We have carried out our market research, we have selected our target audience and we have set up our business. Now we face the ultimate test: getting our first customers. We will tell you some techniques to overcome this obstacle.
The big day has come. We finally have the keys to our company. We take stock of everything we have done so far and we verify that we have done our homework well: we have drawn up business loan leads, we have analyzed our market quantitatively and qualitatively and we have selected our target audience … But the telephone remains silent and the doorbell of the door doesn’t ring.
1) tackle the cold door
It is the old technique of going door to door to offer our products. It is a very burning strategy. Experts do not recommend it when the products are not very technical or when we are targeting large companies. Its practice would be more advisable in the event that you made a visit to a polygon or a business center. If you can’t get anything done, at least you will have obtained information from potential clients.
2) Specialized ‘Mailing’
“We got our first clients with a mass mailing to companies that published advertisements in newspapers looking for commercials,” says Eduardo Vizcaíno, CEO of Eds 21. Mailing or emailing (“the best day to launch an e-mailing is Tuesday”) is effective if you take advantage of a moment when demand may be generating.
To do this, you should be very attentive to market movements in your sector: search the specialized press and visit fairs and congresses, so you will discover the signals to send your brochures or catalogs. A variant of the typical mailing is the so-called expectations marketing: send a brochure that warns that something is going to happen from a certain date, and on that date, you communicate other information and thus … it is about generating expectations in your customers and in this way grab their attention. Another form of mailing is done on the doorknobs of houses or cars (coming).
3) Customize the offer
The offer should be personalized. According to experts, it is a strategy with which you get the customer to see that you care about them and take your time to satisfy them. This is what some call metacommunication, a factor that biases customers in your favor.
4) Take advantage of your ‘partners’
An ingenious solution to attract the first customers is to use precisely your strategic partners or partners. They will be in charge of giving good references to your company.
5) Prescriber strategy
Another recommendation from the experts is to previously quantify the market and, through this analysis, identify which are the fastest channels to get customers. Likewise, for this process, campaigns are not required but it consists of locating where our direct channels, our main prescribers, can be.
Work with organizations and associations both in the economic sector in which you operate and with potential clients. It is important to identify these prescribers and take care of them so that they are interested in sending us, clients. So, for example, if you are going to set up a podiatric clinic, leave your card in the pharmacies in the area, in the drugstores, in the health center … In short, in all those places that can act as prescribers.
If you also enhance the prescription, the better: that is, there is another way of working with prescribers that is especially good to get our own customers to prescribe us and that is to promote the prescription based on gifts or points that can be exchanged for new services, discounts …
6) Promotional meetings
Don’t hesitate to invest some money to get clients because it will never be a free expense. There are many ways to call your potential clients, from organizing work breakfasts or lunches to a training workshop. Summons no more than ten people. If you already have a client, invite them and others who are not. Summon them to a meeting to get to know each other better and don’t be in a hurry to sell. The important thing is to make your company known.
7) 2 × 1 deals
The 2 × 1 or 1 + 1 does not have to be the exclusive territory of supermarkets. It is a strategy that works very well in different sectors: in clinics, in beauty centers, in dry cleaners … But it is increasingly spreading to other economic activities, such as an agency that offers one of its services for free in exchange for an annual contract.
8) Use gifts
The gift often forces you to buy something since the person who receives it is seen, consciously or unconsciously, in the commitment to reciprocate the detail. It is company psychology.
9) Special discounts
Offer special discounts to the top 10 customers or organize a notarized raffle for a given gift among the top 100 customers. There are many formulas that do not necessarily have to be very expensive and that, however, can be quite profitable. This type of strategy will allow you to capture clients and information about them.
10) Products for NGOs
Corporate Social Responsibility is increasingly being carried out and it is very important to link your services or products to some social purpose: to say that a percentage of the price of your service or your product goes to an NGO sells a lot. Faced with two similar offers, the client, the client’s tendency is to choose that option which, in addition to achieving their good, allows them to contribute to a solidarity cause.
11) Free conferences
It is about offering training courses, conferences, or seminars in subjects of which you are an expert, but without trying to sell anything to anyone. It is about providing quality content that the audience can also benefit from. To arouse interest among attendees, use marketing techniques that arouse their expectations. It is equally valid to send studies on the sector that may interest your clients along with a cover letter or similar. The option of conducting free market research, surveys, or tests is also useful.
12) Customer follow-up
Following up on all of our clients is a tactic that we always recommend because when the buyer or contractor feels loved and cared for, they tend to purchase or contract more products or services. But, it can also be a recruitment strategy. The secret is to carry out relational actions that lead to closer ties with our future client: calls, invitations to events, sector reports, personalized studies …
13) Get into a good tree
Become a client of a large company, using the “I’ll keep your crumbs” technique. There are many companies that require minimum orders for an operation to be profitable so that, a company that starts, can offer itself as a large subcontractor. Many times even the big ones become your own clients.
14) Viral Marketing
Take advantage of your Internet contacts and work on a nice campaign, something curious, daring, or shocking, in video form, with groundbreaking or original ideas and pass it on to your contacts. Few companies can survive outside the networks anymore.
15) Open day
Invite all potential customers in the area to see your facilities for a day. Here you can combine some of the previous strategies: carry out a marketing campaign of expectations or send a mass mailing or e-mailing creating expectations, then invite your potential clients to know your facilities and offer them a raffle. With this initiative, you make yourself known to many potential clients and, in addition, you can gather information to create a good database.