Isaac Ludlow Series Part 12: Eight proven ways to increase your customer base
Increase the size of your customer base by following these simple but highly effective steps to generate leads and successfully convert them into paying customers. The secret to truly successful marketing involves a comprehensive understanding of the needs and desires of the market – and more specifically, the individuals who constitute that market.
By connecting with those who want the products and services that you offer, and communicating how they will benefit from working with you, your business will gain new customers. The problem faced by many business owners is that they either fail to define exactly who their potential customers are, or they lack the skills, resources, and strategies necessary to build valuable relationships with them.
Marketing is essential for all businesses, and effective marketing can easily increase your number of customers. By following a few tips and engaging in some time-tested initiatives, the process can be easy and provide a good return on your investment.
Here are a few of the best tried and true methods for adding new customers in record time:
#1) Create “Raving Fans”
Loyal customers are ideal customers. The most prized customers of all are those who become so energised about the level of service they receive, that they cannot stop telling others about it. These “raving fans” are a golden asset and an awesome source of new customers, followers, and leads.
To thank these raving fans, rather than offering a standard discount coupon, really add value for them. For instance, a business owner might instead offer them tickets to a golf tournament or concert, deliver flowers or a gift basket to them, or pamper them in other special and memorable ways. It all depends on the true value you place on these kinds of customers.
#2) Identify a target market for direct mail
Direct mail campaigns work best when trying to reach a group that you already know are potential customers, unlike blanket marketing methods of advertising that hit everyone. To clarify exactly where to market, it will be helpful to know basic information about the recipients, such as their place of residence, age, and gender, as well as deeper more value-rich information like income level and buying habits. One of the most effective ways to generate an appropriate mailing list is to hold a giveaway or contest. Those who submit their email or postal address on an entry form are obviously interested in winning that product or service, so this can help to pre-screen them as potential customers.
#3) Create a referral program
Design a referral program that rewards existing customers for bringing new customers to your business. Referral rewards can be offered in the form of discounts, gifts, exclusive products, invitations to special events, “closed door” sales events where only certain customers are invited to participate, or other preferred customer perks.
Many customers have friends, coworkers, and family members who require the same products and services, so incentivising referrals are a natural process of growing the customer base – a really effective way to grow your base of “Raving fans”!
#4) Create strategic business alliances
By partnering with other businesses which have a similar type of customer to you, but no actual direct competition, your company can expand its customer base quickly and easily. Customers who trust certain businesses and have proven their loyalty to them will be inclined to follow their recommendations and endorsements; in this case, your business. It is a “win-win” situation for the businesses within the alliance and also for their shared customers.
#5) Advertising in the media
Getting the word out through mass media is often the only thing necessary to vastly increase your number of customers. A well-followed Social Media page with photos, videos, and promotions running can often connect directly with your target market. You can further refine this connection by paying for Google Ads and/or other online ad boosting, i.e Facebook ads. Radio or TV are still extremely effective means of advertising for the right businesses and products. For those businesses that are on a tighter budget, email marketing, a Google listing, flyers, and classified ads in local newspapers are an easy and reasonably affordable way to enter the local ad market. There are also many neighbourhood papers – professional newsletters, school newsletters, trade journals, and other publications that offer strategically targeted ad opportunities.
#6) Train and support employees to improve their skills
Employees come in contact with many people every day, both inside their place of business and elsewhere. An employee might attend a sports club, church, or school where there are dozens of potential customers. For certain businesses, by helping that employee learn the skills needed to promote the business to those contacts, it is possible to gain new customers. Employees may need training and incentives, but having employees who believe in the product and business is essential. Invest in those who are within the business, and the investment will often pay off by bringing new customers from outside the business.
#7) Go online and drive traffic to your business
Create an appealing and effective website, and it will act both as a customer magnet that never sleeps and a business presence that extends around the entire world almost overhead-free. A key marketing tactic is to give site visitors something valuable, in exchange for them providing more information about themselves. Concentrate on getting contact info. When they sign up on the site or visit the store, for example, they may be rewarded with a discount, contest entry, service upgrade, or a free consultation. Make incentives irresistible and continue to emphasize a call to action, otherwise, internet surfers will be much less likely to convert into useful leads and real customers. It’s also extremely worthwhile to optimise your website with keywords for your business, this is called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO. Paying an online marketing company to do your search engine optimisation can dramatically increase your traffic to your website, and bring the right people to it as well.
#8) Increase visible exposure
Brand recognition is powerful, so capitalize on visible exposure at every possible opportunity and it will soon increase your customer base, and strengthen your brand. Some companies give away beverage coasters, key chains, and coffee mugs that double as promotional items. Others put up signs, buy uniforms with logos on them, or get vehicles sign written. Look for every chance to come out from the shadows and be seen.
What kind of growth results can you expect in the construction industry?
To give you an idea of what you might expect, I’d like to share how I achieved a 400% increase in profits in the construction industry.
I invested about $1,000 per month, an hour every week with a business coach and about four hours every week working on improving my business.
The return on coaching for my business was over 400%, investing a total of around $50,000 and receiving increased profits of over $200,000. As well as the return on investment financially for my business, the other benefits that I received from coaching were that my personal income doubled and I was able to go from working approximately 42 hours, down to about 35 hours per week. For our family, this meant that we had more time together, more flexibility, more holidays, and greater freedom to enjoy doing what we enjoyed.
When I look back at the coaching experience I feel incredibly grateful for the personal growth, the financial growth, the leadership growth, and the difference it has made to our ability as a family to contribute to making this world a better place. Obviously, I’m a raving fan about business coaching now.
Why don’t you flick me an email or make a quick phone call and I’ll show you how to get those kinds of results in your business. You’ll receive a free assessment of your business, several strategies for you to move forward and a no obligation look at the kind of difference that coaching would make in your business and life.
I look forward to hearing from you.
The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Hamilton, New Zealand
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