Every business owner frets at one time or another about why there isn’t more new customers coming through the door.
If it’s on your mind too, ask yourself what does it take to build a connection so that someone will come to your business for the first time? How long should it take from the time they first hear of your business, see your marketing message, or talk with an existing customer that refers you, before they become a customer?
In order for someone to buy from you, there are three things need to be in place.
1. The Know, Like and Trust Factor.
You HAVE to build relationships. There are many ways to do this, but in general, think of this as developing a friendship with someone. Sometimes you click right away and other times it takes a while.
When you first meet someone, you don’t share your deepest secrets, you don’t ask them to marry you, and you definitely put your best foot forward.
You go out with them for coffee, get to know them a little. Then you go out a second time, maybe for lunch or dinner and share a bit more. It takes time to build that trust.
Think of your friendships. Think of your business relationships. The trust you have in those people didn’t develop overnight. And new customers need to see your message several times before it sinks in. On average at least 5-7 times before they will even notice your business.
Your online reviews need to reflect the same message. If there is a negative review (and there are bound to be some once in a while) does it show you responding in a genuine way and solving the problem? Responding to some positive ones too can go a long way to developing people’s trust and your “likeability factor”.
2. The Need.
Sure, there are times when your potential customers immediately upon seeing your message have the need (they are hungry, they need their car fixed, they need to buy something) and your business can help them, but this isn’t always the case. If you only communicate once, the chances that your message will reach your prospect at the exact moment they are thinking they need you is incredibly small. To increase your chances, you need to communicate directly with them more often, and then solve the problems that they have to encourage a visit.
For example, think about a plumber. You may have a plumber that you know, like and trust. But it isn’t until your sink is clogged that you need him.
3. The Ask.
This is the most important part. You need to put yourself in front of your potential customer when they need you and ask for them to choose you. Let them know what you do and why you are different and better. Why should they try you out? Give them a compelling offer and a reason to do business with you the first time, and after that compelling reasons to return more often.
Do not assume that they will raise their hand when they are ready to buy from you. You must ask them to try you and continually find ways and reasons to communicate and create value for them. If the timing isn’t right for them, the need isn’t there yet. If you can craft a compelling enough offer, then they might suddenly find a need at some point. You have to stay in touch with people for as long as it takes. You never know where a relationship will lead you. Understanding these three concepts will make your marketing more effective and productive.