Even if you are extremely confident of the quality of the product or service you offer, there is no guarantee that your small business will get the kind of sale you are looking for. Competition is heavy and most business owners have to find creative and innovative techniques to keep existing customers and get more clients.
There are innumerable ways (say at least 50!) in which you can win more clients without exhausting your wallet! Here are the many reliable and time-tested techniques. You can try all of them in order to get more clients and win more consumers for your small business.
Understand your business and focus on developing a specific customer profile
Be clear about what you do and how you serve your customers. Understanding your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is very critical in being able to successfully serve your customers and solve their problems.
Developing a detailed customer profile is essential to winning clients in the first place. While doing so, ask yourself questions which might include:
Who is my target customer/customers?
What is the age group of my target consumers?
How do they live?
What do they want, or what are they looking for?
Are they single working professionals or married people with family?
Once a mental image of your target customer is created, develop a marketing approach and marketing message that speak specifically for them.
Developing a marketing approach to target niche customer
While there are some common marketing techniques that should be followed for all customer types, some marketing methods might work better than the others. It is easier to reach out to your niche customers and get more clients once you create a customer profile. The best way to begin is my making a list of 4-6 target keywords. Your niche customers will use these keywords to find your product and services on search engines.
The more known marketing techniques which every small business can try include:
• Blogging and content marketing
• Promoting your business and company blog on social media platforms
• Marketing via e-mail
• Advertise in newspapers/magazines
• Developing a great website that suits your business profile
• Prepare and distribute flyers and brochures to your target customers (schools, colleges, corporate, boutiques)
• Conduct regular contests on your official social media platforms
• Give away freebies to attract and get more clients
Maintain and build on your existing customers’ trust
Your existing customers are your assets and so you must definitely go the extra mile to maintain their trust in you and your company. Treat them right by asking them about their experience with your company, keeping in touch with them, valuing their opinion and providing them with incentives from time to time. Find innovative ways to reward and acknowledge your loyal customers.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you don’t lose your existing customers to your competitors.
• Call your customers within 7-10 days of a sale. If you cannot call them personally, send a handwritten note or make sure they get a call from your customer service representative
• An online survey will help you judge what your customers think of your business.
• Encourage customers to leave a review/feedback on Yelp, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Angie’s list, Google+ local Yahoo local listings, and other social media platforms
• Send a weekly email newsletter
Get satisfied customers to refer others
It is a good idea to offer a commission like HootSuite does on referrals by turning your content and happy customers into an unpaid sales force for your business. Offer discounts to customers for referrals and get more clients.
Get in touch with old customers
If there are customers who haven’t done business with you for more than a year, try and reach out to them. Make sure to go through your customer contacts on a regular basis and rekindle your relationship with old customers by offering them discounts, coupons or any special offers.
Team up with bigger companies
Besides getting noticed, cross promotion or teaming up with another business can bring in a lot of new customers. While tying up with another company, ensure that you choose a company whose clients are your target customers. You can promote your business through their database of clients.
A high-end women’s clothing boutique tried this technique and ended up making a lot of profit. The store promised to gift a free silk kimono to every female customer of a local BMW dealership. All they needed to do was to bring a letter (acknowledging their past patronage with the dealers) from the dealer to their boutique.
The boutique got a response from more than 600 women, as they picked up the $100 kimonos. However, it cost the store only $16 apiece since the women who visited their store spent an average of $400 on other merchandise during their first visit. The boutique spent about $9,600 to generate sales worth $240,000. In the process of making money, they also won many loyal customers.
Publicize your business/service
Hiring a publicist can be very expensive for small business owners. However, you wouldn’t need them if you become your own publicist.
Platforms like HelpAReporter.com (HARO) help you get noticed as you are able to get your name into online articles, magazines, and newspapers.
These above-mentioned resources will bring you before your target customers and get more clients.
Improve your website and SEO to get more clients
In this world where everybody uses the internet and is active on social media, it is very important that you have a good website. Hire a good designer and start off with a good website to target your niche customers if you haven’t done that already.
There exist huge opportunities in SEO if done in the right manner. People search for their products and services online. If your company/business is not appearing in search results, you are missing out a huge percentage of probable customers. Search engines encourage healthy SEO practices and if invested wisely, SEO can prove very beneficial.
Write blog posts and guest posts
Writing relevant articles related to your niche will help you get noticed in the eyes of your target customers. This is an easy way to get your business in front of thousands of persons who are on the lookout for what you sell.
Guest post is also an excellent way to find new clients. Post your articles on sites and online blogs that your target customers regularly read. Make sure that you pack it with valuable tips, actionable advice, and a link back to your website or blog as credit. By doing so, you naturally attract the attention of all those people who might be interested in your service and business.
It is always difficult for small businesses to get more clients and customers knocking at the door. The tips mentioned above will help you do just that and your excellence, dedication, and exceptional customer service will help you take on from there.