How To Turn One-Shot Customers into Lifelong Profits

If you want your business to grow exponentially--that is, quickly-- focus on acquiring repeat and referral customers by using the Individual Approach.

Too many small business owners inadvertently chase the business equivalent of a one-night stand by not connecting with customers on a personal basis. As a result, many of them don't get the growth and profits they should.

Using the Individual Approach couldn't be easier. You simply treat all current and prospective customers with sincerity, respect and dignity. It means getting to know each of them--if possible--on a personal and emotional level.

While this may at first glance appear unrealistic or even unprofessional in many circumstances--such as small business owners who deal with larger corporate clients--keep in mind that most people frequently use subconscious factors when making business decisions.

It's no secret that people are attracted to others like themselves or to those who make them feel needed, appreciated and comfortable.

And it's also no secret that successful business owners aren't necessarily the ones with the best product or service or the best price. More often than not, they're the ones who have the best rapport with their customers.

Most of the highly successful business owners I know use the Individual Approach with outstanding success. From the moment you meet them, you feel warmth, compassion and a sense of belonging. You feel so good about dealing with them that you will buy from them over and over again and you'll tell others to do the same.

The fact is, if your price and product is the same or only marginally better than your competition's, you will someday--if not already--lose sales to a competitor who is using the Individual Approach. That's because given a range of equal or similar choices, customers will gravitate to the business who they can connect to on an emotional level.

I once had a client in the advertising business. This agency had a couple of really talented artists and copywriters whose work was absolutely fantastic. They were clever, intelligent and had, I felt, a lot of brilliant ideas. But they ended up going out of business. Can you guess why?

Among other reasons, they never used the Individual Approach. Yes they were talented and smart, but they never really hit it off on a personal level with their clients. Their great ideas frequently took a back seat to their aloofness and condescending attitude towards clients. How do I know? Because many of their clients were my clients too.

You see, if you don't establish rapport with your customers, there's no incentive for them to remain loyal. And if customers don't have an emotional or personal reason to stay with you, they'll be easy prey for a competitor with a lower price, a dazzling ad or a captivating sales pitch.

If you want customers to remain customers, use the Individual Approach on them. Once your customers get a taste of it, they'll find it hard to do business elsewhere.


--->DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. Acknowledge customers by first name if possible. Act genuinely interested and happy when you see them. Talk about THEIR family, THEIR job or THEIR business. If you don't have the type of business where you meet customers face-to-face, call them or write a personal note instead. Be creative and don't forget to use the power of the Internet to stay in contact with and solidify your business relationships.

--->CREATE AN 'IN-FUN' ENVIRONMENT. People naturally like to have fun and be entertained. Why not capitalize on this fact of human nature and create a fun and compelling buying atmosphere? Of course, not every business is suited for this type of environment, but if you can make things lively and interesting--go for it. In the end, you'll attract many more repeat and referral customers.

--->SHOW COMPASSION AND CARING. Your customers are human beings just like you. They have concerns, desires and needs. Maybe they had a sick child this morning. Maybe one of their parents is terminally ill or stricken with Alzheimer's. Be nice to them. Show them you care with a special note, gift or card.

--->FIRE A SALVO ACROSS THE BOW OF A BIGGER COMPETITOR. The Individual Approach is a great way to compete against larger competitors or the major chains. You could, for example, position yourself as the--courteous and knowledgeable local store owner who offers personal attention. Although the big chains may always manage to take customers away from you, there will always be a significant market of people who like to patronize local merchants offering value, service and personal attention.

--->MAKE AFTER-THE-SALE-CONTACT. Contacting a customer after the sale is a powerful way to use the Individual Approach. It builds repeat business, rapport and goodwill. It's also a very easy and inexpensive way to find out what's potentially wrong with your product or service.

--->TRAIN EMPLOYEES INCESSANTLY. If employees are the first people to make contact with your customers, you must train them on using the Individual Approach. Never assume that an employee will treat your customers the way you want them treated. Remember that employees don't have the same stake in your business as you do. While you might overlook an unreasonable client because of their valued business, an employee might not - especially if they're having a bad day.

If you want to learn additional ways to attract business and increase profits using highly effective goldmine business strategies, sign up for my complimentary insider ezine at

In today's ultra competitive business climate, creating loyalty among customers is of critical importance. For maximum business growth and profits, focus on using the Individual Approach at every opportunity.

Alex Goumakos CPA publishes Gold Mine TacticsR, the e-zine that reveals the strategies used by highly successful entrepreneurs to increase profits, pay less tax and build wealth. Stop by and grab a complimentary subscription.

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