The easiest way to gain new customers is to sell to those already in the market - those already buying the products and services you sell. If they are not buying them from you they are buying them from your competition. All you have to do is take customers away from your competition.
Taking these customers away from your competition is not always easy to do. For two reasons we never want to use the cutthroat, lower price tactics. First of all, we will not make the profit we need and desire, and a customer gained through low price will be easily lost when a competitor offers them a lower price.
Secondly, it is usually hard to take a customer away from the competition because of the loyalty people have to their suppliers. The longer the prospective customer has been a customer of our competition, usually the more loyalty they have to our competitor.
But when you out-market, and out-service your competition you will out-sell them. You do not have to spend extra, and in most cases as much, of your marketing/selling dollars to do so if you sell the benefits the customer will receive when doing business with you. Even if they are the same benefits your competition offers, in most cases your competition is not selling them. Not reminding the customers all they do for them.
2. Increase your selling price.
I have never seen a business in any industry, that is providing superior service, that cannot raise their selling price 1% - 3%. You do the math for your business. Take last year's profits and add 1%-3% to them. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
3. Sell more of your products and service to each customer.
In most cases all you have to do is ask your customer to buy more of your products and services. The easiest extra products and services to sell to your present customers are add-ons. Products and services that enhance the main product/service.
Most products have related items you can sell along with the product that make you extra profits. They are called add-ons because salespeople try to sell them after the products are sold. Most salespeople fail to sell add-ons because it is very difficult to sell the related items after you have closed the sale. The customer is no longer in the mind-set to continue buying. You will sell more add-on items if you stop thinking of them as add-ons after the sale. It is much easier to sell related items during the sale than to get the customer to spend more money after they have purchased the main item. (From Bob Janet's book "How To Take Customers Away From Your Competition")
There is a rule, called the 1/3 rule of selling add-ons. 1/3 of your customers will purchase add-ons if you merely mention the add-on product during your sales process. 1/3 of your customers will purchase add-ons if you actively sell them. And 1/3 of your customers will not purchase your add-ons unless you actively hard sell them.
4. Lower your marketing and selling costs.
- Stop supporting media advertisers.
- Use word of mouth advertising. But not your father's word of mouth advertising. You know, when you hope a satisfied customer will tell someone about you and your business. Your father's word of mouth advertising is not working anymore. Your satisfied customers have too many things to think about and do to ever make you a priority.
You must create your own word of mouth advertising. You already have the tools paid for. You already have the best and most effective means to make word of mouth advertising work. Your sales and sales support staff. Train everyone in your business to use the 3 ft. rule. "Anyone within 3 feet of you knows who you are and how you can solve their problems, needs and wants."
Pay your people to bring in new customers and increase sales to present customers through spiffs, bonuses and rewards. I used to send my people to bars and I would pay for a few drinks each night. What do people do in bars besides drink? They talk about their problems, needs and wants. My people would listen for a problem, need or want we could solve by selling them one of our products and services. We gained many, many sales by creating our word of mouth advertising.