business.  You could also think of this group as your Maintain group (but MARE method sounds way too horsey).

Why is it important to just maintain some customers?

Well if you want to get to a sales goal you don’t want to lose your current customers.

You won’t get far if you take two steps forward, but one step back because you neglected this customer segment.  (And nod your head if you just sang Paula Abdul to yourself.)


Who is your ideal customer? Who are the customers that you don’t currently have, but you want to have? Try to narrow it down and target your ideal customer. Write down the attributes of an ideal customer.

Then once you know who you want it will help you focus on how to gain that customer’s business.

For instance, lets say you are a sign company that puts decals on vans. And there is a plumbing and heating company in town that has had the same signage on their vans since back when Forrest Gump ran across theater screens. Well this could be a company you want to deal with.  You could update their look, add their website address and help more customers find their business. Win: win.


Do you ever walk around your house and then suddenly remember an item that you used to have, and you think “hey, where did that ____ go?”

It wasn’t like you lost it and launched a big search for it right away. It just kind of slipped away and it took you months to even notice.

Well customers can do the same.

At my pharmacy sometimes a patient that I haven’t thought about for years will suddenly pop into my head.  Its not like they stormed out and said, “I’m never getting my prescriptions here again.” They may have been lured to go to another pharmacy.  One way or another they aren’t my patient anymore.

So think about your business.  Do you have a client that used to do buy from you, but they don’t anymore?

This is your chance to think about past customers and clients… which ones could you get back?

Which ones do you want to get back?


I think of this as the “do you want fries with that” and the “do you want it up-sized” group of customers.

Are there current customers that you could expand your relationship with them?

Maybe you are mowing their lawn already, but would they want their weeds pulled too? Or hedges trimmed?

Maybe you give them a health talk once a month, but would they want you to provide yearly flu shots too? Or run the companiy’s stop smoking program?

If they’re good customers, and you want to do more business with them, then ask them. Expand the services or producsts you provide them.

I wish I could claim that I thought of this approach because I think it will be a helpful exercise for business owners, but sadly I didn’t think of it.  So I can’t claim any credit for it. I’m just doing what I do.

And that is passing along what I’ve learned to you. So you can learn along with me.

Click here to learn more about Troy and the Sandler Sales Institute.

So your homework is to do this exercise.

  1. Draw out 4 quadrants on a piece of paper.
  2. Label each quadrant as one of following: Keep, Attain, Recapture, Expand
  3. What does each customer segment look like for your business? What is the ideal attributes of each type of customer segment? (This can be general at first, and then more specific attributes)
  4. Now brainstorm and start writing down your actual customers (or potential customers) – by NAME – into their appropriate segment.
  5. Enjoy the focus. You know have some specific customers/clients that you can concentrate on.

If you have any tips, comments or ways to improve this exercise please let me know.  I’m curious to hear from companies that have used this technique.  And then how they followed through with it.

Thanks, Tim

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