This is the third article of the business mastery series, if you’ve missed out on any, you can catch up by clicking on any of the links below.
In our previous discussion on how should entrepreneurs be profitably marketing their business, 3 elements of holistic marketing were highlighted;
- Finding profitable customers
- Keeping profitable customers
- Growing customers profitably
In this unusual article, I will be continuing our discussion from where we left off on the first element of holistic marketing –finding profitable customers.
The last time, I shared 3 fundamental marketing processes you need to undertake in finding profitable customers; market research, market segmentation and target marketing. They are fundamental because they provide the technical knowhow of finding profitable customers without which all your practical attempts to attract profitable customers for your business will be futile. In other words, they provide the technical information you need to take strategic actions.
Today, I will be sharing some strategic ways of finding profitable customers that you can practically put to use now and continually reap the rewards. Mind you, these strategic tips must be applied in line with the technical information obtained from undertaking the 3 fundamental marketing processes of market research, market segmentation and target marketing.
4 Strategic ways of finding profitable customers
1. Go Online
As obvious as this may sound, many entrepreneurs, especially those who are not into internet related businesses tend to overlook. The harsh reality is this, whether your business us internet related or not, one thing remains certain, your customers are online. They have emails, hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube and even on BB and iPhones. Can you deny any of these facts?
If not, why then is your business not online? How come you aren’t targeting your ideal customers via the internet? The answer is not farfetched, you are either living in the past or you already have more than enough customers on your hands. In either case, you are missing out big time because your marketing is one-sided.
You see, we live in an information age where everything and everyone is going digital; still holding on to your old school marketing will get you nowhere. Your customers now lead two lives; a physical one and a digital one. You must go to them with your marketing campaigns in both worlds.
In fact, that you have an office space [offline] is no longer sufficient, you must secure a corresponding spot for your business on cyberspace [internet]. It’s time to balance your marketing efforts; match your offline marketing with online marketing. Remember our discussion on holistic marketing, it means leaving no stone unturned.
For example, I just got a new three bedroom apartment, in fact, I moved in yesterday. Guess where I found the real estate agent? You guessed right, online! Because he was smart enough to go online, he’s grabbing a large portion of the market that his competitions are still overlooking. He’s currently helping my vision partner and I to secure another office space in the New Year. Now just think of how many more people I will refer to him. Click here to visit his office on cyberspace.
How to successfully market your business online is a topic for another day. However, here are a few assignments for you that will better position your business for online marketing.
- Pay for a professionally designed website for your company/business [my company can help you out with this]
- Create a blog for your company/business [we can also help out with this]
- Create a Facebook page for your company/business
- Create a Google+ page for your company/business
- Create a Twitter account for your company/business
- Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself
- Hire an internet marketing consultant to strategically guide you [you can talk to me]
2. Educate your market
This is seldom done by many businesses. It’s such a pity. How else do you hope to convert prospects into profitable customers if you don’t prove you are worthy of their hard earned money?
Customers like to buy from businesses that care about them first before asking for their money. If you can show your prospects that you care about them first by educating them for free on how to deal with the problems your products/services can solve, the easier it is for you to convert them.
For example, I’m working on a marketing campaign for a security company tagged “Threat Alert!” the purpose is to educate the market about the safety of their lives and properties by developing their security consciousness. The approach is very simple, produce educational flyers containing security tips, hold free seminars for target customers on trending security issues, create a corporate blog that shares timely security updates and tips online and many other creative forms of educating the market on the need to be “Threat Alert!” – security conscious.
Now here’s the big question; “who do you think the market is most likely to come to for security services?” I leave you to your imagination!
I have always believed that knowledge is a very strong competitive advantage in business. Meaning, there’s a lot you can do with what you know about your business and customers and their needs that will strategically place you way ahead of the competition. You just need to be a little more generous with your knowledge and creative in your sharing.
3. Collaborate with complementary businesses
In economics, there’s what is known as complementary goods. These are basically goods that go hand-in-hand with other goods. Meaning, they can’t be used or consumed alone without the consumption of another product/service.
For example, you can’t own a car without a corresponding demand for fuel. Your purchase of a car will automatically bring about your demand for fuel. So, a smart entrepreneur who wants to sell more cars would be way ahead of his competition by collaborating with nearby filling stations. This is why you see cars on display for sale at some filling stations.
Likewise, an event manager would be way ahead of the competition in finding profitable customers by collaborating with managers of event centres, professional photographers, professional caterers, DJs, MCs and other complementary businesses that go hand-in-hand with an event.
The approach is very simple, think about your business, product/service and list out other businesses, products/services that will be consumed or needed to create a fully satisfied customer. Afterwards, contact each of these businesses and collaborate with them on the idea of referring clients to one another’s businesses. It’s a win-win relationship.
4. Ask for referrals
No one is in a better position to market your business successfully than a satisfied customer. They are living testimonies of your business’ goodness and have more impact on a new customer than any other form of marketing. No wonder word of mouth marketing is still considered the best and most effective form of marketing ever.
So, don’t be ashamed of asking for referrals from your existing customers. They will be more than happy to refer your business to family and friends if your products/services made a difference in their lives.
How do you ask for referrals?
Simple, open your mouth and ask; “do you know anyone else who might be interested in this particular product/service?”
Be sure to follow-up on the leads/contacts you’ve been given. Not following-up will be considered rude and a sign of your unseriousness as an entrepreneur by your client. Another approach is to ask them, your client to forward your phone number or email to the person they want to refer so that they can initiate the contact first. This is not the rule, but an exemption. The best approach is to initiate the contact even though they have been given your own contact details in advance.
Also, learn to reward your customers who give you referrals. By so doing, you encourage them to do more naturally.
How else do you strategically find more profitable customers for your business?
Which of these strategies had the most impact on you and how do you intend to implement it?
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Thank you for your time!
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