Rules for Attracting New Customers

“Once customers start to think of you as a partner, they begin to exclude your competitors from the equation.” – Shep Hyken

The decision to start up one’s own business is a bold one and the challenges could deter even the bravest. Amongst the toughest trials is finding and attracting new customers. Most companies in a start-up stage are bootstrapped or funded by investors or have raised money some other way – in all cases, the budget for promotions is extremely tight. In order to be successful at attracting new customers, business owners must advertise and promote their business and products, which becomes a herculean task given the limited budgets. The fact is that despite great products and services, which would be useful to a large customer base, it would be tough to get this across. Attracting new customers is essential and businesses must adopt an almost obsessive desire to do so – adopting several means and different methods to ensure that customers never stop coming to them.

Finding customers encompasses a lot more – when starting out it is crucial to keep the new customers engaged, replace any who may leave and continually attracting new customers to widen the base of users. All these activities together will increase revenue and over time start providing dividends to the business. New or long-standing – every business must put in efforts towards attracting new customers and retaining the existing ones.  Companies on an average lose about 10% of their customers for whatever reasons and must make every effort to replace these lost ‘opportunities’ by attracting new customers. No business can survive without a steady stream of customers and the more buyers there are, the brighter the chances of forming a profitable and sustainable business. While attracting new customers may seem like an arduous and uphill task, using a systematic approach can help even on a tight budget.

What does or did, your company do while making efforts to attracting new customers? We believe that a robust yet flexible plan of action should be the first step. A business must first understand who the core audience would be – the customers that would need the product or service right away because it would help make their life easier and help with their business. Therefore, before attracting new customers it is essential to figure out who those customers should be and then look at the best methods to get across to them. Use the plethora of communication channels to advantage – put forth your business and its products wherever you know that your ‘target audience’ goes to find information. As part of the plan of attracting new customers, ensure that someone in the company keeps and monitors a monthly performance record. This would be critical to understanding which channels of communication have been more successful in gaining attention from the target audience.

Another highly effective yet cost effective method of attracting new customers is by engaging the service of an experienced content writer. Through engaging and effective content, which should be freely accessible to the target audience and others, your business would draw significant attention toward itself. Consistently putting out content on one or two topics would ensure that over time, your business becomes recognized as a subject matter expert and steadily enhance its reputation. The more attention your business can garner through content marketing, it would brighten its chances of attracting new customers and retaining current ones. In the words of Bill Gates – Content is King – any business that recognizes this, would have a better chance at spreading its reach beyond a niche audience and become successful faster than those who do not pay as much attention to content.

Content is just one path toward success – there are several such methods by which a business can reach the core customer base and many others. The more people hear about your company, the more likely they would be to ‘try out’ what your company has on offer and if your company succeeds at pleasing them, they would definitely recommend your business to others. For example – if you have a great or shoddy experience at a restaurant, you would want to share your experience with others. Many people write reviews of places, on various social media sites, they may have eaten at and the more happy customers your business seems to have, the higher the likelihood that others would be attracted. The idea is to use whatever method possible and manage the communication on the channels to ensure that your efforts at attracting new customers bear fruit.

On a limited budget, it would be good to try out traditional methods of promoting your business. Send out flyers and or advertisements, with your company’s information, in the leading newspapers and journals. Keep yourself abreast with the latest happenings and send out information in line with those events that may interest people, leading them to become customers. For example – a new township may have come up in the area catering to the elderly and retired citizens. The kind of information and products that this group of people would require would be different to a younger set of people. Customize the information you have and put your offerings across to them in a manner that would appeal to their mind-set and lifestyle.

Networking is extremely crucial for any business – irrespective of size and time of being in operation. For new businesses especially, being part of networking events like seminars, meetings, fairs, exhibitions and other such activities is crucial. Such places bring a large cross-section of people together, many of who may be potential customers and by being part of these events, you give your company and its offerings a platform to interact with unexplored markets and customer bases. People attend such events in the hope of finding the most appropriate business partners and by being present at such events your company would display its willingness and commitment toward building such partnerships. Even if your business does not find the most appropriate customer base, at least you would have made your presence known and people could either approach you in the future or recommend your business to their friends and associates, for whom your products might be more suitable.

In setting up a new business, the common mistake is to forget follow-up. Post meeting potential customers, ensure that you follow-up the meeting with a call or a message to ascertain whether they would be interested in doing business. People get caught up in their day to day operations, and if the top person of a company is involved, it would be most likely that the meeting could get forgotten without a follow up. We believe then, that a reminder of your business would be appropriate and would play an important part in your efforts of attracting new customers.

It may seem counter-productive, but in order to gain major benefits, it would be a good idea to give out free product samples, incentives, discounts and any other freebies to get the attention of customers. Request the users to try the products, offer feedback and recommend them to others if they liked the products. This is a great way to gain publicity and increase your reach to a wider set of audience. It would require some investment but the benefits would offset the expenses and would go a long way in attracting new customers and retaining current ones.

Attracting new customers is a crucial task for any company. Relying only on the existing customer base or on a limited number of customers, could leave your company in a weak position especially if even one customer decided to part ways. Reduce your risk and get closer to success by making the right decision of attracting new customers and keeping current ones satisfied.

 

Learn about a new approach to better customer service!

Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

Create interactive decision trees for customer service management, cold call scripts or self-service. Improve sales performance metrics and customer delight across your call centers.

Interactive Decision Tree