Which business owner has not had a goal of having a LARGE customer base that can provide varied yet sustainable revenues? However good you are in your category the challenge of growing your customer base is big. And for many, just starting off the block, the challenge can be complicated by not knowing “who your customer really is”.
For any new start-up (or even an on-going business) there is always this constant need to:
- Identify the right “customer”;
- Create the right “message” that will catch their attention; and,
- Create the right “strategy” that will get the message to the customer in a consistent, cost effective and result-generating way.
Here is where you need to stop and think. Does the entire universe of “customers” out there fall within your scope to service? The answer surely is no. And on this topic the writings of Jay Conrad Levinson, the father of Guerilla Marketing, throw a lot of light.
Levinson propounded that “of all the people who could be your customers:
- 4% are interested in buying now;
- 4% might be interested at some point in the future; and,
- 92% don’t care now and never will
And this maxim holds true for all businesses, unless you are supplying the air that we breathe in which case you have 100% of the probable customer base signed up with you for life.
As Matthew Bud, Chairman of The Financial Executives Networking Group says, “When you are in the middle of an ocean, it is easy to think of the world as being endless because you are surrounded by water and every direction you look in, you see nothing but water”.
The truth is that much of the water (over 75%) is salt water, nearly 25% is land, there are large parts of water that are shallow and others that are very deep. Point is that things are not always what they seem. The same holds true for our business and, very often, as business owners we allow ourselves to think of things as having infinite possibilities.
Given the human nature, as business owners you have a fundamental desire to accommodate all and put our product or service in the hands of everyone YOU think needs it. For small business owners the daily activity of running a business is always complicated, hectic yet exciting. So keeping Levinson’s maxim front and centre helps the small business owner cut to the chase and focus the precious resources of marketing in the right direction.
Another maxim that needs to be always in your sight is Dr. Ivan Misner’s theory of V-C-P (Visibility + Credibility leads to sustained Profitability) The two maxims together should drive your focus in creating a marketing portfolio that will include part advertising, part networking and part referral.
The consistent application of these approaches is sure to attract the 4% of YES persons to do business with you and the 4% of MAYBE to become your customers in a short period of time.