5 Ways to Get More Customers for Your Small Business
By Anne Cull, ThinkViral, Johnson County LIVING WELL Magazine
1) Make it Publicly Known That You Take Care of Your Customers
Almost all of our customers come from existing customers. When you take care of your customers, they become your “free” salespeople. Praise them online, post their successes, offer to showcase their testimonials in your email newsletters, etc. There are so many ways to showcase your customers and the more you do it, the more they will refer you and share you with their networks.
2) Form Relationships with Established Businesses
If you don’t have an audience, find a company that sells something different to your same demographic and start bonding. They are already working with your existing customer base so no need to go off to events on your own where you don’t know anyone. Use Linkedin (www.Linkedin.com) to look up reputable companies that sell to your demographic and see if you’re already connected to someone there. If you aren’t connected to anyone, someone you know probably is. Using Linkedin is really the easiest way to partner with established companies. Accounts are free to set up but there are rules. This is not Facebook – it’s all about the business of your business.
3) Become the Expert
Lots of opportunities come to “experts.” So how do you get that status? It’s not as hard as you think. There’s no better way to showcase your expertise than creating content others can read, review, and learn from. A blog requires an on-going commitment so if you don’t like to write, don’t start a blog. You can still get in front of people if you write an occasional article for someone who has a popular blog or submit it to an industry publication. Use Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter to demonstrate your expertise with short insights, tidbits and links to relevant articles in your field. Make sure to build up your fan base and engage with other Twitter users by following them, retweeting their messages, and making insightful comments about their posts. No one likes to follow people who only talk about themselves.
4) Stop Pitching
Instead of worrying about selling your wares all the time, think about teaching instead. When you post out helpful resources and information that helps your customers, you become a trusted resource rather than a salesperson. You don’t need to act like you need the business because you are too busy providing resources and “teaching” people how to solve their problems (hopefully with your solution!). This goes back to being the expert. Experts teach. They do not need to pitch.
5) Help Others Get More Customers
One of the most effective ways to get more customers is to help other business people get customers for themselves. An introduction to the right person can go a long way and if you introduce new business to someone, especially several times, they feel compelled to return the favor by giving you a few referrals too. If you refer business to five people, you now have five “free” salespeople. It works out nicely if you can’t afford to hire a sales staff!