Where to look for new customers
The following are 10 smart places to look for new customers:
Referrals – ask everyone you come into contact with for a referral for your business.
Requests – keep your ear out for people who are looking for the products or services you intend to offer.
Cold calling – take a deep breath, and go out there and knock on some doors. It’s not easy, but it can grow your business quickly.
Friends and acquaintances – many businesses get started because a friend or family member says “Gee, you could really make money at this.”
Networking – attend trade shows, conferences, or other events where potential customers are likely to be. Use networking to develop relationships, because people do business with people they know.
Public speaking – whenever the opportunity arises, speak out about what you do. Offer to talk at professional conferences, charity events, etc.
Offer seminars – present seminars on topics relating to your business. Seminars attract people who are already interested in your products and services.
Target clients from a previous job – taking clients with you when you leave your job is expected in some cases, and frowned upon in others. In some cases, it can also be illegal (i.e., if you’ve signed a contract saying you wouldn’t do so).
Start a database – survey potential customers to gauge their interest. Keep those names on a database, so you can contact them when you’re ready.
Develop an online presence – if you don’t have the time or money to set up your own web site, post information in newsgroups or on related sites.
How to keep your new customers
Once you’ve got yourself a good customer base, don’t stop there – aim to build it even bigger. No matter how long you’ve been in business, you’ll always be looking for new customers.
Here are 10 ways to keep your new customers:
Continually stress the benefits of your product or service, rather than the features.
Exceed your customers’ expectations.
Point out the total value of your products by emphasising their quality, convenience and problem-solving aspects rather than focussing solely on price.
Send your customers thank-you notes to express your appreciation.
Ask customers for feedback, then use it to improve your business.
Express your gratitude to customers who provide you with referrals.
Strive to greet customers by name and to remember important information about them.
Keep in touch with customers.
Remember your customers at holidays and on their birthdays.
Treat your customers the way you enjoy being treated yourself.