It is always good news to have long lasting customers that trust you. But that doesn’t mean you should focus only on nurturing your existing B2B customers. It is also important to acquire new customers and effectively sell your products, services, or ideas to them.
A friend of mine once told me that she finds it hard to strike a balance between both. “If I focus on finding new clients, I lose touch with my existing ones. If I inform my sales team to nurture our client base, they take too long to close the next deal. The problem isn’t about finding new clients, it’s about finding them in my niche to help me achieve the goals I want,” she said.
Below are some good ways to acquire new customers and effectively market your services to them.
Ask for referrals
Getting referrals is a great way to gain new customers especially if your existing customers are helping you acquire them. This indicates that they are happy with your services and are recommending their friends, family, and other contacts to check out your brand. You will have to implement a system to actively solicit referrals from satisfied customers.
My friend had spent too long awaiting feedback from her prospects and ended up stagnating her sales pipeline flow. A good way to combat this would be to set up a template to send follow-up emails to her customers right after they had purchased a product. This would help them provide referrals and feedback based on first-hand experience while they are still experiencing the product or service.
Curate loyalty programs and generate reward systems
A loyal repeat customer is better than ten one-time buyers. Offering discounts and incentives to your customers is a good way to retain them. It is also a good idea to launch introductory offers and limited time deals exclusively for new customers. A recent survey indicated that people are more likely to purchase from your brand if you have a loyalty program. A majority of people said loyalty programs and offers influence their buying behaviour more often than not.
One technique is to offer a low-risk solution to convince new B2B customers to invest in your products or services. This works only if your company can afford such a program and you can engage the customers with frequent emails and messages. The content can range from reward points for members or discounts and new deals for every referral the customer makes.
Become a pro at networking
You can never go wrong once you realise the value of promoting your expertise. Be it through workshops and webinars online, or panel discussions and educational sessions – you can project yourself as an expert with the ideal services people need. Try to be part of events that are pertinent to your niche industry and target audience. You can build so many new connections based on how you approach people and craft lasting relationships with them. The idea is to keep three questions in mind.
- How can I connect my services to the pain points of my customers?
- What’s in it for me and for them if I develop this connection?
- What makes my brand and services different from my competitors?
Once my friend began to build connections by attending several sessions, she was able to spread the word. With a service perspective in mind, she was able to acquire a variety of new customers. It doesn’t end there – good networking extends to going through your contacts regularly and reaching out to old customers on a regular basis. Who knows, maybe your dormant customers could be your next major deal if they are flattered that you remembered them.
Optimise and equip your website to reach people
If you are trying to acquire new customers without having a strong website, you are missing out. Your website is the first impression your customers will gain about your business, even before they find your number to reach out to. Ensure that you have suitable designs and user friendly UX/UI interfaces. Go over your graphics and your presence on search results through a good SEO.
I would also recommend having a GMB (Google My Business), as people don’t usually scroll past the first five sites when they search online. Be sure to write blogs and articles targeting the services your customers would need. This will project you as a trustworthy brand that knows the right solutions to succeed. Furthermore, check if your website has a good mobile friendly interface. Most people check websites and social media through their smartphones these days, so ensure that the site is optimised in mobile view.
Collaboration is the agenda
It makes sense to partner with businesses within your niche if you are aiming to improve your brand awareness. Team up with brands that sell ancillary or the same services / products as you and have a similar customer base. The strategy is to leverage their customers while mutually helping them leverage your customers as well. This method is helpful, as both parties can drive new business.
For example, if your business sells productivity tools for office spaces, try to partner with a business that offers SaaS that can help businesses improve their customer relationship. The end goal for both of you is the same – to improve your customer’s productivity and business goals. Such partnerships will bring mutual gains and will enhance your sales. It will boost the customer base for the collaborating brand as well as yours.
Bonus hack – Bring a friend!
You won’t believe how often this solution works, despite being so fundamental. The idea is to simply offer free entry for a friend when a new customer approaches your business. This idea is valid whether you are offering products, services, or anything else.
- If someone is visiting your webinar, offer them a free seat for a friend
- If the customer is attending a demo session for your product, offer them a free demo for a friend
- Ask people to tag a friend in your LinkedIN comments to win a one-month free subscription on your package or a free demo/consultation.
The benefit through this strategy is how many people you will be impacting. You will receive twice the number of audience members who usually attend your seminars / webinars and you can network with double the number of prospects. You will be able to leverage community events to promote your brand awareness – simply ask your audience to refer a friend to win free products or services.
What have we learnt?
The primary lesson here is to value every one of your clients – you never know when or who will be of use to you. This could include:
- The old ones who aren’t doing business with you anymore
- Your existing loyal customer base
- Future customers who you are trying to tap into
As we already mentioned, a loyal customer is better than a one-time customer. You can gain referrals by keeping them satisfied and offering exclusive loyalty points to make them feel valued. Keep hosting and attending events and sessions that are within your niche to network and find like-minded people.
My friend now nurtures her existing and future B2B clients through good communication. This means speaking about your brand, staying in touch, asking people what they are expecting from you, promoting your services, communicating offers and discounts, inviting people to events, and more.