Getting non-customers on your side

“The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” – Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby

If you are running a business, you know how tough it is to attract customers and then it takes a lot of effort to retain them. However, it is easier to retain customers especially those who would have had great experiences with your brand. Advertising and promotional measures work well to convince them to buy again and over time turn them into profitable and loyal customers. Getting non-customers on your side, convincing them about your brand and your company’s ability of customer service takes a lot more time, money and effort. Customized promotional campaigns and marketing activities are required to convince this set of people and must remain consistent for a long period for them to become profitable.

Given that convincing and getting non-customers on your side is one of the toughest tasks for any company, it would be prudent to use their advertising budget prudently. Studies have shown that non-customers, even if they did buy contributed less than 20% of the actual increased sales, which effectively means that the response rate of this group is quite low. It all comes down to companies, segmenting non-customers, analysing each segment, and then understanding which of these non-customers are most likely to start buying their brand. Using the data available it would be easier to identify which segments would have purchased products similar to the ones your company offers and then target those particular segments to get these non-customers on your side. It may not be easy since people begin to identify with a brand and convincing them that your brand is better, takes time and consistent effort.

The communication topography has changed significantly and companies must identify the best channels to get in touch and remain in contact with both customers and non-customers. With existing customers, there is already an established line of communication and it would work fine until the customer changes channel preference. However, to get non-customers on your side it would be necessary to first analyse data available and ascertain which segment is more likely to respond positively to your company’s marketing campaigns. Resources are limited for everyone – hence using these resources as judiciously and profitably as possible will enable a company to reach more non-customers, with less. It is an easier route to first identify those non-customers that may not have bought your company’s brand in the recent past but with some history of buying from your brand, it would be simpler to customize your advertising campaigns that target this group. By keeping the focus on non-customers who would be more likely to buy, the chances of them buying again because of the dedicated campaigns, is higher. Your company would be able to drive higher sales when it uses this segment and focus method and puts together campaigns that would get non-customers on your side.

Your company must consistently prove to these non-customers that the products and customer service of your company are a lot better than any others in the market are. In addition, identifying those non-customers whose business goals and vision is similar to your company will raise the likelihood of getting these non-customers on your side, even if they have never tried your brand before. Using a highly visible platforms like television and social media networking allows your company to reach out to more such non-customers than was possible in the past.

In order to get non-customers on your side and engage them enough to buy, your company must be able to convince them of the value the brand will bring to them. They should be able to see value in purchasing your company’s brand with minimized risk and or opportunity for non-performance.

To get non-customers on your side do not hesitate to offer guarantees. Guarantee to add more value for the price they pay and more than any competitor can give, a surety that by buying your brand they would be able to meet the goals of their company and add value to their business and a promise that the customer service your company would provide will always be of the highest order. The basis of this would be to first ascertain what these non-customers perceive as a value-add, their emotional reasons for buying, and what can you do better to deliver well over what they are receiving from a competitor. The idea is to remove any apprehension or perceived risk, making it easier for getting non-customers on your side and staying with you.

The fact is that as a company, you cannot make decisions for the non-customers nor can you determine what would be valuable for them. It is best to ask them – asking the right questions, actively listening and clearly understanding what they convey will make it simpler for your company to identify those non-customers who would be more likely to buy. Ensure that the advertising campaigns and promotional methods are simple and easy to understand and are in a language that these non-customers would be familiar. Here language indicates communication that is free from jargon, uses words and phrases that would be commonly used in the industry to which the non-customers belong and ‘language’ that these groups frequently use while communicating over various channels.

Send out surveys and questionnaires that seek to identify the problems non-customers may be facing, how much effort they need to exert to buy a brand or gain service and the extent of their need for a product. Analyse the answers that indicate difficulty and immense need – then create a customized communication that conveys the end of these problems for them.  Getting non-customers on your side would not be that much of a struggle. The fact is customers want easy customer service, products that serve their particular requirements and ease of doing business – put all these services together to get more ‘disbelievers’ to do business with you.

Despite putting all these factors before the non-customers, they still do not buy. Well, the reason probably is that they find your pricing prohibitive.  Rather than ignore this set of non-customers, think about what you can offer them in the price they are willing to pay or tweak the payment options  or packages to suit their ‘pocket’.  The fact is going the extra mile and consistently showing them that their business is valuable, will ensure that they do buy from you, even if it is a small purchase. In the end as their budget increases, they would be happy to buy more and may even lead their friends and associates to your company.

In trying to get non-customers on your side, ensure that your first educates them sufficiently on the existence of your brand and it always helps to share existing customer testimonials. Ensure also that your company’s leaders attend promotional events, seminars, conferences and other such programs to highlight your company and its brand. This is a great way to meet and reach people, who may not know anything about your brand because they did not know it existed. They cannot be customers for something they did not know was present!

All companies and all industries face the issue of getting non-customers to become customers. The non-customers your company is targeting could be facing the same issue with their target audience. Helping them with the expertise will show them that they need your service in this regard. This will get them on your side sooner than you expect and your company gains a new set of customers. Customers want to believe that the company they are doing business with would be able to resolve problems that are beyond the scope of the business relationship.

Getting non-customers on your side may be an uphill task, but when it does happen, these become some of the most beneficial and long-term relationships a company can have.

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