Laurie Guest helps companies all over the globe creatively attract new customers. Her keynote presentation — I Want to See the Jalepeño Coming! A Hot Recipe to Attract New Customers — is filled with great ideas on finding new prospects and closing more deals, without having to spend a lot of money.
1) Most business and sales people know their product and solution. But the one thing they often don’t know is how their customers buy. The three keys in attracting buyers are 1) know; 2) choose; and 3) commit.
2) KNOW – your customers cannot buy what they don’t know. You have to get on your customers radar. List all of the different ways that a customer could get to know you. There are the obvious ways including marketing, social media, etc. But dig deeper. What events do your customers attend? Make sure you’re there. Are there non-profits your dream customer is involved in helping? Find out, and if it’s a good fit for you, start volunteering.
3) Knowing doesn’t mean that you have to spend huge amounts of money on advertising. It could be something simple like getting creative with your networking. As Laurie says, “Stop networking and start tunneling.” When you have a networking event coming up, do your homework ahead of time. Get a list of the attendees or the past year attendees. Study who will be there that you want to meet. Is your “dream customer” going to be there? How about a current client who you haven’t spoken with in some time? Research the individual via LinkedIn and YouGotTheNews. Find out what you have in common and come prepared to discuss something that the other person will find relevant to their world and of value.
4) CHOOSE – you must understand the degree of pain, or urgency, of your buyer. No one is going to choose you just because they like you.They have to have a pain — what is going on in their world that isn’t going so well that you can help them do better? Do your homework and ask great questions so you understand what is truly important to your customer and what they would like to do better. When it comes time for you to talk, focus on what you do that can help the other person achieve their company goals a little more efficiently, a little more profitably, with a little higher quality than they might be able to do on their own.
5) COMMIT – it sounds simple, but you must ask for the sale. It’s crazy how often salespeople forget to ask if the prospect is ready to buy, and to finalize next steps. But you have to ask for the commitment carefully, in a way that doesn’t seem pushy. For example, after you’ve shared your story with the prospect, say something like: “Have I answered all of your questions for the day? Great… in our process, the next step is…” And then continue with what you’re going to do next. Maybe it’s sending over a proposal for review. Maybe it’s a contract that they need to complete. Maybe it’s setting up the next meeting to finalize the details. Don’t leave the meeting or the sales call with out a next-step commitment.
6) Practice the 3 Rs: 1) reorder; 2) revisit and; 3) refer.
- Appreciate the business beyond the thank you card. To get more reorders, ask the person how often they want to be communicated with and would it be helpful if you put him/her on an automatic reorder system.
- Revisit the opportunity on a regular basis. Did something change? Do they have any new challenges where you can help? Your customers’ businesses and lives are constantly changing – are you providing value that helps navigate that change?
- If someone does business with you, do business with them. That’s the easy, and obvious, referral that so many companies and individuals forget. Help your customers find business by making referrals to them. When you make a referral, send a note to your customer letting him or her know about the referral so your customer can be prepared. In the note, say something like “this is a really and important customer of mine that I’m referring, just like you are, so please take care of…” This is a great way of letting your customer know that he or she is always top-of-mind, and you’re doing it in a way that doesn’t look like you’re keeping score or taking credit.