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Three secrets for winning new customers (and 3 Truths to help you do it!)


Do you know what you DON’T know? I feel a secret-reveal coming this way… You’ve been running your business for long enough to know know pretty much everything about it. You are Jack or Jill of the main event which is providing your product or service to your customers – that’s a winner.

The loser, or Secret No.1 is that you can have the greatest product or service in the world but if people don’t know about it, finding new customers will be as easy running through treacle in snowshoes. You’ve got to let people know about it in the right places for them.

Secret No.2 is that just banging on about your product on your website (otherwise known as “Show it and they will come”) isn’t enough. You’ve got to do a lot better than that. Yes, you’ve got to find a way to lure them, attract them to your product, your offer, your business. You’ve got to give them a reason to come and talk to you.

Secret No.3 is that being an expert is knowing when to call in the experts. And in this case, with the whole winning-new-customers piece, really you need some marketing magic going on to get the job done. The other thing of course is that no-one wants to be in marketing. You have to muck about with local business advertising, which is like swimming through quicksand. Press, leaflets, Out of Home, radio or posters – where do you start? This is the last thing you want to get involved in, especially if you’re a business-owner because who the hell has got the time for that?

It’s true that marketing is a knowledge-based skill all on its own and marketers will try and protect their shiny fortress from invaders by having you think that it’s all complicated rocket science and techno-babble. But there is a way through without the quicksand: if you quietly slip through the wire on the ground floor it doesn’t take much for you the outsider to learn some instantly business-changing truths, especially when it comes to flirting with and attracting new customers. All you’ve got to do is stop and look up from all the other things that you do and take a peek.

So: up-periscope and stand by to surface:

Truth No.1 is that if you want to stand any chance of attracting new members to your customer tribe, you’ve got to understand and communicate the value that you provide. This isn’t about something as cheap as price. Value is so much more than that. If you’re a Googler it’s defined as the importance, worth or usefulness of something. To you this means identifying the reasons why your existing customers buy from you. Why is your product or service so valuable to them? Don’t think about the feature-functionality – what are the benefits? When you’ve identified these, you’ll be ready for the next truth.

Truth No.2 is that most businesses have competition. It could be another business, another way of doing what you provide or it could be… doing or buying nothing. So, if you’re going to stand out head and shoulders above all the me-too businesses with their hands in the air trying to steal your customers and your sales revenues you’re going to need to show them your USPs – your Unique Selling Points or Unique Selling Proposition. What is it that you do better than the hyenas sniffing the air on the prowl to snatch your new customers?

Truth No.3 is that when you’ve identified your value and USPs versus the competition, you need to get your message out to the people you want as customers. To do that you first need to find out where they go. Online? Inbox? Newspaper? Outdoors? Be careful here. It always helps with the projection of uniqueness if you can reach them in a competitor-free environment where it’s your message and value that stand out with no pollution from others.

So, let’s put all that to the test.

Let’s imagine that your name is Sam Carson and you run a domestic electrician business in Aylesbury. Your dream has always been to swell your workforce and expand into the towns nearest you: High Wycombe and Oxford. In the past 24 months you’ve recruited the brightest team of 12 electricians and now you’re hungry for ideas on how to expand. Since Covid you’ve been financially cautious and grown organically and you’re not about to re-mortgage the house to expand the business further. You know you want to reach the right new audience – first time.

  • You’ve identified that your value lies in the fact that your electricians arrive on time every time on an appointment that is set and checked by your appointment maker.

  • Customers LOVE your reliability – they are never kept waiting and can drop out from work rather than taking a whole day off as the appointment is booked at a time of their choosing.

  • You also have a glowing bank of video testimonials on your website from all the customers who love your reliability so much.

  • AND the fact that your standard of work and cleanliness is literally second to none.

As a result you have been attracting significantly more business away from your competitors on your Aylesbury home patch. You’ve done well through word of mouth along with using Facebook and rewarded your customers for their recommendations, but you know you need to take a major new step if you are going to penetrate the new towns swiftly and reach your new customers in an effective way. You’ve tried press before and it never really clicked. Facebook is about as far as your target audience go in social media and leaflets seem a bit hit and miss.

But all that is about to change. Yesterday you saw an advert for a local gym on the fuel nozzles at the Esso petrol filling station on Cambourne Avenue. They were on every single nozzle and there were at least 16 of them. Today, you saw a different advert from the same company at the Broadlands Tesco petrol station. There were 30 of those! And you thought about it. Fuel buyers are locals. They own houses that have electrical desires. They hold the advert for the whole fill-up.

If you can go to Oxford and High Wycombe and put your amazing “We are in your town” advert on all the local petrol stations with different messages to sell your amazing value and USPs and do it right under the nose of the people whose customers you’re going to attract, you’re off to an amazing start. Next month you could offer the amazing yearly support contract that has been so well received by your Aylesbury tribe of fans. After that you could get the House-Prouds to upgrade their property to sexy with all the glamour LED products that you bring to party. You can prepare and then build on the ground you want to conquer – and keep the competition out for as long as you like.

You’re excited. You can begin your campaigning before you send your electricians onto an unproductive patch. You can create a measured demand and control cost at the same time. You can run different messages on as many petrol stations as you want and create an unmissable splash in your new trading areas. You have found a meaningful route to telling thousands of people that you’ve got the greatest service in the world and all you did was apply a little marketing savvy to your brilliant business. Happy days…