All posts tagged finding customers

Targeting Potential Customers

Targeting Potential Customers
Targeting Potential Customers

Targeting Potential CustomersWhen you are on the lookout for potential customers, you want to make sure you’re focusing your energy in the right places. Remember that not everyone fits the profile, so spending time and money on trying to attract those outside your target demographic will be a waste of your resources. An effective way to find potential customers for your business is to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Can they afford your products/services? Of course, it’s impossible to know everyone’s financial situation, but you can get a good idea by looking for certain clues. For example, a consultant for a high-end ladies’ jewelry company should consider factors such as which town the potential customer lives in, if she wears designer clothing, if she drives a luxury car, etc. If your company sells products that range in price, consider the average and build an ideal customer profile from there.
  •  Are they the decision maker when it comes to the purchase? There are several different ways that people handle finances within their households. Some couples agree on a reasonable level of autonomy when it comes to making a purchase. Either person can buy groceries or even a new lamp for the living room without consulting each other, but neither would buy a car or book a vacation without both agreeing to it first. Be sure that the person you are targeting as a potential customer has the ability to make decisions about purchasing your products. This especially applies to products and services geared toward young children and teenagers. A skin care company’s acne treatment is mostly used by those between ages 15-21, but is almost always actually purchased by the parent. Whoever has the final say about a purchase is your potential customer. 
  • How much do they need the product/service?  Ask yourself if you are fulfilling a need or solving a problem for a potential customer with your product. Someone who will be returning to the work force after a long hiatus staying home to raise her children may need all new makeup and accessories to complete her professional appearance. A cosmetics or jewelry consultant would consider this person a potential customer because there is a certain level of need for the products and services offered. The most effective way to find out if a need for your product exists is to ask the right questions. Demonstrate a sincere interest in people by asking them questions about themselves. Give them an opportunity to talk about their family, interests, and hobbies. When you discover that the person needs your product, you’ll know you are talking to a potential customer.

Targeting your niche toward the right people will help you spend your time and marketing resources efficiently, which will in turn allow you to have long term success. By asking the above questions, you are creating a sort of customer profile that can be used to identify potential customers.

How have these questions helped you find your own customers? Are there any other questions you would add to our list? Please share your comments below!

Helping Customers Find You

Helping Customers Find You

Think about the last time you wanted to make a purchase that required some research, whether it was a new car, a new TV, some furniture, or a bike for your child.  What was the very first thing you did?  If you’re like most people, your answer can be summed up in one word: Google.  When consumers are in the early stages of buying something, they are likely to turn to Google.  So how can you use this to your advantage?  Read on for some ways to make yourself more visible online and offline.

  • Online commenting is a very effective way to drive traffic to your website.  Write brief but meaningful comments on sites that are relevant to your business.  You can also write reviews of books about your industry on sites like Amazon or Google Books.  Participating in this type of online discourse will allow you to network with other likeminded people in your field, and eventually make your name more recognizable on the web.  Furthermore, frequent commenting on well-chosen sites can increase the likelihood that people will find you on search engines like Google.
  • YouTube and podcasts are also available resources for you to use in your search for new customers.  Do not dismiss YouTube as solely a website for young people watching viral videos.  Many businesses are now using YouTube channels to post all kinds of videos such as tutorials, product demonstrations, and mini-advertisements.  Include the link to your website so viewers know where to go for more information.  The same goes for podcasts; for people on the go, they are a necessity.  Consider using this medium to communicate with not only prospects, but current customers as well.
  • Smartphone apps are a must for any brick and mortar business.  By registering for popular apps like FourSquare, Google Places, Yell, and GoWalla, you can take advantage of the ever increasing use of smartphones by current and potential customers.  Most of these apps are available for iPhones as well as Android and Blackberry phones.  People use these apps not only to find the location of a business, but also to link to the business website and read reviews by other users.
  • Here are some more ways –
    • Signage on cars
    • Fun signage/banner/T-shirts for your clients to display
    • Testimonials
    • Online/printed Reviews
    • Follow up cards, emails and phone calls
    • Seasonal promotions for your community
    • Sponsor charities and causes in your community
    • Weekly workshops and/or presentations in community hubs
    • Partnering with other businesses
    • Referral exchange – where you refer business to them and they refer business to you.
    • Sporting/community event meet and greet
    • Offer online/offline contest and give-a-ways
    • Joining or starting organizations and clubs

Many of the methods listed above are low-cost ways to help customers find you. Make the most out of your online presence, but don’t forget to also make it easy for your local community to find you offline as well.

How else can you increase your visibility to gain new customers?  Share your ideas below!

Free e-book “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success.” It has over 50 pages of techniques for everything a small business owner needs to master, from business planning and ethical selling to a success mindset. It’s all there and it’s free for you. To get it, just “Like” our Facebook Page here: Pass it on!