- Posted by: Jade Brindley
- Categories: business development, networking, sales, tips
How to find new b2b or b2c customers for your small business
Sales are the lifeblood of any business.
They drive growth, enable you to hit your financial targets, help you invest in your workforce, and create sustainable employment opportunities.
However, making sales can be challenging, particularly in the current trading environment when a year of lockdown and a stop-start economy has created uncertainty among consumers and businesses alike.
When it comes to sales, they come from two sources.
You either make repeat sales, cross-sell or upsell to your existing customer base.
Or you open new revenue streams by finding new markets and customers to sell to.
Both come with their unique challenges. When it comes to selling to your existing customer base, keeping them happy, engaged with your brand and updated is the key to ensuring that when they need to buy what you offer – whether that’s a repeat sale, an add-on service or a new product – your brand is at the front of their mind.
However, when it comes to reaching attracting new customers, not only have you got to get in front of them, you need to win them over by keeping them engaged at every stage of the buyer journey until they are ready to convert.
Depending on your sales model, this could be a long, drawn-out process before you finally get them to the point of purchase. You can read about the different stages of the sales pipeline and how you can move your prospects along it in this recent blog.
However, the focus of this blog is to explain how to get potential new customers into your sales funnel in the first place.
So, read on as we share our top tips on how to find new customers for your small business…
If you’re looking for a quick and effective way to find new customers, referrals are one of the best tactics you can use.
However, referrals don’t just happen naturally. You need to be proactive rather than waiting for them to happen.
So, reach out to your happy customers to encourage them to tell their family and friends about their experience with your business, products and services.
Build follow-up emails to your customers into your aftersales process and be explicit about what you want them to do. Ask them to give you a positive review on Google or social media.
You could even incentivise customers who give referrals by offering them a discount on their next purchase.
The key thing to remember is, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So, don’t be afraid to ask your satisfied customers to sing your praises if you have done a good job for them.
However, much like referrals, you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Choose networking events where you know some of your target customers will be present – trade shows and exhibitions can be just as good as dedicated networking meetings for this.
While it’s never a good idea to be too pushy, don’t be afraid to sell yourself once you get into conversations with potential customers. Ask lots of questions of them and try to establish if you can provide solutions to their business problems.
And if face-to-face events aren’t your thing, then reach out to some of your ideal customers online, on platforms like LinkedIn. It can be easier to strike up a virtual conversation with someone you don’t know.
The new contacts you make online can develop into long-lasting business relationships if you nurture them correctly after making that all-important first contact.
New customer promotions
A sure-fire way to attract new customers to your business is by creating some sort of special offer or promotion.
With the advent of ecommerce, social media and marketing automation, it’s now easier than ever to create promotions and incentives for new customers only and keep track of which prospects redeem them.
Reach out to old customers
While your most recent batch of satisfied customers is usually a rich seam for potential referrals, keeping track of your older or ‘lapsed’ customers can also pay dividends.
This is where a good CRM system is crucial because it will enable you to quickly identify any customers who you’ve not heard from for a while to reach out to them.
It might be that you have new products, services or updates you can share with them, or you could give them a re-introductory discount to get them back on board. Whatever the reason, a dormant customer can be as good as a new customer if you can get them back through the door.
Ramp-up your marketing
If things have gone stale and you’re struggling to get new customers to your business, then it could be time to revamp or ramp-up your marketing.
Giving your website a makeover to make sure it reflects your current brand, offering, and products or services is an excellent place to start, particularly if you have been neglecting this for a while.
Putting out more content via social media can also help improve your visibility online, as can sharing helpful information and blogs to showcase your expertise.
The goal is to stand out from the crowd, but if you’re not making any noise about your business, potential customers won’t be able to find you.
Work with strategic partners
While you don’t necessarily have to enter into a formal agreement, simply passing potential leads between yourselves where there may be mutual areas of interest can benefit everyone, especially the customer.
Ready to attract more customers? Give us a call…
Growing the size of your customer base is the key to sustainable growth.
If you’re struggling to know where to start, we can help.
We offer a full suite of solutions and services to help your business generate more leads, close more sales, maximise your customer relationships and achieve your goals.
From simple advice and support to give you a fresh perspective on your business to a more in-depth and bespoke service tailored to your exact requirements, we’d love to help you grow your business.