NASE News

Top Ways to Get New Customers

Owning and operating a small business is no easy task, and maintaining your quality of service or production while trying to drum up a new business may seem intimidating. However, there are several tried and true ways to attract new customers, and by following these top suggestions, a successful boost in customer relations is undoubtedly on the horizon.

New Customer Discounts and Promotions
It is no secret that everyone loves a discount or deal, but this sales tactic can also prove very valuable when it comes to attracting new customers for your business. Whether it is a “buy two get one free” or a “free gift with purchase,” offering introductory promotions and discounts on your products and services is a viable way to drum up new business opportunities. If someone was on the fence about trying out your business, a new promotion could very well be the tipping point for them to say ‘yes’ to your company’s services and products. Promotional incentives are often linked to evolving shopping habits among consumers who may be tired of where they usually shop.

Furthermore, monitor your own products’ popularity; offering discounts on your most purchased items will likely draw your business some much-needed attention while keeping your current customers loyal to your brand.

You may want to consider installing a loyalty program for your long-time customers. Loyalty programs allow your customers to be rewarded for continuing to use your business. They can earn points towards discounts or be offered exclusive sale prices that are not available to customers outside of the loyalty program.

Requesting Referrals
If a customer has been with your company for an extended period of time, or if they have expressed their satisfaction with your company, it may be time to request a referral. A loyal customer is more likely to spread the word about your company, especially if you choose to throw in an incentive. Incentives for business referrals can range from discounts for both the current customer and the new customer or a special promotion for the current customer.

If you know that you have happy customers, do not allow yourself to become passive and hope that they choose to spread the word about your company to family and friends. Instead, create a systematic approach to actively pursue referrals from current customers, such as follow-up email inquiries about their customer satisfaction and then additional emails requesting referrals.

Networking Your Business
One of the best ways to generate new customer leads is networking. While networking is nothing new, it produces results and has for many years. Spreading word of mouth and introducing yourself to people within your business’ industry is a crucial part of attracting fresh consumers. Seek out and participate in local networking events that pertain to your company. Making your presence in the marketplace known can make all the difference when it comes to business opportunities.

While networking, be sure to present yourself as a service that can help others instead of appearing to only be at the event for yourself. Customers and business owners alike are attracted to feelings of community and are more likely to use your business and refer others.

Being an active community member is a powerful way to promote your business ventures. If you are looking for places to meet people within your industry but are unsure where to start, look into joining a trade association, attending networking events, signing up for expos pertaining to your business. Also, be on the lookout for local events within your community, such as PTA meetings, fundraisers, auctions, or fairs.

Updating Your Website
It is no secret that online shopping is quickly becoming the primary way to make purchases. The service industry also relies heavily on online promotion for its customer base. Your business’ online presence can be directly connected to the number of customers you reach.

People search for services they need online, and they compare the pricing of their purchases from different sources. If your business has a lackluster or outdated website, it is not a stretch to assume that your poor-quality page is hurting your company prospects.

Your website is meant to do the heavy lifting when generating online leads. Review your search engine optimization and marketing and ensure that your tactics are up to date. If you are unfamiliar with SEO marketing, it would be wise to contact a professional who could guide you through a successful SEO campaign.

Your website’s design must be user-friendly and easy to scroll through. If your website has large graphics, it may take longer to load, driving potential clients elsewhere. It is also crucial that your website be mobile-friendly. Millions of people browse the internet from their cellphones, and if your business’ website does not transfer to a mobile user, you could be missing out on many sale opportunities.

Use Online Rating Sites to Your Advantages
As shopping for products and services has evolved into the online market, so have company reviewers. It is a commonplace now for people to research businesses via online rating sites. It is recommended that business owners monitor these third-party sites for any concerns or complaints about their company that they may quickly address.

However, you can also use these websites to your advantage when you receive positive reviews. Linking these reviews directly to your website will show potential clients that others have had a positive experience doing business with your company. The reviews posted on an unbiased forum will also bring more validity to their positive comments.

Reach Out to Past Customers
If you have a list of lapsed customers, it would be viable to revisit those contacts in hopes of reviving their interest in your business. You can contact past customers via email, phone, standard mail, or text with a message offering some form of promotion if they choose to do business with you again. This will rejuvenate interest and help you win back some customers that fizzled out previously.

Please make it a regular occurrence to reach out to past clients (every six to twelve months). This will help maintain customer growth throughout the year.

Partnering with Complimentary Businesses
Teaming up with complementary companies is a fast way to receive cross-over attention for both parties. Similar customer bases will allow both your company and theirs to reach new consumers without spending a lot of money. However, avoid competitive businesses that offer the same service or product.

You will want to partner with businesses that can help you grab a stronger hold on the marketplace. For example, an ideal partnership might be for someone who installs tile to partner with someone who paints houses.

Showcase Your Expertise
If you are an expert in your industry, let those around you see it. By promoting your expertise, you create interest in your business and generate new clients who are already familiar with your work. Volunteer to speak at industry panels, expos, or other events that can get your name and expertise noticed. You can also host webinars and online workshops for your target market.

Most of the time, people like supporting local businesses over large corporations, so being a well-known member of the community is good for business. Your community will take more notice of you and your business if you participate in local charity events, sponsor local sporting events, organize community donations, or donate to your community’s schools. This will get your name and company out in plain sight of your neighbors and allow you to give back to your own community.

Getting Listed on Local Directories
An upside to using the internet to market your business in local directories. Small businesses within a local area can be listed free via online directories. When you register your small business with the local directory, it becomes easy to find with a quick search.

Map views and contact information are instantly available and can be found by anyone in the world. Some of these local directories include Google Places, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local.

Social Media
Social media continues to change online marketing for businesses, especially now that you can promote yourself via paid advertising through these platforms. While having a website and prioritizing an SEO strategy is vital, holding a social media presence on a platform frequented by potential clients is always a good idea.

By joining platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can bring your business’ latest updates to a broad audience. Paid ad campaigns can help your promotions be seen by millions of people who may not have seen them otherwise.

Final Thoughts
There are many ways to attract and maintain customers for your small business. Some will be more successful than others, and the measure of their success will depend on your business and your target market.

If you offer a service rather than a product, marketing on Instagram (a platform of photos) may not be the best choice for you. Take the time to consider who you are marketing your business to and build your promotional strategies from there.

To learn more about the top ways to get new customers for your small business, contact the experts at NASE. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/about-us/Nase_News/2022/04/22/top-ways-to-get-new-customers