If you own a business — whether it is large or small — one of the key things that you probably strive to do is to attract and keep quality clients or customers. While things such as great customer service, quality merchandise and an honest and open attitude go a long way in keeping your clients coming back, attracting them in the first place can be problematic. Let’s face it — in today’s market, your customer has a lot of choices available. So how do you convince them to give you a shot? Here are a few creative suggestions for attracting some new clients.
Suggestion # 1: A Random Act of Kindness
OK — truth be told, reaching out and helping a potential client with a problem that they have, and you can fix, is not a new idea. Business gurus and experts have been touting the value-centered and customer-centered practices for quite some time. The reason is because it works. People can forget who you are, or what you say, but they rarely forget what you did, so make the memory a good one. For example, if you own a bakery, and you find out that one of your elderly neighbors hasn’t had a chance to go out to the store, bring them a selection of your famous bread or muffins and have a small snack with them. Or if you own a laundromat, offer to do a few loads of laundry for free for that frantic mother with four kids. Those random acts of kindness will be remembered, and talked about.
Suggestion # 2: Take a Genuine Interest in the People Around You
We all like to feel special. Your potential customer is no different. If you want to attract and keep a potential client, it is a good idea to find out more about them, and listen to them carefully when they describe what they need or want from a business or company. Do not listen just enough to make a sale. Really listen to your customer. By doing so, you might be able to discover ways that you can help them that you didn’t even realize. For example, a potential client of mine was frantic with worry because he was afraid that he couldn’t get his web content up and edited in time. However, the real problem was that he had so many writers contributing to his website, that managing all of them, plus editing was eating up too much of his time. By actively listening and building up a relationship with him, I was able to determine the best way that I could help him — by managing the contributors to his website — which left him more time to be creative and grow his own business.
Suggestion # 3: Don’t Neglect Tradition
The internet and social media have certainly made an impact on the world of marketing, and no business owner worth their salt should neglect these avenues for reaching out to new clients. However, that does not mean the most traditional ways of reaching out to new customers can’t be as effective. Practices such as newspaper ads, direct mail, billboards and radio or television advertising can sometimes reach more and different quality customers than you can through the internet. Plus, more traditional methods of advertising allow you to focus more on your direct, local market.
Suggestion # 4: Become a Patron
Another great way to increase the exposure of your business to the potential customer — and attract them — is to support and take part in what they care about. If your town has a local arts or crafts festival, or a little league, or some other community activity, consider taking part or helping out. Although becoming a sponsor is certainly an option, it’s not the only one. Perhaps something that your business already does can help make the event that more special? For example, I once worked with a local copy shop that provided free flyers for the local children’s library whenever they had an event — and took the time to post them around town for them. Word got around about what they were doing (I told a few people myself) and the number of potential customers that they had the next month increased greatly.
What other suggestions do you have? How have you attracted your best customers? Share your suggestions below!