In this episode Chris shares with you 10 simple things that you can do today for free (or little cost) to help you get more new customers.
Become an idea machine by James Altucher – http://amzn.to/2fqw9SW (Amazon UK)
Hi there, welcome back to the Content Marketing Academy podcast. This episode is going to be a regular feature where I take a topic and think about 10 ideas on how to solve it. So, in this case it’s going to be 10 ideas on how to help you to get more customers quickly.
Well, hello, hello squad. It’s good to be back. So, 10 ideas with 10 minutes, 10, 11, 12 minutes to share this with you. So, this is going to be a regular feature. Like I said, we’re going to come in here every now and again and do 10 ideas for something. So if you’ve got a challenge and you want 10 ideas on how to solve that problem or how to approach something, let me know. Challenge me to give you 10 ideas on something. Doesn’t have to be business related, I love doing this. This is an idea that got from James Altucher’s book “Becoming an Idea Machine, or Become an Idea Machine”. Great book. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, but it really hones us craft of the idea muscle. I’ve talked about this in the podcast before, probably over a year or 18 months ago, but anyway, here we go.
So, 10 ideas to help you to get new customers fast. So, let’s talk through this, but first of all, I just want to pre-set some context here, right? This is absolutely your responsibility as a business owner, right? This is your responsibility, your job to get customers. I can’t overemphasize this. You should be doing something every single day that moves conversations forward, it moves people forward in the buying cycle, brings more interest, and awareness to your business. Just anything that’s going to help. Not anything but something, some sort of activity. If you’re doing nothing at the moment, then you need to be doing something and you need to be doing it every day.
Even four years into business, and we’re in our fifth year now in business, I still do this every single day doing something that’s going to build my business. This podcast is a good example of that, that’s going to help create awareness and build interest around our business, and then looking at other things we’re going to share with you today. So, I’m not going to even mention content marketing because I think hopefully that’s a given, but podcasting, blogging, creating content, putting yourself out there, sharing valuable and helpful information should be just something that you are doing hopefully already. If not, then reach out. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, any ideas, any thoughts, anything you’re finding challenging, just know, and let me help you.
We’ve got a community of people just like you who already had your problem and have solved it and can help you overcome that challenge too. So if you want to join our community, just let me know and we will create a space for you.
So, here we go, 10 ideas to help you get customers fast.
Number one is the simplest of all is to follow up with inquiries, right? We’ve all got little conversations that have happened, or we’ve collected a business card or we’ve had some emails going back and forth, and they’ve dropped off the radar. Look back your emails. If you’re using something like Google Mail, like it’s what I use Gmail, the search functionality there is really impressive. You can go back, you can refine your searches, you can look at things that you’ve not replied to you. Just find those conversations and write them all down. Just take time to just troll through your emails that you’ve sent over the last three or four months. Have a look and see what’s happening there, what conversations have dropped off or have you not followed up with any inquiries.
You should be doing this every single day. Conversations, emails, tweets, facebook messages, things that have been started, conversations have been started but hasn’t been followed up on. Follow up, check in on them, and see how you can help and add value and move things forward there. So, follow up on your inquiries.
Now, if you want to take that to an advanced stage, and I’m sure we’ll cover this in a future podcast, but make sure that you’ve got some sort of CRM system, a very basic level, a sheet of paper on your desk or a whiteboard or a trailable system or something like that, that helps you manage those contacts, or those inquires, or those potential customers. So, that’s number one.
Number two, follow up with anything that’s in the final decision stage, right? So any proposal, like if you’re a B2B service, any proposals that you’ve put out there, anything where you’ve sent a contract, or an agreement or an invoice or something that’s the final decision part that has not got …. like they’re not over the fence yet. Get them to make that decision. Do something, pick up the phone, send an email, get back into that conversation. Do not let it go cold.
So, if it’s been a couple of weeks, then get back on it and keep that conversation going. So, follow up with any proposals or anything that’s at a final stage, like they never got over the fence, they never got to the point where they actually paid you for that service, or they made the decision that they wanted to go ahead and hire you or buy your products. So, look for those opportunities. So, that’s number two.
Number three, ask your best customers to give you a recommendation or referral. So, assuming that you’ve done a great job for these customers, write down a list of your top customers and you get 10, 15, 20. It doesn’t really matter. Just write down a list of the people that you want to keep in touch with, those top customers, the ones that have bought from you, that trust you, that maybe even already refer you to other people naturally without you asking, and then reach out to them. They’re your best source of new customers, they’re the best. They are your best source of new customers that will cost you nothing. This only cost you anything in terms of marketing and sales, those guys want to talk about you anyway. So, write, then, that list, get in touch with them. I’ll talk about some other ways in a second about how you can actually do that, but that’s a really great source. So, ask them for recommendations, ask them for referrals to other people, just like them.
Number four is to book a call with … book calls with people, right? So, this is almost like networking at scale. I do tons of this. I haven’t got time to drive to lots and lots of networking events to meet people, but I do make time to have over the internet calls. So, I use Zoom for that or Schedule Once to book them all in, or Skype, or whatever it is that you need to use to do that, right? But, have calls with people. Book in calls instead of going to meetings all the time.
So, it’s another way to kind of scale your time to meet more people more effectively. So, for example, we do that now. It just depends but I will play it by your book. For example, say someone has been making inquiries, like say we’re back up at number one, following up on inquiries. One way you can follow up with people is say, “Hey look, I know we’ve been talking about perhaps doing business with each other, why don’t we just jump on a call, let’s pick a call in for this afternoon, discuss it, answer some questions, get to know each other a little bit better.” That works really, really well. It’s a really soft way. We’re not selling them in, and then you might even want to see that. Look, it’s not going to be a sales pitch. I just think we should have a chat and follow up. It’s a great way to do that.
So, book some calls with people. Don’t be scared to get on the phone with people. In fact, if you feel like that’s outside of your comfort zone, I think you should … I honestly challenge you to do it, and it’ll change your perception of that. Get on calls with people, book in some stuff. So that’s number four.
Number five. Now this is a bit receptacle and it’s maybe not going to be the fastest way, but something that you should be doing on a daily basis anyway because it comes back in speeds, then it comes back in spades. Is that the word I’m … is that the phrase I’m looking for? I don’t know. It works very, very well.
So, this one is about making introductions to other people. So again, coming back to point number three, which was to speak to your best customers and write down a list of your best customers, number five is really with that list. Think about how you can add value. So, if you’ve got 10 names or 15 names on that list, how could you add value to each one of those relationships that you have by introducing them to someone else that they would find valuable, right? Now, this should open up a few questions for you already because when you look at this list, and if you’re struggling to make an introduction to Barbara, number one, then that should … an alarm bell should be good enough for you. You should probably be thinking to yourself, “I actually don’t know enough about Barbara to make a solid introduction.” Now, you need to find out more about Barbara.
So, just even by writing that list is going to challenge you. So, write down the list and start to make introductions. That comes back. It’s like a cycle. You do it without expecting anything but does come back to you. So, start making introductions as part of your daily routine and I’ll tell you, it’ll start to make a really nice pay point for you in terms of other people wanting to make introductions for you too.
Getting testimonials. So, number six is to get testimonials. So, this is, again, assuming that people had a great experience with you and your team it well, you should be able to get people to write back to you on request to give you some, a couple of sentences about the experience they’ve had with you. You should be able to get them to copy then paste that onto LinkedIn for you, leave a review on your Facebook page, your Google places page, get onto your website with a fall, and date and a name. That will give you some social proof as well to show other people that someone else has had a great experience buying from you. Again, something that you should be doing as part of a system. So testimonials, number six.
Number seven, speak at local events. There are loads of events probably happening in your local area with other people, the people that you’re looking to get in front of. If you can get in front of them and even speak for free to begin with, and make a big impact, add a lot of value. There’s a good chance, there’s very good chance. Getting in front of people at the front of the room, speaking, gives you a natural level of authority and credibility. Assuming that, again, that you do a great job there, that people will want to speak to you. It creates awareness of your business. It gives you a chance to add lots of value. It’s kind of like content marketing in real life. You can add value there, make a big impact and create a lot of interest for you and your business. So, speak at local events, gives you that, I don’t know, that awareness, which is great.
Number Eight, I’ve put down competitions here, though really what I think number eight is, is find ways to create buzz about your products and services without really going into the desk count territory. Now, price discounts and price offers work really, really well in certain campaigns with deadlines and things. We’ve covered a little bit of that before, but really what I’m talking about here is about creating some buzz around your products and services.
So, competitions can work really, really well. Giveaways, for example, we do book giveaways once or twice a year. That can create a lot of buzz, and it’s relevant to what we do. So, make sure it’s relevant, and it can create, and it’s not going to cost you too much, but may actually return to you like a whole bunch of email addresses, or it may give you some inquiries and get your best customers, and your audience raving about what is it you’re doing, sharing something to do with your business.
Try and stay away from discount though, and try and keep it to something that is going to cost you an arm and a leg, but something that’s quite exciting that gets people talking about you. So, competitions work really, really well. Giveaways work well too. You might want to create some special offers around products, or bundling up some products, things like that.
So, number eight is just about finding something else to talk about that gets everybody else excited about your thing, and sharing your thing with their friends, and their family and stuff like that, and their business colleagues if the offer is a business to business service.
Number nine is, I’ve left this till the end, but I really feel strongly about this is if you really want to get customers fast, and even if you’re struggling a little bit, is you’ve got to go out and get your boots on the ground. Get in your car, drive to some local events, meet lots of people quickly. If you do it fast, you could find the top four or five people in any networking organization, and then just follow up with them like personally, and then have a coffee with them or something like that gets to know them.
Don’t mess about with that though. You don’t want to keep going to the same meetings time and time again. Get in, find the four or five influencers in that group, and then target them. Get around them, get to take them for coffee, and get to know them really, really well. Add as much value as you can to that relationship and just build up that relationship. So, go to events, but do it in a very deliberate way.
Number 10 is put on your own event. Put on an event where you can bring people you. So again, coming back to one of the earlier points I made, I think point three, to write down a list of your best customers. Is there anything that you could do where you could get maybe two, or three, or four, maybe even five or six of your best customers to come to a lunch with you, and get them to invite a friend. Right? And, that could be a great way to disrupt some people that are already working with, say, your competition, or they may be looking for someone just like you to work with, but they don’t know who. That could be a great way to influence a certain amount of people, but it’s also a transfer of trust as well. Those people that are coming to your event are coming with a guest, they trust that person. Naturally, that trust can rub off onto you as well.
So, there’s 10 things, 10 ways. I mean, I could probably go on and do another 10, I reckon, but those are 10 ways. Things that are very simple, don’t cost you any money really, that can get you some, some new customers, and get you some new customers fast. But, back to my first point that I made before we got onto the list of 10 things, it’s your responsibility to do this. You need to make time every single day to focus on moving your business forward. Something that leads to growth, something that leads to customers coming into your business. Those 10 ideas, I think, are solid things that you can do. Things I do every day, every week to help my business grow as well, and I don’t know if they’ll ever be a time when those things won’t matter. Those are the basics.
Hope that’s been useful for you. If you’ve got like … if you want to add something to this lesson, I’d love to hear from you. Email me, email@example.com. You can always tweet me @ChrisMarr101, and you know that I’ll look forward to hearing from you. I hope you’ve had an amazing day. Go out there, crush it, make your business count, be successful, and don’t forget to be awesome.
Don’t forget to be awesome!