Winning new customers is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business, but there are many ways to go about it.
“Create an environment that shows you are easy to do business with, that you can handle complaints and that you mean what you say. When you’ve won a contract it’s important to deliver on all your promises. This is the starting point for building trust which is key to winning new business,” explains John Leach, of management consultants Strategem and author of Pitch Perfect, published by Capstone.
He offers the following pointers to help you make a success of winning new business:
- Do your research and understand who your customers are. Thorough research will help you prepare best – and it will also help you decide whether a certain customer is worth the attention
- Choose your customers carefully. Learn to walk away and say no – a problem customer could cause hassles such as lengthy payment periods, or worst still, not being paid at all
- Find out who makes the buying decisions – don’t tolerate time-wasters; ensure you concentrate on those individuals with influence
- Be clear on how you are going to reach your customers. Decide what your marketing tools will be and more importantly, ensure they suit your budget
- Be clear on what makes you different – this is a question you will be asked all the time
- You can never prepare enough. Before going to sales meeting, ensure that you are 100% prepared. Anticipate any problems that may arise and questions that will be thrown at you so you can handle any objections – prevention can work better than cure
- People buy from people – so building relationships is important. If three people are offering the same product, the decision often comes down to whom the buyer feels most comfortable with. Make your prospect feel special
- Learn to listen well other wise you will forget key details very quickly. Listening is also central to building a successful customer relationship. Practise with friends and colleagues first
- Be hungry for business – and don’t be afraid to show it
- Always follow up. This puts the ball back in the potential customer’s court, ensuring they remember you and any offer you have made.