If getting customers feels painful, there is still hope! (Part 2) by Laura Johnson

Laura JohnsonThese strategies once put into place will give you growth year after year. Last month in part one of this article, I talked about five ways that you can use to start getting customers that are easier to implement and take some of the pain out of getting them. Those five things were – find your Ideal 100 List, have TOMA, look for Fusion partners, must have referrals, and be clear about who you are. I heard from some of you and you have started putting those in place. This month we will look at five additional ways to take your business all the way this year. The next one we are looking at plays somewhat off the fifth one.

It is idea six which is to develop a CORE STORY. This story is going to be the focus of everything you market in your business.

 NULL Now this one is a little tougher to do and takes a little time. But once you have it, it will put you so far ahead of the others that customers will just have to do business with you. A core story starts with research. It means you are going to find out about the industry you serve. The information that you find should include history and the way things used to be. It should include how many were in business in a certain year. It should tell what they offered then. It should then be brought up to date and how things are now. What you want to do is find the reasons that your prospect should do business with you. You want them to know the story of how hard things are now, what is making them struggle and why. And of course you want them to understand why you are the solution to make their woes go away. You are trying to educate them to the ways things are; how they are feeling and how you can make that feeling change to something good. I mean if you can’t help that customer then why would they be buying from you anyway? Right?

This core story needs to be so powerful; it needs to create a reaction in the buyer.

It needs to provide them with education. And it needs to show the benefits and solutions that are created by doing business with you. If you have incorporated all of those things into the core story, they will come and they will buy from you. It is a hugely significant way to get more customers. Again let’s take an example of this. Let’s go back to the beauty products from last month’s article. So you do some research and you find that in the past people started aging and really showing wrinkles at the age of 35 let’s say. And let’s say there was only regular lotion available to help with that and that was mostly made of water. The customer is starting to see the way it was and how bad it was. Now you bring them up to date. People are aging faster and it is so much worse because of the pollutions and the chemicals in what we eat. Now they are really starting to feel the pain. Then you tell them how your product is the perfect solution to stop the damage that was already done and keep new damage from being done. Then you tell them about all the great ingredients, etc. You have educated the customer. You have given them something to think about. You have made them have hope again because of your product. This will bring you customers. This will give you a way to succinctly distinguish yourself from the others. Oh, let me tell one more story of how effective this is. Back in the day, Schlitz beer was way down in the line of known beers but I thought it was an interesting story how they brought themselves way up in the ratings in the early 1900’s. What they did was start telling people how their beer was made. They talked about how even though they were on Lake Michigan, they still go way into the earth to get the purest water, and they go to Bohemia to get their hops, they filter not only the beer but the air that is around it, they age it for months in refrigerated rooms, etc. By educating their buyers, beer drinkers started thinking they were getting this incredibly pure beer. At first the powers that be, didn’t want to do the ad because they said, that is how everyone makes their beer. True but no one else was telling the customers that. That ad shot them to the very top of their market! You see the truth is always out there but if people aren’t educated to what it is and how you can help then they don’t know how to make their buying decision.

So now the seventh way to get customers is something I spend lots of time doing and lots of time writing and speaking about because I feel it is such an important part of getting new customers. And that is to NETWORK.

I have seen it time and time again where someone has a store front and people walk by it all day and don’t even notice it is there. Then when that company has a representative start networking, suddenly this store is an obvious part of the scenery every time you are in that area. People don’t even know some types of businesses exist until they go to a networking meeting and find someone who is doing that certain thing. Often you have a need for something in your business and you are not sure who you should use for that type of business and you meet someone at a networking meeting and then you suddenly know that is the right person for you. I think everyone is good at doing this some of the time. But that is just not enough.

You have to be out there every week, some place talking about your business.

We have a tendency to some times get enough customers that we feel comfortable and so we think we no longer have to network. But what if you suddenly lose 10 customers or a company goes out of business and you lose 100 customers. Things happen, you have to be prepared. Because if you think well I will just start networking again, most the time you have lost a ton of momentum. You have to start back over and you are the new guy on the block. So it might take you weeks or even months to start getting recognized again. Then people can start trusting you again and you will get new customers. But if you are always out there in the game, out there meeting new people, new prospects, then you will still be at a top of mind awareness for people and they can recommend you or use you themselves. To me it is not an option, it is a necessity. Quick note on networking, please build relationships, don’t just try to pass out the most cards or sell people. Networking is about making connections. Enough said.

The eighth way to get customers is to narrow down your market and get a true NICHE and become AN EXPERT in your field.

Some people have such a fear of doing this. They are afraid if they narrow down their market then they are not going to have enough people to market to. Just the opposite is true. When you try to sell to everyone you miss everyone. No one can get you or get who you are or who you help. I especially see this in the direct marketing and coaching fields. People are so desperate to get customers they try to sell to everyone or coach everyone and then they become watered down, not unique individuals that no one is attracted to work with. This is not good. So what I would say to you is take what you do, figure out who are your ideal customers that you would like to work with, that you enjoy being around the most. Because if you have to work with people you might as well really have fun while you are doing it. Next you take those people and figure out what their specific needs are so that you can become the expert in the results they want based on their needs. A nice example of this is marketers or pr people. So often the agencies or individuals are willing to work with everyone. So there is a lot of time working with trying to understand the customer, what they are trying to get across and how they work. And then they develop the marketing and hope it works. Yet if you take a niche group, say spa owners and you become the expert on what people are looking for from spas, how these people do business, what works well and what doesn’t, what the market is willing to pay, etc. then you are way ahead of the game.

You have become an
expert and that is who people want to work with.

They want someone who is laser focused, quick to know them, understands them completely and is able to make their marketing and pr really work. By narrowing you can get all or most of the customers in that niche market you have chosen rather than getting a few of everybody. Get serious about this and really take the time to figure this out. Every month you are just out there for everyone is a month you have lost a lot of sales and lost the opportunity to become the expert in the field.

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