Bookkeeper Eamon Ward gives helpful suggestions on how small to medium businesses can gain valuable customers in a month
As this is the final article for the moment in our series I would like to recap with you the techniques we discussed to get more customers.
Remember you have gained greatly if you merely apply one idea to your business.
In our first article we spoke of risk reversal. Simply put the idea is that you initially take the weight of the risk in the transaction onto your own shoulders rather than that of your customer. An abundance of trust is built up immediately.
Then we spoke of ethical bribes. The idea being that you give your potential customer an added inducement to purchase your product by packaging it with a special offer, something with an element of excitement and one which has a high perceived value.
We spoke of your unique selling proposition and the one vital question you need to ask yourself: “Why do my customers choose to do business with me over anybody else?”
When you understand the answer to that question you will know what your major strength is. It is what makes both you and your business unique. In marketing terms it is called your USP for short.
In article four we talked of joint ventures which enable you to leverage the existing resources of another business and its valuable relationships with clients to your advantage in order to gain access to your ideal prospects.
We gave the example of a supermarket which allows a flower shop or bakery to operate independently on its premises and avail of its customers and location etc, in exchange for rent or a share in the profits.
Then we talked of referrals. Your business will thrive if you get this right. The good news being that it is probably already happening in your business through word of mouth but you do not fully appreciate it. What you need to do is put a formal referral system in place.
Next we spoke of websites and the internet and stressed that no matter how small your business is nowadays you need a web presence.
A simple way to do it is to get in a professional otherwise you will waste endless time and still not have a proper website.
For sales letters and advertising we had the AIDA formula: attention, interest, desire, and action. It will keep you focused and on the right track.
Then we spoke about a group of potential customers which you may have forgotten. People who already trust and respect you. Yet they are not doing business with you.
They are the customers who have done business with you in the past but now for whatever reason have chosen to go elsewhere. We explained simple ways to get them to return, by contacting them, offering them inducements, and by showing you appreciated their custom.
In the last article we talked of two different ideas to help you get more customers, both being very effective, inexpensive, and easy to put into practice.
We spoke of business signage and its advantage if you were in a poor location and how it can go a long way towards minimising this drawback.
We explained how it can help segment your market meaning you may want to target young people one week for a special promotion and maybe pensioners for a special discount the following week.
The final concept we spoke of was the Boomerang Principle.
This is an idea borrowed from Senator Fergal Quinn of Superquinn - his firm belief being you should concentrate on repeat business and avoid the temptation to maximise the profit from your current sales at the expense of long term customer goodwill.
For the moment you should concentrate on just one new idea which you can add to your business. When you have that working successfully then you can move on to the second.
Do not make the mistake however and I stress this, of not continuing with your traditional advertising in papers such as the Advertiser. Your customers expect to see your ads there.
You should instead look upon your new wealth of education as an added bonus. You are now armed with straightforward yet simple techniques and skills that will keep you streets ahead of your competition and get your customers to come back again and again.
Finally I would like to thank the Advertiser for giving me the opportunity during the past few weeks of sharing those ideas with you. I trust you have found them helpful.
For more information log on to www.eamonward.vpweb.ie or call Eamon at (090 ) 6454491.