You’ve done your homework, and built your business with the right products and services. You’ve been active on social media, and have a great website for credibility with your customers. You just need more of them! Here’s how to turn that around…
- Know who your best customers are, and why they like your business. Take time to evaluate your best customers, and consider those that are like them. If you’re in a service-based business, and work with customers, consider why they need you, versus not using a service at all, or not using yours. For example, if you’re a lawyer, building your reputation, find out why people choose your practice specifically. What special skills or conveniences have you offered over others? You may want to ask them (always a great idea). Review patterns in your customer base, to look at common needs or interests; these will be key in the next step.
- Reach your target customers. Now, consider where future ‘best customers’ might find information about your services. Over 70% of business contacts begin through social media and internet searches, so make sure that your business can be readily found on major search engines, and on all device types. Consider social media ads to reach the targeted demographic that is your best customer’s clone. Most social media sites support very targeted demographic posts. Paid lists are also available, and may be worthwhile for specific industries. In addition, if you have an email list of newsletter contacts, reach out with information on new products or services, or just to stay connected and build the relationship. Customers purchase from those that they know, like and trust, and those that already have a relationship with you are the best foundation for growth.
- Appeal to your target customers. Now is the time to show your potential customers how you will help them to avoid the pain and suffering of doing nothing. Every customer has needs, but until they have problems, they will not engage. You want to be top of mind when they have a problem, and stand out from the rest with what you can provide at better value than your competition. Your job then, is to help your customers see that they have a problem that you can help them with now, before it gets worse, more expensive, or more painful. The other component of this is to build such a strong brand recognition that if they develop a problem later, you are the first one that comes to mind to fix it. This is when your business really takes off!
- Make a valuable offer. Most business owners are good, hard-working folks, with visions of doing great work for their communities. However, many are not comfortable asking for a sale. If you do the first few steps beautifully, and get in front of the right customer, you must have a great ask to close the sale, and actually wow that new customer. Some people are gifted in this, and others simply aren’t. If you’re not wired for this, hire someone who is, or you won’t be in business for long. Depending on your specific business, create a great offer that is commonly understood and needed by your target customers, and returns great value that you can quantify. Then, promote this solution to the customer’s problem with a return on investment, or a guarantee. The guarantee helps to overcome the fear of a bad purchase, and may reduce any reluctance to move forward with you.
- Deliver great value. One of the best ways to grow new customers is based upon the value of your service reputation and referrals from your existing customers. If you’ve delivered on the results you’ve promised, this should be easy. If not, work with those customers to learn and improve, so that you can achieve this more consistently in the future. Even if a customer did not have a fabulous experience with your company, if you follow-up and genuinely attempt to fix it with them, you will have improved the relationship substantially. We recommend use of a net promoter score, which simply asks your customers if they would recommend your business to others. If you’d like more information on how to use this in your business, contact us.
When you reach the right customers before they have a problem, or are top of mind when that problem presents, your business will be solid and growing into the future. Don’t get too comfortable when you get there though, since there are always changes in the market that you must be aware of, and positioned to respond to, hopefully before your competition!
If you need assistance with any of these steps, contact us. We’re here to help!
Dawn Garcia is Principal and Founder of Pursuit of Excellence LLC, an independent business management consulting firm specializing in service-based businesses and health care clients. Experience the Excellence Driven® System for your business, and achieve the results you need! Contact Pursuit of Excellence LLC today at http://www.pursuit-excellence.com to advance your business success!
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