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Published on March 12, 2009

Ed’s Marketing Genius – Part 2: Winning new customers (now you know where they are, how do you get them to respond?)

In our last post we looked at the sources of new business and concluded that in fact there are just four sources of new business:

  1. Bluebirds – these are people who “happen by and fly in the door”. Totally cold and unexpected customers
  2. Referrals – potential customers referred to you by third parties
  3. New names – genuinely new customers brought in by your marketing activity
  4. Old contacts – these include lapsed customers, prospects that have enquired in the past but you haven’t heard from again etc.

We also suggested that the amount of business that comes from these sources was as follows:

  • Bluebirds 5%
  • Referrals 15%
  • New names 20%
  • Old contacts 60%

And it is important to ensure that you apply the right amount of effort securing new clients from each source. In this post we will start by looking at how to attract the first one on the list – Bluebirds.

Bluebirds – so how do you go about attracting these customers to fly in your door?
Whilst all businesses will need new business to replace that lost from natural attrition, the smallest proportion will come via bluebirds so it is important that you don’t over-spend trying to find totally new business.

You simply have to lay a trail for them – as cheaply (excuse the pun!) as possible! This means ensuring that they know where to find you when the time comes. Remember people will only buy from you when they are ready – not when you want to sell! So you won’t be able to force the issue.

But it is possible to maintain a cost effective presence in the places that these people are likely to look when searching for a supplier – such as directories and the internet.

More frequently people are turning to the internet to search for contacts, so if you have a website already that’s a positive. But can prospective customers find it?

Make sure that your website is registered with the appropriate search engines and the meta-tags correspond with the likely terms prospects are likely to search with – after all there are over 1 BILLION pages on the internet now!

For example, I know that people searching for a direct marketing company for the first time are more likely to search for “sales letters” than “business development strategies” and I need to reflect that when setting up my meta-tags!

If unsure get specialist help with element of your web strategy – I know we did!

The same is true for directory advertising – your advertisement needs to reflect what the initial needs the person searching may have. For example if you are a locksmith you may find that most people contact you for the first time when they are locked out of home. As such your ad needs to prominently communicate that you have an emergency service.

Once they are customers you can educate them on what other services you have to offer! So when laying your trail for Bluebirds there are three rules:

  1. Keep it obvious – ask yourself “where would I look?”
  2. Keep it simple – ask yourself “what would I be looking for?”
  3. Don’t over invest trying to attract Bluebirds – you can’t force them to come to you!

REMEMBER: Think about why your prospective customers NEED you and when you put together any marketing materials make sure that you only use words they THEY use.

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