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Marketing 101: Finding New Customers by Elizabeth Slater


Marketing 101:
Finding New Customers

by Elizabeth Slater


We have all heard that it costs hundreds more dollars to find new customers than it does to retain the current ones. It is to be hoped that you are all doing your best to retain your current customers. However, even if you are holding on to most or all of your customers it is still good idea to increase your customer base.

So how can you get more customers?  Here are a few ideas that might help. 

It Ain’t Braggin’ if You Can Back It Up.

I was in a meeting the other day for a tourism group. The group was deciding on a tagline for the organization. The suggested taglines had been narrowed down to one and all that remained was for the group to vote on its adoption.  Just before the vote one of the members of the council suggested that the tagline chosen did not have any “sizzle,” which started me thinking about sizzle. 

You hear a lot of talk about “selling the sizzle.” The idea being that you must have something exciting to draw the customers in. But once you get the customers in the door you had better have something to back up that sizzle. Too many times the sizzle is all there is. No quality products and good customer service are behind the sizzle, which leaves the customer feeling disappointed and somewhat duped. When you do a great job selling the sizzle, at the same time you increase the customers’ expectations.  They expect an exceptional product with exceptional customer service, so you need to be ready to give it to them. 

Everything I read about creating and retaining loyal customers goes to back to customer service. If you want to be successful, treat your customers well. Treat them as if there is no one in the world more important. Let them know regularly how much you appreciate them and what they mean to you.  Most of want to feel important, to be treated as though we are special. The more your customers believe they are important to you, the more important you will be to them. They will then tell other people about your products and how they appreciated the service. This will translate directly to the bottom line. 

If you put effort into selling the sizzle, which will attract new customers, put the same amount of effort into backing the sizzle up with quality products and great customer service. Once you have got them in the door, you want them to come back again.


Hands up those of you who have instructed your staff to ask customers (especially good customers) for referrals.  If customers are in your store or using your services, chances are they have friends who would love to know more about your products. After all referrals from friends are one of the ways we use to find companies and people with whom we want to do business.

Set up a system for asking for referrals, not only when the customer is with  you but also through your newsletters, shipments and any other way you contact your customers. Make it worth your customers’ while to provide you with referrals. If a customer provides a referral and that referral buys from you then do something special for the original customer You will be amazed at how much you can be sell to referrals. 

Your good customers are an excellent source for finding new customers. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Bring A Friend

If you are planning a special event or sale for good customers only, issue the invitation for two people instead of one Or, if you are trying to reach couples, four people instead of two. Each couple may bring two friends with them. More than likely your customers will have friends who will also like your products “Bring a friend” invitations work well for any events where good customers are invited. 

Thinking Out of the Box

Do you want to reach older or younger people to use your products or services or visityour store? How successful are you at enticing these people to visit your store or use your service?

It may be  your advertising or promotion that is to blame. You may not be advertising in the right places to attract the people you want to attract.

Or offer a series of short talks or demonstrations to attract the people you are looking for.

Cordon off part of the store for the presentations, which could attract the attention of people who have never been into your store and provide more participants for the next event.

Remember, these ideas may not work overnight, so give any idea time to work. If it doesn’t work the first time try it again. So don’t give up on a project because it did not work the first time. Finding new customers is a long-term proposition so do you homework and give your ideas a fair chance.