A business without customers is like fishing without a pole. It just does not work. So, to make the relationship a sure catch, adjusting the tactics you use to lure your customers to shore may be in order.
Before beginning to target marketing strategies, it is first important to answer the following questions:
- Who are my customers?
- How will they most commonly hear about my business?
- Are my company’s marketing, sales and products targeted to reach my desired audience?
- Is my marketing strategy tuning into my customers’ needs and desires?
After answering these important questions, the next step to reeling in new customers is to use a mixture of marketing strategies. The age old techniques of focus groups and mall surveys still may be useful in some situations to understand your customers’ wants, but many smaller companies are moving toward a more personal approach in learning about their customers.
The following are a few unique, yet possibly effective ideas:
- Relate to your customers as people. They have many of the same thoughts and feelings as you and your friends, so you can gain valuable insight by reflecting on your behaviors and values. How would you go about finding a product or service like your? How would you want to be approached?
- Observe your target group in the atmosphere they use your product or service. This way you can see the aspects of your product or service that appeal to people.
- Give your customers business cards. Not only are business cards a good way for existing customers to contact your business, but existing customers can give your business cards to potentially new customers. The old saying goes, “People do business with people they know,” and if someone has your business card, they feel as if they know you.
- Always ask for a referral. Word of mouth is simple, but effective.
- Send out holiday greetings to old and new customers. Showing that you appreciate your customer’s business will make them feel good and think of you the next time they need your product or service. Consider cards for holidays other than Christmas — like Thanksgiving or even Valentines’ Day. Remember to send “thank you” notes when a customer or supplier does you a favor or makes a referral.
- Expand your business through your customer’s neighbors. Leave a small but useful company-labeled gift on the doorsteps of your customer’s neighbors. A pen arrangement in a coffee mug or a sample of your product will intrigue people who may then think to call you the next time they need your product or service. Make sure you reference the neighbor who purchased your product or service so that the prospect can make a quick call to verify the quality of your company.