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Customer acquisition tops the lists of concerns and priorities for most businesses. We don’t always devote enough time and money to our sales efforts, and we must keep our prospects engaged even when we’re busy. Competition is fierce, and keeping the customer pipeline full is the key to success. The more potential customers you encounter, the more new customers you’ll find. So we’ve put together the 6 of the best ways to lure new customers in today’s web-based world.
1. Focus your sales effort
Your customer acquisition efforts will pay the most dividends if you precisely define your target market. Don’t spread your sales efforts too thin, wasting outreach on low-potential prospects. Try to appeal to your target market by providing something unique or of better value than your competitors.
Create an in-depth profile of your target customers to make it easier to guide your sales efforts. A B2C consumer profile should include age, gender, location, priorities, and concerns. What makes them want to buy from you, and how can your product help them?
For a B2B company, consider what department makes the purchasing decisions for your target companies. Then show them how your product can provide them with money or time-saving solutions. If you can do something better than your competitors, court their customers and show them how.
2. Go where the prospects are
Do your potential customers attend trade shows, farmers’ markets, or the local chamber of commerce mixers? Are they loyal to Facebook or glued to Instagram and Pinterest?
Customer habits change based on the economy, technology, and other factors. For example, customers who regularly attend large trade shows may shift to smaller local or regional events over time. Likewise, as new technologies emerge, prospects may shift their social media habits.
Make sure you stay in close contact with at least a small segment of your base to track these changes. And stay up to date with the latest trends and where your target market is going for their purchases.
3. Turn your website into a sales engine
It’s a fair bet that customers will rely on your website to get information or to make a purchase. If you want to attract more customers, assess your site to be sure it “has your back.” Include the basics such as contact info and hours of operation, and make them prominent.
If you own a service company, emphasize your areas of expertise, as well as awards and accreditation. Retailers should describe their products in detail and showcase what sets their items apart. Make your content more robust by adding elements such as high-quality images and customer testimonials. If you have an e-commerce website, make sure to offer multiple payment options for easy checkout.
Most importantly, make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Today’s shoppers turn to their phone or tablet first when looking to buy. A website that can’t be easily browsed on a mobile device will cause shoppers to jump off and find another site.
4. Make search engines your friend
Today, most consumers looking to buy, start by searching the internet. To make sure your products show up in front of potential customers, optimize your website search with SEO keywords. These are the words and phrases consumers type into Google or other search engines to find what they’re looking for. Devise your keyword list by thinking about what your customers would search for. There are also many free keyword research tools available to help you compile an even more complete list. Then feature these words throughout your site, both in the page headers and in the detailed product information.
5. Use location-based services
Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and other location-based services ensure potential customers can easily find nearby businesses. If a prospect searches for a specific business category, for example, hairdressers or restaurants, the service provides nearby companies that fit the description. Ask current customers which services they use to find businesses like yours and concentrate on those. Make sure your listing is accurate and that your address, hours, and description appear front and center.
Also, ask customers to leave positive reviews on these sites. And immediately address any negative posts to ensure quick resolution and consumer confidence.
6. Loyalty counts
Finally, don’t overlook your loyal customers as a source for new ones. Encourage referrals by offering discounts or specials to anyone who sends new customers your way. Routinely ask your loyal customers for referrals, either in person, in emails, or on printed materials. This can prompt happy customers to spread the word and attract more customers with little to no investment.