Paying customers are the lifeblood of any business. So how does one identify and lure these customers in? Here’s some tips!
1. Target the right people. Who are the most probable people to buy your products or services? While many business owners think the whole world can benefit from what they have to sell, the reality is that you can’t sell to the whole world and generic one-size fits all marketing is ineffective. If your products or services fit an big audience, break that audience down into subgroups. For example, many people want to work at home, but for different reasons. Marketing to moms who want to stay home is very different than marketing to baby boomers worried about retirement income. So define your market(s).
2. Find your market. There’s a reason beer commercials aren’t shown during Oprah and why there’s tons of them during football. While beer drinkers and men may watch Oprah, the demographics overwhelmingly indicate that beer manufacturers should focus on putting their ads on male oriented programming. You want to do the same thing with your market. Find out where they are the most concentrated so you can focus your marketing efforts in those areas.
3. Write offers that appeal to the market. This goes back to the difference between moms and baby boomers when it comes to working at home. When I target moms my offers talk about being a mom and wanting to raise the kids. These are messages that mean something to moms, but wouldn’t do anything for a baby boomer. On the other hand, my marketing to baby boomers would talk about retirement concerns. You want to do the same for your market. What are its concerns? What language does it use?
4. Get lead information. Whenever possible (especially if marketing online), get contact information from potential customers. It is very rare that a customer will buy on the first visit to your “store”. Once they leave, they’re gone. But if you can entice them to give a name and email, now you have a prospect. You have a way to keep in touch, show them what kind of person you are and business you run. You can give them special offers, share tips, etc. It provides an opportunity to build a relationship so that your prospects will feel comfortable buying from you. To encourage people to give information, offer something helpful in return. It could be a free report, short consult, entry for a prize, etc.
5. Engage your network. A person is more likely to buy if they know you OR know someone who knows you. Join groups (online and off) that your target market belongs to. Use the opportunity to provide support or information and the customers will come. Don’t simply join groups to tout your business as that’s annoying.
6. Ask for referrals. Whenever I need a service, I ask someone I know and respect who she uses. And almost always I’ll work with the person referred to me. Why? Because businesses that have others talking about them and referring them must be pretty good. People are more likely to buy if someone referred them. So whenever you work with someone, ask if they know anyone else who could benefit from your product or service.