No matter how the world changes, one principle stays the same: A business needs customers to remain viable. These moguls and Advisors in The Oracles share their tried-and-true strategies for winning over clients — and holding on to them.
1. Meet customers where they are.
We want to be our clients’ neighborhood beauty store, so we cluster our stores where they live, work and play. By going where our customers work out, grab coffee and run errands, we integrate into their lifestyle rather than try to change their behavior.
This strategy is a powerful acquisition model for us. We know we’ve done something right when a customer runs in after yoga in their sweaty clothes and feels comfortable grabbing mascara or asking for beauty advice. —Marla Beck, co-founder and CEO of Bluemercury, which was acquired by Macy’s for $210 million; creator of M-61 Skincare and Lune+Aster cosmetics
2. Stay in constant contact.
Ask yourself how long you want to be in business. If the answer is 10, 20 or 30 years, act like it. Too many entrepreneurs live month to month. Everything they do is short term, and they never build a sustainable business practice. That’s why most of them lose.
Stay in constant contact with customers through phone calls, text messages, emails or social media. You get referrals by continually communicating your value. People don’t necessarily do business with people they’re merely referred to: They do business with people they’re familiar with. The more attention you get, the more likely you’ll win and keep customers. —Ed Mylett, best-selling author, co-founder of the Arete Syndicate, global keynote speaker and host of the #MAXOUT top-10 podcast; follow on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook
3. Be enthusiastic.
People don’t just buy what you sell; they buy you. How you present yourself directly correlates with your closing rate. Think about it: You hear identical pitches from two companies. But when one is more dynamic, you feel their genuine excitement to earn your business. Who would you choose?
You can’t fake enthusiasm. You have to care about your clients’ needs and genuinely desire to meet those needs. Once they become a customer, go out of your way to ensure they feel your continued excitement to serve them. Don’t keep them waiting to see results. Give them a ‘“quick win” — a result that over-delivers, so they feel confident in your ability and become more enthusiastic about working with you. —Matt Mead, founder and CEO of Mead Technology Group, EpekData and BrandLync
4. Understand their pain points and earn their trust.
Understanding your clients’ pain points is crucial. Ask your audience what they want. It could mean the difference between launching a no-brainer purchase and a flop. Survey your clients to uncover their struggles, then use their exact language to inform everything from sales emails to social media posts and ad copy.
Then, surprise them with something extra to keep them happy, like a personal note, phone call or gift. It’s easier to sell to an existing client than to find a new one, so build a small group of loyal clients who know, like and trust you — and will rave about you to their friends. —Niyc Pidgeon, positive psychologist, speaker, award-winning best-selling author and business coach; connect with Niyc on Instagram and LinkedIn
5. Engage with them.
Generate content that builds trust, is interactive and solves problems. Customers want to be able to communicate with your brand and engage with real people. Webinars and videos are great for face-to-face interaction that builds rapport. Live video provides a more personalized, hands-on buying experience, and can include presentations and product demos.
6. Hear what they have to say.
Two words: listen and engage. Customers will tell you what they want, and how they want it. Engage with them on social media or include surveys in your emails. Ensure your website is user-friendly, both on desktop and mobile, and that it’s easy to reach you if they have a problem.
Handle problems quickly, politely and with remorse, so your customer feels important and knows that you appreciate their business. As long as you give them what they love and keep lines of communication open, they are more likely to come back. —Jason Hall, author; founder and CEO of Five Channels, generating $30 million-plus in sales revenue for clients in 2018
7. Give them what they want.
Client attraction ultimately comes down to two questions: Do you have what they need or want? And can they find you?
Spell out what your product or service does to help customers, then focus on engagement. Learn the personal, intimate details about why and how they want to engage with your business. Then string together a lifetime of unforgettable experiences with your brand. That’s what makes your customer scroll past your competition without slowing down. Bring value that creates impact. —Glennda Baker LeBlanc, associate broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices; top 1 percent of all agents nationwide, with more than half a billion in career sales; connect with Glennda on Facebookand Twitter
8. Be truthful.
Long-standing relationships are based on trust. Tell your customers you’re going to do something, follow through and communicate that you did it. Then repeat.
Make yourself indispensable and always bring value. Anticipate what your customers want before they do. Keep your standards high and exceed expectations. Don’t make excuses — own your mistakes and find solutions. You are as good as your last action, so never rest on your laurels. —Gail Corder Fischer, executive vice chairman of Fischer & Company, a leading global corporate real estate firm that provides consulting, brokerage and technology solutions
9. Offer the best product possible.
Buyers have more choices than ever, so you must offer a better product or service. Either make your clients money or save them time and money. Research your rivals. Rather than compete on price, offer a premium product that people will pay more for. People do research online before they buy, so it’s essential to have a great reputation and reviews.
Great marketing wins new customers. Address a problem, offer a solution and differentiate your product or service. To keep clients, deliver on your promises. Gather feedback and innovate to improve your offering.