There are several ways to increase your customer volume. I'm going to explain them to you, and teach you how to implement them into your business.
Increasing Customer Volume
Increasing customer volume can best be achieved by:
Differentiating your brand from competitors, while locating and targeting ideal customers with a properly orchestrated marketing program.
- Internet Marketing: Search engine optimization will ensure that make the sale to nearly every economic buyer looking for your product online.
- Advertising: Selecting proper advertising channels requires you to have an intimate knowledge of where your market is, and what your market does. You will also need to be skilled in the art of copywriting.
- Promotion: Press releases are a sure-fire way to instantly generate mass media attention. Ensure you are sending them out regularly using a reliable press release service such as PR Web.
Increasing distribution channels:
- Retail: Add your product to local retail stores. This is immensely difficult with large chains usually because they instantly require more product that you can currently afford to produce. I have a friend who lost a deal with Sam Walton (in his early days) because he could not fill an 18-wheeler with his paint stripper.
- Wholesalers: This is the ideal choice for you if you manufacture your own product. Wholesaling allows you to move large inventories very quickly with less storage overhead. Wholesalers tend to have transportation networks in place which alleviates you from the cost and hassles of moving your products.
- Sales Reps: Sales reps afford you maximum reach with minimal cost. Good independent sales reps are a mobile office in and of themselves, and are capable of making huge gains in market share and geographical scope. I call them the Special Forces of sales. They go in first, dominate the territory, and set the ground work for all future operations.
Increasing product line and marketing myopia. One of the biggest industries I see brick-and-mortar businesses getting into is virtual office services for home businesses.
They assign a special line for each client, and have their regular secretary answer as a representative of that client's respective company. He/she takes the message and reports it accordingly. This way home business owners can appear to have a nice office with a receptionist, as well as a space for meeting with teams and clients. Prices range from $200/month. If you get 10 of these customers, the rent will be paid in full.
- Marketing Myopia suggests that businesses will do better in the end if they concentrate on meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products (Wikipedia). Buggy whip manufacturers went out of business with the genesis of the automobile industry. They never realized that they weren't in the buggy whip business, they were in the transportation business. With all of that leather, they could have easily began manufacturing steering wheels or seat cushions. Remember the nature of your business, not the nurture.
- Another way to identify how to increase your product line is by determining not only what your customer needs, but also what your competitor sells. For example, movie theaters compete with restaurants and video games. This is why contemporary movie theaters offer a large menu of food items as well as several arcade games to choose from.
Acquiring competitor(s). This is the oldest trick in the book. Starbucks has done this in mass, and has grown dramatically as a result. Sometimes the acquisition of an established business can be cheaper than competitive marketing. This is how and why J.P. Morgan acquired Carnegie steel.
Well, I have a delicious cigar and glass of Scotch waiting for me.
Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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