Getting to know the needs of your customers is one of the best ways you can boost your credibility. Effective networking comes from listening to your customers and trying to incorporate their ideas and suggestions into your workplace. You can network each and every time you leave the office and you bump into anyone that could potentially become a customer to your business. To help you learn how to network with your customers, here are some tips:
- Always keep a business card with you so you can leave your potential customers with a small memento to remember you.
- Put yourself out there. Find your customers. This means you will need to attend conferences and fairs in order to generate interest in your business. Even having a display table with a few valuable products on it will generate interest from your customers and it can help to boost your small businesses reputation. You need to be approachable and make efforts to interact with your customers. Make it your priority to talk to your customers and to work on building relationships with them. Even if you aren't the most outgoing person in the world, you can still find a way to connect with people on a personal level.
- Focus on building relationships with your customers. You can do this by sending them thank-you letters and sending out a quick email once and awhile. Keeping your name in the top of their minds is one of the easiest ways to boost your credibility when you are trying to reach your customers and connect with them.
- Ask your customers to fill out satisfaction surveys. Surveys provide you with the opportunity to gain insight into your customer's minds. It is a great way to see if you are satisfying their needs or if you need to change a few things in order to continue keeping them happy. Give your customers something in return for their time like a discount on their next order or even a gift card to your store. It's a wonderful way to network with your target audience and it won't cost you a lot of money to do so.
- Join social media web sties. Social media is all over the internet right now and just about everyone has a page somewhere. Social media provides individuals with the opportunity to network with their friends and to keep up with some of their businesses and other things that they are interested in. Once you design a social media page, become active and be yourself. Your customers want to see that there is a personal side to your business. They like to see that you aren't always self-centered and you are truly thinking about your customers. Focus your discussions on some of the things you are doing at the business like humanitarian work and charitable donations.
- Host discussion groups where you can interact with your customers. Let them know they are free to ask any question and you will be online to answer those questions. Keep set times for the discussion groups as this will make your entire day flow easier. Use the discussion groups on social media sites as well. They provide a wonderful opportunity to sit back and learn about your target market. Feel free to pitch in some information once and awhile so people know that you are the person to turn to when they want information in your industry.
- Follow up with customer referrals and emails. Once you get an email inquiry, always follow up within 48 hours or less. This is the best way to show your customers that they come first and you are willing to help them in any way possible.