Have you ever caught in a situation where you juggled to bring in new customers into your business? The journey from finding new customers to loyal customers can be a taxing task. So where to start from if you are looking for more customers?
Learning to generate new sales leads is an essential skill for an entrepreneur. Even if you do not consider yourself a salesperson in a literal sense, still you need to understand the business pyramid. You need to understand that the possibilities of finding new customers range from calling them from the phone book to buying lists of potential customers. Now, this has extended further to using newer internet techniques like search engine optimisation (SEO) to drive new business to once website.
To build a marketing plan to reach new customers, you need to better understand first who you are already selling to? What are their demographics and what are their buying behaviours? Market research runs the extent from simple qualitative research to in-depth analysis. It can be done in no time and without putting a hole in your pocket. This can be done by sending surveys to your existing customers using various online survey tools. This market research can involve extensive interviews with customers, depending on the questions you are trying to ask and your research budget. This can also involve qualitative studies on how target customers feel about your business, its products and services.
There is a possibility that certain products and services may appeal to one audience but not to another. So, understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your target market is crucial. Here are the few ways to attract new customers. Let’s understand them in detail.
A reliable way to attract new customers is to show them how well you look after your current customers. Show your customers genuine concern and communicate with them on a regular basis
Choose the Best Channels to Attract New Customers
It is best for the business to meet potential customers on the channels they frequently visit. Are they on social media? Would they prefer email? You can determine how your customers prefer to be contacted by gathering data from your existing customers. However, do not put all your eggs in one basket! These days customers are joining several new platforms daily. A multi-channel marketing strategy is always best for attracting new customers.
There are huge benefits of social media that can be ignored easily. Most of us can handle Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, but what if you’re not reaching the right audience? A reliable way to tap into a whole new group is to explore new social media sites, especially ones where your customers are hanging out. Joining these social platforms will surely increase the traffic of your business’s online presence. But the audiences on social media can vary a lot from site to site, so do your research, find your market, and follow where they are!
Deals Sites Can Help in a Big Way
Daily deals sites are another trend that are picking up fast. Websites like Cashkaro, Nearbuy.com, Grabon.in, Mydala.com and more can add value to your business. You offer a discounted price, while they promote to their deal-loving audiences. Daily deals sites are great for getting first-timers in the door. Consumers are much more likely to try something new when it is a steal offer, which in return gives you the opportunity to turn one-timers into repeats.
Make it Realise that Customer is The King
Make your customer realise that they are the king and they are important as an individual. In most industries, consumers want to know if they will be taken care of or not. They want to feel like they aren’t just the mode for the business. A reliable way to attract new customers is to show them how well you look after your current customers. Show your customers genuine concern and communicate with them on a regular basis. These communications don’t need to be business related, but it can be personal. This will give the customer an impression that you are sincerely concerned to talk to them. Sometimes selling things is not important, but making contacts for the business matter.
Create A Multi-Faceted Plan
Okay, it is a little obvious. But it is important enough to need saying. There is no one, right way to build your customer base. Different customers will react differently to the same marketing campaign. The important thing is to use a variety of channels and tactics to reach your audience. Casting a wide net is the best way to appeal to a diverse audience and reel in as many new customers as you can.
It is advisable to create a multi-faceted plan of attack that will allow you to reach and entice the largest number of people and yield your business the most growth. The easiest way to combine different marketing tactics is to use both online and offline strategies. Send out e-mails and direct mailings. You can also combine different strategies within your online marketing. Experiment with email, social media, word-of-mouth advertisement, etc. and decide which channels work the best for you. This strategy has two keys: Make sure you’re consistent across platforms, and use analytics and metrics to track your success on different media.
Offer Discounts & Promotions to New Customers
Consumers these days are looking for good value and deals. Excite them by offering introductory discounts into your business. Offer special offers such as buy two and get one free, or buy two and get one for half-price, or free gift wrapping for the first three purchases. Bargains like these can attract new customers, who have been considering doing business with you but needed an incentive to actually change customers’ shopping habits. Then keep tracking what they buy and which offers they redeemed so you can better target them with future marketing messages that will build up their loyalty towards your products. Send personalised messages or emailers regarding the discounts and offers.
Ask For Referrals
The important part in any business is to gain their customers loyalty. Once you successfully achieve a customer’s loyalty, take a step ahead and ask them for referrals. Remember your current customers are one of the best sources of new customers. But you can’t be passive and wait for them to bring colleagues, friends, and family to your business. Instead, take control and create a systemised approach to actively solicit referrals from your satisfied customers. Build referral-generating activities into the sales process. Send follow-up emails and thank you notes to make sure your customers are happy with their purchases and make them feel special. And then follow that up with another email asking for referrals. Consider offering incentives if the sale price warrants it.
Approach networking with a “how can I help you?” attitude, rather than thinking, “what is in it for me?” always help. People love to interact with friendly, socially active person
Reconnect with Old Customers
Revisit your old customers contact list. The old customers can be those who haven’t done business with you for a while. Create a regular schedule to do this, may be on a monthly or quarterly basis, or select customers you haven’t seen in the past six months. Reach out to them through email, direct mail, text, or message them with a ‘we miss you’ reminder. In the same way, you can lure them with some kind of deal or promotion to make them visit your store again.
There is no better way to raise brand awareness than meeting new people, telling them who you are and what you do. Join your trade association, your local chamber of commerce, and networking organisations to interact with people regularly. Attend Meetup events. If you own a local business, even going to PTA meetings can be a good networking opportunity. Approach networking with a “how can I help you?” attitude, rather than thinking, “what is in it for me?” always help. People love to interact with friendly, socially active people.
Keep Updating your Website
With the changing trends and customers buying behaviours, online search is the primary way both consumers and B2B (business-to-business) buyers find new businesses. This means your website has to do the heavy lifting so customers can find you. Your company should popup, when they are trying to find something online. Review your search engine marketing and search engine optimisation tactics and techniques. Similarly, make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Even your site design makes a difference. Too many graphics can slow your site’s load speed, which is a customer turnoff. If you don’t have the in-house expertise, hire a website design company and/or SEO expert to help.
Team up with Complementary Businesses
Join hands with businesses that have a similar customer base. But they shouldn’t be directly competitive. Together you both can strategize how you can market to one another’s customers to drive new business in a smart way to attract new customers while not spending a fortune. For instance, if you are into women clothing business, then working with a business that sells women jewelry or accessories would be a great partnership.
Promote your Expertise
By showcasing your industry expertise, you can generate interest and even create buzz, which can help you attract new customers as well as get more business from your existing client base. Volunteering to speak on industry panels, giving a webinar or workshop, speaking at industry events or to groups your target customers belong to, or holding educational sessions are just a few ways you can make a good impression with potential new customers and clients. This technique works particularly well for B2B business owners.
Benefits of Online Ratings & Review Sites
Consumers, both in the B2B and B2C (business to consumer) worlds, frequently turn to online ratings and review sites before they will do business with a company they are not familiar with. So, make sure you monitor those sites and respond to any complaints. Make the most of positive reviews by linking to them on your website and app. Post signage in your store, office, restaurant, or other location encouraging customers to add their perspectives. Social proofs such as reviews or comments, positive ratings are powerful tools these days. New customers are more likely to give your business a try if they see others praising it. I personally shop for those products or brands that are highly appreciated or have good ratings.
Participate in Community Events
Surveys show most people like to support local, independent businesses. Raise your profile in your community by participating in charity events and organisations. Sponsor a local fun run, organise a holiday ‘toys for kids’ drive, or supply a Little League team in your city with equipment. All this raises your profile, which helps attract new customers. Think of these strategies as a starter list. Add your own ideas. The key is to get started now so that when next financial year rolls around, you are already selling to an expanded customer base!