How to get more customers
Ask most business owners if they want to grow their business and you would expect the answer to be a resounding 'yes'. But, how many actually know how to get more customers?
How to find more customers?
The key to getting more customers lies with your marketing strategy. the marketing strategy has many strands to it some of which will be more important and effective for you than others. Below you'll find some ideas of techniques you can used to help to find more customers for your business.
For businesses who mainly sell to the local community (whether this be B2B or B2C) then basic prospecting may help. Prospecting can be in the form of targetted phone calls businesses who you believe would benefit from your services.
Alternatively, a targetted mailshot to local companies and if possible make sure that this is mailed to a named person in the organisation you are targetting. In the online world, email addresses of people working in specific markets
can be bought from reputable suppliers such that you can create your own email-based marketing campaign to help you get more customers.
Get your news online
Google and other search engines rate up-to-the-minute news more importantly than other content so if you have news about your business or services (e.g. new product launch) then get this published on the free press release websites. You can publish free press releases on Connect2business so if you haven't already done so then create your free account and get started.
Google / Paid advertising
On the face of it, paying some money for prospective customers to click through to your website appears an attractive and quick solution to getting more customers.
Many business owners have embraced Google Ads and many online marketing plans include an element of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
For local businesses traditional offline advertising still attracts many customers. Getting your business shown in a local newspaper or free magazine can often provide new customers for your business though generally this is more costly than advertising in the online world.
Will social networking help my business?
Ever heard of Facebook? Your customers probably have and most will be on there. If you are a Business to Consumer organisation then at least get an online presence on social networking sites such as facebook. Remember though - this is your businesse profile so no comments about nights out!
Facebook and other social networking sites can be used to show the softer side of your business - do you help in the community? does you business donate to charity, hire young people as apprentices etc?
Does your website sell?
We're all proud of our websites having spent many hours deliberating about the content and using web developers to create a stunning design. The question is - does the customer see the value, i.e. is your website actually promoting your business properly and providing you with a stream of new customers?
A website audit is worth considering on a periodic basis (e.g. every 3 or 6 months) to consider if your website has the correct marketing message which is showing the benefits of your organisation over your competitors.
Do you include your opening hours, contact details and and features/benefits of your business on your home page? Often, good ideas can come from your existing customers. Have you asked them how they found your website and what feedback they can provide you on the design/content?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become very popular in order to achieve higher rankings for your website on the search engines. In my mind, SEO has two strands - ensuring that your website is designed such that the search engines can see the wood for the trees and employs no 'black-hat' techniques. Also, online marketing of your website will help drive more traffic and therefor get you more customers.
Create your own marketing plan
If you haven't already created one then consider writing your own marketing plan. The plan should detail what marketing activities you wish to include, how these will be implemented and over what timeframe. Don't forget to review your marketing plan periodically to check how you a performing against the original plan.