Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding new customers

     Free daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that.

     Introducing new customers to your products and services is arguably the most important part of your business. Big or small, you need a continuing parade of new customers.

     Why? It's because you will lose your present customers. Sooner or later, all of them will disappear. They move away, they find other sources, they begin buying from a brother-in-law, whatever. Or you lose them to the Internet--and this will only get worse.

     So how do you find new clients and customers, bind them to you, and keep them coming back again and again to your operation? 

     1. Make their experience with you an enjoyable activity, maybe even fun. A dentist's office does not have to be all about dentistry. Same applies to a law office. An ice cream store I know hangs pictures drawn by school kids, turning the place into an art gallery for the young set and their parents.

     2. Constantly keep on top of the market. It changes. Food products that are hot today, languish on the shelves tomorrow. Health food stores see this in the fads that come and go rather quickly in the supplements market. The same is true in alternative medicine practices. 

     3. Ask your customers to "friend" you on Facebook. Use social media to reach out to new people. Network your way through several groups--on the Internet as well as in your community. Ask your customers to bring pictures drawn by their kids and you'll post them on your site. 
     4. To attract new people to your bricks and mortar operation, offer free workshops and other informational meetings open to the general public. People react positively to learning new things. And after all, you're the expert in what you do. 

     5. Engage in friendly conversations. Show an interest in what other people do. Get them talking about their work. It's not personal, like politics can be. People open up and they remember you and your operation--and they refer others.

     6. After you get to know your clients and customers, find the opportunity to ask them for referrals. Once you're in a relaxed conversation, people willingly open up. Not all, but many of them will be happy to pass on names of friends who might be use your services. It's how I found my accountant--who stayed with me for more than 20 years.

     Some of last year's selling techniques have gone by the board. They're yesterday's news. Who does cold calling any more?

     But other things don't change. They might put on a new face in this computer age, but basically, people are people. 

     Find the methods that work for you and keep at it. Adding new clients and customers is a never-ending process in business. If you're adding more than you're losing, you're growing. 

     Questions? Email me direct at and put BLOG in the subject line. 
     I am retired, and I'm not selling anything. Your privacy is always respected.                

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