Starting a new business can be an extremely stressful and daunting task. You can do everything right, but you may still struggle nonetheless to break through into an established market. That’s particularly true if your new business is trying to crack into an industry with lots of big players already. In order to attract customers and grow, you’ll need to find a way to persuade your potential clientele to make the effort to transition from their previous company to yours. Between having to struggle with larger competitors, attempting to carve out a niche and identity for your brand, and even just being able to reach out to customers, finding customers is a tall order.
Fortunately, with enough determination and persistence, along with a few guidelines, it’s entirely possible to successfully break into a market and begin to attract customers to your small business. In turn, you can continue to grow and offer even better products and services over time. Remember, however, that even as your business grows, you should still be trying to out-perform your competitors and offer your customers the best experience possible. Don’t simply rely on previous customer loyalty once you’ve grown, or someone else will poach your customers the same way you managed to acquire them in the first place! That said, here are five fantastic sales tips for your small business today.
Get to Know Your Customers
One of the most important parts of attracting customers to your new small business is understanding who your customers are and what they want. Market research isn’t just a buzzword, after all. Particularly for industries that have a long history already, chances are the community of passionate customers in the market niche you’re trying to break into have established expectations and desires for what they want to see in the company they’re interacting with. By understanding what your customers actually want, you can avoid wasting money on bells and whistles that your customers don’t actually care about while neglecting the parts of a product or service experience that truly matter to your customers.
Understanding your customer base will also allow you to engage with them in the best way possible. Different demographics of clientele prefer different forms of marketing and sales engagement. For example, older, less tech-savvy customers may prefer paper forms or advertisements and face-to-face interaction in the form of a salesperson. Conversely, younger demographics may want to engage with your business through digital or remote means, such as a website. Understanding who your niche should cater to will allow you to create marketing materials and engage with your customers much more effectively.
Show Your Clients Your Potential
When starting a new business, it’s particularly important that you leave a good impression on your potential customers when you finally do get them through the door, whether that door is literal or proverbial. Customers want to be able to have faith in your company’s long-term future and potential so they feel safe switching over to your products or services. It’s especially important that you offer them a good experience the first time they interact with your company, or they’ll be disinclined to show up again.
It can also be a good idea to show customers how your company intends to expand and grow, as well as what future possibilities you’ll be able to offer to your customers later down the line. While you don’t have to provide customers with a full presentation like you would investors, letting your customers know that they can have faith in the long term direction of your company is a good way of convincing them to switch over in the short term and stick with you in the long run.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Although it’s one of the most common pieces of business advice, very few small businesses actually understand what “stand out from the crowd” means. It isn’t enough to just use some quirky advertising – or, even worse, adopt some gimmicky feature to your product or services that don’t actually improve the experience of customers. Many new companies try to “stand out” from their competitors in superficial, meaningless ways that only result in a lot of money being wasted on something that your customers won’t end up carrying about.
Rather, it’s a good idea to try to figure out what common frustrations exist in the industry you’re breaking into and offer customers an alternative without those same issues. Odds are no company in any given industry offers a perfect customer experience. You don’t have to either, but you can offer an experience with a combination of strengths and weaknesses that can better cater to a certain demographic. This can include offering options tailored to enthusiasts or simplifying your product to cater to casual users, for example. By offering a better alternative to a certain group of customers that’s different from other companies, you can quickly establish a loyal customer base.
Make Use of Resources
Finally, as a new small business owner, you should use every advantage you can to compete with larger and better-established competitors. Fortunately, modern technology provides a myriad of tools that you can use effectively to catch up and even gain on more established competitors, as one of the benefits of starting a new company is that you aren’t subject to the old structure and practices that established companies tend to find themselves locked into. Using a sales intelligence tool and other software solutions can give you a genuine leg up over older companies, providing you with just the advantage you need to start growing and expanding!