To launch a new business, owners need to find customers. To grow a business, owners need to consistently find new customers – and retain them.
Do you have all the new business you need? Is your business pulling in the revenue it potentially could?
If you answered “no,” you may need to focus on finding new customers – customers that will fill your pipeline of new business and keep it full.
Where do you find – and how do you retain — those customers?
Here are five concrete steps:
1. Develop a Prospect List
Start with prospects who already buy from you or likely would. Look at customers:
- who were referred to you
- who came through your personal network
- who came through your website (via opt-ins, newsletter signups, etc.)
- and/or who were generated from purchased lists
2. Decide Who Is Your Target Customer
Is your target customer married or single? Outdoorsy or artsy? Over 50 or under 25? An urbanite or organic farmer? Consider radius from your place of business – how important is close proximity to your customer?
Refine five characteristics of your ideal customer.
Evaluate your top 5-10 customers and determine commonalities. Analyze any customer data until you have a clear picture of your target customer.
Research shows that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. When you know that 20%, you’ll be able to find more like them.
Focusing your efforts on who your customer is and why they buy is half the battle in gaining new customers. The other half is providing potential customers with reasons to buy your product or services instead of your competitors’.
3. Define the Value of What You’re Selling
What problem(s) does your target customer have? How does your business solve that problem? Help potential customers understand why your solution is the best solution for them and repeat that message in your communications.
4. Create a Communications Package
When you know who your target customers are and what problem you solve for them, you can create a communications package that will be attractive to that customer. Consider:
- direct mail pieces
- social media outlets
- and/or your website
Targeting your customer helps you define the right communication for them.
Build awareness, credibility, and trust with every communication. And, remember the call to action!
Is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system right for you? Track your leads, efforts, and outcomes – how many touches did it take to make the sale? How many of these prospects lead to new customers?
Having a system in place will help organize and streamline customer contacts…and result in bottom line benefits.
Growing a customer list is an ongoing process. Start today!