Get comfortable with saying “No”, it just might just be the best way to attract (the right) customers to your small business. It can be the most important word in your small business vocabulary. One of the most predominant issues that small businesses face is their inability to say “No” to a prospect or customer when they should. Not everyone will be the right fit for your small business, that’s OK and even preferential. Invest in a niche and create buyers personas to help you actually achieve repeatable success!
The Common Problem
Here’s how it often works: small businesses have a sales opportunity, but the new prospect doesn’t fit their normal customer profile or type. But, the customers or prospect trusts them, perhaps due to a referral or online reviews. The small business also wants new customers, so they can close the sale and increase their revenue stream. Rather than saying, “I’m sorry, we don’t do that. But, I’d be happy to help you find someone who does.” Or, “I know exactly who to point you to, let me make a phone call…” The small business decides that there’s an opportunity to capitalize on.
I think you can probably guess how the story will turn out. The new prospect becomes a customer, but the small business ends up scrambling to provide their services. Because that new customer’s needs don’t align with the business style of the small business, both parties are at a loss.
Taking on new clients or customers who don’t fit into your business model can cause more harm than good to your small business. Many times the relationship will end up costing more resources to maintain before it’s eventually lost. The lost customer will be upset and the small business will have lost valuable time, money, and other resources.
Does this situation sound familiar?
The Best Way to Attract Customers You Actually Want
First of all, you need to have a strategic marketing plan in place for your small business. The best way to attract customers that will work well with your business is to definitely outline your marketing and sales plan. Clearly define your mission statement, your market niche, your business goals, what products and/or services you provide etc. Once you do that, analyze your existing customers. What do they have in common? What buying traits do they have in common? If you can see patterns developing between your already existing customers, that’ll give you a good starting point for the type of prospects you want to continue to target for your small business.
If you have a general idea of the types of customers that best fit your business, you need to develop what are called “buyer personas“. Buyer personas are detailed descriptions of your different types of ideal customers. You can also develop negative buyer personas as well, so you know what type of prospects to stay aware from or not to pursue. A buyers persona will include information like the prospect’s demographic information, yearly income, family type, education level, and any other important information that pertains to your business and marketing style.
Once you clearly define your ideal (and not so ideal) customer types, you need to fully invest in your niche market. So, what do I mean by this?
Pick a niche, one specific area where your business can fill a need, and dominate that space. The best way to attract customers is to supply an answer for their existing need. You don’t want to expand your services too much too fast. Instead, focus on deepening your services or creating new products that still relate to your niche in some way. Spreading your business resources to thin, and too far out of your area of expertise, is a surefire way to make sure you won’t succeed. Sticking to your established niche is another great way to make sure you’ll attract high-quality leads that can actually benefit your small business.
Sometimes it can be hard to turn down the promise of a new customer, especially for small businesses where every new customer matters.But, instead of trying to accommodate every different prospect’s needs, set your focus on attracting leads who already fit your ideal target audience. You’ll end up saving time, money, and several headaches down the line. The best way to attract customers to your small business is to operate fully within a defined niche and fill the needs of that target audience. Do what you do best and forget the rest! Your customers, your employees, and your banker will love you for it!