Growing a small business with competition around means that occasionally you do need to take customers from your competition. Of course, this is always done without any hard feelings, but it’s necessary if you’re providing a service or product that others provide, too. Android and Apple did it to RIM because both were providing a more exceptional product than the Blackberry that was currently on the market. So if you’re struggling a little with your own profitability, see if these tips can help you win over some customers.
Have an Ear to the Ground
Are you listening to the people who already use those other companies? Even if they won’t talk to you specifically, they’re probably talking in public about the good or bad service that other companies are providing for them. For example, places like Yelp and Awards dinners can help you find disgruntled gossip about your competitor. Take that feedback and figure out the competition’s strengths and weaknesses so you can beat their offering.
Find a Client List
Some companies aren’t very good at hiding their client lists, especially if they use social media actively and engage their customer base often. While you can’t start messaging people and expecting them to magically switch over to your company, you can find out which kind of customer (and which customers specifically) you should be targeting. Facebook and LinkedIn are best for this type of “poaching”.
The Small Things Mean a Lot
When you’re trying to win someone over, often the little things are what do it, not huge discounts and unreasonable promises. For example, maybe you can pick up laundry for someone that’s doing business for someone else, or offer them an exclusive online coupon if they come to you instead of staying with a competitor. For example: Tmobile, if you switch from another large company, will offer to pay part of your termination fees.
Winning customers isn’t a quick process, but with a little focus, charm, and cleverness, you should be able to score some pretty big clients from companies that have already done the leg-work for you.