How does your company keep its customers
Customer acquisition: the best tips for more sales
1. The be-all and end-all of customer acquisition: Know the target group
Before you deal with the measures of customer acquisition, it is worthwhile to look again at the target group definition that you have set in the business plan. Depending on the business model, two types of customer acquisition are possible: customer acquisition in B2B (business to business) or customer acquisition in B2C (business to consumer). Companies fundamentally differentiate between:
- Private customers (B2C)
- Business customers (B2B)
Acquisition and customer acquisition in B2B
If you have a B2B business model, addressing customers directly is extremely important. Cold calling is one of the most important forms of acquisition. Your product and, in particular, the service and consulting services are usually decisive factors for customer acquisition.
In offline customer acquisition, personal sales, trade fairs and other events (e.g. training) are suitable for acquiring new customers. If you want to advertise, specialist media are particularly useful. In addition, you can often set yourself apart from the competition through awards (certification, etc.). Customer acquisition via telephone acquisition is still very important in the B2B area.
In the online area, you can make targeted use of professional networks such as Xing for customer acquisition by establishing new contacts. Booking ads on Google can also help your target customers to find you in the WWW jungle. In addition to the acquisition measures, customer loyalty is particularly important in B2B. You can find more about customer loyalty here.
In a separate chapter, we have put together for you how to proceed efficiently in the B2B area in order to win customers.Customer acquisition B2B
Acquisition and customer acquisition in B2C
In B2C, your target customers are private individuals. Since with B2C you usually sell your products through an intermediary (e.g. retailer), this is called indirect customer acquisition. Because: Before you can sell your product to the end customer, you must first convince the broker that your product will be included in the range.
Nonetheless, direct customer acquisition is also possible in B2C. The Internet in particular is ideal for offering products directly to end customers (e.g. via a web shop).
Since the offers in B2C are usually not very intensive in terms of advice, a convincing marketing mix is particularly crucial. In addition to the traditional 4Ps, you should also consider online marketing for your customer acquisition. Your own webshop, Ebay and Amazon are relatively new sales channels that you should consider. Targeted Google Ads campaigns are available to keep customers informed and / or you can use Facebook as an acquisition tool.
Acquiring customers by telephone has meanwhile become obsolete, as newer legal framework conditions prohibit cold calling by telephone in the B2C area.
But you can also use classic forms of customer acquisition such as flyers or direct mailing for your customer acquisition. You can find more about acquisition measures here.
2. Methods of cold calling
Direct customer contact in front of the store and telephone acquisition are the most important methods of cold calling.
Direct customer contact in front of the store
This method is good for brick-and-mortar retailers and service providers. Don't wait for the customer to walk in the door. Go to the store and speak to the people who are passing by. Also keep flyers ready for those in a hurry.
More tips for this new customer acquisition
- Offer samples or invite potential customers, for example, to an espresso on the house. This lowers the inhibition threshold to try something new.
- You should not be absent from district festivals either and offer something to support your customer acquisition.
- As a measure for future customer loyalty, there are small extras or gifts, or you can simply round off the sum when shopping.
Customer acquisition on the phone
Cold calling on the phone is the most common acquisition method in the B2B sector. In the case of private customers, direct consent must be given for customer acquisition by telephone. The telephone acquisition with calls into the blue are forbidden for private customers.
Tips for acquiring new customers by phone
- Research contact details and information about your target customers and put together a pool of addresses.
- Prepare the phone call well, preferably with a conversation guide. Think about the likely questions of your counterpart in advance.
- You should pay attention to the following when making a call: Be relaxed, calm, friendly, do not corner the person you are talking to, speak clearly and not too quickly.
- When acquiring customers, put yourself in the shoes of the person you are talking to and address their arguments. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the offer together. Stay calm if the customer declines.
- Use a CRM system. When acquiring customers, document the results of the discussions so that follow-up discussions or the promised sending of material are not forgotten.
- Delegate the telephone acquisition to specialized service providers if acquisition is not at all convenient for you. But remember: acquisition is a matter for the boss
Are you interested in the exact procedure for customer acquisition by phone? Learn more about it in our guide to successful phone acquisition.
Customer acquisition by email or letter
For whom is this form of customer acquisition suitable? This works in both B2B and B2C areas. It is important that the recipient's consent must always be available to send emails as customer acquisition. Here are the most important tips:
- Select addresses as precisely as possible, both for sales letters and for email. This will reduce wastage.
- Include vouchers or other forms of response means with letters. This can be used to check the success of the campaign.
- Use a specialized provider for email marketing. This helps with the creation of the advertising email and with the success control.
It is not only important to acquire customers, but also to keep them. This is very easy and uncomplicated with the Unternehmerheld customer management, which you can even link to the accounting department!Try now 3 months of customer management for free
3. Successful sales talks with presentations
After the successful phone call, the moment of truth comes in a personal sales talk: You have been given an appointment to present your company and your offer. Most of these are products that require intensive advice and require explanation. The sales pitch is just as important for business customers as it is for private customers.
Further tips for acquiring new customers in the context of presentations
- Prepare yourself well. You don't get a chance to talk face-to-face too often. Gather information about your potential customer. Prepare yourself for critical questions and prepare the right arguments for selling.
- Prepare a presentation and relevant documents. And above all, you should practice the presentation yourself beforehand so that you don't completely jump into the deep end when acquiring customers: Tips for presenting
4. Show competence: acquisition through lectures, workshops and trade fairs
Lectures and workshops
Invite customers to workshops or lectures and demonstrate your professional competence. This type of customer acquisition is very suitable for service providers. The aim of the event is that the customer leaves it with new knowledge and has the feeling that the company has a competent contact person for his concerns. However, do not turn the event into a sales event. This does not go down well with customers. The focus is on factual issues. Rather, use discussions afterwards to make possible offers or to arrange another personal meeting to acquire customers.
Acquisition at trade fairs
Trade fairs are good because trade fair visitors are usually looking for good solutions for current topics anyway. You can supply a trade fair with its own stand. Or address the individual exhibitors as potential customers at the trade fair as a visitor.
If you are planning your own exhibition stand, thorough preparation is crucial. Visiting a trade fair as an exhibitor is also not cheap. Because even with small exhibition stands, you have to expect stand rents in the four-digit range. You can rent the exhibition furniture or buy it cheaply.
5. Support of acquisition: social media and classic advertising
Activities in social media support acquisition and can become an acquisition channel. Still, no one likes clumsy social media pickups. If you want to successfully acquire on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you have to be very subtle. Read our guides to social media marketing created. Closely connected with this are, of course, acquisition measures through advertising on the Internet.
Tips for the social media strategy
What do you have to consider in principle?
- Developing the right social media strategy is not easy and requires a lot of work. At the beginning it is necessary to clarify which of the many social media channels should be used for customer acquisition.
- The decisive factor in the selection is where your own target group is assumed - so Facebook is not automatically an obligation.
- Pay attention to the legally secure appearance in the social media.
- Try to monitor the benefits of your measures.
- Perseverance is required when building up the community; only then will customer acquisition work in the long term.
Classic advertising and branding as preparation for acquisition
Acquisition measures can be expanded through numerous other advertising channels. This includes:
All brand building measures are door openers to get a lot of customer appointments.
6. Strategic customer management with a CRM system
Once a customer has been won, it is particularly important to keep them and encourage them to buy again - because that is faster and cheaper than attracting new customers. Professional customer relationship management and an associated CRM software can help the entrepreneur to keep track of his customer relationships.
Many young and small companies already operate customer relationship management intuitively. For example, with the collection of business cards, an address book, handwritten notes, in an Excel spreadsheet or simply through the information that one accumulates in one's head about customers over time. This data is collected transparently and clearly using CRM software. So they can be used strategically. Find out here for whom and what goals Customer Relationship Management is suitable and what advantages you can get from it.
You don't have the right customer management tool yet? You can test the Unternehmerheld CRM software completely free of charge for the first 3 months. Convince yourself of the functions!Test the customer management tool
Conclusion - plan your customer acquisition systematically
Avoid typical mistakes in customer acquisition. Incorrect target group approach, lack of planning, lack of preparation and acquisition into the blue are serious. You must not assume that the first telephone contact leads to the order or the appointment. Check it out. Observe the most important rules when making phone calls and when designing advertising letters or e-mails. Look forward to your first customer appointment, prepare this customer appointment meticulously and practice your presentation until it sits. Use presentations at information events or offer workshops on important topics that interest your target group. Visit fairs. Introduce yourself to the exhibitors as a possible problem solver or exhibit yourself.
Also think of social media, not only as an acquisition channel, but also as a channel to present yourself as a brand. Classic advertising and online advertising, if done well, can help you acquire new customers in your activities.
Checklist: 11 Avoid mistakes in customer acquisition
Acquisition is not for everyone. Not everyone considers themselves a sales genius and nobody likes so-called push-button methods. The following 11 mistakes in customer acquisition already provide valuable information about what customers don't like at all and what you need to consider when approaching customers. Good CRM software is always helpful. You can use it to record contact details and conversations.
Mistake # 1 - You have no goal or strategy
Many companies have no plan and no goal and pursue customer acquisition without fixed structures and guidelines. Without a systematic acquisition strategy, you will have to be content with the new customers you happen to come across. Define your goals right from the start and answer at least the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- How many new customers do you want to gain?
- What acquisition measures do you want to use to reach your target group?
- How do you want to address potential customers?
We have put together here how you can develop a strategy for acquiring new customers.
Mistake No. 2 - Your customer acquisition only starts when there is a low order rate
When the order slump is there, it is usually too late. Build new customer acquisition into your day-to-day business. Take time regularly for the acquisition, because a well-prepared customer acquisition takes time.
Mistake # 3 - You are not planning resources to attract customers
The typical phrase "I don't have time to acquire new customers" does not apply. Plan your budget, staff and technology for acquisition measures. A CRM software solution can help you to create time resources for customer acquisition.
Mistake # 4 - You are doing “wild” acquisitions
"Wild" acquisition leads to wastage, frustration and is a waste of time. Focus on your target group and your concerns and contact your potential customers wherever they are.
Mistake # 5 - You don't have a consistent acquisition system
Anyone who proceeds unsystematically and does not document communication with the customer makes a serious mistake in acquisition. Every employee in the company must know which steps are involved in customer acquisition and how a contact is to be documented. Good acquisition software also helps here.
We show you how to select a suitable CRM system, introduce providers and give tips for implementation.Use the CRM system
Mistake # 6 - Your sales pitches are unprepared
The presentation is incorrect? Are you not prepared for critical objections and stuttering? Then everything was in vain. The sales pitch has to be right. Use our free checklist to optimally prepare for the sales pitch.
Mistake # 7 - You don't have any acquisition metrics
You don't know how many customer calls you made? Because you haven't set any goals for how many customers you want to contact? A serious mistake. Acquisition becomes a product of chance. Define in your acquisition strategy how many customers you want to acquire and measure the ratio of successful deals to contacts.
Mistake # 8 - You always talk to the wrong person
Do you always try to make an appointment with the company's porter or caretaker? This can only go wrong. Research the important decision-makers, from the managing director to the receptionist, and motivate the receptionist to put you through to the manager.
Mistake # 9 - You only focus on cold calling
Cold calling isn't everything. It requires staying power and a very high threshold for frustration. You can also use recommendations from your network for customer acquisition. Therefore, try to make targeted contacts.
Mistake # 10 - You don't follow up with the customer
Your offer has been sent and now you can sit back and wait for your customer to get in touch? That works in the rarest of cases. Follow up carefully, because you must not assume that the first phone call or the first customer visit will lead to success.
Mistake # 11 - You are neglecting your existing customers
Are you acquiring like crazy and neglecting your existing customers? Or do you even have quality problems because you only care about new customers? This can not go well. Find the balance between acquiring and maintaining existing customers. Because it is easier to sell an additional product to an existing customer than to win a new customer.
Of course, professionally prepared offers are also part of the basis for your customer acquisition. Instead of Word, you can simply use invoice programs for this. That saves time and looks good.Use the invoice program
As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.
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