Top 10 Ways to Get More Customers Locally

18 replies
Hello all...
Looking over the forum reading a lot of posts, it seems like most people are just looking for value, not the same old re-spun crap. I wrote a short book a while back about the top 10 ways to get more customers locally, and I thought I would share it. I think I'll just list 1 thing per day for the next 10 days and see how it goes. I'd love any feedback from anyone and any other ideas anyone has would be awesome too.
#customers #locally #top #ways
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
    1) TESTIMONIALS
    These days, perhaps more than ever, testimonials carry weight and deliver texture. It is
    received from someone who has had experience with you and believes you did a good
    job, you delivered, and you came through. As a result, they are a satisfied customer.
    Testimonials carry more credibility than stand alone advertising or perhaps even public
    relations. It can help you "prove" your offering is really worth the price, and increase
    sales conversion rates for more pricey offerings.

    How to get testimonials
    You want to make it easy for your customers to deliver you praise-worthy
    endorsements. Here are a few ways to get testimonials:

    1. Ask
    Whenever a customer makes you blush because they are so pleased by your
    service or product, be it in person, via an email, or through social media, ask
    them for permission to use their comments as a testimonial for your business. Of
    course, they will almost always say "yes".

    2. Online Comment Form
    Make certain you have a contact form on your website and encourage visitors to
    use it to ask questions, provide you with feedback, or share their opinions with
    you. Yes, you may get some negative comments, but that is actually a good
    thing. Better, you be made aware of a problem, so you can adequately address
    it. Chances are high, most of the comments you receive will be positive.

    3. Point of Purchase Comment Forms
    We have all seen table tents on restaurant tables asking for us to evaluate the
    customer service we received. Simplified feedback forms could be placed near
    the cash register, at a customer service counter, or any spot where the customer
    will be spending time after or during their experience.

    4. Receipt Reward
    Use your receipt as an opportunity to request feedback from your customers in
    return for a free gift--a small discount or entry into a bigger contest. It will not
    cost you a lot, you will get some great testimonials, and you will be solidifying
    your relationship with your customers in the process.

    5. Via Email
    Use email as a follow-up after the sale to ask customers for their feedback. You
    can also use your email newsletter as a way to collect testimonials by providing
    them with a link to your contact page and asking them to share their most
    memorable experiences with your business or staff. Just be certain you have
    asked the customer for permission to email them. You do not want to ruin a
    perfectly good experience by becoming an email spammer.

    You may also want to use these same techniques to get your customers to provide you
    with some positive feedback and social juice through recommendations on Facebook,
    Twitter, and LinkedIn etc.

    How to Use Testimonials
    1. Use them everywhere.
    2. Use them throughout your website; share them in social media posts, in your
    brochures, in your eBooks, in all of your sales materials.
    3. Include some of the most glowing remarks for your advertising.
    4. You may discover some very catchy testimonials that you could use for
    promotional purposes...on t-shirts, mugs, etc.
    Keep your eyes open and you will see many ways to use testimonials to promote your
    business. Wherever possible, get a photo of the person providing the testimonial. The
    simple addition of the photo with the words will increase the credibility of the
    testimonial.

    Lastly, do not forget to thank those who provide you with testimonials. Send back a
    little thank you note. You will be glad you did.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Nice, Jason!

    My favorite tool to get testimonials is using Angie's List (especially for getting business locally).

    Most people think it costs money to be on Angie's List. Whelp, half truth. It costs the consumer a membership fee but is free for the business to sign up (though, Angie's List will try to upsell you).

    Also, I've never used this service, but others who I mastermind and consult with have, is GetFiveStars.com.
    Signature

    David Hunter | Duke of Marketing
    www.DukeOfMarketing.com
    www.BibleAndFriends.com

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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
      Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

      Nice, Jason!

      My favorite tool to get testimonials is using Angie's List (especially for getting business locally).

      Most people think it costs money to be on Angie's List. Whelp, half truth. It costs the consumer a membership fee but is free for the business to sign up (though, Angie's List will try to upsell you).

      Also, I've never used this service, but others who I mastermind and consult with have, is GetFiveStars.com.
      That's a great idea using Angie's List, it always slips my mind to use that one. Thanks for sharing it. And thank you for the opening compliment.
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      • Profile picture of the author hometutor
        Originally Posted by JasonJacoby View Post

        That's a great idea using Angie's List, it always slips my mind to use that one. Thanks for sharing it. And thank you for the opening compliment.
        I'm on it, but never thought of using it for testimonials.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
          Today's Top 10 way to get more customers is about using social media. Enjoy!

          2) SOCIAL NETWORKS

          An integral part of the sales process is getting to know your prospects and establishing
          relationships--and it turns out that social media can help you accomplish this quickly
          and easily.

          Social media allows you to see what prospects are saying and what others are saying
          about them. You can really get to know a prospect and his or her needs this way. Social
          media is a great way to research a prospect and initiate a sale, if you use it right. Not
          only can it help you generate new customers, but also it allows you to build deeper
          relationships with existing clients that drives them to purchase repeatedly.

          How to get customers through Facebook
          Many successful business owners know that Facebook is the place to get new
          customers. This is the reason why many businesses want to reach new audiences on
          Facebook, but they just are not sure how. The answer is simple: through your existing
          fans. Here are some of the ways that you can use your current customers to generate
          awareness with their friends:

          -Encourage interactions with content to build awareness

          -Run contests or trivia where your fans reveal interesting things about their
          personality

          -Ask customers to post photos on your Facebook

          -Feature customers on your Facebook

          -Provide incentives for sharing

          -Build contests for sharing and social spread, not to maximize entries

          -Create an extraordinary visual experience that customers want to share

          -Build mass momentum with events

          Notice something about these activities mentioned above? They are all engaging. It is
          important to remember that you cannot simply rely on your fan base to do your work
          for you. You have to make it fun, to create rewarding experiences that will get them
          interacting with and sharing your content.

          How to get customers through Twitter
          Everyone has surely heard of Twitter by now. The concept is rather simple: you can use a
          maximum of 140 characters to update news to your followers. Twitter has proven that it
          is not simply a fad, but a valuable promotion tool. If you want to get new customers for
          a small business, tapping into Twitter is an important element. A lot can be conveyed in
          those seemingly few characters.

          Getting Started
          First, you need to create a Twitter account for your small business website. This is very
          easy and can be done with a quick visit to Twitter's website. Next, you need to make
          sure that your account is prepared for the influx of traffic it is sure to get. Below are a
          few tips for getting it all right:

          -Create a user name that is easy to remember and as close as possible to the
          name of your small business website. There is little point in making a website if
          potential followers cannot easily find it when searching Twitter.

          -Complete all the fields in your profile to look more credible and make it easier to
          find you in a search.

          -In the "Bio" field of your profile, insert the URL of your small business website,
          which will drive traffic back to the site.

          -Upload a relevant image that is in line with your small business website. When
          making a website, we recommended using graphics for the business logo - the
          logo would be perfect here.

          -Populate your Twitter account with insightful tweets before starting a strong
          promotional push so new followers will see you have something to offer that
          they want to be a part of.

          -It is also okay to let followers know that you are new to twitter. They will
          appreciate the honesty and allow for a learning curve, while at the same time be
          presenting a human side, which is good for building relationships.

          -Let the existing customers and visitors to your small business website know that
          you are on Twitter. This can be done by a small announcement on your home
          page and a Twitter icon widget that will link directly to your account.

          -Become a follower of others that have a similar focus as your small business
          website. To find these accounts, do a simple search on topics, locations, and/or
          phrases. Feel free to chime in on a discussion if you find it relevant. You can do
          this by addressing the poster by placing the "@" symbol directly before their
          user name in the post. For example, "I wanted to know how to get new
          customers and @jimmypagemaker had great info."

          -Include links in your messages. People will not click on random links, so make
          sure to explain where it is they will be going. This is a great means of linking
          followers to your small business website.

          -Send out tweets that relate specifically to your business or area of interest.

          -Ask them questions. Get your followers engaged in a conversation.

          -Tweet about the latest industry news. Let your followers know that you are one
          smart cookie and are on top of things.

          -Develop a unique voice/personality so your tweets come off more "human."

          -Use hash tags (#) to mark a specific topic of the conversation and start or add to
          a trend. For example, "how to make a website made easy with #WebsApps."

          -Be consistent with updating your tweets; you don't want your followers to get
          bored with long gaps between tweets
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        • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
          Originally Posted by JasonJacoby View Post

          That's a great idea using Angie's List, it always slips my mind to use that one. Thanks for sharing it. And thank you for the opening compliment.
          Originally Posted by hometutor View Post

          I'm on it, but never thought of using it for testimonials.
          You're welcome, Jason! You could turn these posts into a lead generation magnet as a marketing course on your site!

          HomeTutor... yep... lots of people think it's just a place to get reviews. But, once you get those reviews that's the time to ask the clients if you can use it as a testimonial on your marketing materials. :-)
          Signature

          David Hunter | Duke of Marketing
          www.DukeOfMarketing.com
          www.BibleAndFriends.com

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          • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
            Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

            You're welcome, Jason! You could turn these posts into a lead generation magnet as a marketing course on your site!
            I totally agree
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
              Today's top 10 tip is a little long, but it's really important. Enjoy!

              3) Coupons Coupons Coupons

              Coupons should be a part of your online AND offline marketing strategy. If they are not,
              you should reconsider why you are even in business. They can drastically affect the
              effectiveness of existing marketing efforts by increasing the number of people who
              convert off your website, emails, social media accounts and more.

              Online coupons can be used to attract new customers who may not be aware of your
              business and existing customers who either need a reminder to come back, or should be
              rewarded for their loyalty to help turn them into a champion of your business
              (especially on social media).

              In fact, combined with an effective marketing distribution strategy, coupons are some of
              the most effective tactics available to you. Coupon redemption in the U.S. rose 10% in
              the fourth quarter of 2008 -- the first rise in coupon use since the early 1990s -- and
              total coupon redemption reached 3 billion in 2009, (Source:
              http://www.inmar.com/promotion-servi...consumerstudy-
              consumer-coupon-usage-findings.htm).

              What's more, the use of printable coupons, where people print online coupons and
              redeem them in stores, rose 308% in the first half of 2009, while 10 million digital
              coupons were redeemed during the same period, up 25% year-on-year.

              And if you recall, in April of 2013, JC Penney fired CEO Ron Johnson after he got rid of
              coupons, sales, and discount flyers that JCP had used for decades...which contributed to
              a huge loss for the company. JCP reported a $4 billion (yes, that's "billion") loss for
              2012.

              Price sensitive consumers want deals, and smart local companies realize coupons are a
              great way to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Increasingly, local
              businesses are eager to use online coupons as a simple, cost-effective way to attract
              local customers. However, while it is fairly easy to create a coupon online the bigger
              trick is making sure people find it. To ensure a small business coupon promotion reaches
              enough people in your local area, a well-planned distribution strategy is crucial.

              How to create an online coupon
              The first step in creating an online coupon is deciding on the level of discount you want
              to offer, and how long you want the promotion to run. Be clear and direct with the
              promotion: "10% off this week" or "Buy one get one free today only."

              Next, you will need to create your online coupon. There are many national coupon sites
              targeted at large consumer brands, like Coupons.com and Redplum, but they are not
              suited to smaller businesses. Small businesses need to reach a targeted, local audience
              with their promotions, so it makes more sense to create a coupon on a site like Craigslist
              or Local.com, which let local businesses create and distribute coupons with just a few
              clicks. You can also create a "coupon" by simply coming up with an offer to send out via
              e-mail.

              How to distribute your online coupon
              Once you have created a coupon offer, you need distribution. If your local business
              coupon is not getting into the hands of local consumers, what is the point? Here are
              several free or inexpensive ways small businesses can distribute online coupons.

              1. E-mail a coupon to your client list. Allow recipients to print the coupon and
              bring it into your store, or simply "mention" the promotion to receive the
              discount.

              2. Blog about it. Even if you only have a few customers subscribing to your blog,
              posting deals will encourage recommendations and new subscribers.

              3. Post your coupon on an online business directory site or social network that
              automatically distributes coupons to targeted audiences via a network of local
              sites and social channels, such as Facebook, Local.com, or Valpak.

              4. Particularly if you are a service business, create a Craigslist posting in a relevant
              business or service category offering your discount. Even a simple text-only
              coupon works well.

              5. Add a coupon banner on your website that automatically applies the promotion
              at checkout. To make this work, you need a somewhat sophisticated
              transactional system that allows you to tie a promotion to clicks on the coupon
              banner.

              6. Use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to offer friends and followers a special
              discount. Make sure the promotions you offer are compelling and make your
              followers feel special. They are following you for a reason: To get deals and
              inside information.

              7. Purchase a paid banner ad promoting your discount on a locally focused
              advertising network such as AdReady, iPromote, Jivox, or Inflection Point Media.

              8. Film a short video clip displaying your business and post it on YouTube. Add text
              to the video offering a discount to customers who mention they saw the clip. Do
              not forget to promote your YouTube video in Facebook, Twitter and on your
              blog.

              9. Try a social shopping site. Sites like Groupon allow businesses to offer coupons
              to local customers redeemable only if a certain number of people sign up for the
              discount, so it is a great way to attract a large number of new customers.

              Whatever combination of distribution methods a small business chooses; do not forget
              traditional methods that have stood the test of time. For example, place printed
              coupons on your shop's counter, promote your deal via flyers, or continue to include
              paper coupons in the local mailer. Even though online coupons are gaining in popularity,
              tried-and-true methods still work to drive some business.

              How to measure redemption
              Always put a time limit or expiration date on a coupon. Once your coupon promotion is
              over it is time to measure how well it performed to drive sales. If you have a
              transactional website, use Google Analytics or your other analytics provider to find out
              how many people clicked on your coupon, and how many of those clicks lead to
              purchases. YouTube will show you how many people viewed your video promotion.

              You should also use other more "primitive" methods to track redemption. Ask
              customers where they saw the coupon they are redeeming in your store (e-mail, your
              website, a third-party website) and track their comments in a document. After a few
              weeks, look back to see a pattern of which distribution channels yielded the highest
              redemption rates.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
                Today's top 10 tip is about using urgency and scarcity in your business.

                Use urgency and scarcity
                Scarcity and urgency are marketing tactics that involves motivating people to buy
                something by telling them there is a shortage in what is available and a limited time to
                act. The goal is to create a sense of urgency through an aggressive call to action; to
                make people scared that they will not be able to acquire something that they want if
                they do not act fast.

                You have probably seen examples of scarcity used before:

                - Verbiage such as "for a limited time only" or "while supplies last" in
                advertisements and commercials.

                - Infomercials that say if you call within the next 5 minutes, you get a bonus
                product for free.

                - Venues that offer a free gift to the first 500 entrants.

                - Products online that are only available for a certain period of time.

                - Holiday sales in retail stores at the mall.

                The list goes on and on.

                As with most marketing techniques, scarcity works because of the way we, as humans,
                tend to think. Specifically, scarcity works because:

                - We hate missed opportunities.

                - We give more value to things that are rare or things that we cannot have.

                - We love having control over situations.

                - We love now.

                The primary benefit of using scarcity marketing in your business is being able to position
                your products and services as a commodity. This drives up the perceived value of what
                you are selling, and the fear that it has limited availability makes people act fast to
                purchase.

                Scarcity can also present an opportunity to engage your audience in a new way. By
                creating an interesting background that shares the reason for the scarcity (such as a
                one-of-a-kind product or special edition that has significant meaning), you can capture
                and keep the customer's attention.

                Below is an example of how an affiliate marketer
                used scarcity and urgency to make great sales...

                The affiliate marketer frequently recommends a product called Market Samurai, a killer
                keyword research and SEO competition tool that he uses almost every day. The
                company beautifully incorporated scarcity into their sales funnel by offering a huge $50
                discount during the first 7-days after downloading the free trial. After those 7-days are
                up, the price goes back to the original $147.00 and there is absolutely no way to go back
                and get the $50 off.

                About 99% of the commissions he received from this product are from people who
                purchase at the discounted price, so he can tell that there is a huge sense of urgency to
                buy the product before the price goes up.
                The key thing to note here is that they are very strict when it comes to honoring the
                price changes. If they were not, scarcity would be compromised and it would not be as
                effective in generating sales.

                How to use urgency and scarcity
                - Always have an expiry date on your special offers

                - Be clear about the expiry date in your emails and promotional pages.

                - Stick to the end date. Resist the temptation to keep the promotion running and
                catch some more sales. Your customers will learn that you are serious about
                your end-dates, which will increase the urgency next time.

                - Send out reminders. At least 2 or 3, maybe more if the promotion is running for
                a longer time.

                - Do not forget the "24 hours left" reminder, as it can pull in many sales.

                - Use scarcity to add urgency. If you have a limited inventory, tell your customers
                you will end the offer after 200 copies are sold.

                - If you can do it, display a live "items left" counter on your promotion page. This
                will not only increase the urgency, but it will also give your offer some credibility,
                as it shows that other customers are taking advantage of it already.
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                • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
                  Be a part of something bigger than yourself and you'll not only help others, but you'll gain exposure. Don't do it for the glory, though...be genuine, and others will see that. This is what today's tip is about.

                  Stand for something
                  Many well-informed small businesses are affiliating themselves with charities to market
                  their businesses. Not only is it a primary means for developing a powerful network but
                  also it helps others in the process. People like to associate themselves with businesses
                  that support causes, which help disadvantaged people in a meaningful way.

                  Do not think that charities are oblivious to your motivations. Most charities today
                  understand your secondary purpose for participating in charities and are experienced at
                  helping you receive a return on your charitable investments.

                  In Which Charity should you participate?
                  Choosing a charity is sometimes confusing. Each has its own demands on your time and
                  a variety of different positions in which to contribute. Look for charities that you believe
                  in and to which you have some affinity. Not only will it be more fun, but also you will be
                  happier giving your time and means.

                  From a business standpoint, look for charities that will give you meaningful exposure to
                  a large number of influential people. You will also want to volunteer your time in a
                  position that will show your talents and skills.

                  If you are sponsoring a charitable event, try to choose one in which your target market
                  would participate. For instance, if you run a senior living community, consider getting
                  involved with charities for retired veterans. If you manage a sporting goods store,
                  consider sponsoring a little league baseball team.

                  Use Publicity to Associate Your Name with That of the Charity
                  Linking your name with the charitable cause is an important part of charitable
                  marketing. Even if you are participating in a charity for altruistic reasons, there is no
                  reason why you should not benefit from the resulting positive exposure. Besides, if it
                  leads to more customers/money, that's more money that you can use to help your
                  charity. Here are some ideas to maximize your exposure:

                  1. Publicize your donations of goods or services to charities by sending press
                  releases and photos to the local media.

                  2. Include your charitable involvement in your marketing materials such as
                  newsletters, brochures, signs, displays, advertisements, and commercials.

                  3. Get involved with high-profile causes that attract the media's attention.

                  4. If you have given significant support to a program, ask that it be named after you
                  or the name of your business.

                  5. Give away information about your charity as a part of your business transactions
                  such as placing pamphlets in your retail outlets, having employees wear clothing
                  or pins and buttons publicizing your charity, or placing charity information with
                  your product when it ships.

                  6. Lastly, be sure to ask your charity to recognize your support in their publicity
                  efforts.

                  Market Your Products and Services to the Constituencies of Your Charity
                  Most charities have thousands, even millions of people that either belong to the charity
                  or who have some type of affinity with your charity. These people make excellent
                  prospects for your products or services because of your indirect association with them.
                  Use these ideas to sell more of your products and services to your charity's affinity
                  group:

                  1. Direct market to the employees, clients, members, family members, and any
                  group that is directly associated with your charity. Make this group one of your
                  niche markets by creating a marketing program tailored to their wants and
                  needs.

                  2. Advertise your products and services in the communication vehicles of your
                  charity such as newsletters and magazines.

                  3. Offer special discounts and targeted promotions to people who are associated
                  with your charity.

                  4. Consider offering a percentage of the sale of particular products or services as a
                  donation to your charitable cause.

                  5. Develop a "membership program" or a "preferred customer program" or even a
                  "buying club" for constituents of your charitable cause by offering special
                  benefits to members.

                  Invite Your Charity to Market Your Products or Services
                  If you want to put your marketing in overdrive and multiply your charity marketing
                  efforts, consider inviting your charity to market for you in a way that you and your
                  charity receive a significant benefit.

                  Idea # 1 - Invite your charity's members to sell coupons for your business and keep a
                  percentage of the entire amount of the proceeds. A good example of this would be to
                  allow local high school band members to sell coupons to the neighborhood that you
                  service. Auto repair shops, chiropractors, beauty salons, massage therapists; fast food
                  restaurants can all take advantage of this tactic.

                  Idea # 2 - Designate specific products as "charitable" or "cause-related" products that,
                  when sold, financially benefit your charity. Invite the charity to promote these products.
                  For instance, if you own a barbershop, a portion of the proceeds from all haircuts done
                  on Tuesdays could go to your charity.

                  Idea # 3 - Invite your charity to sell admission tickets to a special sale, celebrity
                  appearance, or grand opening to build traffic for your business. Allow the charity to
                  keep all the proceeds, while you benefit from the increased traffic.

                  Idea # 4 - Create "packages" during special times of the year such as Easter, the Fourth
                  of July, or Memorial Day that can be donated to your charity or even sold to them at
                  cost. They in turn can resell the packages or you can sell the packages and give a
                  percentage to your charity.
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  • Profile picture of the author yogyogi
    I find useful information to gain customer feeback. Thank you.
    Signature
    WordPress, jQuery, HTML tutorials for Beginners & Experts.
    Professional Web Developer providing high quality Ecommerce Website Designing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
      Originally Posted by yogyogi View Post

      I find useful information to gain customer feeback. Thank you.
      Thanks, YogYogi
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
        Today's tip is about upselling...if you're not doing it you're leaving a lot of money on the table.

        Upsell something when they buy something else
        Upselling is simply about persuading your customers to take more from you. They want
        to buy one of your products? What about taking 2 or 3? They want to get your services
        for a year? What about committing to 18 months? Alternatively, give them a package or
        bundle of services rather than just the one thing that they normally take.

        Upselling: Identifying additional customer needs and meeting those needs with
        additional merchandise. Most retailers know they should do it. In addition, those who
        do upsell reap the benefits.

        It is worth learning how to do it right. Upselling spells the difference between 'just
        getting by' and having a very profitable year. Revenues from upselling are usually over
        and above a store's break-even point, so the extra sales quickly turn into profits.
        Retailers commonly enjoy sales increases of 20 percent or more when they start
        upselling.

        How to upsell
        Successful salespersons upsell from the time a customer arrives to the time he/she pulls
        out her wallet. In addition, it does not stop there. The key is to always think about
        meeting the person's needs. You can start today by using the techniques below:

        Establish rapport on the spot
        Start upselling the minute the customer comes to your cart or into your store. Starting
        the conversation with the right opener makes all the difference. She suggests something
        like, "Nice to see you! What brings you to our store today?" This opener lets customers
        expand on their reasons for visiting you. In addition, in their answer is the need you can
        fill--thereby opening opportunities for upselling. The customer represents a
        relationship opportunity, in a sense; the visitor has come into your home. Make the
        guest feel welcome.

        Identify additional needs
        Now you can start identifying more needs that you can fill. The magic in sales is when
        you stop thinking of yourself as a salesperson of merchandise and services; think of
        yourself as being in the business of meeting the needs of the customer. The only way to
        do that is to concentrate with the customer.

        Your task is to engage in conversation that stimulates the customer to open up and
        reveal his needs. Ask questions that result in a "needs assessment". Avoid questions
        that elicit yes or no responses. Start with the customer's response to your greeting:
        look for a reason, any reason, to continue the dialogue. For example, if the customer
        says "I'm looking for a widget," respond with something like, "Have you seen our
        newest style? It just came in this week. Let me show you." As you are getting the item or
        taking the customer where it is displayed, keep asking questions like "Why are you
        buying a widget? Is it a replacement? Or a gift?" Taking the customer to the
        merchandise gives you an even better chance for dialogue that reveals the customer's
        needs. It provides a much higher level of service. It shows you care.

        Cross-sell related items
        Once the customer has decided to buy something, ask about related items to meet
        additional needs. The trick is to suggest additional items without being pushy. Say
        something like, "Here's something most people buy with that, since it helps them." This
        focuses on the benefit of the additional item. In addition, it implies a third-party
        endorsement you do not have if you just say, "You should also buy..."

        Introduce additional items with an attitude of service rather than selling. For example,
        play up the convenience factor: "If you buy this second jar now, you'll save yourself a
        trip in a couple of weeks." Alternatively, if there is a sale price on that additional item,
        be sure to mention it! ("By the way, they're on sale through tomorrow.") Doing this
        highlights a customer need and identifies you as the one to fulfill it. It also stimulates
        impulse buys. In your conversation with the customer, you can do things by suggestion
        that create an impulse to buy.

        Upsell at checkout
        You have upsell opportunities at checkout. It is very possible that the customer did not
        see all your signs or notice the specials. You can ask questions like "Did you see our sale
        area? We have a tremendous selection of... " Or "Do you have enough...?" You can also
        suggest additional services that increase the amount of the sale. Again, meet the
        customer's needs: "Don't have time to gift-wrap? We can do that for you for just $3.50,"
        or "Will this fit in your car? We can deliver it for only $10."

        Relationship building starts at Hello and continues with Goodbye--or more to the point,
        with a cheerful invitation to come back soon. You can say something like, "Looking
        forward to seeing you next time!" or "Remember, we have a special on widgets next
        week!" These farewells are more useful to encourage repeat buying than the ubiquitous
        (and mindless) "Have a nice day."

        Upsell after hours
        Upselling does not stop when you lock up for the night. Keep the momentum going.
        Think lifetime upsell. Personalize your approach by taking note of personal aspects that
        can spark conversation: Does the customer have a vacation home? A hobby? Use
        anything to open up conversation that can lead to upselling. One way: create a list of
        your best customers and call them weekly or monthly. Ask them how they are doing
        with their last purchase and suggest additional items.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
          Hi everyone, today's tip is about incentives...enjoy!

          Create Incentives for customers to buy your products
          Customer loyalty/incentive programs are everywhere now. Whether it is a stamp card
          for a free sandwich, downloadable coupons, or reward-filled e-newsletters, these kinds
          of programs can be essential for picking up new customers, retaining old ones and most
          importantly, finding out what your customers really want from you. Here is some advice
          from small business experts on how to offer promotions that your customers, both new
          and existing, really want:

          What to Do
          What customers are looking for more than anything is a reason to come back. The everpresent
          punch card, such as one for a free car wash after 10 paid ones, works because
          you are rewarding the customer's loyalty with something that is related to your product
          or service--it is what they want more of anyway and so these kinds of promotions are a
          good deal for the customer.

          The offer must be something related to the business for the customer to truly benefit
          and recognize that your business provided that extra touch. A good example of
          incentives is the one offered by a first aid/emergency center in Florida that offers a
          coupon for a free bowl of chicken soup at a local café. It fits because chicken soup is
          often synonymous with illness and its remedies. If that same center offered a coupon
          for a free cup of coffee, the promotion would not necessarily work.
          There are different modes and tactics, but they are doing the same thing. It depends on
          the type of business you are. In order to be effective at incentive programs these days,
          because there are so many of them, you have to stand out, be innovative and offer
          something a little bit different and make the customer's life easier."

          Examples of free incentives

          Free Shipping
          People love the convenience of shopping online. However, they do not like paying for
          shipping. Offer your customer free shipping and you will generate more sales than you
          will lose in shipping costs. When developing your free shipping special, consider a
          minimum order amount before the free shipping offer kicks in.

          Discounts
          Who says 10 percent does not go a long way? Discounts can help you obtain long-term
          customers the easy way.

          Gifts
          If a customer orders an item you specify or a minimum amount of products/services,
          give them a special gift. The gifts you give do not have to cost too much. They are just a
          way for you to show your customers your appreciation for their business.

          Specials
          Having different specials every month gives customers a variety of reasons to keep
          coming back. Give your specials a variety so they can appeal to all customers. For
          instance, you would not want to offer a free coffeemaker with every dishwasher
          purchase month after month after month.

          No Payments
          If you can offer financing or delay someone's payments for a period of time, this is an
          excellent way to get people in your store. Be sure you have the proper financing
          restrictions and policies in place before offering this option to your customers.

          Easy Billing
          Splitting your billing into two or more easy payments for your customers gives
          customers more of an incentive to make expensive purchases.

          Giveaway
          Giving away products drives people to your store with little to no cost to you. You can
          require customers to have to fill out an entry form for your giveaway in person to get
          them in your store.

          Sale
          The most basic of advertising opportunities is often the most overlooked. Having a sale
          requires advertising through outside mediums but if your sale is good, customers will
          flock to your store with wallets in hand.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
            Today's tip is about the importance of having a web presence:

            Website (Desktop AND mobile) with a clear call to action and easy-to-find phone
            number, directions, etc

            The need for a small business to have a website and an online presence has become
            absolutely essential for business success in today’s marketplace.

            According to recent studies, over 90% of consumers look to online sources for locating
            products and services. That represents a tremendous amount of consumer dollars falling
            to your competitors if your target audience cannot locate you online. With computers in
            every home and business, coupled with the explosive growth and use of mobile and
            portable communication devices, you are leaving potential profits on the table. If you do
            not take advantage of what technology offers, your competition will.

            If you factor in the current state of the economy, and the struggles that many
            businesses face today, you will understand why the need for a small business website is
            not just a luxury, but simply the cost of doing business in today’s marketplace. You need
            an online presence in order to remain relevant within your industry or field of endeavor.

            A small business website can serve a variety of functions and purposes. It is like having a
            mirror image of your company, but one that affords you much greater flexibility and has
            options that a traditional brick and mortar presence simply does not have.

            Some of the benefits include:

            Having your own small business website is like having a helpful online sales clerk
            available 24 hours a day to answer questions that prospective customers may have.
            Rather than lose a potential lead, or have them go to your competitor, they can read
            and learn more about your business’ products and services, and even contact you via
            email. This helps develop customer loyalty.

            When you have a website, you have “global reach,” and that can translate into
            tremendous advantages for your business. Now you can cultivate business leads by
            being accessible to consumers regardless of where they are in the world, or what time
            of day it is. The cost effectiveness of this form of advertising is priceless.
            Whether you have a small corner shop, or you are a large corporation, you need online
            visibility. Today, people not only judge a business by how they conduct themselves, but
            also by their online presence.

            How to build a website

            The domain name
            The first thing you need to build your website is your domain name. This will be your
            company's web address and what internet users will need to type into the search bar to
            go to your homepage. Think of a name and check if it has not already been claimed. You
            can search for, and register, your domain name at a web hosting company such as,
            www.namecheap.com or www.godaddy.com.

            If you want your company name and domain name to be the same, it's a good idea to
            secure your domain name before formally deciding on a company name, otherwise you
            might get your new company set up only to find you cannot have a website in that
            name.

            Decide on the suffix at the end of the web name. The most common (and usually the
            most expensive to buy) is .com, but there are many more, such as .co.uk and .net.
            Depending on cost, it may make sense to register your domain name with multiple
            suffixes to ensure visitors find the site, while also protecting your brand.

            Building a website
            When it comes to designing and building a website, you can either do it yourself or get
            someone else to do it.
            DIY websites are largely done from templates – often free on the internet, which will
            usually have limited scope for customization, which is what creates an individual look.
            Alternatively, you can get a web company to build and design your website while you
            concentrate on other aspects of your new business. Web design and building are two
            different skills and a good web design company will use graphic designers and
            programmers together to provide the website.

            Hosting
            A website needs to be hosted on a dedicated web server in order to make it available on
            the internet. Hosting involves housing, serving and maintaining files so visitors are able
            to view the site contents. Some web companies have their own hosting facilities but
            most will act as resellers for a bigger hosting company.
            What type of hosting will work best depends on a number of factors, such as the volume
            of traffic you expect (bandwidth), whether your website contains a lot of images or
            videos, and how important it is that you have as close as possible to 100% uptime.

            Mobile websites
            You may have thought that having a website was enough to attract your clients. After
            all, your business now has a web presence, and you are searchable on search engines
            around the world. However, your website that has been designed for the standard
            computer screen is likely too content-rich and possibly even has features that do not
            work for customers reading it from their Smartphone, like Flash content. In order to stay
            competitive in the fast growing mobile market, your business needs to incorporate a
            mobile website into your marketing strategy.

            Mobile users often express frustration when viewing a web page that has not been
            optimized for a smaller screen. They are heavy and load like an old dial-up service.
            However, mobile websites have faster load time, can be viewed anywhere, and it is
            easy for your customer to communicate with you.

            Mobile web stats
            - 20% of U.S. Internet traffic comes from mobile (Denver Post)
            - 26% of small business have mobile sites
            - Of that 26%, 84% reported growth in business as a result of a mobile presence
            - By 2015, 50% of web sales will be generated from social and mobile (Gartner)

            How to get a mobile website
            You can get your mobile website using a couple of different ways:
            1. DIY (Do It Yourself)
            Depending on your skill level, this may or may not be as easy as you might think.
            One option is to use the automated systems offered by some companies. They
            essentially take your existing website content and auto-format it for a mobile screen. If
            your website is on Wordpress, they have some plug-ins that do a decent job of this. You
            are somewhat limited on how your site will look using this method, though. It may end
            up just looking like text and not as visually appealing as you, or especially your visitors,
            might want.

            Of course this can be a cheaper route to take, but you do have to account for your time
            involved, and if it doesn't end up being inviting to your visitors and they just leave your
            site, then you've also wasted your time.

            2. Have it done for you
            Another method is having a mobile design company create a mobile site for you.
            These companies actually create a separate mobile website that is completely
            independent from your regular website. You can search for them on Google, and you
            will find a number of companies doing this. There are some good organizations offering
            these services, but some aren't as good or professional as others, so you need to do
            your research before you choose a company to work with.

            Note:
            For SEO purposes, it's better to have your mobile site in a subfolder on your main site (ex yoursite.com/mobile) than to have a separate domain (ex m.yoursite.com or yoursite.mobi).
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
              Today it's all about capturing contact information...

              Capture their contact information (at least email)
              You have a great company, good products or services, and loyal customers. Wouldn't it
              be great to reach out to them and ask them to tell their friends about their great
              experiences with you? If only you had their email address. Obtaining email addresses
              isn't difficult, but in these times people are a lot more protective of this information. If
              you've ever added your email address to an online site and then been inundated with
              spam, you would probably think twice the next time someone asks for your email.

              How to capture your customer's email
              Here are five legitimate and unobtrusive ways to obtain your own customers email
              addresses:

              1.Ask them while they are in your store
              Have you ever been to a large store and had to provide your email address at the
              register? Did you think twice about it? Honestly, if you are at the store anyway and you
              already shop there, giving them your email address isn't a horrible task. As a business
              owner, you have an advantage with your own customers -- they are YOUR customers.
              Usually they want to see you survive and they'd be willing to help you out. Set up an
              email sign-up sheet right near your register. At the top of the sheet make a simple note
              like "Sign up for our email list", add a note about confidentiality and state that you
              won't sell or trade their email address (*important* - Don't sell or trade their email
              addresses!). You'll be surprised how many people will give you their email.

              2. Put a fish bowl on your counter
              A great way to quickly and easily get your customers to provide an email is to ask
              for their business card. You've probably seen one of the "Drop your card in for a free
              lunch" containers more than once. This is an outstanding and quick way to get your
              customers to provide their contact information without having to borrow a pen from
              some person trying to eat a hot dog.

              3. Add an email sign-up link to your web site
              Your customers and prospective customers may only hit your site when they are
              looking for your phone number or a product that you offer. You should take advantage
              of that moment and have a prominent spot on all of your web pages pointing to an
              email signup form. You should put a link to this sign-up on all of your emails as part of
              your signature. You could also place business-sized cards on your counter at your
              business location pointing to your site and asking your customers to visit the site and
              sign up. To make the sign-up as painless as possible, consider making the only necessary
              fields their "First name" and "Email Address". Any more requirements than that could
              prompt them to just close their browser. Remember to apply the same courtesy here as
              on your sign-up sheet: note confidentiality and don't forget "please" and "thank you".

              4. Give something away
              You can put together a quick monthly or weekly giveaway of a product or service
              such as a "Free Lunch" or "Free Air Conditioner Inspection". Whatever the giveaway, on
              the sign-up slips, require an email address. It would be smart to mention "Only one
              entry per person" or some person will enter 100 times and spoil all the fun (and cause
              you to have to enter the information multiple times or otherwise remove the extras).
              Yes, you will probably have duplicates to existing customers but that's okay. You could
              use the information to track how many of your customers are really interested in this
              type of campaign.

              5. Use your social media connections
              If you have an active Facebook page, you probably have access to many of your
              customers already. Getting their email address should not be difficult. Take the time to
              ask your connections for their email address. It is a fairly simple process to post a link to
              your web site's "contact us" page on your Facebook page or even just to say "Hi, could I
              get your email address so I can send you our company newsletter?" Many people will
              provide their email address when asked by an established connection.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
                The last top 10 tip has to do with giving...

                Give something away
                It may seem counter-intuitive that if you give something away for free you could easily
                stand to gain more customers, and therefore end up making more money in the end.
                First, it bears saying that this concept won't work if you are only in it for the money. The
                concept works when you are truly interested in providing value to your customers.

                Smart companies know giving away freebies is a great way to lure customers. Look at
                Apple. They offer iTunes software for free in order to build demand for the iPod and the
                iTunes music store. In the offline world, retail outlets do the same. Starbucks says a new
                purchase is stimulated for every five beverage samples they give away to customers.
                Not too shabby.

                In today's highly social media incentivized world, people want instant gratification. They
                want the latest in gadgets, the hottest new trends, and the best of everything that they
                can possibly afford. Consumerism has an almost frenzied approach to it these days. How
                do you make a name for your business when so many consumers have 'shiny object
                syndrome' and are at risk of jumping from one brand to another on the whim of a
                coupon? It's quite simple, really. You need to give your customers, and potential
                customers, value.

                When you offer free samples, coupons for free products, and give tips or hints or helpful
                advice away for free you build a loyal following. You build a connection. By positioning
                your brand as a part of your audience's community, you won't have to fend off the
                fleeting attention that so often accompanies today's consumerists' attitude towards
                doing business with a particular company or brand.

                When you offer promotions that are of value, your customers feel special and are much
                more likely to A) buy your products or service, even if you charge a little bit more, and B)
                tell their family and friends all about how they should buy from you, too. This includes
                their 600 Facebook friends and 1,400 Twitter followers. Don't forget about their 800
                Pinterest followers that will see the pictures they've posted of them using your product.

                A word of caution though, if you are reading this only to make more money, then
                today's savvy shopper will be able to see right through that mentality and you won't
                have won their loyalty. As soon as another business or brand comes along with a great
                offer, they'll jump ship faster than you can say "half off!"

                Find a way to connect with your customer base by offering tips, advice, helpful hints,
                free services, robust guarantees, and give something of tremendous value away from
                time to time, and you'll find that your business is here to stay and can weather the
                storms of an economic slowdown with ease.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandboyz
    Banned
    Thanks Jason for sharing these .
    It really very helpful to me .
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