By John Ninness, CEO
As the scope of the business environment continues to evolve in Australia we are all faced with questions like how do I get more clients? Or how do I get better clients that will pay me money? It’s true that we can’t use the armchair method of client delivery. If we sit in our offices or businesses on a day to day basis and don’t reach out we can never expect our client base to grow. Getting clients isn’t an easy task and keeping them is harder still. Marketers exist because people recognize that there are skills and knowledge that can be applied to get more and more clients to your business. I’ve compiled three tips that you might use to grow your market share in a dynamic marketplace.
TIP ONE: YOU CANT BUILD A BUSINESS FROM BEHIND YOUR COMPUTER (OR CAN YOU)?
You need to be where your customers are. If you’re not where they are you simply wont get an opportunity to interface with them. Are they attending expos? Are they at industry conferences? Or do they work in remote locations that are often inaccessible to people like you and me? We all understand that a key component of customer relationships is the engagement of the customer and too often customers are hard to meet let alone engage with. Through a range of platforms such as social media and magazines you can (in some small ways) put yourself in front of your customers. While it doesn’t replace one on one conversations, it at least can help you get to people that are often difficult to reach.
TIP TWO: FOLLOW UP YOUR CLIENTS
Too often we sabotage our own efforts by failing to follow up clients. We often spend a huge amount of effort in attracting clients to our businesses or getting to meet someone at a conference but failure to follow up on the client means that you can attack your own efforts and not realize the initial work that you do. I recently had a conversation with one of our clients who had committed to a significant campaign with one of sales contractors. The conversation resulted from an email to me from the client who had become increasingly frustrated when the salesperson failed to follow up. Needless to say that salesperson is no longer with us!
Customers sometimes spend a long time looking at your business and evaluating its suitability to work with your business. By being active in the marketplace with social media and advertising, you increase the probability of the customer seeking engagement with you. It’s important to remember that there are clients in your marketplace that you’re not reaching. Exposing yourself (through the right means) can mean increased opportunity however if you fail to follow up you have committed a mortal sin for your business. Follow-up to comments on social media, follow-up to inbound enquiries and follow-up the people you meet at industry events. Follow-up is a magical tool that you simply must utilize.
TIP THREE: DO YOU HAVE A SOLUTION TO YOUR CUSTOMER’S PROBLEMS?
In all types of businesses, there can be a range of problems in addressing customer needs and wants. Some of these problems stem from our own perception of the market and what we believe the customer needs to be. Our entrepreneurial thinking sometimes doesn’t address the key question. We should always seek to be mindful about how we are addressing their problems and our communication strategy should seek to address and attract according to their needs. When people land on your website, they need to know that you understand what they are struggling with or need help with. They also need to know that you have a solution to the problems they are encountering on a regular basis. If your communication mediums are designed effectively and address these issues, the probability of retaining a customer is much higher.
For example instant access to you through electronic means or phone is paramount. People don’t want to spend significant amounts of time finding you. You should examine ways through your communication channels that build trust and credibility to strangers, and provide genuine offers for existing & new clients. If you want people to sign up to your newsletter, make sure you’re giving something away of value, something people really want and can assist them to improve their current situation in business or life.
By ensuring your message is on point to address your customers needs and wants you can definitely ensure that you develop your client base and increase your level of inquiry in changing times.
We’d like to hear from you… if you have any feedback or tips to share why not email us with your ideas and thoughts. If you try our tips and they are successful, we’d love to hear your stories.