Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 5:48)
Is it dangerous to think about customer acquisition? We say yes – it may have been fine in the past but the best customers today can’t be acquired.
[George] As a money guy, I loved it when I first heard the term “customer acquisition.” I could easily wrap my mind around the concept. But I’ve come to realize it’s a way of thinking which hurts the bottom line today.
We think the concept is dangerous because you can’t “acquire” customers. They can’t be bought. They can’t be owned.
[George] I learned that the hard way: My biggest customer replaced us, but not with a competitor. They got bought out and the new owners brought the service we had been providing in-house. They did it themselves.
If you’re with us – if you agree that customer acquisition is a dated concept, what can you do?
Focus on customer experience rather than customer acquisition
Without question, this is the starting point.
[George] I’ve fallen into this trap – we put most of our resources into pursuing new customers while we took our existing customers for granted.
But there’s gold in those existing customers! The cost to keep them is far less than the cost of acquiring a new customer.
So put some resources into your current customers. Find out:
- What’s on their mind?
- What are they worried about?
- What are they trying to figure out?
Focus on customer attraction, not on customer acquisition
In most cases today, your future customers will find you before you find them.
They go online. They gather information. They do their research. Then – finally – they talk with you.
In other words, they find you earlier and contact you later.
So it’s up to you to find ways to stand out online from all your competitors. It’s up to you to set yourself apart from all the alternatives – including substitutes like doing it themselves AND doing nothing.
You attract them by becoming a trusted resource – the place they go to for the straight story. This is the most valuable space you can possibly occupy today. You can’t buy this space. You can’t rent it. You earn it with the content you share with them.
Focus on winning customers, not on the conquest of customer acquisition
In the past, there has always been a lot of warfare language in business.
[George] That’s great for us guys who played with toy soldiers when we were kids.
But winning people’s hearts and minds goes a lot further these days. We’re back to the personal experience – you grow your business one customer at a time.
A one-dimensional person can only think of the next conquest. They’re doomed today.
So focus on building the relationship and moving down the know-like-trust continuum. Help them – even if it doesn’t make you money!
How can you help them? Start by listening!
And don’t just pay attention when you hear the cash register ringing in your head.
As you listen, you’ll discover their issues and interests – personal and professional. Share resources. Connect them to people who are like-minded or who have the answer for a challenge they’re facing.
As they come to see you are truly interested in them, they’ll take an interest in you and what you offer. You’re winning them over!
Should you ever pursue customers? Of course – some people still like to be chased! But:
- don’t just see dollar signs
- don’t just think about your quota
- don’t just consider YOUR needs
See what’s right in front of you – a real person with hopes and fears, challenges and opportunities. A person who you can help. It leads to BIGG success!
What do you think…is focusing on customer acquisition dangerous?
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