Most of us want more customers. We want to increase sales and, of course, profits. But, mainly we want to do more of what we do. That’s why we’re in business in the first place.
A good friend of mine likes to say there are three kinds of people in this world:
1. People who currently do business with you. (Current Customers)
2. People who formerly did business with you but they don’t anymore. (Former Customers)
3. People who have never done business with you. (Potential Customers)
So, as you think about increasing your revenue this year, look at it like my friend does. Understand your additional sales will come from any or all of these types of people.
My advice is to focus on just ONE of these groups, at first.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t (or wouldn’t) focus on the other groups too. You can and should. But, wait until your efforts are paying off for the first group you pick. Then start working on a second. It’s all about focus.
Tiger Woods is famous for his ability to focus on his game. Each shot he takes is based on a laser-sharp focus on what he’s doing and where he wants the ball to go.
Too often our efforts fail because we try to do too much. We spread our focus out so it has much else impact on everything. Often we get better results is we point our energies all at one target. This brings more resources to bear on our goal making it much more likely we’ll accomplish what we want.
So, your first job is to decide which group you want to get more sales from. Here’s some help deciding.
Group one: Current Customers
These folks are often the low-hanging fruit. They know you. They trust you. They like you. They have reasons for doing business with you. With them you’ve already cleared the first, and most difficult, hurdles: awareness, credibility and trust.
If you have services or products your current customers might want (but are not purchasing) then focus on this group first. You’ll get much better results.
Job one with this group is to communicate better with them. Find ways to get to know them better. You need to have conversations with them so you learn more about them and they learn more about you.
Your goal is to learn if there are other ways you can be of service to them.
Group two: Former Customers
These people are probably your second best prospects. They also know about you. So you have cleared the Awareness hurdle.
But, since they no longer do business with you, there must be a reason. Either they had a bad experience or they no longer want what you offer or they feel your business is not a good fit for them anymore.
For most of these people, you don’t know why they stopped doing business with you. If you do know and it’s a reason that has not likely changes, then take them off your list. But, for everyone else you need to do two things:
1. Find out WHY they stopped being your customer.
2. Find out if they have a reason to become your customer again.
Your goal here is similar to that of Group One except you need to first discover if they still will consider doing business with you.
Group Three: Potential Customers
This is the largest and hardest group to convert to customers. You have many obstacles:
1. Awareness – Many of these people don’t know anything about you or your business.
2. Credibility – If they know you they don’t necessarily believe you can help them.
3. Trust – Even if they think you can help them they might not trust you enough to let you.
4. Fit – Even if they know you, like you and trust you, there still is the question of fit. Are they a good fit for your business? Are you a good fit for them?
Plus — there are most likely a LOT more potential customers than current or former customers. So, it takes more money and time to reach them.
We’ll be talking about this more in the future. But, hopefully, this is enough to get you started as you think about your first step in getting more customers.
Before you leave though, tell me what your focus is. Of the three groups we talked about, which one would be best for you to focus on first?