10 ways to find new customers and sales leads

Having an unlimited budget for your marketing efforts would be all wonderful but if you’re like most companies, then you’re more likely to find new customers and increase sales by using other great creative ideas rather than by creating online and offline campaigns. No matter if you’re a sales agent or a marketing specialist, generating leads is going to represent a base for your activity, ranging from anywhere to cold calling to search engine optimization. So where do you start if you are looking for more customers and what are the tools that help you find them? We’ll discuss this in today’s article.

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How to Find New Customers and Increase Sales

Finding customers isn't mission impossible, you just have to know the basics on how to uncover them. Let's see together what the best ways to find new customers are.

1. Understand your target audience

First thing’s first, before you can find any new customers and increase your sales, you need to understand what the characteristics of your target audience are, what value proposition you offer to customers, and what your competition is currently offering in the market and what gaps you could fill.

That’s why it’s not enough just to have sales skills, it’s absolutely mandatory to also be a good researcher. The first steps are going to involve a lot of researching, both inside your own statistics and the market that you’ll be rolling in.

Attracting more customers is basically all about listening to people’s needs and responding to their underlying problems. There are many existing problems out there that need to be solved that customers are willing to pay for today and you’re going to have to figure out which ones those are.

In many cases, you’ll have to dig deep and make your prospects understand that they have a problem or that they could do better in their line of work by starting doing business with you.

2. Find out who your customers are

One of the easiest and most efficient ways of finding new customers is by turning your attention towards the people you already collaborate with. In order to develop a marketing plan to reach new customers, you need to better understand who you're already selling to.

What are their demographics? What do they “look” like as people. That means doing market research.

Market research resides in anything from very simple qualitative research to in-depth quantitative analysis. You could start by sending surveys to your existing customers using one of the many online survey tools available to us marketing pros.

You could also start by filling in a SWOT diagram to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your target market, because you can’t assume that every client is going to appeal to each and every audience.

Certain products and services may appeal to one audience but not to another, so understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your target market is critical. You can get to know your customers and segment the market any number of ways including by:

  • Demographics like the statistical data on a population including income levels, age, etc.

  • Psychographics, which mean the attitudes and tastes of a certain demographic.

  • Ethnographics that’s going to imply you examine particular cultures.

  • Buying habits, that are probably one of the most interesting components to analyze. They’ll show you how, what and where customers purchase products and services.

3. Send specific and targeted messages

It's a no-brainer that you'll save time and money by marketing to people who not only want what you've got, but also are willing and able to pay for it. Even moreso, the risk of them not understanding or being compelled by your messages is pretty big.

Don’t just purposelessly toss your marketing message out into the random sea of some more advertised products, where, more often than not, it misses the mark.

A more efficient and effective method of marketing is to first define the most likely buyer of your product or service. How old are they? Who usually buys more? Women or men? What is their socio-economic background? Knowing who your market is, makes it easier to find them and deliver messages that are going to attract them to check out your product or service.Take the time to understand who your target market is so you don’t waste your time finding and selling to the wrong customers and clients.

4. Begin the dreaded cold calling campaigns

The new GDPR is kind of blurry when it comes to this basic sales strategy, but as long as the contact information is made public and you’ve prospected in a proper way, we believe that you could make a first contact with the people you find could be appropriate for developing a professional relationship with.

You can pick your potential customers after some newspaper and internet researching and specifically pick the ones you think would be most likely interested in what you have to offer.

Prepare yourself for that cold call, don’t let it intimidate you and don’t let a refusal get you down.

5. Do some networking

This is one of the main reasons why we attend all sorts of conferences and congresses. We never turn down an invitation because we understand that networking is one of the best ways to take the industry’s pulse and even connect to potential clients and buyers.

The 21st century has been beneficent in terms of improving communication between people, witnessing the rise in popularity of such websites as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Many businesses find that this type of networking, making contacts through friends or former colleagues, can lead to new customers.

6. Convince your current customers to give you references

Use business contacts who have been happy with your products to help generate references and referrals. Once you have sold to them, customers can help you sell to others by offering positive testimonials and by recommending you to their peers. This could happen even if they themselves become your customers.

We all know that word of mouth is one of the best marketing techniques out there. So make a good name for yourself and you’ll most likely find that your prospects can also show appreciation by speaking to other people about you in a positive manner.

7. Use affiliate marketing

Try to search for some businesses that offer non competitive products or services and figure out ways you can support each other. You could collaborate through shared outreach efforts such as newsletters or find several other opportunities of presenting one another.

This will also position you as a trustworthy brand, if you of course make sure that the ones you are joining “forces” with are also a well positioned brand.

8. Amp up your website

There are all sorts of tools these days through which you can drive potential new customers to your website. If you haven’t already heard about about SEO (Search engine optimization), then you’d better research the topic and act upon it. Using keywords and other techniques to make your site appear on the first page of listings on search engines is an art that needs to be handled constantly if you want google to be friendly with you and make your online traffic skyrocket. Search Engine Watch, for example, is one of the sites that keeps us up to date with some new techniques in SEO.

A website is a dynamic tool, you should invest in improving the customer experience constantly. You can also use a variety of blogs, live chat, webinars or podcasts to generate awareness for your website and company.

Make sure you are keeping your website up to date with fresh content so your customers come back often for more.

9. Send great content to prospects

Besides investing in what the website should look and “feel” like, you also need to make sure that it contains engaging content. Statistics show that content truly is king and if it’s also focused on customers’ pain points, rather than exclusively on presenting the company products, features and services, then sooner or later you’ll see how prospects and clients show appreciation for the fact that you care about them.

Give both your potential and current customers value through your communication.  Show that you understand where they are in the buying process, what their challenges are and provide knowledge, ideas and inspiration which moves them further in the buying process.

10. Use the right tools to monitor your professional relationships

This is where the ultimate sales success differentiator comes into play. We’ve never heard of a company that hasn’t met greater sales success after implementing CRM software.

We truly do believe that it’s the perfect tool for managing your contacts and sales activities and results can be seen even after a short amount of time.

So, as you can see, there are plenty of channels and techniques that you can use in order to find new customers. Keep in mind though, that you should never neglect your current customers, the ones that are not only going to further leverage your business by recommending your services and products, but actually the ones that you can up and cross sell to.