Finding new customers – yes, you DO need them!
We’ve already addressed the importance of making the most of your existing clients, and it’s true that your current client base represents a great way to keep your business running. However, it’s not as simple as that – finding new customers is essential for both the short- and long-term growth of your business.
When you’ve built up a client base which is providing regular work, you can tap into this relatively easily to keep your sales figures healthy. These are customers who are already loyal, already know your products, and so on and so forth. But what about all the potential new clients out there? There are thousands of them. If they all became regular clients, just imagine what that might do for your sales and your bottom line.
Granted, you’ll have to put a little more effort in to turn these potential new clients into profitable customers, and it’s easy to dismiss finding new customers as too much like hard work. You’ll have to advertise, which might be costly. You’ll have to build relationships with these new clients from scratch, which takes time. And what if they’re the clients from hell? Wouldn’t you be better off sticking with the people you know? Not a bit of it.
Just consider for a moment… what happens if some of your regular clients go elsewhere? The business world is competitive; your customers have choices, and if you face a customer exodus of any size, the income you’ve been counting on and taking for granted could suddenly be jeopardised. Without new blood coming into your business, you could very quickly find yourself up a certain creek.
Finding new clients doesn’t have to be an enormous drain on your resources. Social marketing (which we’ll be covering in upcoming articles) is a great way to raise your profile among potential customers who might not know about you yet. You can also make the most of your existing customers by turning them into your own personal sales force – we’re talking about referrals.
The process of creating profitable referrals is a simple one. All you need to do is devise an incentive for your current clients to recommend you to their business contacts. They might receive a one-off reduction on your services, an ongoing discount, or something else – it depends on what you can comfortably accommodate. By rewarding your existing clients for getting you new ones, you could find your client base expanding and your retention rates rising.