Need More Customers?Here"s Some Ideas That Just Might Work For You
Customers, they're a pain...
who needs them!! Unfortunately we all do.
Yes, it's sad but true.
I guess there are customers and then there are customers.
Some customers are simply fabulous and others are just plain painful.
I always wince when I cast my mind back to when I owned a local franchise of a national printing franchise group.
Up until then I thought the bank tellers union were abusing some kind of substance when they're sprouting that it's "very stressful working with the general public" What a toss I thought.
one day while standing at the counter of the printing franchise praying for the next customer to be somewhere near normal, it hit me.
"Working with the general public is extremely stressful, not to mention plian bloody annoying" I'm digressing...
Really I'm not because every business owner I've ever met would dearly love to cut loose a percentage of customers who are just plain oxygen thieves.
So, how can you replace the customers that you want to lose, or those that simply disappear.
In recent times there are new strategies emerging for just about everything.
By & large the internet is responsible for this.
It has created a whole new world of communication which of course includes communicating with current & prospective customers.
Traditional methods of new customer acquisition have given away to the internet age primarily because you can reach literally millions of people quickly, at very little cost.
Coca Cola's marketing budget.
Unless you have a marketing budget somewhere near that of Coca Cola's, the odd billboard here and there, radio/TV ads or press ads won't really get you many new customers.
These strategies are good for nurturing existing customers (hey we're still here) but in general do not work well for small to medium businesses trying to attract new business.
Particularly in business-to-business situations.
On top of that, advertising is, or has become overwhelming to the point that the consumer is blind to it.
At more than 1,000 sales messages per day, we don't see them anymore.
In Seth Godin's book Permission Marketing, he states that the average person sees over 1,000 sales messages per day (I lent the book recently & I'm guessing the number) so we just stop seeing them.
So advertising agencies keep trying to think up new ways to get our attention which in turn creates more sale messages.
So in Seth's eyes, the message is clear.
We need to create direct response marketing mechanisms that prompts prospective customers to call us.
He calls it permission marketing - turning strangers into acquaintances and acquaintances into customers.
It's really directs response marketing, which works very well.
In short, direct response marketing is presenting a compelling offer to prospective customers along with a call to action supported by a gift.
I use a number of variations of direct response marketing in my business and it's my prime source of new customers.
The variations I use are sales letters & emails.
If your going to send a large quantity of sales letters out at the one time, I would suggest using the services of a mailing house.
They'll take the pain out of it.
However, if you're going to send letters in small lots like I do, then do it in-house.
After mailing, follow-up each and every sales letter by phone, record the response & call back date and keep doing that until you get an order or they tell you to bugger off.
Many prospects will simply be uninterested so do not call them any more.
Over a period of time, you will start to build a rapport with the remaining prospects and become quite friendly with them.
After all, that IS your goal.
In most cases, you'll probably be talking more to the prospects than their current supplier is.
You'll be top of their mind when they next order.
So it's only a matter of time before the opportunity arrives.
With the emails, it's a set and forget system and I do not actually contact them personally until they wish to speak with me.
There are many ways to acquire new customers and the strategy your currently using may be working really well for you.
However, if you need more customers you really should have a number of strategies in place.
It always pays to look at every opportunity to get new customers as some will be more successful than others.
So, keep you mind open, your eyes peeled and your ears sharp.
You never know when a great opportunity will present itself.