Say you've just started a new business and most of your money is invested in premises and stock, or maybe you've been in business for many years and you're going through a bad patch. Either way your major concern is how to get customers. Will it be expensive? Will it take a long time to work? Will you always be selling alongside others with much higher advertising budgets? Not if you read this article revealing how to get customers free of charge in ways that few of your rivals even know about!
The trick to getting free and low cost publicity, and keeping the lion's share of the market to yourself, is to promote your business in a different way to your main competitors. That's because if your main rivals use local newspaper advertising to promote their goods, for example, and you do exactly the same, there'll be nothing to differentiate your business over others selling similar products. And being different is what helps you rise above your rivals and capture a major share of the marketplace.
But the most important way to succeed in business is not just knowing how to get customers in the first place, but how to turn them into regular buyers and stop them buying elsewhere.
So you have to make your marketing campaign a two-fold activity:
(i) being concerned with how to get customers in the first place, and;
(ii) being about keeping those customers once you have them.
Let us consider those concepts separately, starting with how to get customers which you do like this:
* Determine your potential marketplace. Is it local? Or global? Does your market typically buy on the high street, or online?
* If you're selling mainly to local customers, primarily offline, consider how to get customers from other sources, such as on eBay, for example, or Amazon. If you're selling entirely online, perhaps you could also sell from a local market stall or car boot sale.
* Work out a plan for all potential markets you've identified, local and global, and consider where else to promote your goods and how. To get customers on eBay, for instance, you might first sell your good at auction to see how bids match up to local prices. If bids exceed local prices for similar products, try selling those products from an eBay shop at a fixed price or with 'Best Offer' attached to tempt impulse buys.
Now you know how to get customers, it's time to look at keeping them which you do like this:
* Offer a discount voucher for sales over a specific amount. Ask recipients to use their voucher within a specific period, such as two weeks, or three months. This tempts repeat visits and reduces the chance of recipients going elsewhere to buy.
* Ask buyers to enter a prize draw by providing their email address for a chance of winning a special prize. Include a message on the prize draw leaflet saying entrants give permission for you to contact them by email to provide winners' details and to send other promotions in future. Then email them every week or so with offers of special promotions for your goods on and off the internet, or special invitation sales or discounts, or whatever it takes to encourage repeat visits.
And that is it, the answer to how to get customers and keep them buying for many years to come. Easy wasn't it?