A company can grow only when it is able to acquire first-time customers and keep them returning for more.
Without a solid and supportive base, it’s almost impossible to reach all your business goals within a targeted time-frame. It may be tempting to chase after tons of new customers, but the enjoyment quickly fades when you realize the real cost.
The fact of the matter is it’s significantly cheaper to sell to an existing customer base, than acquire a whole new one. This is why your top goal should always be to attract qualified leads, nurture, convert and retain them for life.
To support your decision making on how to actually spend money generating new customers, here are four tactical tips you can use to ensure customer success and increase your profits, in good times and bad.
1) Set clear sales goals
First things first, while crafting a marketing plan, your business’ main high-level focus is likely to boost profits. Practically speaking, this translates into selling more either by gaining new clients, selling to existing customers, or both.
A business succeeds only when it’s able to grow its revenue. If you bootstrapped or received funding, it may take a few months or even years to break even and then start turning a profit. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
Aside from selling a good product, it is important to consider the following factors that play a major role in determining your sales approach.
How many existing clients do you have? What is the average amount customers have brought into your company? Is your customer base growing or declining? Crunch the numbers.
This data can help you decide what training and resources to invest in and which of your available sales weapons actually work. It’s not about the volume of emails sent or calls you made, but what actually converted into sales.
Pro-tip: avoid overwhelming yourself with lofty goals. Set SMART sales goals to keep your business afloat in the midst of challenging and changing market dynamics.
If there’s high demand and low supply for your offering, you may not have to worry too much about being aggressive. Not to mention if you’re selling to an untapped market. The ability to gain a larger customer base before any of your competitors start to position themselves is truly a thing of beauty.
However, if there’s a scarce need for what you are selling, it’s time to get extra driven and creative with your sales strategy. Hubspot recommends setting the bar early on, offering conclusions before explanations and graciously accepting the answer you receive as top sales strategies for being assertive, but not aggressive.
It’s definitely worth contextualizing and trying out for yourself.
Lead acquisition strategy
It’s important to create a qualified sales funnel to turn your prospects into leads and sooner or later, customers. The tactics and campaigns you use to attract interested prospects and convert them into leads say a lot about your business so choose wisely and aim for brand consistency.
Lead magnets, qualification and segmentation are all key components of every sales funnel - especially the early ‘discovery’ phase. You need to be able to show potential customers how you’ll deliver value, not just tell them.
And remember there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead aim to create a series of quick wins that encourage potential customers to convert into loyal fans.
Pro-tip: Neil’s Patel’s guide on building a conversion funnel has been a game changer for my approach to lead nurturing. Be sure to check it out!
2) Identify customers most likely to support your products or services
Dig deeper by learning personal things about your customers. IT can help you easily identify their needs and predict whether they may be easily swayed to turn to a competitor or suddenly change lanes.
Start with the basics:
- Who is the ideal customer or marketing persona for what you sell?
- What benefits are they looking for? Some people shop for emotional or social needs, while others do so because the product is a necessity.
- Where are your customers located? Do you cater mostly to local customers or do you have a huge market and spread out client base?
- What is your customers’ preferred method of shopping? There are people who like to go out to physically browse and shop, while others prefer shopping online.
3) Understand that customers leave if you don’t take care of them
It is not enough that you have a great product or service. The harsh truth is that without a good high converting loyalty strategy, it is difficult to keep your customers happy. They will always hunt for new products or services with better offers.
If your current customers are not disappointed with your offers, they will buy from you again. But be sure to establish trust and confidence in your products. Here are examples of ways to keep your customers in the loop:
- Email marketing
- Social media updates
- Blog posts
- SMS push notifications
Look for ways to keep all customers loyal. Think friendly, reliable and polite customer service. It’s always helpful to regularly communicate and give bonuses and special offers especially to your most devoted patrons.
4) Actually solicit and listen to customer feedback
There is only one way to find out what your customer really needs. Ask them. Do your customers see that your products are good enough? Do your products meet their expectations and it was a good value for their money? If not, they will probably move on to the next offer.
By getting their feedback, you know what needs to be improved, and your customers will also feel valued and heard. Let clients be a great source of inspiration for your small business.
Pro-tip: To aid in your quest, here are 50 customer feedback tools you can use to help improve your customer experience. You’re bound to find a few that work great for you.
Customer retention strategy is of paramount importance as it helps you, not only boost sales, but also increase engagement and loyalty. It logically follows that satisfied customers result in increased revenue.
Given today’s digital backdrop, you have no excuse for not working to set clear sales goals and identify target customers based on meaningful data. Take care of supporters and continuously improve based on their feedback.
Make customer satisfaction the heart of your business - you won’t regret it.
Guest Post by Uwe Dreissigacker. He is the founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry. In his free time, Uwe travels the world and enjoys experiencing different cultures.