Easy Ways to Find 100 Customers
Finding customers is one of the biggest challenges that new business owners face. This can be especially challenging if you need to come into the homes of customers, necessary for many field services companies, as it is important to build trust and credibility. Even though finding customers when you’re a new business owner can be challenging, it’s a great opportunity to get to know your customers and learn from them – what they want, what they don’t, and how you can make them happy.
As a new business owner, you’re on a budget, so let’s get back to the basics of scouting out customers and look at 8 inexpensive and effective ways to find your first 100 customers.
Go Straight to The Source
If you’re looking for customers, why not go straight to the source. Using door-to-door sales has been, and still is, an effective way for businesses to get new customers and for people to get to know you.
But people don’t like random companies knocking on their door. True, but if you can leave their doorstep having given them a great offer and something that will benefit them, they’ll be happy you stopped by.
First start by introducing yourself and what you do, get a conversation going with them.
Next ask how much they usually pay their lawn care provider, cleaning company, etc…. for their services, and offer them a lower price. It’s a simple formula, but if a client can save money with your business as opposed to paying more money with a competitor’s services, they’ll often go for it.
Same service as competitor’s (or better) + Lower price = Winning Customers
On your way out, remember to leave people with a business card so they can contact you. If you want to go the extra mile you can even try something creative for people to really remember you by, for example:
- If it’s summer, leave potential customers with a set of company matches for their BBQ.
- If you work specifically in the area, have a brochure that highlights your local and community involvement
If you plan on handing out flyers, don’t just dump them on people’s doorstep. Take the time to actually knock on their door and introduce yourself and then give them the flyer. No one likes having junk dropped on their doorstep; you’re just making extra work for people. They’ll have to throw away the flyer and your potential customer is now annoyed at the person who did it – and that’s not so great for business. Creating a connection with people is really what you should be aiming for, not a connection with the concrete on their door step.
Go Above and Beyond
Once you’ve started to pick up some customers you should be working hard to provide them with the best service possible. The few first customers you get can be the key to growing your client list. If they’re impressed with your work, customer service and prices, it’s likely that they’ll recommend your business to people that they know and provide positive reviews.
Asking current customers for online reviews is a great way to stand out on search engines, social networks, and bring in valuable business. Our friends at White Spark have a great tool called Reputation Builder that can help manage your online reviews.
Work With What You Have
It’s a fact that people would rather do business with someone they know than a complete stranger. Before leaving a customer’s house ask them for 2-3 names and numbers of people they know that would be interested in your services. When contacting referrals let them know who you received their name from, this will build trust and increase the chances that they’ll hire you.
You should begin to think of referrals as an endless string of relationships; as every person that you meet has the potential to connect you several other potential customers. The key is to actively pursue them by being proactive with the clients that you do have and asking for them to open that window for you to jump into.
There is no need to feel like you’re being pushy; you should get in the habit of asking customers for referrals because if a customer feels like you don’t deserve referrals, they won’t give them to you.
If a customer does decide to give you referrals, take it as a compliment. It really is the highest form of flattery a client can offer.