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How to attract, win and keep your customers

    To maximise your marketing spend, you need to focus on satisfying your current customers, encouraging past customers and attracting new customers to your business. Identify your unique selling point (USP) – what’s especially good about your product or service – and use it to make you stand out from the crowd.

    Get more from your customer base
    Your regular customer base is critical to your business’ survival and growth, so you need to seize chances to build and maintain your relationship with them on each interaction or sale.

    There are many ways to do this when on a tight budget. Think about how you communicate – for example, you should:

    talk to your customers and focus on their needs and wants
    be specific, honest and clear about what you can offer
    keep in touch – send email updates or a newsletter
    get to know your competitors and what they are offering
    Think creatively about your selling techniques. For example, you could:

    encourage people to ‘buy now’ by offering lower prices for immediate/bulk purchases or bookings
    use coupons or e-vouchers that are easy and cheap to design and distribute
    offer gifts, free trials and tasters
    reward your customers with loyalty schemes
    Make sure your staff are fully aware of your customer base, products and services and are inspired about your business. Read more about how to lead and motivate your staff.

    Encourage referrals from existing clients
    Referrals from satisfied customers endorsing your business are the best way of getting new customers. So if a client tells you they’re happy with some work you have done for them, ask them to recommend you to other potential customers.

    Consider offering incentives – such as a discount off their next order – for every new customer an existing client points in your direction.

    Find new customers
    You should always be thinking about how to attract new customers. You need to:

    let potential new customers know who you are and what you offer
    aim to provide an exceptional experience on the first sale
    offer options and solutions to increase convenience
    position yourself as a leader next to your competition – give a reason for customers to buy from you
    Try to price your products or services according to their quality – you want to avoid under-pricing them.

    Team-up with related businesses
    You could attract new customers through a ‘partnership’ with a business related to, but not in direct competition with, your own – eg – a plastering company and local decorators.

    But do make sure you choose a reputable business to team up with in this way. Otherwise you could end up with their mistakes tarnishing your reputation.

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