Attracting and retaining customers is an issue for many small businesses and sole traders. Each client is important, and increasing clients is important to grow your business.
However, you would have probably had first hand experience in realising that there are many different types of customers, some you like working with and some that makes you really not like doing what you do. When you’re first starting out, you take every customer that comes your way, although this is needed, there becomes a point where you need to restrict the customers to the ‘right’ ones.
- Identify your ‘perfect’ client
Identify your target customer. Ask yourself, ‘what type of customer do I enjoy working with?’, you can do this by looking back at previous clients that you’ve enjoyed and identify the positive aspects of this client.
After you have identified this client, identify what specific needs this customer had. It is important in order to attract the right customer to understand who they are and what they need so you can market specifically to them.
- Assess your client base
There are a few different types of clients. Its important to identify which clients you currently have in order to understand where you are at this point, and assess what steps you need to take in order to work with more ‘perfect’ clients.
Types of clients
- ‘Free’ customer – these customers are focused on the largest amount of work from you at the lowest price possible.
- ‘Deal’ customer – these customers are focused on getting the best for their money, looking at competitors for prices.
- ‘Value’ customer – these customers are focused on how they can get as much out of you at a fair price. They appreciate and know the value that your business provides and wants to work with you because of this value. They may not always be the best to work with but they really understand what your business does and you have a good relationship with them.
- ‘Get it done’ customer – these customers are the ones that although are highly demanding, they appreciate the work that you do and want to get the most out of you. They take into account what you say and really get the most out of the work you provide.
Once you have identified which clients you have currently, you can then take the next steps. You may want to try and move towards ‘value’ customers and ‘get it done’ customer, as you will find that these are the customers that you enjoy working with the best.
- Focus on what you do best
In order to attract the right customers, you need to have a niche – something that you do better than anyone else. What does your clients get out of you that they can’t get from if they were to go to your competitors?
If you struggle with this step, you can ask current clients what they believe you do, and what do they think you do best?
- Share your expertise
One way that you can retain clients is through email marketing, but noone wants spam. By giving clients and anyone signed up to the list monthly updates on what is happening with your business helps to keep the line of communication there.
Giving away free resources not only installs confidence to prospective clients but is a good way to add value. The greater added value your business has, means that you will attract more of the ‘right’ customers and will allow you to stand out.
Your value has an impact on the prices you charge, the customers that you attract and is fundamental to the success of your business. Take time to reflect on your value, and identify ways that you may be able to increase this value – make sure you take action,