Friday, May 31, 2013

Simple Ways To Expand Your Customer Base

If you are exploring home business ideas or have recently started a business at home, you are probably looking for customers. Even experienced entrepreneurs focus on expanding their customer base because without customers, a business cannot grow. Discard the notions that expensive advertising and begging friends for support are required. Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to gain more customers without shameless plugging.

We all know people who use social media to push their products or services on their supposed friends. Being on the receiving end of this propaganda can make us feel uncomfortable and cause us to consider “unfriending” the person. There is a much more effective way for these folks to promote their endeavors and it involves relationship-building, not advertising. If you need proof, look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs. They used referrals and testimonials to grow their companies during the early years and many still employ this approach.

Effective salespeople generate relationships through those they have already established. They reach out to new prospects and start conversations rather than long-winded sales pitches. It costs nothing to talk to someone but the result can be invaluable. Even if that person may not be a candidate for the product or service, he or she may know someone who is. You will never find out if you push offerings as a ballpark vendor does.

Starting a business can be overwhelming and generating customers may seem an impossible task. Begin by making a list of everyone you know. This includes family, friends, vendors, acquaintances, and anyone else encountered on any day. Focus on developing relationships with these people by referring them to great products or services sold by other acquaintances. Refer jobseekers to other people who have open positions. Generate as many referrals as possible and the people on the receiving end will begin referring you.

Update the list of personal resources each time a new acquaintance is made. Enrich it by adding birthdays, special events, names of spouses and children, and other personal facts. Be honest and genuine when developing a relationship with each person on the list. People see through fake words and behaviors and can quickly identify someone who cares more about their money than about them.

Work on these relationships every day and soon, people will begin to take notice of the business. They will ask questions about what is offered and express interest in becoming customers. In essence, they will come to you rather than the other way around. Of course, there is no harm in reaching out to them once they become customers. In fact, they will appreciate receiving special offers and advance notice of customer appreciation events.

Picture a day when everyone on the personal list wants to be a customer. This will grow the business tremendously and as these people refer others, opportunities will expand. Begin by referring others and watch this come back around to your business. Eventually, everyone will be talking about the company and clamoring to be on the customer list.

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