12 Proven Ways to Get New Customers & Increase Sales 

As someone who climbed from ground zero to a multi-million dollar business, I’ve been through the gritty work of customer acquisition. Whether you’re freelancing, running a side hustle, or scaling a business in need of high-ticket clients, this guide is your ticket if you don’t know how to get customers. 

Getting new customers is about being better and smarter. And since you don’t have the time to try every tactic under the sun, I’ve distilled it into 12 proven strategies. These are actionable, effective insights, and they’re what I wish I had known when I was in your shoes. 

Let’s get down to business!

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Table of Contents

Ask for Referrals from Existing Clients

Your current customers are your best resource for finding new ones. If they like your offer, they’ll likely tell others about it. Make sure they’re so happy with your service that sharing it with friends feels natural. Check-in with them regularly to ensure they remain satisfied and see your value.

To get them talking, consider offering a discount or a little money back if they bring in new customers. This motivates them to act and makes the deal sweeter for both of you. Simple incentives can significantly increase referral rates without much cost.

Also, think about raising your prices for these referred new clients. People often don’t mind paying a bit more for something that’s highly recommended by someone they trust. This way, you can focus on quality over quantity, providing great service to a more select group. Higher prices also position your business as premium, attracting clients who are serious about quality.

Attend Networking Events

Networking events are often seen as a place to get customers, but they’re also excellent for raising awareness about your brand. The key is to meet new people and share what you do. Make sure every conversation leaves a memorable impression of your business.

Instead of looking only for direct clients, aim to meet connectors. These individuals might not need your services but could introduce you to potential clients. Building relationships with these connectors can open more doors than direct pitches.

When attending these events, consider yourself a helper, not just a hunter. Approach conversations with the mindset of offering value or solving a problem, not just extracting benefits. This attitude can make you stand out as genuine and thoughtful.

Also, prepare a simple conversation starter and a well-designed business card to hand out. Having these ready can make introductions smoother and ensure people remember you after the event.

Reach Out to Past Customers

Your past customers are invaluable when it comes to introducing new products or revitalizing your brand. They’ve already engaged with you and might just need a reminder of why they chose your business in the first place.

Begin by identifying which customers haven’t interacted with your business in a while. Set up a simple, targeted survey to send to these former customers, asking them about their last experience and what might bring them back. This direct feedback is essential, as it provides actionable insights into what might be turning customers away.

Incentives can be effective but should be used judiciously. Special offers, like a discount or a limited-time promotion, can reignite interest, but they must align with genuine improvements in your offerings. If feedback indicates that the quality of your product or service was the issue, prioritize these areas for development.

Consistency in communication is key. Establish a regular schedule, such as quarterly check-ins, through personalized emails or texts. These communications should not only aim to sell but also to inform and engage. Share updates about new features, improvements based on customer feedback, or upcoming events. This ongoing dialogue keeps your brand top of mind and shows customers that you value their input and business.

Moreover, when reaching out, personalize your messages as much as possible. Refer to previous purchases and interactions, and tailor offers to suit customers’ specific preferences and needs. Personalized touches enhance customers’ connection to your brand, making them feel valued and more likely to return.

Improve Your Website

When potential clients look for new services or products, your website is likely the first thing they’ll see. A fast, well-designed website is crucial because it helps turn visitors into customers. If your site is slow or looks outdated, you might lose potential business right at the first click.

First, assess the speed and usability of your site. If your website takes too long to load, you’re likely to lose visitors before they even see what you offer. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help you check your site’s speed and provide suggestions for improvement.

Second, keep your site’s design simple yet appealing. Overloading your website with heavy graphics and complex designs can slow it down, negatively impacting user experience. Opt for a clean, straightforward layout highlighting your products or services without overwhelming visitors.

Third, technical aspects such as making your website responsive are crucial. A responsive design ensures that your site looks good and works well on all devices, from desktops to smartphones. If this sounds complicated, consider hiring a professional. A search engine optimization (SEO) expert can improve your site’s responsiveness and enhance its visibility in search results.

Fourth, regular updates and maintenance are key. Keep your content fresh and ensure all links and pages function as they should. This not only improves user experience but also boosts your SEO efforts. Regularly updated content can keep your site at the top of search engine results and attract more visitors.

Lastly, make sure your website is easy to navigate. A well-organized site with intuitive navigation helps visitors find what they need quickly. Include clear calls to action, such as ‘Contact Us’, ‘Shop Now’, or ‘Learn More’. These prompts guide users toward taking the next step, whether it’s making a purchase or getting in touch.

Take Advantage of Online Reviews

Online reviews can significantly influence potential customers. Actively ask your satisfied customers to write reviews about their experiences. Make sure to place these reviews where they’re easily visible, such as on your website’s homepage or in a dedicated testimonials section, and regularly post them on your social media pages.

Positive reviews can sway new customers to choose your business. If negative feedback appears, address it directly and respectfully in public responses. Show that you’re committed to resolving issues, which can turn a negative situation into a positive demonstration of your customer service commitment.

Partner with Complementary Businesses

Identify businesses in your area that serve the same demographic as yours but aren’t direct competitors. This strategy opens up innovative collaboration opportunities. For example, if you own a hair salon, partner with a nail salon or a boutique. This arrangement allows you to introduce joint promotions or bundled services that provide tangible value to customers.

Utilize these partnerships to craft compelling offers such as combined service discounts, loyalty rewards for using both services, or special event promotions. Such collaborations enhance the customer experience and amplify your marketing efforts without significant extra cost. By sharing resources, you both can reach larger, more engaged audiences, ultimately driving increased traffic and sales for each business.

Create Multi-Person Promotions

Everybody loves snagging a bargain, particularly when it means more fun with fewer bucks. Encourage your customers to become your unofficial sales force by introducing offers that reward them for bringing friends. For example, roll out a “Bring a Buddy” promotion where both the original customer and their friend get a 10% discount on their next purchase. It’s like having your cake and eating it too—with a friend!

Alternatively, crank up the communal vibe with a “Group Gather” discount: anyone showing up in a duo or more gets a 20% discount. This not only boosts the number of visitors but also turns your place into a buzzing hub of community activity, naturally encouraging more of those priceless word-of-mouth recommendations.

Improve Your Customer Service

The old adage “the customer is always right” isn’t just about keeping smiles on faces—it’s a proven business strategy that turns satisfied customers into active promoters of your brand. When customers are happy, they’re more likely to share their positive experiences and recommend your services or products to others.

Enhance the shopping experience by ensuring it’s both fun and stress-free. Pay attention to the needs and preferences of your customers. For instance, if you operate a physical store, make sure it’s easy to navigate and that your staff are always ready to help with a smile. Consider their feedback seriously, adapting your services to meet their expectations better.

Beyond just a pleasant shopping atmosphere, it’s crucial to equip your team with the right skills to handle customer inquiries and complaints effectively. Training your employees to prioritize customer satisfaction and resolve issues swiftly can prevent minor hiccups from turning into deal-breakers. This proactive approach retains customers and builds a reputation for excellent service that can attract new customers.

Analyze Your Competitors

First, take a close look at their marketing strategies. What clever tactics are they deploying that seem to resonate with customers? This observation can spark ideas on differentiating your approach or introducing something entirely new.

Second, consider their customer base. Are they attracting a particular demographic that you’ve overlooked? Or is there a segment that they are not effectively engaging, which might be ripe for your focus? These insights can help refine your targeting strategies.

Third, don’t just look at what products or services your competitors offer. Think about what they don’t. Is there a niche or a specific need they’ve missed? This gap could be your golden ticket to capturing an underserved market.

Fourth, evaluate their online presence, too. How strong is their SEO game, social media interaction, and overall digital footprint? Pinpointing their strengths can guide you to boost your own online strategies, whether it’s by enhancing your website’s user experience or by engaging more effectively with your audience through social platforms.

Finally, analyze their overall customer experience, from the first point of contact to the final transaction. What are they getting right, and where do they falter? Learning from their successes and missteps can help you optimize your own customer interactions, making sure that every moment spent with your brand is positive.

By carefully studying your competitors, you can discover much more than just what they’re doing right or wrong. You find new ways to excel, different angles to approach the market, and fresh strategies that keep you ahead of the game.

Create a Marketing Plan

To forge a realistic and effective marketing plan, begin by defining your customer persona using insights from your competitive analysis. This tailored approach ensures your marketing efforts resonate precisely with your target audience.

Inbound Marketing

Build a content library that genuinely helps solve your customers’ problems or answers their questions. For instance, if you sell skincare products, you might create how-to guides on skincare routines or video demonstrations of your products in action. The goal is to create content so useful that potential customers find you through their search efforts.

SEO

Optimize every aspect of your website to improve its search engine ranking. This includes using keywords that potential customers are searching for within your website copy, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, and improving site speed. Also, regularly update your content to keep it fresh and relevant, which is favored by search engines.

Email Marketing

Segment your email list based on customer behavior and preferences to send more personalized messages. For instance, send special discount codes to customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while, or provide early access to new products for your most loyal customers. Make sure your emails are mobile-optimized, as many users read emails on their phones.

Social Marketing

Utilize platforms like Instagram for visual products by showcasing high-quality images and using relevant hashtags to increase reach. For B2B services, LinkedIn might be more appropriate for sharing industry articles and company updates. Regularly engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages to build a community around your brand.

Finally, your marketing plan should clearly articulate the message you want to convey to your target audience, outline a budget for your marketing activities, and set a timeline for achieving your goals.

Give New Customers a Discount

Drawing in new customers often hinges on your ability to offer enticing incentives. While discounts are a straightforward and popular choice, there are several creative ways to make your introductory offers stand out, especially if straight discounts aren’t suitable for your business model:

  • Complimentary Gifts: A small gift with the first purchase can make a big impression. Choose something that complements your main product or introduces the customer to your broader product range. For example, if you sell coffee machines, include a free bag of specialty coffee beans. This not only adds value but enhances the customer’s initial experience with your brand.
  • Free Shipping: Many consumers have come to expect free shipping when ordering online. By absorbing the shipping cost, you can significantly reduce the friction in the purchasing process. Highlight this benefit clearly on your website and during the checkout process to reassure customers that there are no hidden costs.
  • Future Purchase Discounts: Instead of offering a discount on the first purchase, give customers a voucher for a discount on their next purchase. This strategy not only provides an immediate incentive but also encourages a second interaction with your store. To make this more effective, set a time limit for the second discount to create a sense of urgency.

Each of these strategies not only serves to attract new customers but also to enhance their engagement with your brand. By carefully considering which incentive aligns best with your products and target market, you can increase the likelihood of converting first-time visitors into loyal customers.

Implement a Customer Loyalty Program

First, effectively implement a customer loyalty program by setting up a point-based system where customers earn points for every purchase. The key is to make the reward thresholds achievable and appealing. For instance, you could offer a 10% discount once a customer reaches 100 points, and larger rewards, like a free product, at higher point levels. This setup motivates customers to accumulate points and continue shopping with you.

Second, integrate special occasion rewards into your program. Offer special discounts or promotions on customer birthdays and during major holidays. Automate these offers so that they are sent out via email or text message a few days before the occasion, ensuring customers have time to use them. This personal touch can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Third, simplicity in the loyalty program’s design is crucial. Customers should find it easy to understand how they can earn points and what they need to do to redeem their rewards. Complex programs often discourage participation, so keep the rules straightforward and the rewards system transparent.

Finally, make sure the program aligns with your customers’ preferences. Regularly gather feedback through surveys or direct interactions and analyze purchasing data to understand what rewards your customers value most. Adjust the program based on this feedback to keep the rewards relevant and attractive. This responsive approach not only maintains interest in your loyalty program but also builds a deeper connection with your clientele.

By focusing on these practical aspects, your loyalty program can effectively turn occasional buyers into loyal customers, driving repeat business and fostering a long-term relationship with your brand.

Conclusion

So there you have it—12 potent strategies to not only attract fresh buyers but to also keep them eagerly returning. Whether it’s revamping your website or introducing a loyalty program that makes your customers feel like VIPs, each tactic is a golden opportunity to build a thriving tribe. Implement these actionable tips and watch your business soar. 

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Written by

Host of Netflix's "How to Get Rich", NYT Bestselling Author & host of the hit I Will Teach You To Be Rich Podcast. For over 20 years, Ramit has been sharing proven strategies to help people like you take control of their money and live a Rich Life.