In order to grow, every company needs to acquire new customers and sustain the ones they have. This is particularly hard for many small business owners since they are usually afraid of sales and marketing. They are also bad at keeping their customers since they are so focused on getting new ones in the front door, the existing ones leave dissatisfied out the back door. Companies need to develop processes that attract, convert and retain customers if they are to be successful in the long run.
Here is why you don’t get enough new customers and what to do about it:
1. Fear. Small business owners run away from marketing because they don't get it. They reason that they have no time with all the tactical daily actions they need to take everyday. They can’t pause long enough to actually understand it. The action to take: Stop on a monthly basis to plan your marketing strategy. Specifically, what actions is the company executing daily to attract new customers and keep the ones they have.
2. Not measuring marketing results. There is a perception that any money spent on marketing will yield poor results. In fact, the old saying is that the business owner knows that 50% of their marketing is working. They are just unsure of which 50%! The action to take: Only invest in marketing that is traceable and trackable. Test initiatives and then measure the results. Stop doing what fails and scale up more of what succeeds. If nothing works, keep taking small actions until something is successful.
3. Too much dependence on referrals or word of mouth. Small business owners reason that if they offer a great product or service, new customers will automatically come or be referred to the company. This is very far from the truth. The action to take: Instead, proactively get referrals by asking customers and encouraging them to share their experience on social media.
4. No storytelling. Most companies sell features and products. Unfortunately, prospects buy solutions to their problems and the best way to solve these are by telling a company story. The action to take: Ask employees what the company’s story is. Craft a narrative that is both true and inspiring.
5. No systematic marketing. When things are slow, small business owners market their products. As soon as they land customers as a result, they get too busy doing the work to keep marketing. This keeps their business flat and makes the company almost invisible online. Remember, you can't sell anything to anyone; you just need to be there when they are ready to buy. The action to take: Monthly, assemble a systematic marketing plan which will be executed no matter how busy you get. This can include online paid marketing, email content marketing or social media.
6. Low digital marketing knowledge. This type of marketing is very confusing and holds many more choices. But now over 75% of consumer do research on the web before purchasing anything, so every company needs to be found if they are to get chosen. The action to take: Find an expert to educate and work with you on various aspects of digital marketing including search engine optimization and search engine marketing.
7. It's not personal. The goal of marketing is to drive prospects from discovery to purchase in a very personal way. Every prospect wants to think you are only talking to them and technology allows this to happen. The action to take. Find out how your company is personalizing every interaction with a prospect or customer to make them feel special.
8. No mobile website. Less than 50% of all small business have websites. Without one, the company is less likely to show up in mobile Google web searches. This is bad for finding the business since over 50% of all searches are done on mobile devices. The action to take: Do a mobile search for your company website. Make sure it has a responsive design so there is no scrolling or pinching on smartphones.
9. No social media presence. Less than 15% of small businesses have any social media feed. Without it, companies are missing an opportunity to have conversations with new prospects that need their solution. The action to take: Do searches on the top social media sites of the problem that your company solves. See what types of conversations are happening around them. Get involved in that site and those conversations daily.
10. Not managing their online reviews. Today every past customer is a fan or a critic and they talk about it online. A positive comment can attract other prospects. An unanswered negative comment can keep prospects away. The action to take: Daily monitor comments on all major sites and respond with empathy and a solution.
How do you find new customers and keep the ones you have