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Customers You Didn't Even Know You Had

A little boy sat on the sidewalk selling pencils. “Hey mister, want to buy a pencil? They’re one thousand dollars each.”

The passerby was surprised by the price tag. “Are they special pencils?”

The boy said, no, they were just regular pencils.

“Well, that’s a little expensive for regular pencils,” the man said. “I don’t think you’re going to sell very many.”

The boy admitted the price was high, “But” he said, “I only need to sell one.”

 To have a successful business you need to build a loyal customer base — people that will come back to you every time they need a pencil.

Old-school thinking tells you that you need to keep your customers returning, which still is true, but it’s a little more complex than that now. You also need to build loyalty with potential customers.

One of the biggest pools of potential customers comes from acquaintances of current customers. If your customer has a bad experience at your shop, that message (from a one-sided, disgruntled customer’s point of view) can be tweeted, blogged and reposted before he even hits your front door.

Related Article: Reeling In Your Target Market

The same is true for good news. If you’re having a great sale or your employees provide outstanding customer service, that message travels just as fast — when you know how to use social media to your advantage.

Think of your customers as mini-ambassadors for your business. Whether it’s word of mouth (or Facebook or Twitter), your clients promote (or diss) your business.

I belong to a Facebook group of women in the Tri-Cities that has almost 500 members and I bet I only know a handful of them. Still, when one woman’s furnace went out, she posted to the group to ask for a trusted repairman … same for getting the carpets cleaned or a mechanic or an orthodontist. Every time, the recommendations come flying in. So now I’m reading recommendations from people I don’t know for a problem I don’t have … and it sways my future purchasing decisions.

Of course, you can’t always control (although you can greatly influence) what other people are going to say about your business, so you also need a solid marketing plan of your own that gets your name out there … in a way you can control. You need to send a message that reinforces the positive messages your customers’ send and call into question any negative messages.
A strong marketing campaign gives your mini-ambassadors something good to say.

This might be confusing to someone whose business is running a business. So here’s the deal, you run your business, let us run your marketing strategies.



Read 2342 times Last modified on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 22:28
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