Finding your first customers using great customer service

The hardest part of succeeding in a new business is finding those first customers. An integral part of your business plan then is to define the type of business you have and start convincing people how you can help them. So where do I find my customers? Start by going to where prospective customers go in your line of business. Go to trade and professional groups. If you are new to boat sales, why not go to the closest boat show? There’s a plethora of people looking at boats; some are just window shoppers, but there’s always a buyer in there somewhere.

Continue to spread your name through advertising networks. If you are a new Realtor, for instance, show that you are an expert in your field by writing brief articles and submitting them for free to local trade publications. Don’t make a sales pitch either; do it for the exposure. Never forget to volunteer in your community no matter which profession or career you have chosen; volunteering is free visibility and the ability to network with others in your industry.

Now you have some new customers, but how do you nurture and keep them? Great customer service sets businesses apart very quickly. Once you educate your new customers that you are an expert in your field and can deliver the best products or services, your potential customers will become your reality. If you’re in the manufacturing business or merchandise, concentrate on your goods being delivered in perfect condition. Call your new customer after the items are delivered to make sure everything arrived the way expected, and if not, replace the item(s) immediately.

Now how about those people who just shop around and never buy anything? In real estate sales that can get pretty common, but it can also get expensive since time is money. Find out why they aren’t buying anything. In real estate, it might mean that you are not listening closely enough to the customer to figure out their needs and their specifications. A boat sales person might not be listening to the exact needs of his customer either. Go out of your way to meet the customer’s needs. At the very least, you will have pleased them, and it is likely a referral will come to you somewhere down the line.

And remember, as you now have customers and you are treating them as you would want to be treated in business, continue to nurture the relationship, and show your appreciation often. Send them thank you cards or personal notes; take the extra step and more customers will come.

photo credit: ➨ Redvers