Without customers, business survival looks bleak. There are two key ways to grow your customer base and subsequently grow your business. First, don’t lose your current customers. And secondly, recruit new customers.
According to an article on marketingwizdom.com, “The average business loses around 20 percent of its customers annually simply by failing to attend to customer relationships.”
These are customers that the business has already recruited, mostly likely sold to at least once, but simply didn’t follow up with through simple engagement. Twenty-percent adds up over time, and if a business doesn’t work to recruit new customers, it won’t be long before the business no longer exists.
Get Referrals. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to gain new customers is through referrals. But more importantly, referrals are a way to continue interaction and communication with your current customers, while building relationships with new customers and clients. Communication and interaction is vital to long-lasting relationships.
As with any project you need to set your goals first. Do you want to gain a new customer each day? Two per week? Ten per month? Be realistic in the amount of time you plan to devote to recruiting new customers. And remember, while recruiting new customers is important, keeping the lines of communication open and engaging with your existing customers is important to keeping them happy and keeping them returning.
Offer incentives. Although referrals can and do happen without incentive, people are sometimes afraid of giving out others’ names. But if there is a small incentive included, that fear usually disappears. Sample incentives include:
- For every name that you refer that buys product from me this month, I’ll give you X% off your next order
- For every customer you refer me to, I’ll offer you a Vita Charge® Stress Tub at $X cost
And if you don’t offer an incentive, do show appreciation. Those two little words go a long way and give you one more opportunity to interact with current customers.
Schedule the calls. Set aside 30 minutes a day for a week to make new customer calls. If those calls only take 15 minutes each, you can make two calls a day and engage with 10 potential customers. Even if half of those people purchase product, you’ve gained five new customers in a week. Follow that pattern, and over time you’ll have 20 new customers in a month and watch that revenue soar. And surely over time, those 20 customers will have friends that they will be glad to refer too.
Keep communicating. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new customer or long-time customer, keeping the lines of communication open are key to retention. Create a communications calendar where you follow up with each customer on a regular basis. Contact them to see if they need any products, follow up after the sale to make sure they are happy with their products and reach out to them in between to see if they have any general questions or just to see how their lives are going. Customers like it when you are interested in them and engage in their activities.
Referrals are great ways to build your customer base. Remember to keep those lines of communication open between both current and new customers and watch your business grow.