Archive for the ‘small business sales’ Category


Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to buy

In mid 2015 Google announced that mobile-friendly websites will be rewarded with higher rankings on searches done using mobile devices. Ranking higher definitely means more exposure for your small business.

The latest consumer statistics show that Smartphones and emerging mobile devices e.g. Smartwatches are increasingly becoming more popular for purposes of searching the internet. Clearly, more mobile visitors are what entrepreneurs need in order to boost sales volumes. Accordingly, it’s well worth knowing just how to go about doing this…the infographic below will help you do exactly that.

How to Get More Sales From Your Mobile Visitors
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

While it’s good to know that having a mobile-friendly website will help to enhance the success of your small business, it’s definitely worth appreciating the fact that you also need to work smart. You see, spending more of your time working doesn’t always mean you’ll be successful.

The key to being a successful person is not working more, but working less and working smarter. If you want to be successful, get more done, and work less, take some time to learn from these 7 practices of successful people.

How Successful People Work Less and Get More Done


Your customers and prospects should never have to wear this expression…

Consider the following facts and stats about customer service:

  • 80% of people who do not receive good service do not complain
  • 73% complain when things go badly wrong
  • A person who does complain tells nine people
  • 12-16% leave without registering a complaint after receiving poor service
  • 10-30% of customers leave after one complaint
  • >80% leave if they have experienced three or more mistakes
  • 5% increase in retention increases profits by 25-125%
  • Acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers.

Looking at these pointers it is clear that whether you are running an online store or a brick-and-mortar outfit, customer satisfaction is at the heart of your business’ success.

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so. ~ Kenneth B. Elliot

Providing stellar customer service is really not that hard. Once you get started you just need to maintain the habit. Knowing how necessary this is for your business’ success is definitely sufficient motivation to keep you on course.

Good service is good business. ~ Siebel Ad

The following customer service practices need to become synonymous with your business:

1. Easy accessibility

How easy is it for customers to contact you?

Being easily accessible is one of the small joys you should never deny your customers.

There’s really no joy in being the proverbial needle in a haystack, or do you have something to hide?

And who says that all calls are trouble? You could be ignoring a huge order.

Customers and prospects should easily be able to reach you via several channels of communication...

Customers and prospects should easily be able to reach you via several channels of communication…

Accordingly, ensure that your contact information is readily available.

Also, whatever the channel of communication is, don’t make customers wait too long to get a response from you; having to run after them after they become disgruntled won’t be much fun.

A 24 hour response time should be fine with most of your customers provided that you meet a 2-4 hours window.

You are serving a customer, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work. ~ Laurie McIntosh

2. Taking responsibility

As a small business owner you need to realize that you are your product or service.

Your employees, if any, need to realize that when dealing with customers they are the voice of the business. It should be clear that they need to stand behind the business’ products and services.

This applies regardless of whether the product/service you are offering has been created in-house or if you are distributing/wholesaling/retailing a product.

Fighting customers over faulty products you sold to them is a quick way to ruin your business' reputation

Fighting customers over faulty products you sold to them is a quick way to ruin your business’ reputation

Should anything be the matter with what you are selling, customers will expect you to take responsibility for the fault. After all, it is you that received their money. You obviously don’t expect them to take up the matter with the product’s manufacturer.

Shirking responsibility in such situations reeks of blatant disregard for customers and you will lose them in droves.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ~ Bill Gates

3. Empowering your employees

This is absolutely vital.

You can be sure that customers will notice and appreciate this because of the practical benefits that accrue to them from you doing so. In fact, employees may prove to be inefficient backers of the business’ products/services if you haven’t empowered them to deal with customers’ problems.

A team that speaks with one voice gives customers and prospects the confidence to do business...

A team that speaks with one voice gives customers and prospects the confidence to do business…

You should therefore refrain from stifling your employees’ freedom of judgment and voice. This way you will spare customers the agony of having to hear excuses like “I’m not allowed to do that” or “Let me call the boss”. What happens if you are not around for the day?

You should understand that customers tend to be loyal to businesses where they are assured of good service come rain or shine. And who knows? Perhaps your employees are better at public relations than you are.

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong. ~ Donald Porter

4. Customer appreciation

It’s true that “Cash is king”. Nevertheless, it is customers who bring in the cash.

Your business therefore needs to show customers that their business is truly appreciated and there are many ways of doing this.

With time, as the relationship grows, appreciatory habits will become second nature.

An appreciated customer is a happy and loyal customer...

An appreciated customer is a happy and loyal customer…

Your business should treat its customers as individuals. Learn your customers’ names and refer to them as such. Gradually you will notice things about them that will feel okay to compliment. Remember that they are people too and they’ll be able to tell whether or not you are faking it.

Every great business is built on friendship. ~ JC Penney

A sincere relationship can be very rewarding – the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps your customer is the nurse you’ll need to take care of you in hospital or indeed the sleuth who’ll help to apprehend a “customer” who vanished without a trace after you trusted him with some merchandise.

Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers. ~Ross Perot

5. Anticipating customers requirements

When customers purchase a product or service from your business you are basically helping them to solve a problem. Understanding this is crucial because if you can no longer solve that problem then your relevance to the customer will start to diminish.

Knowing what your customers need it's quite easy to think of alternative ways to keep them satisfied...

Knowing what your customers need it’s quite easy to think of alternative ways to keep them satisfied…

Accordingly, you should make efforts to know your customers much better.

In case what they usually buy from you isn’t available you should try to find suitable substitutes and convince them to give them a try. Perhaps they will like them.

Good customer service in this case will require you to be proactive.

Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet. ~ Kevin Stirtz

6. Selling at the right price

Issues of price will always be a source of concern for customers everywhere. Your customers will always be keen to know whether the prices you are charging them are fair or not.

Do your prices feel like extortion? Very soon no one will want to buy...

Do your prices feel like extortion? Very soon no one will want to buy…

You cannot afford to overcharge a product/service that customers can easily buy elsewhere. Even where you have the privilege of setting your own price, e.g. for freelance copywriting services, you need some sort of pricing strategy to help you decide what rates will be appropriate for different clients.

Try not to make customers feel that you are pushing them to spend more than they are prepared to pay. Of course, you don’t have to do business if the price isn’t right.

Make a customer, not a sale. ~ Katherine Barchetti

7. Maintaining high standards of quality

Your product/service should meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

Customers’ assessment of your product’s quality based on its performance, conformance to standards, features, reliability and durability. You can expect that they will be a discontent lot if your product/service fails to live up to their expectations as set by you.


This is how it should be. Period.

Errors do happen though and your customers will certainly understand the reason why you let them down if you are immediately forthright about the matter and you offer logical explanations and remedial measures.

On the other hand, ignoring their hue and cry is business suicide. You really don’t want customers to start treating your business with some sort of suspicion. Trying to correct this perception later down the line is most likely going to be an exercise in futility; too little too late.

Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you. ~ Mark Cuban

8. Making the customer experience as convenient as possible

Perhaps the best way to address this concern is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Imagine which of your business’ practices make customers feel like they are being forced to jump through hoops despite being the people bringing in the money.

Your aim should be to eliminate such; you need to make customers want to do business with you over and over.

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary. ~ Sam Walton

Don't make customers and prospects do this - they'll very soon take their business elsewhere

Don’t make customers and prospects do this – they’ll very soon take their business elsewhere

Now imagine the new measures you can adopt to become more convenient.

Would you feel happier as a customer?

You would?

Implement these ideas immediately.

Most of your loyal customers will immediately commend you and spread the word.

Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. ~ Chip Bell

9. Offering sound information and advice

While customers know that they need to purchase a certain product/service, they are sometimes not too knowledgeable about their options, prices, terms, warranties, etc.

Sharing your product knowledge in this case will be a solid opportunity to tilt your customers’ willingness to bring you return business in your favor.

As a business owner you should realize that taking advantage of an uninformed customer can only benefit you once – and perhaps never if the customer is the suspicious type. No one appreciates being taken advantage of.

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ Damon Richards

Don't be stingy with information and advice - share it with your customers.

Don’t be stingy with information and advice – share it with your customers.

As such, take time to find out what your customers want. See to it that they get the very best you can offer and let them know why you think this is so. In case much better options are available then don’t hesitate to make suggestions.

The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing. ~ John Russell

10. As for online business owners…

A good number of online businesses have managed to set the customer satisfaction bar quite high. The onus is on you to do the same if you rely on e-commerce for your bread and butter. You don’t have to match what big players like Amazon are doing but you can certainly learn a few things from them.

The customer experience is the next competitive battleground. ~ Jerry Gregoire


Ensure that customers and prospects need just a few clicks to find what they need in your online store

For your website to provide excellent customer service the following issues should be addressed:

  • Content – Always ensure that your site’s content is fresh and enticing, both for actual customers and prospects.
  • Search – Customers and prospects should have an easy time when trying to find a product/service they need on your website. You should therefore ensure that on-site searches return relevant results.
  • Navigation – If customers and prospects find it difficult and cumbersome to access various locations on your website then you risk losing them. Accordingly, ensure that your site’s menus are handy and that the entire shopping experience is well streamlined.
  • Mobile – Today most people are going online via the mobile platform. Your site can’t afford to ignore this fact. Ensure that it is soundly optimized for mobile devices.
  • Language – Basically, an online store is designed for international business. This being the case, your site’s contents should be translatable into at least one other major language. Your site should also offer global support.
  • Integration – Although this may be quite tricky, you should ensure that customers enjoy the same sort of top-notch experience whether they are buying online or offline.

In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away. ~ Doug Warner

Do millennials make up most of your customer base? Here’s an interesting infographic with lots of ideas about how you can deliver top-notch customer service for this generation of consumers:

customer service

Counterfeiters are so good nowadays, it's almost impossible to distinguish between originals and imitations...

Counterfeiters are so good nowadays, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between originals and imitations…

Counterfeit goods are also known as imitations. They are products that are manufactured and sold under another company’s name and without permission from that company. Today, the counterfeiting problem affects virtually every industry. Commonly counterfeited goods include car parts, electronics, personal care products, handbags and wallets, computers, shoes, jewelry and clothes. There are even imitations for medication.

Counterfeiting is big business around the world. It is estimated that $700 billion worth of fake merchandise is produced every year. Losses incurred in the U.S. as a result of counterfeit trading are estimated at $1 trillion annually and in excess of 75000 jobs. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has estimated that counterfeit trading may cost the global economy as much as $250 billion every year.

Closely associated with counterfeiting are two similarly despicable practices – tampering and diversion. Tampering involves altering of product ingredients. The consequences can be lethal. In 1990, for instance, 89 children in Haiti died after ingesting pharmaceuticals laced with antifreeze.  Diversion, on the other hand, involves the selling of a manufacturer’s product via an unauthorized seller or channel.

What risks does counterfeit trading pose for your business?

Well, in addition to lost revenues, counterfeits can potentially ruin your business’ reputation and erode its goodwill.

So, what are the various techniques that you can employ to fight the counterfeiting menace?

1. Registering your trademarks

Federal trademark registration is a vital aspect of brand protection. Doing this will enable you to enforce your trademark anywhere around the country. You will also get access to federal courts. You should also ensure that your trademark is registered in all countries where you do business. Foreign registration can assist in stopping the exportation of counterfeits that bear your trademarks.

Registering your intellectual property will help you to enforce anti-counterfeiting measures legally

Registering your intellectual property will help you to enforce anti-counterfeiting measures legally

2. Registering your trademarks with customs agencies

Your trademarks should also be registered with customs agencies, both locally and in countries where you do business. The U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) runs the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement program tasked with preventing the inflow of counterfeit merchandise into the country. Based on the information you have provided, the CBP will be able to curb the trade of counterfeits as it carries out its shipment monitoring mandate.

3. Investigating the market

As a proactive business owner you should regularly monitor the market to ascertain that what is being sold as your merchandise is actually genuine. Regardless of where you sell your products, online or through brick-and-mortar retailers, three factors should be able to inform your curiosity: price, packaging, and location.

You should regularly scour the market to see if imitations of your brands are being sold

You should regularly scour the market to see if imitations of your brands are being sold

Don’t hesitate to take immediate enforcement action in the event that counterfeit goods are found. Pursuing civil litigation will send out a strong deterring message to other potential sellers of counterfeits.

The following are some of the legal measures and settlements you (the plaintiff) can demand of a person (the defendant) caught selling imitations bearing your trademark:

  • Monetary compensation
  • A recall of the counterfeits sold
  • Ongoing audits of the defendant’s inventory and records
  • A permanent injunction preventing the defendant from importing and selling imitations

To practically distinguish your products from counterfeiters’ merchandise you can employ the following technological defenses:

4. Placing brand-specific patterns on clothing

The use of a partially invisible thread to produce brand-specific patterns on fabrics can help clothing manufacturers to identify and nab counterfeits. The thread used for this purpose is produced cheaply but is not easily reproduced. The customized patterns made with the thread are only visible under special lighting.

5. Using iridescent security images

Courtesy of Nanotech Security it is now possible to emboss a security image of your choice on your merchandise. This image can be applied on a variety of surfaces, ranging from metals to fabrics. This anti-counterfeiting measure will set you back a few pennies per unit. For counterfeiters, however, replicating your security image will be quite impossible.

6. Adding pigments to plastics

You can also opt to include custom additives or pigments in the plastics that your company produces or uses. Being specific to your company, these additives, and which can easily be identified with the help of a handheld device, will help to separate genuine merchandise from market imitations.

7. Using the uFaker app

With the help of the uFaker app you can be able to monitor counterfeiting activities that involve your brand. This information can then be forwarded to law enforcement agencies, private investigators and lawyers.

8. Using the Authenticateit app

You can use the Authenticateit smartphone app to identify, track and deter counterfeiters from selling imitations. Consumers can use the same app to ascertain the authenticity of a product prior to making purchase.

9. Using the Black Market Billions app

Yet another useful solution is the Black Market Billions crowdsourcing app. Users use the app to take photos of possible imitations and upload the images to an online map linked to a GPS locator. Alerts are then sent to consumers of counterfeited merchandise in specific locations.

10. Consumer education

Providing consumers with information about your product will help them to make informed purchases and effectively protect them from the risks of using imitations.

Effective education will help consumers to identify and buy original merchandise

Effective education will help consumers to identify and buy original merchandise

You can use various websites to share information about your product and where genuine merchandise can be purchased. These sites include:

DesignsFauxReal – A website that sells fictitious counterfeit goods. It educates consumers about the negative consequences of purchasing imitations.

The Counterfeit Report – A website through which manufacturers pass information about counterfeits to consumers. Consumers are encouraged to report counterfeits.

Unreal Campaign – This teen-focused website teaches young people about the economic, health and social risks that result from using counterfeits.

Making the sales process enjoyable will most likely draw even more prospects and customers to your business...

Making the sales process enjoyable will most likely draw even more prospects and customers to your business…

Just about everyone who has started a business is initially quite upbeat about finding customers, making sales and getting profits.

This early gusto soon dwindles though when it becomes apparent that making substantial sales takes more than just being open for business.

Established businesses on the other hand are always looking to increase their sales volumes and therefore earn more profits.

As a business owner who is stuck with insufficient and/or mediocre sales volumes, it is perhaps time to take a step back and reflect about your approach to making sales.

Are you really doing things right?

How about approaching salesmanship as an art form?

This way you can perhaps start enjoying the process instead of merely thinking about it as something that needs to be done.

This shouldn’t be too hard.

In fact, all the suggestions here are nothing new.

Implementing them with a new mindset, however, may be just what your business requires. Start enjoying the sales part of your business and let the enthusiasm rub off onto your customers and prospects.

1. Implement an effective pricing strategy

For most people, price comparison shopping, online or otherwise, is the only way to shop; it’s all about making smart purchases.

If you are therefore selling your wares at astronomical prices as compared to your competitors, making decent sales is bound to be quite difficult.

Your price should make sense to prospects and make them willing to buy...

Your price should make sense to prospects and make them willing to buy…

You, in this regard, need to adopt an appropriate pricing strategy for your products and/or services. These two guidelines should be helpful:

If the quality of their products is similar to yours you may consider lowering your              price slightly.

If the pricing is influenced by product features, you can consider adding several                  more features to yours and then set your price slightly higher.

  • If you are convinced of your product/service’s superiority and that your high price is therefore justified, then by all means let customers and prospects know of the extra value they’ll get by using the same. Breathe life into your message!

2. Making the most of business upsells

Think about it.

You’ve most likely gone out to shop for something you really needed and ended up spending more than you had budgeted for simply because the sales guy convinced you that you needed one or two more things related to the original purchase.

The ease with which you agreed to buy these extra things surprised you – especially because you consider yourself a responsible buyer!

Get your customers into the mood, give them hints, and make more sales...

Get your customers into the mood, give them hints, and make more sales…

This is the power of upselling.

The sales guy simply got you into a buying mood, made the necessary suggestions, and you obliged.

How about you try this in your business?

Hint: First try it on regular customers; practice makes perfect.

3. Name your product/service appropriately

With effective branding you can make your product a household name...expect mega sales volumes once you get there!

With effective branding you can make your product a household name…expect mega sales volumes once you get there!

Effective naming of products or services typically takes into account several considerations:

  • Easy pronunciation
  • Ease of remembering
  • Simple association between the name and the product/service features and benefits

Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with going for a unique product/service name. If this is how you opt to proceed just ensure that the name is easy to pronounce and write down. Coupled with effective branding, your product/service will very soon no longer be associated with outer space.

4. Embrace targeted content marketing

Dispatching your marketing contents all over the place simply because you have the budget for it is a haphazard and cost-ineffective tactic to gain more sales.

Away with these hit and miss marketing tactics!

Targeted content marketing is about knowing your product and your ideal customers

Targeted content marketing is about knowing your product and your ideal customers

A statement I came across recently made me smile: “Wonder why there are no Lamborghini and Porsche ads on TV? Rich guys don’t watch TV!”

This is what targeted content marketing is all about. Don’t demean your product/service by marketing it to everyone; direct your messages to your customers and prospects.

This approach will deliver the following benefits (in addition to increased sales):

5. Offering free samples

Giving out free samples is an effective way to increase prospective customers’ confidence in your product/service. After all, seeing is believing.

Offering free samples typically encourages prospects to buy...

Offering free samples typically encourages prospects to buy…

If you have a food catering business, for example, you can offer to treat some prospects to free delicious lunch. Practically convincing them of your culinary expertise will most likely see them hire your services.

6. Advertise your product/service effectively

Ads help to spread the word about products and/or services 24/7 and they’ll therefore greatly augment your marketing effort.

Well designed ads easily attract prospects and encourage repeat customers leading to increased sales

Well designed ads easily attract prospects and encourage repeat customers leading to increased sales

Effective advertising has everything to do with attracting prospects attention and describing what the benefits of using a product/service are.

In designing your ads therefore, ensure that they are so well designed that it’s impossible to ignore them. A creative graphic designer’s services will come in handy here.

Secondly, spell out your product/service benefits honestly – no hyping; nevertheless, under-promise and over-deliver is not what you want to do.

Thirdly, choose appropriate advertising mediums. Think about where the ad will be more effective – your target market’s behaviors and preferences will help you in this regard.

7. Introduce rewards programs

There are plenty of rewards programs ideas to choose from for this increased sales strategy.

You can go for basic ones like “buy 2 get 1 free” and more complex ones e.g. the token economy style whereby shoppers earn points which can be redeemed for certain products once they accumulate to a certain number.

"Buy 2 get 1 free" is a really effective way to attract customers and increase sales

“Buy 2 get 1 free” is a really effective way to attract customers and increase sales

In addition to marketing your products/services, these initiatives will actually help to increase sales, and additionally help to create customer loyalty.

8. Make the purchasing experience more convenient

How much effort do prospects have to put in before they can use your product/service?

If transacting business with you borders on the laborious then you can be sure that your sales volumes will be proportionally low.

Whether you have a physical or online store, you have to do all you can to reduce customer effort.

Go to your customers - most of the effort should be yours, not theirs.

Go to your customers – most of the effort should be yours, not theirs.

Get practical about it.

A brick-and-mortar store has to be conveniently located. Purchasing should be just as simple; customers shouldn’t have to shuffle from one office to the next to get clearance – a one-stop desk will make all the difference.

For an online store the concepts are really quite similar.

All the links should be functional. Filling out forms should be easy. The shopping and shipping processes should be easily understood and doable. Any potentially troublesome processes should be made easy for customers e.g. through the use of screen shares on Google Hangouts.

9. Practice superb telephone etiquette and offer quality customer support

Placing your business’ telephone number on your product or ad implies that customers and prospects can reach you over the phone.

It therefore makes no sense why no one at your end bothers to pick up the phone.

You don’t pick up = Lost business.

Answering the phone promptly and correctly is good for business...

Answering the phone promptly and correctly is good for business…

Telephone etiquette is really a no-brainer; handle prospects poorly over the phone and say goodbye to a potential sale. It’s that simple.

You and the team should therefore style up with regards to telephone conversations, and more so when handling regular customers. Answer the phone graciously, strike up a brief conversation just to ease the tension, and then handle the business.

Creating a cordial business relationship will go a long way in helping to foster customer loyalty, a win-win situation.

10. Tier your customers

It’s true that regular and new customers both bring revenue to the business by purchasing products and services.

There is however need to show and treat regular customers in a manner that portrays your appreciation for them. It is really their continued support for your business that has enabled you to reach your present success.

Make esteemed clients feel appreciated; show them that you value their business

Make esteemed clients feel appreciated; show them that you value their business

Appreciation can be shown in a variety of ways, starting with the most basic e.g. greeting them by name and even ushering them into your office while other customers are served at the storefront.

Appreciation can also extend to tangible benefits e.g. discounts, extended credit, free delivery, etc.

Why would such an esteemed client want to take his/her business elsewhere?


Showcase your small business as being the best – clients always look to get the best value for their money.

That’s right. Creating a strong client list isn’t easy.

It must be done though.

As the owner of a small business you thoroughly understand that without clients your business is as good as dead. You also strongly appreciate the fact that to grow your business you need an inflow of new clients. What therefore are some of the techniques you can employ to attract new clientele?

1.Identify who the ideal customer is and find the best message for them



Use accurate data sources to create an accurate customer profile for your business

The ideal customer for your business is typically someone who is upbeat about what your business has to offer and can afford to purchase the same. To create an accurate profile of this customer you can either make use of demographics & psychographics info (where you’ll consider pointers like sex, age, location, income, company size, industry, and emotional buying triggers) or use customer circumstances (where you’ll consider the particular situations, problems or opportunities that would inform people’s decisions to buy from you).

Once you know who to target, set out to craft effective marketing messages that will best describe what the end result and/or feeling of purchasing and using your product/service is. The point here is to focus on more than the product/service itself; go ahead and let the targets know what benefits and advantages will accrue to them by using your product/service and how doing this will make them feel.

2.Establish your mission statement and live up to it


Customers always know what to expect from this brand anywhere around the world

Your business’ mission statement is the motto that customers will make reference to in your dealings with them and they will expect you to uphold it in every way, every day. It is therefore best to settle on a mantra that simply describes what your personality and professionalism are. Whatever line of business you are engaged in you should have no problems living up to what customers and prospects expect from you.

3.Provide exemplary customer care and service


Grow your small business one satisfied customer at a time

How are you taking care of your current clients? The fact is that the expression “word of mouth” still holds true today despite the digital progress we identify with. Actually, it now ought to be “word of digital mouth” – you know that word travels so much faster nowadays.

How is this relevant? Well, don’t underestimate the power of great customer care and service. Research has shown that customers’ perception of how they are being treated has a major influence on whether or not they decide to buy. Also, knowing human nature, where we are more eager to report negatives than positives, you do have your work cut out.

Get to work creating great experiences for your clients by being helpful, informative, pleasant, and promptly responsive to their questions and comments. Your satisfied client base will no doubt spread the word about you and you can expect the list to grow.

4.A reputation for integrity is imperative


Integrity guarantees that you’ll always have happy customers

Dealing with people calls for a high level of personal integrity; deception and tricks can only get you so far. Let the quality of your work market your business brand. Prospects will be better convinced to come onboard if they know exactly what to expect from your products/services.

Where the requirements asked of you are out of your scope it is quite in order to inform prospects of someone else who is better qualified. Next time it may be your turn to benefit from such referrals.

5.Cultivate trustworthiness and credibility


With your credibility established getting new customers won’t need miracles

When you are trying to sell your product/service to high-end or elite prospective clients you stand a better chance of securing a deal if you are backed by a reputation for credibility and trust. Being endorsed by influential persons, using credible introductions and testimonials, and submitting credible case studies and industry data are some of the options you can employ. Reach your target potential clients through effective channels as informed by your background research about their purchasing behaviors.

6.Improve your body language


Would you really be excited about buying from him?

How prospective clients perceive your body language is likely to have a significant influence on how they react to you. Maintaining eye contact and an upright standing posture is a primary requirement for positive body language. Your eyes and eyebrows should communicate sentiments of interest, openness and friendliness; scrunching your eyebrows instead of keeping them relaxed may tell prospects that you disapprove or lack confidence in them. Folding your arms can be translated as being doubtful and hesitant. When seated maintain good posture and remain relaxed, not fidgety.

7.Networking is a prerequisite for finding new contacts


Showcase your small business as being the best – clients always look to get the best value for their money.

Building a network of contacts is a practical way to add to your customer base. Opportunities to provide and receive help and advice should also be readily taken up. This is a brilliant way to give your business and brand global exposure and recognition.

New contacts can also be acquired by becoming active on the best networking sites including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook i.e. social networking. On these platforms you will not only manage to create new relationships but also be able to directly connect with members of your target audience.

8.Be active on social media


Choose the best platforms for your small business and thrill your target audience

It is foolhardy to ignore the potential that social media presents for business owners; you just can’t afford not to have a presence on these platforms – it’s free too.

To optimally exploit the power of social media make sure that your contents are awesome, so awesome that people will always want to react to them. Getting people hooked in this way will present you with a great audience to which you can market your business.

Interact with your audience by responding to their comments and asking/answering questions. Maintain the audience’s attention by posting regularly especially on Pinterest and Facebook as these channels account for a huge volume of the traffic directed to online stores. Also remember to include graphics in your posts as this will make them more attention-grabbing.

9.Proper etiquette should be maintained in all your communications


Whether writing/responding to emails, posting/replying on social media, or making/receiving phone calls, the onus is on you to maintain an air of courtesy. Remember that offensive/vulgar phrases, words, tone and language are never erased from people’s memories. Also, you must always ensure that your emails and other written communications feature proper spelling and grammar.

10.Make sure that your website is attractive



Success in online business begins with having an attractive website

You need to create a compelling website. Period.

The power of first impressions comes into play here; within 3-5 seconds of checking out your website many visitors will have made a decision about whether to stay or leave i.e. The Blink Test. Ask yourself therefore if you are personally pleased with what you see.

Does your website come across as being professional and presentable? Does its design endear itself as being modern and appealing? If your answer to these questions is “no” then you better make amends soon. Humans instinctively identify beauty with trustworthiness and reliability.

11.Offer promotions and discounts


Promotions and discounts are especially effective for popularizing new products

Offering discounts and promos is really not so much about how much less customers get to pay as it is about the resulting psychological reaction that triggers positive emotions of excitement in them. This is especially so with regards to the word “free”. Indeed, the concept of free shipping for purchases above a certain price has been seen to motivate customers into spending more (and therefore more sales) in order to benefit from the free shopping offer.

The same thinking applies in the case of discounts where an offer such as “buy 2 get 1 free” often results in many customers making impulsive purchases. Loyal customers are also likely to make more purchases if they are offered special deals as this makes them feel appreciated.

12.Make use of email marketing campaign


With email marketing you can effectively target prospects at a more personal level

Businesses that send emails to their target audience are better placed to grow their customer bases as opposed to those that don’t. Email is by design very personal unlike social media. Typically, when someone gets an email message they check to see who it’s from and what it’s about before deciding to open it or trash it. To ensure that your business emails will be read you need to have a compelling subject line that will make the recipient eager to know what the contents are.

You can use emails to spread the word about new products/services, sales and promotions, recommendations of other products after purchase, and tips and helpful information about your products/services. You can be sure that people always remember company emails they have received when they are preparing to make purchase decisions.

13.Embrace Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising


Create click-worthy ads for the best lead acquisition results and ROI

PPC is an online marketing strategy that involves the placement of ads on search engines and other websites. The marketer is billed when a visitor clicks on these ads. In the case of search engines the best results are likely to be attained by placing your ads on Google and Bing. Social media sites like Facebook are also worth exploring; you just need to identify where your target audience can best be engaged online.

Success with PPC is about coming up with a promotional calendar, coordinating ads and landing pages, and employing well written and tested copy. You also want to take advantage of Google’s free AdWords consulting for new advertisers, and the credibility that comes with having a Google Trusted Site badge next to your ads.

14.Find new customers at online marketplaces


Selling on the top online marketplaces will expose your business to more prospective customers

Finding new customers is also about making your product/service available across multiple channels and dynamically responding to the rapidly changing online shopping behaviors. Selling on online marketplaces like Amazon and other online retail sites that receive millions of people in shopping traffic monthly is something you can consider. Nevertheless, you need to encourage your new customers to shop directly from your website the next time. Offering coupons and discounts in the shipping box is just one of the ideas worth using in a bid to convince them.


Attracting new clients to your business is a primary requirement for business growth. Using some of these techniques may also give you the added advantage of creating professional relationships that will be of mutual benefit for years to come.

Now I’d like to know: What works best for you in your search for new customers?