Customer acquisition is probably more difficult now than it has been in years. With the economy so erratic, spending is down, so the competition is really tough. Your marketing is going to have to be spot on, with good timing, a great pitch, and good offers made to the right people.
And most important of all is making a good impression the first time you make contact a prospective customer. It is not easy to undo a bad first impression…negatives imprint on the mind far easier than positives. People stay with companies and businesses that they trust. So your job is to inspire that trust from day one.
One way to inspire trust is to not try to sell a customer something that they neither need nor can afford. They will appreciate your concern for them, keep coming back, tell their friends, and when times are better for them, you will get the big sales. You will acquire more customers as your reputation for honesty spreads.
It is not as easy as it used to be to acquire new prospects with bulk, blind mailings. Even years ago, positive response was only about 2%…and that was when you included a self addressed, prepaid postcard or envelope! Now it is even worse. The cost of these mailings is higher, the environmentalists are up in arms over all that wasted paper , and people are just plain tired of all the junk mail.
You need to delve deeper to achieve solid customer acquisition. Computers make it easier. Start a database on who and where your customers are, and what they are buying. Contact them by email when something they would be interested in is going on sale. Offer incentives to get email addresses from customers when they come in…such as a coupon that can be printed off their home computer.
Make sure your customer is aware of how this purchase will benefit their needs, desires, or reputation. And if they come in on Thursday, and you are planning to put it on sale that weekend, tell them so. Ask them to come back for the cheaper price on Saturday. And if they live too far away, be a hero and give it to them at the sale price that day…but tell them if their friends want one, to come in on Saturday!
Giving money off of their next purchase is also good. Even if they cannot use it before it expires, they might give it to a friend or neighbor, and you acquire a new customer!