If I had a penny for every time someone asked me “how to get more customers?” then I wouldn’t be coaching.
All in all, without multiple sales pipelines it can very difficult to generate a sustaibale income. Not to mention, it can be very stressful when you’re shooting to expand, but are unable to because of a lack of sales pipelines that enable you to get more customers!
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1. Go to networking events.
First of all, networking is a phenomenal way of getting more customers into your business. There are many different networking events and styles, however I will focus on the two that I feel are most prevalent. They’re also considerably different enabling you to choose the right approach for you and your company.
4N is great for getting out multiple times a week, without having to spend a large amount of money on the events themselves.
It’s a flexible system that gives you the opportunity to network as much as you please. You can stick to your local community or travel. Events are held throughout the day, usually during mealtime so during breakfast, lunch or dinner.
BNI is local networking on steroids (as I was once told). Unlike 4N, BNI structures their meetings purely on local business-to-business interaction, with a heavy focus on referrals.
That’s why they only allow only one person from each sector per seat. You’ll quickly understand that everyone in the room works for one another because each member utilises their personal networks to share business.
So something to consider is that this works both ways, meaning after the first few months you’ll be expected to refer work onto others in your chapter.
2. Ask for Referrals.
Asking for referrals seems obvious, but you’d be surprised to find out how little most companies actually do it. Not only is it easier to approach a previous customer who’s content with your product or service, it also is extremely cost effective.
More often than not, business owners just wait for referrals to generate organically. Content customers should spread your name, right? Most will, but sometimes they’re busy and won’t go out of their way – unless you ask.
Therefore an easy way to do this: find two happy customers that you’ve helped in the past who haven’t referred you. Then, write out a simple email, or even short call template. Less is more here. Be genuine, direct and make it personal.
This is a template I like to use to check up on clients, with added bonus of asking for a referral. You can use it to call or email the customer, depending what style you prefer.
How’s [Business Name] doing? I had a great time working with you and your company and I wanted to catch up with you to see how you’re getting along with everything.
I’m also looking to expand my pipeline so I’m looking for more customers. Can you put me in touch with someone who maybe in need of my services?
3. Always offer advice and help.
No one likes a hard sell. I personally hate sales calls; especially the one’s where you can hear them reading from a template. It’s impersonal and I never feel content to trust the person, let alone buy in to what they’re selling. So why would you do it? Short answer: you wouldn’t.
Moreover the best way for you to attract and keep clients, be it face-to-face, email or via phone is to educate them about your services. Set up a no-strings-attached meeting or call. Don’t try to sell, just explain to them how you can solve the problem they’re facing.
So, be personal, specific and ask questions. You have to make sure they understand you’re the right choice. Both parties must have a clear understanding that you’re in it for the results they’re looking for.
4. Partner with non-competing firms.
This is a big one. Imagine finding a partner that offers all the services you do not, though you work in the same industry. Create an indirect relationship that enables you both to prosper. Doing so will either save you a substantial amount of money or time acquiring those same customers.
Make sure they’re a bigger player too. Larger firms will often pass work if the project maybe too small, if they haven’t the skills to profitably complete it, or if they’re just too busy.
It can be a great way to further develop your network too. Showcasing the fact you’re working with a larger player instils confidence with potential customers, which is always an added bonus.
5. Understand your consumer and target market, but more importantly your place in it.
When I speak with clients and get down to the nitty-gritty of this, you’d be surprised how indirect their targeting strategy is. Having a clear target to shoot for is not only important for generating more revenue, it also gives you the ability to become particularly good at servicing one type of individual, putting you ahead of your competition in that respective sphere.
So when you begin outlining who your primary customer is and the general target market, you’ll be able to hone in on specific elements that make lead generation easier and more affordable. I mean, who doesn’t want to save money?
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6. Follow-up lost customers.
When I mention this, I often get a mixed bag of looks. Something one of my clients likes to say is you miss 100% of the shots you never take (Wayne Gretsky). This applies just as well to customers you failed to acquire, meaning this a great option for you to generate more customers.
Moreover, you’ve already spent the time and/or finances trying to generate their interest, so why not see if there’s opportunity that you can utilise later down the line?
Use the same template we outlined earlier. It’s great way for you to get more customers coming into your business.
Not to mention, you can ask for a referral, they may know someone that’s specifically looking for your services. You don’t know what you don’t know; equally, you can’t unlearn what you’ve already learnt.
The point of business is to maximise profits, and a great way to do this is by following up the very same people you hadn’t had the chance of pleasing. Simple!
7. Follow-up your network.
This is a great way to get more customers.
The key here is to find as many people who are a good fit for your company. A particularly inexpensive and quick way to do this is by reaching out to people, connections or colleagues from the past, be it email conversations, networking or prior referrals.
Remember, never hard sell. Simply ask what they’ve been up to, how they’re getting on and if you can help in any way.
Remember that sharing is caring. By offering help, whether its giving feedback, advice, tips or doing a small task, it enables you to build up relationships with the right people. It’s also incredibly rewarding. Remember, if you go out of your way to help someone for free, they’ll likely return the favour and offer you help in return.
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