What is the best way to approach a prospective customer for your business?
If you are looking out to start a new business and don't know the correct or proper way to approach your prospective customers, how would you do it? How would you identify your customers in the first place?
Dear first thing what business you are in ,the choose your target market my Demographic, Geographic ,M/F first start with your home town after getting success gradually increase ,do this and success will hit the door
Lots of insightful answers here already. Over the years it has always come back to .. What problem does your product or service solve ?
How will it make a difference in their lives ?
Then sit down and work out who your ideal customer is age,income,occupation,marital status,gender,education,family status,.
When you have done that, you move on to the Zen of customer profile ...psychographics.
Welcome to psychographics. This is the attitudes,values and beliefs of your ideal customer. You take your ideal customer and ask,
What motivates them ?
What type of lifestyle do they lead ?
What sort of activity do they enjoy and what interests them ?
What values are important to them ... Money ? Status ? Family ?
Layering psychographics over your ideal customer will enable you to zoom in on your perfect customer. Because "EVERYONE " is not your customer.
Hope this assist you and wish you success in your venture.
Always the direct, in person, approach is the most effective.
But most of us do not have that opportunity.
We suggest clients WRITE real letters of introduction.
Asking questions in the letter.
Usually the next step is a more personal session on the phone.
Before this being done you should have researched as much as possible about the prospect.
The internet provides so many assets to accomplish this task
Thank you everyone for such helpful information. I would work now keeping your suggestions in mind.
I would study the market where the product or service is to be sold. I would develop a marketing plan designed around a particular segment of that market and direct my website and social media towards that segment. Find out what industry groups there are and join. Go to networking functions where the target audience is in attendance. That is the approach I took. I wonder what approaches others may have taken. No idea is too good to borrow
I'd look at my competitors and see how they define their customers. I'd also go to networking events and tell people what you do and what you are looking for. Get some advice from them and ideas on how to define your customer.
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Find your differentiators.Things like feelings time in the business, style of your business, your willingness, compassionate,enterprising problem solver.Use as many SM tools to offer your opinions.Write something about what you think you do best and what they mean and do for your clients.Make a list of people you know make appointments with them and ask them what they think of your approach.Some may end up being your clients.
What need (or Purpose) does you product serve. Who has that need. The basics of the business dictates these questions be answered. If these two quest are answered one should be able to do some survey work to see what the next question in the mind of the potential user. The more information accumulated the more defined the business plan and sales approach.
The first thing you need to do is build your business's foundational values. Since a business is by definition an entity, WHO you are should form the bases of the foundational values. "Core Values" are an overlooked aspect of business-building.Usually, these are just an after-thought; something to put in the website because it is standard. But it is how you will attract customers because your values create the impression of how people/customers/markets view or perceive you.
Once you've identified your foundational values, you can establish your business's purpose and vision. Having your purpose and vision aligned with your foundational values will set the guidelines for your messaging; an important factor in reaching out to your target customers.
Establishing your values, purpose and vision will create the identity of your business which will make it easier for RIGHT-FIT markets to FIND you and for you to know exactly who you are catering your services to. Social Media is an important factor in building your presence but the messaging and its timing must be accurate. Your message must clearly resonate to your market.
Once you've made contact, the first thing you have to do is BUILD A RELATIONSHIP. Get to know your contact first; do not jump right into business matters right away. Why would anyone go into business with a person or entity he or she doesn't even know? Even from a contextual standpoint, you should have an idea on who these connections are.
Because you've established your foundational values, it will be easier for you to approach them. In fact, it should be natural because who you are is now who your business is. Remember, consumers base their decision to patronize a product or service not on rationale but on emotional connectivity. If they can read and align with your business's purpose, they will patronize you.
Engage you market. In direct retail, make it a point to talk to customers. In social media, respond to comments and likewise, comment on their posts as well. Business is not just about the idea of making money. You have to view opportunities to build long-lasting relationships.
I agree with Anetta - awareness through marketing: websites, trade shows, on-line groups, etc. And then the best prospects are through word of mouth and referrals. The approach that my customers say they respect and respond to is a combination of an email (brief) and a phone call (a voice mail usually). The great thing with a new business is that it's a new business! And that's reason enough to reach out to your first guess at prospective customers. If they are not the right contact ask then who is.
I certainly wouldn't start the business until I had identified my customers. If you have a business plan your customers must have been identified.
Lets start by thinking of the customer as a real person, they usually are, how do you approach people when you want information. It's a pretty competitive area Web design, graphics and programming you need to understand what the customer is trying to achieve and whether they even understand what they are trying to achieve.
You first have to look at your target audience. Then approach them with the value the item will give them. Then add the reward for investment. Add a touch of benefits. Look at how you will add to their pocketbook and it should sell itself. Once you have customers ask them for endorsements and add these to your perspectives.
A very big question! Without knowing the nature of what you intend to sell it is tricky to answer as there are many ways to reach out to your market. I know of over 70! If you could provide some more details I'd be happy to recommend some proven ways to engage with your ideal clients.
Saurav since you indicated that you are looking to start a new business I am assuming it is different from your current IT business as this has been operating for eight years..
Once you have identified the problem that your service or product can solve, start by targeting the persons you know who may have this problem. This makes it easier for you to approach them since you are familiar with these persons.
Next step is target those who you do not know, but after researching their business you know that you can help them. You can invite these persons to a free presentation on how your service or product can solve their problems. If you focus on what you/your product/service can do for them the approach is easier since most people want to know how can you solve my problem.. Also always ask for referrals.
I prefer the consultative approach. I interview my clients and determine which products best suit their needs. Of course, my business allows for a personal one on one approach. If your looking to do a mass marketing approach and drive traffic to a website or landing page you can do email, direct mail. Find a company that will guide you through the process. Send me a private message if you would like a recommendation.
Several recommended best practices:
Learn all you can about the customer organization (resources abound)
Learn all you can about the prospect, Linked In, faceBook, Spokeo, Zoom Info
Formulate a value proposition
develop examples of how you have provided measurable solutions/benefit to other customers
Do an email drip campaign spoon feeding a bit of the aforementioned
Leave no more than 8 voice mails in as many weeks. See above for tibits to mention in each
Once you connect on a call, do not start selling, no elevator speeches or one breath pitches
Start within sincerely expressed interest in learning more about the organization, its needs and challenges, FIRST.
From that insight, selectively discuss how you can bring results/ solutions, services and products that address their needs.
Close on interest and set a follow up appointment to present.
Peter Drucker asked: can you clearly identify the customer you are looking for? If not, you have created a solution looking for a problem. So the questions is: what problem is your new business designed to solve and who has the problem?
Look at what you are offering and do sound research as to who your target audience will be for that product or service. Definitely ask yourself how you can differentiate what you are offering compared to the competition and make sure you are priced as to what the market will bear. I always tell my clients who are starting new endeavors that you also need to be experienced in the area you want to start your business in. You will want to bring both that experience, your knowledge to educate the potential client and provide them an understanding of what the market for what you are offering is like. At the same it is important to ask them questions where they can see that you want to learn about them and what it is they do. I have had two excellent meetings a long time ago when I was introducing something new to the collections industry where the VP's of Operations and Sales not only spent time with me in their office going back and forth, but even took me around their organizations, introducing me to other personnel and showing me how they did things currently. That gave me the knowledge to know how to place what I was offering. That makes all the difference. Go into a new endeavor ready to create relationships, not customers.
People do business with people they know, like and trust. This trust takes time. The best way to approach your prospective customers is to build a relationship first.
Be able to clearly and quickly articulate your "what I do" statement or your 30 second elevator pitch. Then put the focus on them and building a relationship with them.
Focus on understanding them before you make yourself understood.
Once you show interest in them and their problems, then you are in a better positions to be of service to them. You will be in a better position to identify which are your clients in the first place.