You are running the gauntlet when targeting prospective and acquiring new customers relationship and accounts.
It is not to say that companies should not attract and secure new customers; after all, there will always be a natural loss of a customer. Companies misconstrue prospective and new customers as low hanging fruit. However:
Prospective and new customers relationships are complex and fickle; there are little trust and experience to lean on.
Companies must follow these three strategies to ensure the increase rate of successfully securing new customers and accounts.
If you want new customers, you do not want just any customer; you want customers that historically become your most valuable customers.
Gather the information from your CRM software to identify the characteristic of who makes your list of ideal and most valued customers and influencers. These are then characteristic potential customers you want to attract and secure as your key accounts going forward.
Understanding what characteristic make up your key customer and accounts means that you are open to match your potential customer need that might be outside your usual segment or industry.
Understanding the make-up of your most valued customers and accounts helps you plan and allocate your time and resources efficiently and increase your chances of success. This exercise helps you to assess where you have the highest customer character match and the most definite strengths. If the success rate in securing a new customer is less than 20%, you want to ensure you acquire the relationships with the highest potential gain.
Inbound marketing is all about drawing people to your website, by creating a customer-centric marketing strategy and of benefit to your ideal and prospective customer.
For instance, if you are a venues management company, write a guide on how to organise a perfect conference or event; or a checklist to host the perfect wedding on almost any budget.
Think of it as leaving a breadcrumb trail. Create content to answer the questions that your ideal and most valued customers repeatedly ask and research. What is the one most useful checklist or comparison chart that your prospective customer would what? From this, you can create a downloadable whitepaper that expands on the checklist or caparison, which will give more detailed information and references to assist your potential customer to move forward in their purchasing research journey? The whitepaper or report lead your potential ideal customer to a relevant case study or demo, which invites them to request a call or meeting?
You can then promote this checklist or comparison by writing a series of blog posts on the subject and share the blog on all relevant social media or email to a relevant segmented contact list.
When someone has downloaded the whitepaper and gives you their details, you have a qualified prospective customer that has expressed an interest in your advice to solving a problem. You must nurture them further with via email or if requested, follow up with a call or meeting to see how you can be of service.
Social media platforms are essential channels to build broader awareness and to drive your ideal audience to your website and content. Remember video content gets the highest engagement on all channels and is a great way to tell a story.
Partnerships, affiliations and industry networks and media channels are a great way to connect with other companies to establish collaborative campaigns to gain access to relevant and stabled curated audiences.
Referrals and testimonials are great ways to encourage your existing customers and relationships to promote their experience of working with your businesses. Social proof is a powerful tool to demonstrate credibility.
Customer experience is critical for taking a potential customer from acquisition to final purchase. It is the oil in the purchasing engine; without it, the system does not run smoothly.
Otherwise, there will be friction, barriers and difficulties that cause the relationship to stall.
The Temkin Group found that companies expect to earn an additional 70% within three years of investing in customer experience.
To win the experience race, you must align your customer experience goals to reflect what matters to customers.
Too often, companies focus on gain the technological edge, but this may have little impact on the customer experience. Focus on the areas that will deliver the most significant benefit for your customers, like speed, ease, knowledgeable and helpful service; these are the most valuable elements of positive customer experience.
When customers feel appreciated and gets what they want, then the supplier gains measurable business benefits.
According to PwC, over 36% of customers said they would likely spend more.
If you are going to prospect for new customers, then let the experience you deliver do the talking.
Continue to test and analyse the impact your experience has on your ideal and potential customers and develop the value proposition for your well researched prospective customer.
The better the experience, the more opportunities you must get closer to your prospective customers. If you continue to test the relevance of the content to move the prospect along the journey, and if you analyse how closely your experience matches the prospective customer expectations, you will increase your success rate above the 20%.
Better still if you are better able to align with the most valuable customer segments, you will anticipate additional needs and initiate innovative solutions to customer problems, whether or not you get paid for the additions, you are invested in building the longer-term relationship. These innovative customer-focused solutions enable you to create relevant products of premium value and attract new customers with stories of successful customer relationships.
Janice B Gordon helps enterprising companies adapt their sales approach and grow key customers. This has led her to create the popular Scale Your Sales framework. Janice is the Customer Growth Expert an Author, Educator and Consultant ranked 25 of the Top100 Global Business Influencer 2017. Contact Janice to talk about Scaling Your Sales.
4 Essential Elements of Customer Retention and Growth