Episode 5How to Win New Customers

Most businesses have one challenge in common and that is the endless ‘hustle’ of finding and acquiring new customers to drive profits. We speak with a range of small businesses and experts about the best strategies to win new customers.

Case study

Greenline Financial Services is a small business offering mortgage brokering and financial planning services. Thaer Burbar founded the business in 2015 after leaving a national manager position at a large financial services firm.

Through trial and error, Greenline has identified the strategies that help them attract new customers. A well established online presence, many positive online reviews as well as referral from existing clients help the company drive profits and to grow.

Case Study Key Takeouts

  • There is no one size fits all approach to marketing. In order to find out how your business can attract new customers, you will have to try different channels to identify the most profitable ones.
  • As a small business, you have the advantage of being able to really look after your customers. Do this well and chances are high that your customers will not only keep choosing you over any other competitor but will also refer you to friends and family.
  • If you want to attract local customers, make sure to show up on local and mobile searches (e.g. through Google Maps and a Google My Business page) as well as on local directories (e.g. Yellow, Yelp, FourSquare etc.)
  • Make sure you keep on updating your information online to stay relevant to your customers. This includes your website, social profiles as well as any content you might have published.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask professionals in helping you getting your marketing set up.
  • Ask your customers and clients to give you reviews online (e.g. on Yellow, Facebook, Google, True Local, Product Review etc.). This will make other interested people more likely to contact you and trust you.
  • Winning new customers is not only about spreading the word but also about converting prospects into actual customers. To do that make sure you invest in yourself and in your team so you know how to close a sale.

Marketing Panel

Peter Likoudis
Regional Vice President Marketing for American Express Global Commercial Services
American Express

Andy Dryer
Easy Signs

Sonyla Zarb
Sonyla’s Beauty Spot

Panel Key Takeouts

How to win new customers?

  • Define who your ideal customer is. Where do they work? How old are they? What are their fears, needs, wants and desires? What problems do they have that you can solve?
  • Be where your customers are. If they go to trade shows, so should you. If they are active on LinkedIn, connect with them and start posting. If they are likely to walk past your store, go outside and strike up a conversation. Be friendly, professional and consistent.
  • Let them try before they buy. You can either offer them samples of your product (e.g. for food and beverages), the usage of your product for limited time (e.g. for digital products, gym memberships etc.) or offer them a discounted first sale to get them to try your product or service. If your product or service is good enough, this will often help in getting them to come back or to refer you.
  • Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Think about ways to make your offer unique and irresistible. Can you offer additional value that will make a huge difference to your customers and does not cost you much?
  • Keep showing up. Most people give up too quickly and too easily. If you keep respectfully calling, emailing and visiting your prospects, the chances are that they’ll eventually say Yes!
  • Keep your existing customers happy and that will attract new customers through word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Think of your customer acquisition and retention as a bucket: To add new customers to your bucket, i.e. your business, is quite expensive. That’s why it is important to avoid having a leaky bucket, i.e. having existing customers leaving your business. Then invest some of the cash flow from existing customers to find new customers.
  • Video can be a great way of showcasing and humanising your business. Showing your staff will enable interested customers to put a face to your business. Video and social media enables you to form a relationship with a potential customer to some extent before you even meet them.
  • Consider whether it might benefit your business to create a perception of a large business. Will potential customers trust you more if they perceive your company as being bigger than you are? If so, invest in a professional online presence and branding in order to foster this perception.
  • Being very active on digital does not necessarily mean that you don’t have to pick up the phone again. Consider whether a personal interaction over the phone might be a good way of converting prospects into actual customers. Otherwise, you might want to interact with your customers digitally, e.g. via Live Chat, Facebook Messages and more.

Should you offer bundled services?

  • Think about how you can remove the roadblocks for your customers when it comes to the purchase of your product or service. Are there any considerations or limitations that might keep your customers from buying your product or service? For example, Easy Signs is offering very cost effective design services to enable customer who don’t have a design yet to purchase their signs. A cinema, for instance, might want to consider offering childcare services to enable parents to go to the movies. A real estate agent might want to offer cleaning and removalist services so their customers don’t have to organise this aspect of a move themselves.
  • Make sure that the bundled services and products are actually related. To offer a discount on a coffee machine when you are selling car wash might not deliver the value to customers that you are hoping for.
  • When offering bundled solutions, consider whether it makes sense for your company to do the service inhouse or to partner with another business to provide the bundled service or product.

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