Regardless of the quality of your product or service, the efforts you put into establishing your brand and helping it stand out, the time you take to pull out all the stops for a proper, pristine, well-decorated and welcoming storefront, office or whatever your headquarters may be – regardless of all of this, your business will always depend on one factor: a constantly growing customer base.
Sure, what we’ve listed above is important for ensuring customer loyalty and retention, but it doesn’t do much to attract new customers. Those who have done business with you in the past will come back based on how well they liked their overall experience with you, but drawing in fresh faces takes a whole different approach.
Rachel Hartman from the Intuit Small Business Blog has written an article covering this topic. Entitled 4 Ways to Build Your Customer Base, it offers some helpful advice on how you can attract new customers and build long-lasting business relationships from Patrick Sprouse, executive vice president of S.E. Covington & Co., which is a commercial real estate firm in Houston. Miss Hartman includes her own thoughts and input based on each of Mr. Sprouse’s recommendations. Here’s one of the tips:
2. Be smart about reaching out. “The best place to start is by looking at your existing customer base,” Sprouse says. Ask these customers for referrals. Use the information you’ve collected about them (ZIP code, preferred form of payment, average transaction amount, etc.) to build a typical customer profile.
Understanding these factors will help you focus your marketing efforts. For example, if you run a pediatric dental practice, you could distribute toothbrush kits to schools and daycare centers in the neighborhoods where prospective customers are most likely to live.
Referrals are an excellent way to generate new business. There are countless people or companies out there that may have a need for what you offer, but don’t know that you offer it. Something as simple as asking your customers to spread the word can result in an influx of interested leads. Once you find out they need your products or services, the conversation about how you can help them can start.
Miss Hartman also shares more tips from Mr. Sprouse on getting personal, partnering with a non-competing business and expanding your specialized content. Overall, the article offers some valuable information on how to get out there and start selling more in order to build your customer base and, by extension, your business.