- January 24, 2019
- Posted by: Koyona Duke
- Category: Entrepreneurial Development, Learning, SME Support
It’s a new year and this year I am sure more than 90% of small businesses have a target for increasing their customer base. This is because profit is important and since profits come from sales and it’s the customers who drive the sales more customers who will pay or current customers who will buy more are valuable ways to get those profits.
On that note, knowing how to increase the customers who pay for our products and services time and time again is a valuable skill that cannot be ignored.
Here are some of my top 9 ways:
- Increase your customers through your network: I make no secret of the fact that the difference between winning and losing for most businesses is a valuable network. One of the things valuable networks offer you are potential customers for your goods or services. Friends and family, your social network and even your email network offer great opportunities for lead generation.
- Your Referral Strategy: When I started my business, I assumed that once I was done, my paying customers who were happy would immediately get tattling to their friends about my awesome business and what I can do for them. This did happen but not at the rate that was satisfactory. Even with free products a good referral strategy leads to more paying customers implementing one or more in your business will help 2 of mine are: The outright ask; where I outrightly asked my customers to give me the introduction to someone who will need my business and The network-based method of referral: where I reach out to peers and ask for a referral based on services they could not fulfil. These methods among others are useful in increasing your customers.
- Advertise your value: When potential customers know what actual value you bring to them, there are most likely to follow you down your sales funnel and make the actual buying decisions. Use the mediums available to you and where you know your ideal customers hang out and communicate that value.
- Feedback: Feedback from existing customers is like sugar and your potential customer are the ants coming for it. As long as what you offer is a pain point, once potential customers see social proof that other people are using and receiving benefits from your offering, they are bound to make inquiries and once they ask questions you can guide them safely to a conclusion that pleases then conversion happens.
- Warm Calling: To be honest I dread the cold calling process. Picking up your phone and calling someone who has never heard or interacted with your brand before is not only a waste of time it’s a waste of money. However, warm calling and relationship building has taken the place of this tactic and are bound to help you see more results than cold calling. How? Research who and where this customer is, then begin to warm up the lead by interacting with them via email or social media. When this is done, you can build a relationship with the customers that interact positively with your brand. Use this method to establish parameters, you can then create a system that helps you target customers who meet them so it’s easier to land conversions.
- Influencer marketing: This is a method of marketing where someone sells your products for you to their own followers. It works mostly on social media platforms. A typical example is Instagram users who buy outfits because they are worn by their favourite celebrities or endorsed by friends.
- Pitch/Proposal: Dear Brick and mortar business, a pitch and proposal are still one of the best bets you have for getting customers on your side. Do your research, build a deck that converts and use one of the above methods to get in the door.
- Market like you are talking to your best customer: in order for you to do this, you will have to know your customers. Where your ideal customer will live, what your ideal customer will earn, where your ideal customer will spend time. Once you know this, you can proceed to build a persona that helps you identify this customer once you meet them. This makes your message resonate better.
- Collaboration and Partnerships: This is a favourite of mine. Why? Because there is already a trust factor. When a client knows a collaborator of yours, there are more likely to part with their money to purchase your product because this collaborator whom they trust has vouched for you. However, we need to be careful because with this method your partner has staked their reputation on your behalf and you will have to go above and beyond to ensure that it remains intact after the relationship has commenced.
Getting customers through the door is one thing but keeping them in there is another thing entirely. It is now up to your product and that special value that you have communicated to them to keep them coming back.
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