Customer acquisition

How to gain & retain Customers? Advice for Entrepreneurs.

For those who joined in late, this post is the third ‘C’ in the 10 C’s of Entrepreneurship. Do read the first two:

  1. CONCEPT: Are you ready for Entrepreneurship? Answer these 4 questions to discover the truth.
  2. COMPETITION: 5 things to consider if you want to stay Competitive: Best Advice for Entrepreneurs 2018

In this post you will learn essential tips to gain & retain thousands of customers for your business. Read on to find out more…

Customer acquisition

These tips will help you gain thousands of loyal customers.

Business exists only because there are customers who will buy your products or use your services. Thus it is important for every entrepreneur to identify customers who will consume the offerings. Customers buy when the product or service offered either fulfils their existing need and/or offers a better value proposition vis-à-vis competition.

Customer acquisition and retention

Use this checklist to evaluate your business proposition with your CUSTOMER in mind.

The initial research done will also tell the entrepreneur:

  • Who is their customer?
  • Where is the customer ?
  • What are their buying patterns?
  • Why should they buy your product or service?
  • When is the right time to sell them?
  • How will it add value to the customer’s life?

It is no longer a sellers’ market today, in fact it is completely opposite. Today, it is a buyers’ market and entrepreneurs need to reach out to the customer to sell rather than just waiting for the customers to come and buy.

Customer outreach

Its a buyer’s market and not a seller’s market. Invest in customer outreach wisely.

Entrepreneurs need to build their business model based on the above factors as we have seen many promising businesses going down the drain for lack of having the right answers to the below mentioned questions.

  • Who will use our products / services ?
  • Where is our Target Group / Target Market ?
  • Is our customer ready for it ?
Success formula for business

Seemingly obvious points, but most struggling entrepreneurs are guilty of atleast one of the above.

Today in the start-up revolution, we have witnessed that businesses offer so many lucrative offers and discounts to lure the customer and despite acquiring them, they fail to deliver and sustain them for long as competition offers them a better proposition and they shift loyalty to suit their needs and pocket.

customer acquisition & retention strategy

Getting the customer acquisition & retention strategy right is the key to Business Success.

Many businesses start with a ‘Customer First’ proposition and that ‘Customer is King’ but they fail to deliver this promise at some point in the journey of the customer life cycle in their business viz. Pre-sales, during sales and after sales.

User Interface and User experience are the new buzzwords which are doing the rounds in the start-up revolution, while customer satisfaction and customer delight have been there for a long time now.

Customer acquistion through discounts

Freebies & discount is a short-term view to customer acquisition

Cost of acquiring a customer and cost of retaining them have given birth to so many new business models and sooner or later investors and founders have realised that the customer is no longer loyal to the product / service offerings as his/her acquisition was based on freebies and discounts. If the customer can ditch his/her existing product or service offering for you, the same is true for you too. It is hence very crucial to engage with the customer on a continual basis and make him loyal to you by focusing on his/her concern or addressing the pain point rather than just offering freebies and discounts.

Gaining customer loyalty

Meet expectations. Engage with your customers. Make them feel special & acknowledge their trust.

‘Products are built in the factory, Brands are built in the minds of a customer.’
-Walter Landor, Founder of Landor Associates. 

Every entrepreneur wishes that his product or service has the potential to become a brand. While Branding and Brand building is portrayed as rocket science, my take on a brand is very very simple. For me a brand is nothing but the act of delivering what you have promised to your customer. If you do it every time, you become a brand, else, you continue to be just another product.

How to build brands

Brand building begins with fulfilling promises made to the customer

Businesses today struggle very hard to grab the attention of their customer, engage or interact with them and finally get them to buy their product or services. In simple words, Entrepreneurs, if they need to improve their market share, they need to focus on 3 things viz. Mind Share, Time Share and Wallet Share of the customer.

How to improve market share

Enter the customer’s mind, engage their time & then expect them to spend

During the course of this series, I will be sharing more tips on how to succeed in your business. Stay tuned :).

Do let me know what you think of the above post? Are you planning to embark on the entrepreneurial journey? Let me know in the comment section? I am happy to answer any queries as well.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.

7 Wisdom Lessons for Entrepreneurs from the FIFA World Cup 2014

In July 2014, another world cup drew  to an end with Germany taking home the coveted Gold trophy, it leaves behind glorious memories, ideas, reflections as well as lessons for all those passionately involved in the game and also for those busy chasing their entrepreneurial dream. While the world gears up for the next season, here are 7 Wisdom Lessons for Entrepreneurs drawn from FIFA World Cup 2014.

Leadership is the key

2

Most West European teams are now a mixture of Africans, East Europeans, Middle-Easterners, – it is important to create diverse, multi-cultural teams and the Captains play a very key role in games. Christiano Ronaldo, arguably the world’s costliest footballer and captain of Portugal, could not lead from front and inspire his team this world cup also. He would wait for his team to pass the ball to him and only play on the opponent’s half. Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain did the reverse and whenever he did, his team won. The latter would come back to the half line, take the ball and be the play maker as he knew very well that the opponents would not let him dribble and score and he would be heavily marked. This approach of Messi as a world class footballer and an inspiring leader almost won Argentina the world cup.

Remember, Captain runs as much as all the other 10 players- no special privilege of work less and gain glory.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

3

Planning is very important in a game / business. One needs to strategise the before, during and after the game in order to be successful. Understanding playing styles of opponents, adapting to the climate, playing to your strengths and taking timely decisions as planned will deliver success. A classic case in point is the Argentina-Germany match, where it was almost thought to be a repeat of the Brazil-Germany semi final, the Argentines proved otherwise. They played to their strengths and learned from the mistakes which Brazil made, had studied the Germans pretty well and gave them a run for their money.

Remember: Old habits don’t give you new results

4

What got you here may not take you there. One needs to continuously innovate and adapt fast to the ever changing scenarios. Spain, the reigning world champion and also home to the best and biggest soccer clubs and Spanish footballers, did not change at all. What they were four years ago they were still the same this year as the manager, most players, the playing style everything was still the same. They were so predictable in their approach that every opponent could easily outplay them. In business, the dependence on a few clients can be risky and cause heavy losses, if these clients suddenly stop dealing with you for whatever reasons or if you don’t add value to your existing services/ products, your opponents can easily take the business away from you.

Your bench has to be strong

5

Games as well as businesses are full of uncertainties and surprises, which are beyond ones control. Over dependence on a player can be fatal and it was evident from the much talked about Brazil-Germany match, where star striker of Brazil Neymar was injured and their captain Thiago Silva lost out on account of suspension. The Brazilian bench was very feeble and their over-dependence of these key players cost them their aura. One should have a balanced team and not rely on a few key personnel, because if they quit they might take the business along or the business could simply be taken away from you.

Team goal always before individual goal

6

Football is a team game and winning is what matters. While individual performances do matter, the team has to perform and win. Neymar, Messi, Robben, Muller, Ozil all world class goal scorers made the game look so easy when they passed the ball to their respective team mates for the team’s success and morale. Similarly, in business, if targets are shared, it helps the business to succeed at a faster and easier manner than it would with individual targets. The team should use each other’s potential and succeed.

Blend of youth and experience, it works!

7

Football is a full contact sport and a fast paced game. It requires great deal of speed, skill and stamina in order to outperform your opponent in 90 minutes (regular game) and another 30 minutes (extra time). Age does slow you down, but your experience counters the speed with sharpened skill set and stamina to consistently perform. Germany,a classic team that had a perfect blend of youth and experience with Klose, who played his 4th world cup (16 years) along with Mario Goetze (the goal scorer in the final) who at 22 was playing his first world cup and together they brought glory to the country. Even Holland and Argentina displayed this killer combination of youth and experience. In business too, this combination of youth and experience helps you build a sustainable model and also in succession planning.

Coach and mentor play a major role in success

8

A coach/mentor takes a team to a place where the team cannot take themselves. This world cup personified this statement very clearly. The timely decision making skills of coaches from the sidelines coupled with the understanding of the game and situation led many a players/team to impossible wins. Joaquim Leow (Germany), Van Gaal (Holland) , Jurgen Klinsman (USA) are unarguably the most noticeable coaches who took their respective teams to great wins by their sheer understanding and vision. Klinsman the former German captain and coach, who also mentored Jocqaim Leow in the last world cup has won many accolades for USA’s performance and obviously inspired Leow’s performance as a coach of the world champions Germany. The player handling skills of Leow for a team, which has so many celebrated players like Muller, Ozil, Klose, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Podolski, Goetze, Khedira, Boateng and Schurrle, was a classic example of how a coach can take a team to great heights. Entrepreneurs need to wear the hat of a coach/mentor to take train their team and take the business to greater heights by using their timely decision making skills and steering the direction of business.

Do let me know what you think of the above lessons. Are there any more that you wish to add? Do like, share and leave a comment. I would love to know your views.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain 

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.