1) Make it Publicly Known That You Take Care of Your Customers
Almost all of our customers come from existing customers. When you take care of your customers, they become your “free” salespeople. Praise them online, post their successes, offer to showcase their testimonials in your email newsletters, etc. There are so many ways to showcase your customers and the more you do it, the more they will refer you.
2) Form Relationships with Established Businesses
If you don’t have an audience, find a company that sells something different to your same demographic and start bonding. They are already working with your existing customer base so no need to go off to events on your own where you don’t know anyone. Use Linkedin to look up reputable companies that sell to your demographic and see if you’re already connected to someone there. If you aren’t connected to anyone, someone you know probably is. Using Linkedin is really the easiest way to partner with established companies.
3) Become the Expert
Lots of opportunities come to “experts.” So how do you get that status? It’s not as hard as you think. There’s no better way to showcase your expertise than creating content others can read, review, and learn from. A blog requires an on-going commitment so if you don’t have time to blog, write an occasional article for someone who does or submit it to an industry publication. Use Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter to demonstrate your expertise with short insights, tid-bits and links to relevant articles in your field. (Make sure to build up your fan base by engaging with other Twitter users through following them, retweeting their messages, and making insightful comments about their posts.)
4) Stop Pitching
Instead of worrying about selling your wares all the time, think about teaching instead. When you post out helpful resources and information that helps your customers, you become a trusted resource rather than a salesperson. You don’t need to act like you need the business because you are too busy providing resources and “teaching” people how to solve their problems. (hopefully with your solution!) This goes back to being the expert. Experts teach. They do not need to pitch.
5) Help Others Get More Customers
One of the most effective ways to get more customers is to help other business people get customers for themselves. An introduction to the right person can go a long way and if you introduce new business to someone, especially several times, they feel compelled to return the favor by giving you a few referrals too. If you refer business to five people, you now have five “free” salespeople. It works out nicely if you can’t afford to hire a sales staff!
Does your Social Media strategy include a business development plan? The SmartSocial Business Development Guide offers companies the same program ThinkViral uses with our own in-house clients. It provides a step by step process for generating client loyalty and referral business and includes a social media policy, guidelines, a supervisor’s guide, and a business development routine. Learn more