Acquiring new customers is just the first step in building a successful business. It’s after a customer steps into your business for the first time when the real battle begins. A battle for mind-share, a battle for wallet, a battle for word-of-mouth, a battle for retention, a battle for future sales. That pivotal moment when you’ve acquired a new customer is when the real work begins because you must ensure they come back and that the highest proportion possible of that customer’s discretionary spending goes to you. Learn how to increase sales with the below tips:
- Discover who your customers are. Why are they coming into your business? What attracted them in that very first time? Getting to know your customers and understanding their motives is the first step in getting them to not only purchase more, but to come back more often. Increase the number of conversations you have with customers.
This should go without saying, but don't be pushy. If you can relate to your customers and talk to them in a way that makes them feel comfortable, they will be much more willing to bring out their wallets. If you are forceful and aggressive, it will have an immediate negative impact on how the customer approaches his/her buying decision — and people spend less when they are in a bad mood. So in order to more successfully acquire new customers, foster open and honest relationships with them the second they walk into your business. Don’t sell, relate.
Focus on creating lifelong customers. This stat gets thrown around a lot, but 20% of a business’s customer base accounts for 80% of all sales. Similarly, loyal customers are 78% more likely to tell others about your business, and are 69% more likely to purchase more in your store. Successful businesses know how to increase sales: prioritize your existing customers. People want to feel appreciated – no more so than where their allegiance lies with small businesses. Utilize tools that focus on retaining your customer base. There are plenty of tools available for businesses to utilize to engage customers and bring them back more often – finding the right tool and making it work for your business will be one of the smartest decisions you will make.
It's important to understand that customers are always talking. Even if it's not trackable or measurable, it’s noticeable. So first off, make sure you are providing an experience that people want to positively talk about. They may not go write a Yelp review or post a glowing status to their friends on Facebook, but they sure as hell are going to say something to someone. It helps to create an experience that is unforgettable – don't be afraid to be different and do something that customers remember for a long time (it starts with unbelievably positive customer service).
In the same vein, don't undervalue the importance of social media. Respond appropriately and positively to reviews of your business, and understand that people will always want to vent about a negative experience. If you can be proactive about following up with your customers online, no matter how good or bad the experience, the chance that they come back to spend more at your business will increase greatly.
- This goes without saying, but is often overlooked — have a clean and aesthetically pleasing business environment (both online and offline). You could be the most generous and honest business owner there is, but if you do not create an inviting atmosphere for your customers, not only will they not return, but I promise they will be much less inclined to make large purchases in-store.
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