If you are just starting out with your business, whether its offline or online; it’s very difficult to get clients in the early days. You may be “the best” in the world in your business, but its of no use until the world knows that you are the best. You need to be in front of your audience. You need to start at some point, and the starting itself will seem to be difficult, in this competitive market. And one who quits at this point, is gone forever! A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas A. Edison
You may be in offline business like insurance company, insurance agent, home loan agent etc OR you may be into online businesses like blogging, domain/hosting reseller, WordPress service, theme customization, logo designing, Business card designing, ebook cover designing, custom application development etc.
Follow these nuggets of Gold, and you will be more nearer to your clients than ever before:
1. Do proper research
You may think something as a break-through-idea, but it may not have enough market. If YOU think its a great idea and implement it, and not enough people are interested in it, then it would be waste of money and time. Instead, do proper market research before investing and implementing something.
Tip: The best way is to conduct some surveys. Before starting a service or before creating a product, conduct a survey on your blog. Give away some thing(may be an ebook) for free for completion of the survey. This way you can easily get feedback from real people and can get some insight about the market.
2. Collect data
Its also important to collect all the data related to your niche. You may want to collect data like, competitors price, competitors market share, features of their service or product etc. By doing this exercise, you can get important information which may turn key for the success of your business.
You can know what lacks in your competitors service/product, are they over charging, are they missing to target a group of target audience, by analyzing all these things you can fill the gap and attract more customers your way.
3. Concentrate on big players
If you market everyone on earth for your product, then its utter waste of time and money. Instead, market to people who are already looking for what you have. Also make sure that you target people who spend a lot of money on purchasing the type of product/service which you are selling.
Ex: If you are selling printer cartridge, then look for people who purchase the cartridge often. If there were 1000 customers, then collect the data about those who are purchasing the cartridge most often. After making a list of most frequent buyers, try to sell your stuffs to them. In most of the cases, it is 20% of the people who are buying 80% of the times. So, you can give them free samples and offer them some discounts. This way, you can easily get clients in your early days and make more profits instantly than those who have been in the business before you.
4. Advertise. Have a dedicated sales team
You can get coupon codes from almost all the advertising companies like Google Adword, Chitika, Bidvertiser etc. So you can grab one and start with advertising about your service/product. Also try to have a dedicated sales team. Its crucial to get clients for any business. So a dedicated sales team will surly help maximize your business.
This is the idea of affiliate system, wherein affiliates bring you clients and get a chunk of fee for getting you the business.
5. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel
Innovation is key for the success of any modern day business. But this doesn’t mean you try to do everything in a different way.
There are many people who have succeeded in their business, if you want to succeed too, then collect proper data and see what they did in order to succeed, then follow the steps and in most case, you will succeed too. I don’t mean that, you need to copy someone else’s steps, but just know that re-inventing the wheel will take a lot of time and if you try to re-invent the wheel, you will not have enough time to innovate in the area of your companies expertise. Market requirements(needs) change within the wink of our eyes, so we need to be flexible, agile and quick in our approach.
“Nature is neutral; if you do the same things that other successful people have done, you will inevitably enjoy the same success they have.”
– Brian Tracy
6. Apply changes gradually. Don’t hurry up in implementing changes all at once
If you want to bring some new ideas/changes inside your company, then make sure you test this idea/change on a small group. Do not adapt the entire company to the new idea/change immediately. Apply it on a smaller group, if it works, then expand. In this process, don’t forget to keep collecting the data and measuring the improvements.
7. Stand out from the crowd
These days people have multiple choices to select from. So you need to educate them about your product/service and tell them what’s different about your service/product than that of your competitors. Customers do not care what new features your product has or how famous it is, what they should be informed is, what problem of the user does it solve more efficiently than their competitors product.
Often times it is not about building a product for your customer that costs more. But its when you realize that the product you developed is not what your customer wanted!
In most cases, your clients will not have a clear picture of what they want. You need to be patient and educate them and make them realize what exactly they want. Patience is the key of smart business man. If you hurry up, you will screw up at some point. So its better to handle clients with patience.
9. Customer Support
95% to 99% of the time a client can find the same kind of(or even better) product or service you are offering, so there isn’t a point in telling them to buy from you because you have it. If a person has bought something from you previously, then its easy to sell such a person again, if you have quality product and good customer support.
How often have you experienced bad customer support from companies and have left dealing with them. If you sold something to a person, then its not the end. Its actually the beginning. If he is satisfied with your product or service, he will come back to you for more product or service. Even if you don’t have any other product to sell, make sure to treat your old customers properly. Treat them like your companies asset. This way, they will be happy to bring in more customers for you, for no commission!
10. Relationship, Care, Understanding
All modern day businesses is standing on relationship, care and understanding. These days everybody knows marketing tactics, so they aren’t going to be your pray. If you start behaving like a sales person and start talking about your product straight away, then people will subconsciously start developing resistant behavior towards you.
Some sales people start with “how are you? how is it going today?” etc questions, wasting a lot of time and sounding somewhat robotic and as if it was a pre-scripted talks of all sales people of a particular company.
Instead, have real concern towards your customer. Care about their needs. Show genuine interest. Don’t try to sell them something that they aren’t looking for – the thing which doesn’t solve their problem. Listen to their problems. All Bad sales people talk 80% or more. A good sales person or a good business man listens 70% or more. Listening with patience builds good relationship and shows that you really care about their problem, and hence listening. Don’t try to defend or argue. Listen to their problems, needs and wants. Latter educate them about what may solve their problems and how to handle the situation. If your product or service solves their problem, then by all means tell them whole heartedly. In your presentation, talk about the things which is of concern to your customer. Don’t try to tell everything and finish off the presentation entirely which you had prepared the day before. Talk to the point and have real care towards your clients.
Its better if someone doesn’t buy from you something that they don’t want, than to buy from you and then regret. Agree ?
Remember, people want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold.
“One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn