1. Build An Army of Influencers

The most successful mortgage broker in Manhattan gives free seminars to new real estate agents on the mortgage banking process. These seminars help establish him as an expert in the minds of individuals whom homebuyers trust when they are seeking mortgage advice.

At every seminar, the broker gives the agents something they will use everyday in their jobs. He gives them a tape measure with his name, phone number, and email address. For a few hours of work a month and the cost of a few hundred tape measures, this mortgage banker has developed an army of referral agents that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of income for him every month. Who are the influencers in the lives of your customers? What are you doing to stay in front of them? What branded item could you give them that would be a daily reminder of your business?

2. Reward Your Customers For Referrals

MCI built one of the largest phone companies in the United States using the referral principle. The MCI “Friends and Family” program provided 20% savings on long distance if a customer’s friends and family also became members. The customer saved 20% when calling their referrals and the referrals also saved 20% when calling the MCI customer. This program created explosive growth at MCI. Afterall, who could resist the opportunity to save their friend money? Not only did the customer save but they were able to offer their friends and family a benefit as well.

Your current customers are your best source of new business. They already buy your product or service and understand the benefits of your offer. What do you do to encourage your customers to refer friends and family to your business? Does your program give incentives to both the referrer and the new customer?

3. Host A Party For Your Best Customers And Have Them Bring A Friend

Citibank holds private parties for their best customers to thank them for their business. These private parties serve as important networking events for small business owners. Being in a room full of satisfied customers reinforces the account holders commitment to the bank.

Wouldn’t it be great to have prospective customers spend time in a room full of your satisfied customers?

4. Establish Yourself As A Leader In The Eyes Of Your Potential Customers

Have you offered to serve in a leadership position in an organization so you can become visible to potential customers? Everytime the organization meets, gets PR, or sends out a newsletter, your customers, and potential customers, will be reminded of your business. On your way to obtaining a leadership position, you can obtain visibility by giving speeches to the group or getting your articles published in their magazines and newsletters.

What organizations represent your best customers? What leadership positions do you hold? What are you doing to establish yourself as an expert?

5. Form A Marketing Partnership With A Company That Serves Your Target Market

Global Rhythm is a music magazine that features the best musicians in the world. The publisher of Global Rhythm formed a marketing partnership with World Press Review, a magazine that publishes articles from the most respected news organizations in the world. The two magazines traded ads and sent out a joint direct mail piece that offered a price break for subscribing to both magazines. This partnership resulted in the most new subscribers either publication had ever received from a direct mail program and they did it at half the cost.

What organizations could you seek out to form a marketing partnership?

6. Find The First Point Of Contact

A jewelry store is one of the first businesses that becomes aware of a chain of purchases that will be in the tens and often hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your business is wedding related (hotel, caterer, DJ, florist, bridal shop, limo service, travel agent, photographer), the leads from a jewelry store would provide you with a large number of qualified prospects at little or no cost.

Is your product or service part of a chain of purchases? Where is the first point of contact for your potential customers? What are you doing to capture these leads?

7. Remind Your Customers To Buy And Get New Customers In The Process

A large national florist has a reminder service that helps customers remember important dates in their lives like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. This service sends email reminders to customers prior to the event along with an offer to purchase flowers and other gift items. To use this free service customers simply enter the email addresses of their friends and family. The service then emails these people requesting their birthday and anniversary information. The service also provides these contacts the opportunity to remember the important occassions in their lives.

How likely is it that people will purchase flowers when reminded that their mother’s, grandmother’s, or mother-in-law’s birthday is just around the corner? (Extremely likely from our experience)

Do you remind your customers to buy at certain times a year? Are you encouraging them to introduce your company to their friends and family?

8. Use A Contest To Build A Drip Marketing Campaign

A salsa manufacturer built an email list by offering a drawing for a free six pack of salsa on their website. For less than a ten dollar investment, they secured the email addresses of thousands of potential customers. Now they send out emails with promotions and special offers to elicit future sales. When they give away salsa they are almost certain to have a large portion of their audience opening the email to see if they won.

What are you doing to build an email contact list of prospective customers? What are you doing to make your emails fun and valuable for your customers?

9. Search Engine Marketing Can Deliver Explosive Growth With New Customers

A sporting goods manufacturer was trying to sell camping tents online for several months. After investing a significant amount on TV and PR, they had sold only 30 tents online.

Using search engine marketing, we drove hundreds of thousands of customers to their website and sold more than 5,000 tents in six weeks.

Are you using search engine marketing to attract customers who are actively searching for your product and service? Do you know how to find undervalued keywords that can drive traffic at a fraction of the cost?

10. What You Know Can Help You Grow

A marketing company created a free report with 10 extremely helpful tips to grow a customer base even in a bear market. Everyone who read the report was so impressed that they forwarded on this useful information to colleagues they thought would benefit from this knowledge.

(Wouldn’t you rather forward important information like this report than a series of jokes or letters that predict harm if you break the chain?)

You, and your friends, now have 10 ways to acquire customers in this bear market. With a little creativity and our help you can win the best prize of all…new customers! Pick up the phone and let Knowledge Capital chart a new path for your success. Call 1-800-260-1916 today!

Adapted from an article written by John Paul Engel, founder of Knowledge Capital for Makota Marketing in 2008. Presented here with permission. All rights reserved.