The fast way to find new customers

The Fastest Way to Find New Customers; in a highly competitive business environment

by Vee Burris

How many ways are there to find new customers? There are probably as many ways as customers. Of course, some of the ways work better than others. Far better.

If you’re smart, you will regularly be open to new ways to find new customers. You’ll listen to people in your office. You’ll listen to experienced and skilled business executives, managers, and salespeople that you know. You’ll go out of your way to meet people at business functions such as Chamber of Commerce meetings. When you learn about an upcoming lecture, presentation, or panel discussion that’s pertinent to finding new customers, you’ll try to map out time to be there.

And, if you’re smart, you will read enough about the subject as possible. Yes, that’s a lot of reading. Frankly, you could be reading day after day. There is an alternative though. You could read articles and columns by people who, in essence, have done a lot of the research and reading for you. That’s where we come in. We at iMedia Grp know that many of our Blog readers are very interested in the subject of finding new customers so we have compiled some of the best information that we have found. The best information includes:

How many ways are there to find new customers? There are probably as many ways as customers. Of course, some of the ways work better than others. Far better.

If you’re smart, you will regularly be open to new ways to find new customers. You’ll listen to people in your office. You’ll listen to experienced and skilled business executives, managers, and salespeople that you know. You’ll go out of your way to meet people at business functions such as Chamber of Commerce meetings. When you learn about an upcoming lecture, presentation, or panel discussion that’s pertinent to finding new customers, you’ll try to map out time to be there.

And, if you’re smart, you will read enough about the subject as possible. Yes, that’s a lot of reading. Frankly, you could be reading day after day. There is an alternative though. You could read articles and columns by people who, in essence, have done a lot of the research and reading for you. That’s where we come in. We at iMedia Grp know that many of our Blog readers are very interested in the subject of finding new customers so we have compiled some of the best information that we have found. The best information includes:

The article “33 Ways To Get More Clients”:

This article by Clientflow lists more ways than any other article that we found. The list is very comprehensive. I was particularly interested in tip No. 7 -- Start blogging -- because I’m a writer who begs, begs, begs his clients to promote themselves by writing blogs that show they’re experts in their business. You can pay for an ad that says you’re an expert, but people watching the ad knows it’s an ad. If you persuade a business magazine to post or print your blog, you are essentially getting that publication’s endorsement that you are an expert. Clients like experts.

The article “The 10 Steps To Finding More Customers":

Forbes magazine is one of my best sources for advice on a wide range of business topics. This article is no exception. “The 10 Steps To Finding More Customers” emphasizes the importance of knowing your customers. It points out that knowing your current customers can help you develop a profile that will enable you to find new customers. “Knowing” just doesn’t mean knowing them well enough to talk to them. “Knowing” means knowing what they want, need, read, watch, listen to, etc. In fact, you should listen to them more than you talk to them.

The article “Four Simple Ways to Find Customers”:

As you read this article, you will learn that Entrepreneur magazine is a particularly valuable source of information on the topic of finding customers. And I bet you a customer that your eyes lit up when you saw the word 'simple.' The article’s most important point is that trying to find customers on your own is very difficult. Teaming up with another business can help you tap into its customer base and prospective customer base and vice-versa. The article mentions a subject that we will get into greater detail later on -- the host-beneficiary arrangement. In short, the arrangement involves one company promoting another’s via a gift or discount.

The article “Smart, Easy Ways to Find Customers”:

This is the second of three excellent articles in Entrepreneur magazine that we found. The central thesis is that you need to know how to reach your prospective customers. Targeting is essential. If you want to reach a specific demographic, you need to advertise in publications they are reading. Ads in general interest magazines or on general interest TV stations might be too expensive because you’re reaching a general demographic rather than a target demographic. The article’s most interesting idea is that if soccer moms is your target demographic, you should consider sponsoring a local kids’ team. That’s targeting!!

The article “5 Steps for Finding New Customers”:

You might not have heard of Mashable. It’s a digital media website that was founded in 2005. It focuses on technological issues. Its articles are often, like this one, very detailed and sophisticated. The five steps are Classification Structure, Hypothesis Testing, Nuance Testing, Customer Stories, and Solution Iteration. The article was a learning experience.

The article “From Obscurity To An Unlikely Comeback: How One Leader Turned A Failing Business Around”:

Fast Company magazine also focuses on business and technology issues. The article focuses on a startup company called Eventup that was having problems “getting customers and then trying to match them with the right venues.” The company hired Jayna Cooke to try to turn things around. She did. How? Hard work, plain and simple. She “called everybody” she knew and lots of people she didn’t. "I still make at least 100 calls a day to different venues,” she said. Now, the company has lots of well-known corporate clients and 15,000 event venues.

You have just spent several minutes reading the highlights of what it took us hours to find. However, you still might be thinking to yourself ‘all this is great, but I’m short on time. I want to know THE fastest way to find customers.’ Guess what? We have a solution to that problem as well.

As we mentioned earlier, a host-beneficiary arrangement between two companies is one of the simplest ways to find new customers. It is also THE fastest way to find new customers, according to an article in Entrepreneur magazine entitled, ironically enough, “The Fastest Way to Find New Customers.” The subhead of the article makes it clear that the pointers in the story are geared toward startup companies as well as, perhaps, small companies that are struggling.

“Tap into your customer base by piggybacking on established businesses with similar target markets,” the subhead says. The established business is the host. The company that is “piggybacking” is the beneficiary. Basically, customers of the established business are directed to the startup business while they’re patronizing the established business. The established business offers its customers a gift as a reward for past purchases.

The gift, though, is from the startup business and the established company’s customers have to go to the startup business to pick it up. While they’re there, the customers will learn about a business they knew nothing about moments earlier and might spend money there. Indeed, the article points to a startup company that spent $9,600 on gifts and made $240,000 in sales to the customers who picked up the free gifts -- on that first visit alone.

Why would the “host” help the “beneficiary?” “The host is willing to participate because it's a way to reward loyal customers without incurring any costs,” the article says. “The rookie gains new customers, while the veteran gains goodwill.”

All the “rookie” had to do was persuade one company to partner with it rather than persuade dozens of prospective customers it didn’t know to patronize its store. Now that really is a fast way to find new customers!