Have you ever wondered why you are not getting enough customers for your product/service?
I definitely have. I thought getting clients would be easy. After all, I’ve had 25 years of experience looking after major brands – like Hansa, Vaseline and Dove – in top corporates. It wouldn’t be a hard transition right? Wrong! In the beginning, getting clients turned out to be my biggest struggle and it was more than my ego could take. Here I was with 20 odd years experience in marketing, and many friends and networks in corporate and none of them were willing to support my business venture. It was a real eye opener for me and I realised I was not going to be set up for life as I thought and I clearly needed another plan.
I also realised that attracting new clients is going to be an ongoing business task – one that must be at the forefront of everyday business plans. Unfortunately, getting and retaining clients is not about waving your magic wand.
From my own situation, what I discovered is that it’s really about asking yourself the tough questions and putting in the time and effort. There are no shortcuts. Here are some pointers that may help you:
Be clear about what you are selling and what problem your business is solving. Customers buy products/services because it solves a problem and/or emotional need for them. Think about yourself and why you buy products/services. Once you’ve determined the need for your product, you can then communicate this to your customers more effectively.
Who really needs this problem and/or emotional need to be solved? Really look at who your customer is – gender, age, income, where they live, what they do, what are their interests, what are their behavioural traits etc. Many businesses don’t know who their customer is or realise how critical this is to business success. You need to know who will most likely to buy your products/services and why they would want to buy it in order to be able to market correctly to them.
Is there another business catering the same products/services to your customers in a more efficient way? These customers have no reason to move to you brand so you need to find one and communicate it to them even if this means you have to relook at your offering and make changes to it to become more competitive.
Do people know about your product/service? What tools are you using to create awareness of your business? Is it enough? Awareness doesn’t guarantee sales but it does give your brand existence. In the digital space you need a website, social media presence, Google Business listing to name the very basics. You’ll need to put effort into making people aware of your brand.
Where is your business located? Is it easy to find? Have you told customers how to find you? You might have to do something extra for people to find you or you may need to go to them. Free deliveries, stalls at local markets and home services are a few ways to go.
What are the investment risks for customers when buying your product? Getting people to part with their money is not easy so perhaps getting them to trial your product/service is the way to go. You could offer the first purchase for free or provide a discount. This allows them to try your offering with limited risk.
How are you communicating to your customers and do they relate to it? You’ll need the steps above to help define what you say to your current and potential customers. Make your offering as personalised as possible.
Is your product/service properly priced in relation to quality? It’s important to find a balance between pricing and quality. If your product/service is inexpensive, focus on the value for money aspect. If your product/service is a more premium luxury offering, focus on the quality of the product.
How have you packaged your products/services? Do your products/services look attractive enough for people to want to invest in it based on the initial look and feel? Packaging is the first impression of the product so even if you choose to create cost effective, environmentally friendly packaging, make sure it stands out in some way so that it creates a good first impression.
Always remember that failure is not a bad thing. it is just the journey to be better. When it feels like you are not attracting enough clients or retaining too few them them, go back and reevaluate your strategy and try again.
Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey and leave some comments below to let us know how you get on.