How to Make Customers Out of Potential Customers
You are a small business owner. You have ensured your goods and/or services are top quality compared with other
businesses in your industry. You have spread the word locally – as well as in the digital space (websites, social media, etc…) – concerning your small business’s offerings. There’s just one small problem.
You have accrued many potential customers who may be interested in your small business’s goods and/or services – but only a few of them have actually purchased yet. In other words, you’re having trouble converting customers. Well, we here at SIGN.COM are here to help you convert these potential customers into actual, loyal, paying customers who keep on coming back.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty details.
How to Succeed at Converting Customers During the “Comparison Stage”
First of all, it is important to note that making actual customers out of potential customers begins with the “Comparison Stage” – sales are won or lost here. In his book, Streetwise Relationship Marketing on the Internet, author Roger Parker explains a small business owner’s strategy during this “Comparison Stage” should be demonstrating to potential customers “how your [small business and its goods and/or services] can better satisfy the [potential customer’s] needs than your competitors can.”
If you’ve already put in the work in making sure your small business’s offerings are top notch – this “Comparison Stage” should be easy – now it becomes simply a case of convincing potential customers this is true.
Creating a line of credibility – of trust – between your small business and potential customers is essential. Create spaces (particularly online) where potential customers can easily peruse facts and figures demonstrating the sorts of things your small business and its goods and/or services can provide for them.
Competitive and Self-Analysis
A three-step process can help you visualize how to convey this feeling of trust between you and your potential customers. The first step is to know your enemy. (All right – perhaps enemy is too strong a word – let’s just say – competitors within your industry!) If you are able to identify and analyze these competitors – you will be able to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Hand in hand with this competitive analysis goes self-analysis. What are your small business’s strengths and/or weaknesses? Is there anything you can possibly do to change or otherwise address them?
Once you have identified your small business’s strengths – you will be able to “focus on areas where your [small business and its goods and/or services] can offer [potential customers] a real advantage” when it comes to their choices within your chosen industry.
Once you have identified both your competitors’ and your own strengths and weaknesses – the third step in this process is to “shift the battleground to areas where your [small business and its goods and/or services] enjoy the most advantages.” It is essential you put your best foot forward – that way potential customers will begin to be persuaded into becoming actual customers of your small business.
Provide the Best Information
One of the most pivotal aspects of your marketing campaign should be ensuring the right information gets into the hands of potential customers – in order for them to make more informed opinions about you, your small business, and your small business’s goods and/or services.
This kind of small business information includes “case studies of previous successes, background information about your small business and your employees, testimonials from satisfied customers, product reviews, comparisons, and even benchmarks.” If you provide these and other tidbits concerning your small business – they have the potential to turn heads and change minds, helping in converting customers.
Additionally, begin to focus on building trusting relationships between your small business and its potential customers. This can be as simple as making an easily navigable website a priority – creating tailor made pathways for customers with specific questions or goods and services in mind. If you streamline their experience with your small business – this will go a long way towards meeting your marketing goals.
Improve Your Promotional Offers
If all else fails – perhaps you should consider improving your offers to potential customers. If these potential customers were already on the fence when it comes to splurging money on your small business and its goods and/or services – a better, more attractive, easier to stomach offer may push them over the edge and convert them into actual, paying customer territory.
Additionally, your small business should consider developing a follow up system when it comes to potential – and even new – customers. You’re not just aiming for them to become actual customers – but loyal, long-term customers as well – so it is important to keep this aspect of your marketing campaign in mind. This will help insure that you’re not only converting customers, but you’re retaining them.