Last Update: August 2, 2014
Are you wondering how you’re going to increase sales? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Finding new customers is a fundamental challenge for every business. If you’re looking to attract new business or service new clients here are ten creative tips to help turn prospects into paying customers.
1. Give something away.
Every time we “give away” something, we get lots of additional prospects, which directly leads to new business. In our experience, the larger the prize, the more new clients we get in return. Not only do we have a lot of fun giving away something, but we get new clients in the door — it’s a win-win.
2. Meet people.
All of my best, and repeat, clients are people I met personally before they did business with me or they’re a referral from an existing client. Typically, people suggest that you attend Chamber of Commerce and Meetup.com events, but I’ve had great luck meeting people at non-business related events that focus on personal interests.
3. Create a buzz.
Create buzz about your product or service and it will eventually go viral. Start with outstanding customer service. If you treat customers with the utmost respect and patience, people will learn through word-of-mouth that your company is a reputable brand to do conduct business with. Many businesses lack proper customer service and eventually, it cripples them.
4. Pay it forward.
As a new business owner with a small marketing budget who does a significant amount of cold calling, I believe in building relationships by “paying it forward” on a personal level as well as business level. I get my share of hang ups on cold calls, but I’m astounded by the number of buyers with whom, after a several minute phone call with a complete strange, I develop a connection and find an opportunity to help. It can be as simple as offering free samples for our affiliate program, sharing a media contact, suggesting a web designer or even sharing a favorite recipe. Quite often, I’ve concluded such calls with a new business lead, a sale, and a few months down the road … possibly a new friend.
5. Take an interest.
Entrepreneurs have forgotten the strategies that have stood the test of time. Networking is still the best source of clients for my company. ‘m referring to networking in the sense of looking to help others grow their business and take a personal interest in their lives. What goes around comes around, right?
6. Show your expertise.
I’ve found new customers through two TED talks, recording five podcasts and writing blog articles. Suddenly, people viewed me as an expert in my field and started coming to me. Secondly, give away your best stuff for free. People then think “imagine what you get when you pay for it”. Finally, maintain good relations with everyone you meet — you never know who your next client could be.
7. Hold a contest.
I create a contest on my blog offering up a chance to win one of my services and have people comment to enter. Then I offer extra chances to win by having them share the contest with their friends via Twitter and Facebook. After awarding the prize, I contact those that were interested in the contest and offer them an exclusive discount on my services. I make sure to follow-up and keep them updated about future events or services. It’s a great way to generate a list of people in my target market who are interested in my product.
8. Organize an event.
Organize a socially responsible event such as a marathon or race for a trending cause. That way participants and sponsors all get to be introduced your business or service.
9. Attract by example.
Treat customer acquisition like dating. What do the dating experts tell you? If you are out doing things you love, you are going to attract people naturally. Take dance lessons, visit a museum, travel and talk to people about what you love. Your work will come up and when it does the people will either want to work with you, or know someone perfect you should contact. Because they think you’re great, they are more likely to make the introduction.
10. Use different marketing strategies.
Create a marketing strategy that includes email marketing, social media and word-of-mouth. Develop a 12-month plan that has tactical milestones for each quarter and month — and stick to it. Give yourself permission to adjust the strategy as you discover which medium works best.