One of the hardest challenges a business can face is expanding a client list. At the end of the day, without clients, a business cannot succeed, so it's vital you keep generating leads and work hard to retain what existing customers you do have in order to grow but most of us don't have the luxury to allocate a lot of time to this task. So, how do you fit it in with all the other work that needs to get done?
Here's some tips to get you started...
While print and radio advertisements may still be an effective form of getting your name out there, many will look to social media to find new customers.
With so much traffic, it's easy to see why many businesses choose to reap the rewards of web marketing. Channels like Facebook make it easy for companies to advertise their product or service to their target audience by targeting ads based on interests, gender and location. Facebook advertisements are also designed to fit within any budget, allowing businesses to spend as little as $5 if they wish.
Social media advertising is a lot like fishing. While it's good to target a certain type of fish and a certain location, if are too specific with what you are trying to catch you may end up catching nothing at all. So, aim to target your message but don't be so specific that you are reaching the same person too many times and ignoring others who might consider your services.
Where you can, break your customers into smaller categories and focus a specific message for each – e.g. for busy families you might focus your message on your efficiency and minimal disruption or for house-proud customers you might focus on your attention to detail. Each message is right when it's relevant to the right customers.
Chances are, your target audience will already be familiar with a host of other businesses in the design and paint industry, whether these be furniture companies or fabric specialists. To ride on the back of these customer bases and reach a new audience, try to partner with other firms that offer complementary services to your business. This is a great way to collaborate on new projects, get your name out to a wider, more varied audience and forge long-lasting relationships with fellow businesses.
If you focus on interior painting, think about other projects your clients are often doing at the same time, such as homeowners who will change their curtains and their carpets as well as get a fresh paint job. If you can find others who are part of the same larger project as your business, you'll start to find others you can connect with and look for opportunities to cross promote your services to each other's clients often for no extra cost.
In order to grow your client base, you must spend time and effort ensuring your existing customers are satisfied with your current customer service. Making sure that your current client base is happy will increase your chances of future transactions with this group. Research from Marketing Metrics shows that the probability of selling to a new prospect lies at 5-20%, while the chance of selling to an existing customer stands at 60-70%.
Doing this will also increase your positive word-of-mouth exposure. If you please one client with your stellar service and end result, chances are they'll use you again in the future and name drop your business when talking about their recent work – thus increasing publicity.
Encourage happy customers to leave testimonials for you on your Google business page or other review sites, or even just supply you with a quote you can use on your website or in your marketing.
And remember, people are more likely to tell twice as many people about a bad customer experience than a good interaction, so the more good experiences you provide the more that they will help to make up for the times when things don't go according to plan.
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