Overview: Doing business is easy. Finding customers is hard! But if you take the right approach, you can attract customers and help them see the value your business can provide them. Read on to learn more!
Customers: Without them, your business literally can’t exist.
These days, it seems like it’s harder than ever to acquire new customers — not to mention keep them! With the internet turning the entire planet into one big global marketplace, there’s a lot of competition. And in this distraction-filled world, there are a million things vying for the attention of your audience, and potentially preventing them from locking onto you.
But there are steps you can take to attract customers! In our decades of business, we’ve learned enough to fill a — well, probably enough to fill a book, but definitely enough to fill a blog post. So read on as we share some tips and tricks!
Are You Looking For Customers in All the Wrong Places?
If you’re making efforts to catch the attention of new customers, but you’re not having any luck, think about where you’re focusing those efforts.
Imagine this: You go to a comic con and start perusing the vendor booths. Then, right between a booth dedicated to a popular anime series and a booth promoting a highly-anticipated video game, you spot a booth where exhibitors are trying to persuade attendees to sign up for retirement funds.
Now, those might be truly valuable retirement funds, but it’s pretty unlikely that anyone at that convention is going to make a beeline for that booth. The audience at a comic con has come to celebrate (and spend money on) their favorite pop culture, and they’re not eager to think about investments that don’t involve rare comics.
On the other hand, if the retirement fund folks were to set up shop at a conference devoted to wealth management, they’d be in a much better position to find their audience!
So when you seek to attract new customers, make sure you’re using the right venues. If the audience for your product is primarily teenagers, you’re probably not going to reach them on LinkedIn and Facebook, both of which tend to skew older. And if you’re looking to grab the attention of senior citizens, TikTok might not be the best place to look, as it’s largely populated by younger demographics.
When you think about your potential customers, think about where they’re likely to be found, and plan your marketing accordingly!
>> Related Reading: Top 10 Social Media Platforms for Businesses
Let Your Customers Know You Understand Them
Everyone likes to feel seen and heard, and that’s especially true of your potential customers. When they consider patronizing your business, it’s almost certainly because they have a need and they think you might be able to help them.
One of our tried-and-true methods for initiating relationships with new customers is to let them know we understand them — their needs, their challenges, their pain points. On our website, in our social media posts, and when we engage in online or real-life networking, we try to consistently demonstrate that we sympathize with the frustrations and challenges of website technical maintenance.
When a potential client reaches out to us, we continue this process by listening to them. We want to know as much as possible about every customer’s situation, because all of it helps strengthen our relationship with them, and that helps us serve them better.
That brings us to our next point…
Turn Introductions Into Relationships
Nobody likes to be viewed as a dollar sign, but we all like to be seen as human beings. When you make that first contact with a potential customer, treat them with respect. (“Respect” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be excessively formal. Casual conversation is usually fine — although you may encounter customers who prefer being addressed more formally, so you can adjust your tone accordingly.)
As you’re gathering information for a proposal, an order, or whatever it is the potential customer is seeking for, try asking a few casual questions so you can get to know them.
If they happen to tell you about their favorite NBA team, make a note of that so you can ask them what they thought of the game on your next call. Those little touches can go a long way toward showing them that you value them as a customer and as a person!
The Value of Good Word of Mouth
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ve seen us discuss this before, but it bears repeating: One of the best and surest ways to acquire new customers is to do a good job when working for your existing customers.
This applies to so many different types of businesses: Dentists, tutors, lawn care providers, magicians, manicurists, photographers… The list goes on and on. When you’re looking to acquire the services of one of these businesses, at some point you’re probably going to ask other people in your life for a recommendation.
Whether you’re asking a friend in person or posting a request in your neighborhood social media group, the result is the same: You’ll accumulate names and contact info of businesses from customers of those businesses who have had a good experience. And those recommendations make you feel confident that you’re making a good choice when you contact that business.
So when you think about attracting new customers, remember: Happy “old” customers create eager new customers! (And on the flip side of that notion: Do your best not to avoid becoming a business that existing customers warn their friends and neighbors away from!)
>> Related Reading: Build and Maintain Customer Relationships
It’s not fun to talk about this one, but it’s reality, for better or worse: It might take you a long, long time to acquire a large number of customers. As we said at the top of this blog post, it’s really hard to get the attention of a potential customer in this day and age.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up and close up shop right away just because your early efforts aren’t working! It’s extremely rare for any business to become a massive success in its first few years — and in fact, an awful lot of businesses never become massive, but rather keep chugging along making a comfortable profit.
If you send out ten proposals in one day and only one of the recipients signs on the dotted line, don’t see that as a failure. See it as a successful attempt at signing a new client! The hard truth is that it might take you several tries over an extended period of time to really get cooking.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be rigid in your methods. Persistence is vital to running a business, but so is flexibility. If you keep sending those proposals out and none of them get confirmed, don’t be afraid to ask yourself where you can make adjustments for better results.
>> Related Reading: Persistence Is Crucial for Your Business
Attracting new customers is not easy, and it requires a lot of patience. But you can do it when you’re strategic about your marketing, when you have authentic and sympathetic conversations with potential customers, and when your successes lead to referrals.
We’ve learned all of these lessons — sometimes the hard way! — in our years of providing website support to small and medium-sized businesses, marketing agencies, non-profits, and various other organizations of all sizes.
If you’d like to spend less time worrying about technical website issues and more time working to acquire new customers, we’d like to help! We offer a free trial on our subscription-based plans, which cover WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix websites, as well as Shopify e-commerce stores. Contact us today to learn more!