SCORE

It’s easy to bombard customers with sales messages when trying to engage them and bring in new business. However, this may not be the best approach. Clients want to know that what you have to offer will benefit them in some way, whether it solves a problem, meets a need, or entertains or inspires them. Use their need as a way to gain the attention of potential consumers. In other words, don’t sell, but rather be of service to them. Small business expert Ramon Ray, founder of Smart Hustle, shares his insights on the best way to attract and retain clients.

Don’t Target Everyone

Everyone is not your customer. This is important to remember when you are searching for your market. Although you may think that your product or service can be used by a wide group of people, it’s important to specialize and know specifically who benefits the most from what you sell. Do you have a food product that can be targeted to people with specific dietary needs? Do you have a clothing line that fills a gap in retail outlets? Figure out who in particular will most likely use your product. As Ramon puts it, “When you target everyone and try to sell to everybody, oftentimes sadly, you end up selling to no one.”

Know Who Is Currently Buying from You

Don’t neglect the customer you already have for the customer you may want. Many small business owners may have their intended client in mind without doing an audit of who is currently purchasing from them. Research the people who patronize your business. You may be surprised to find a whole demographic that you did not even consider. “I find that who we want to sell to sometimes can be different from who is buying from us,” Ramon says. Once you discover who your current customers are, you’ll be able to target your marketing to them and to those with similar interests.

Everyone Is Not a Lead

It’s very tempting to want to collect the email address or phone number of everyone you come across. A better method is to focus on those who are most closely aligned with your product or service. For instance, if you provide painting services, it probably won’t help to collect the contact information for someone who doesn't own property. However, getting the contact information of a property manager may very well lead to a sale. Concentrate on the customers who are most in need of your services and target them with your marketing.

Focus More On Serving and Less On Selling

Many business owners try to go for the hard sell when convincing people to purchase their product or service. What’s more effective is if you build trust with the customer instead. Do this by educating them on a topic that will make their life easier. Inform your prospective client on how to keep their house pest-free if you own an extermination business. Give tips on tax savings if you provide accounting services. Teach your prospective clients how to ease the pain points in their life or business and they are more likely to return. In other words, as Ramon puts it, “focus more on how you can help them. Because if you truly serve them, if you meet their needs, if you’re interested in them, they’ll want to buy from you all day!”

For more tips on how to find and retain customers, check out our webinar “Your Marketing Roadmap- Stop Selling and Start Educating,” presented by Ramon Ray.

About the Author(s)

As part of the marketing and writing team, I help SCORE Westchester raise its profile with articles and written communication that help SCORE clients learn what our organization does to help them start and manage their small businesses.

Female customer being served at the counter of a record shop