No business can survive without finding new customers, but sometimes it can be a challenge to know where to begin the search. From trade shows to social media, here are 11 ways to find new customers that you can begin using today.
- Know Your Customers, Really Know Them
Before you can begin the search for any new customers, you must first make sure you know exactly who your original ones are. You cannot create a marketing campaign based upon who you think you are marketing to. Instead, use a variety of resources such as SurveyMonkey, social media, site traffic data, like that found with Google Analytics, and one-on-one interactions with existing customers to learn about them. Gather information such as:
- What motivated them to make a purchase
- Why they chose your company
- Whether they were happy with their experience
- What their background and pain points are
- Produce High Quality Materials
Marketing materials communicate a brand’s image and how people will remember your company, so this is not an area to skimp. Rather than printing thousands of business cards, brochures, stationery, and other materials, print fewer but ensure they are made with a superior design and that they communicate a solid quality message about your company.
- Use Trade Shows
Trade shows are excellent opportunities to meet others in the industry, and prospective customers. Creating a well-designed booth that communicates the message of the brand along with well-prepared salespeople is usually the perfect recipe for finding new, high-quality leads. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 88% of exhibition attendees did not receive a phone call from salespeople in 2000, yet failure to follow up when one was requested has the potential to negatively impact the attendee’s perception. Over 63% of people indicated that failure to follow up caused them to feel negatively towards an exhibitor and another 14% say it made them feel negatively towards exhibitors and the event itself. Leverage this enormous window by contacting the leads you meet. Set goals about the number of new people you would like to speak with at the event and use your time wisely to meet that goal.
- Be Involved In The Community
Community events, such as charity runs or annual picnics, are an opportunity to connect with new faces and find new clients. Successfully converting new customers requires building a relationship with them. Community events offer the chance to set up a table to speak with people, sponsor charities and races, demonstrate your interest in local causes, and otherwise show your community you care.
- Network On And Offline
Business often comes down to who you know, which means networking cannot be overrated. Take the time to build relationships both on and offline. Start conversations with new professionals and then follow up – without a sales pitch – to demonstrate you are invested in the relationship. Provide referrals to the company, if the situation comes up.
- Create An Email Newsletter
An estimated 91% of email users check their inbox at least one time per day, so this is a wonderful way to remain engaged and on the minds of prospective clients. Newsletters should be sent out on a predictable schedule, contain useful and valuable information, and should only be sent to those who have explicitly opted in.
- Know Which Social Media Channels Your Customers Use
When it comes to social media, the platforms are not interchangeable. It is important to know where your customers can be found so that you can build a strong web presence to reach them.
- Twitter: One giant conversation of short multimedia posts
- Facebook: A generally casual platform where people enjoy lighthearted and informative content
- Google+: A great place for more focused and informative content; you can specify who reads what through your Circles
- LinkedIn: A professional network where a businesslike approach is expected rather than casual
- Create Content That Demonstrates Your Expertise
People go online to find answers to their questions. To begin building strong relationships with these customers, you need to be there with answers to their inquiries. You need to become a trusted resource for them. The best way to do this is to produce high quality content throughout your website and advertise it on social media, your newsletters, and any other digital communication you have with your audience.
9. Encourage Customer Reviews
Customers trust the word of other customers more than they trust advertising from the companies themselves. Encouraging customers to leave reviews (both positive and, somewhat, negative) will help to cultivate positive advertising that customers will listen to. Reviews can be used as testimonials on the website, conversion pages, brochures, and other marketing materials, though a disclaimer that such testimonials might be used this way is recommended.
- Integrate Marketing Systems
You want to make sure that the customer gets the same marketing message from you regardless of whether they encounter your brand on social media or on the side of a transit bus. The campaign should be integrated to reach the maximum number of customers and send them to complete a common task, whether it is visit the company website or participate in an upcoming event.
- Stay In Touch With Old Customers
Part of superior customer service is ensuring that customers are happy even after they have made a purchase. It costs an average of 6-7 times more to find new customers than to retain old ones, so keeping existing customers motivated to stay with your company is critical for growth. Follow up with them after a purchase to see if they are happy and periodically touch base with them to see if they need any more services. Not only will this encourage customers to return, it will also motivate them to refer your company to others.
Customers are the reason any business exists. For new companies, however, it can be a struggle to know where to look. If you are having trouble finding new customers, consider using some of these above ideas to expand your reach and convert new sales.