13 Ways To Find Customers for Your Business

June 29, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Even the successful businessmen are of a unified answer if asked what the most difficult part of starting a business was – getting customers. For business entrepreneurs with very limited allocation for marketing or advertisement, this could really be a hurdle that seemed insurmountable during the first few months of operation.

There are, however, many solutions and strategies which can be employed by business entrepreneurs in order to address the problem and get the business going. A good product or service may be what you can offer and what the customers need, but there’s a very good chance that these customers are not even aware that you have these products and services even if they have visited your website a few times.

How then do you find your customers?

1. Make a strategy plan. Know the right people, the right customers. You can’t be sending a proposal to a company who has no use to the products you are offering. In the same way that you cannot send a proposal to the HR department for something the IT department has to evaluate. Keeping tab of the key people and key players to your business is one way of getting the proposal on the right hands.

The market talks a lot about everybody. You can fish out information by asking friends of friends. This will help you narrow down the proposal ideas or concepts specific to the requirements of that particular person or company. By knowing your customers better, you are able to identify the suitable product or services to cater to their needs and requirements.

2. Know that success may come from different directions. Some business deals are sealed sometimes unexpectedly and when the odds are high. There is not a singular source of sales. They come from different sources, for different reasons. You may be surprised to have a visitor from a far flung place interested to get your services when you both did not know about each other until some mention of a long-time customer. Word of mouth can go that very far, indeed.

3. Bring the Daily in. The local newspaper is teeming with information on potential customers. Every single event published in the local dailies contains names, contact details of persons or businesses which you may need later on. Make it customary for your company to send greetings or congratulatory messages – anything that fits the occasion or event publicized, to make them know people in the community are interested in their achievements or good deeds. Make subtle mention of your company by signing the message or card with your business logo, or clipping a business card. This ought to get the person sent the card to remember you.

4. Do Sponsorships. You can either organize your own event or work with known event organizers for sponsorship arrangements. Big social events are good venues for marketing and advertising your products or services and by investing in prizes or give-aways for the event will be a big boost to your business. Arrangements may be done such that you as the sponsor enjoy advertisement mileage and visibility during the event.

5. Be active and visible. There are plenty of opportunities around. Conventions, conferences or seminars for a specific target audience can be a good source of potential customers for your business. Make yourself visible in these events. People who see you in these events will be curious on what you can offer.

6. Follow up prospects. You’ll never know if you are prospecting on the right contacts if you don’t make a follow through. They will be able to tell you if you can benefit from them or you would need to wait until they are ready for your proposal. If you don’t ask, they won’t volunteer the information.

7. Invest a little for big returns. You won’t see it right away. But by investing in small scale to promote your product or services may bring you big returns at the right time. You may run short-period promotions where you offer free packets of your products for the first 100 customers. This would have the company investing some amount on the give-away packets. One or two of those who received the packet may recommend you to a big company that needs your products. It’s a good deal served on your plate.

8. Make use of your connections. Friends are the best people you can ask help from. They can help you at no cost and more importantly, they will not dupe you or the friends they are referring to your business. You may still offer them some referral fees if you will, but most likely, friends will decline.

9. Keep the competitors near. Make an effort to know more about the competition. This can bring you more information you can use for the business than you can imagine. Work around those parameters if applicable to your business.

10. Small but many. If your business relies on printed advertisements, come up with flyers in small forms of different attractive designs and layout. Some are even crazy enough to create sequel ads where people are kept hanging with the content of the flyer until they get the next in sequel and so on. This will get them interested to see and find out what was the complete message or ads all about.

11. Try paid online advertising. Online advertising is relatively cheaper than traditional advertising. Online marketing tools like Pay Per Click (PPC) may just be the right tool to boost your business activities. Monitor the results to see if effective. Other online advertising tools may also be tried if within your budget.

12. Let them know where you are. Get the company registered in reputable business online directories or affiliate organizations relevant to your business. People will know where they can find you when they need you.

13. Get feedback. Feedbacks are not only for the positive ones. It is equally important to know why someone did not buy your product. Knowing will help you make the adjustments if needed for the product or service. You may need to look at your pricing if it is a general concern. Whatever you learn out of those feedbacks, you can use to improve your business.

Jose Darrel Bella has been doing online marketing for the past 4 years with proven success, specializing in Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-click Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Web Design, Landing Page Optimization, and Content Creation. He now works for Web Outsource Force Inc. – an Internet Marketing Outsourcing company based in the Philippines.

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