The ability to find and target potential customers has always been a vital part of marketing. It’s usually a time-consuming process, right from where you build your ideal customer profile until you start your lead generation campaigns.
But did you know there’s an easier, albeit sneakier, approach to getting customers that already fit your ideal customer profile?
The answer is to steal customers.
Because in business, everything’s pretty much fair game. It’s either you compete, or your business sinks. And for that reason, it’s important for marketers to know when and how to steal.
When we say stealing, it’s more from a viewpoint where you try to convince your competitor’s clients that you are the better choice.
And even for people who aren’t clients of your competitor yet, the main goal should remain the same: show people how you are better or the best.
Because once you’ve accomplished that, your troubles will switch from not having enough clients to having too many for your business to handle at once.
It all begins with good ‘ol research.
Start with the basic questions that will help you get a clearer picture of the competition, such as the ones below:
- What’s the competition offering to clients?
- What are existing clients saying about it, both positive and negative?
- Is this something I can be better at? If so, how?
- Do I have anything else I can offer to make my business stand out?
- How can I offer these solutions in an easier, faster way?
For this part, you’ll need to engage in what’s called competition analysis. But don’t worry, it’s actually easier to do today than it was a decade ago, thanks to technology and the Internet.
To do this, check if your competitor has a website. From this, you should be able to take a look at what products or services their offering.
The data you get from their website and existing reviews about their services should help you find out how you can make your business better.
And here’s an important note: While you’re analyzing reviews, gather data on the people who left these reviews, both the satisfied and unsatisfied ones. This is a great resource of potential customers you can ‘steal’ later on.
Using the knowledge you’ve gained from the first step, create marketing content that shows off your strengths as a business. Then use different social media channels to market these content.
Focus on brand awareness.
For now, don’t worry about directly reaching out to your competitor’s clients. Just focus on building up a strong brand reputation. Create business pages, share about the advantages of using your products and services, and create plenty of lead-bait content such as free PDFs or email courses.
Connect with the clients.
Next, connect with the clients in a way that doesn’t seem intrusive. Follow their activities on social media, see where they’re commenting, and add your own comment mentioning how you have a product or service they may be interested in.
Offer a free consultation or quote, and focus on building their confidence in you. Bear in mind that converting clients to your business will be much easier if they’ve had an unpleasant experience with your competition.
Touch base about your competitor’s weaknesses.
When discussing your services with the clients, there’s a chance they’ll mention their experience with the competing company. This is a perfect opportunity to slip in your insights about their weaknesses and how you can guarantee your company’s different.
There’s no doubt that clients will eventually stumble onto your website, whether from links you send them yourself or from content you’ve posted across multiple platforms.
The first thing you’ll need to do to prepare for clients is to make sure your website can handle the traffic. For that, you can use a content delivery network, or CDN, to make sure your pages load fast enough.
Furthermore, make your landing pages appealing enough and your content relevant. This shows clients that you take your work seriously and aren’t afraid to invest in delivering quality in all aspects of your business.
Keyword research can go a long way in making sure you create a compelling experience for your customers. Fortunately for you, there are dozens of cloud-based keyword research tools out there that can make this process a breeze, like Ubersuggest and Keyword.io.
Once you have found lucrative keyword ideas to fuel your content generation efforts, the next steps involve inserting these keywords into core elements of your website. This includes your posts’ title tags, image alt text tags, meta description, and headers.
If you haven’t built a website for your business yet, you can come-up and buy a domain that includes your target keyword to help it rank highly in search engine results.
Statistics show that nearly two-thirds of popular websites have keywords in their domain URL. You can take it a step further by adding one of your focus keywords to your content’s URL slug.
Here’s an example URL structure that you can use to maximize your content’s ranking potential:
Focus on building relationships.
Keeping clients up-to-date with current industry news and insights is one way of fostering good relationships. And that’s easily done by signing them up to your company newsletters.
Another good approach is to ask for feedback on a regular basis to know where you currently stand in their eyes. Whether it’s a compliment or a complaint, listen carefully and respond appropriately.
Even negative feedback is valuable. It gives you an honest gauge of the satisfaction level of your customers.
Avoid blatant self-promotion.
You are allowed to highlight the strengths of your business. But what you aren’t allowed to do is focus on yourself and your business.
It’s all about the customer, and that means the majority of the effort you take is to address their needs and solve their problems. While the concept is simple, it’s something many brands forget to do, and it can be a costly mistake.
Now that you’ve successfully stolen the competing business’ clients, what’s next?
Well, you keep them happy to the best of your ability. Because part of a successful business plan is securing your already existing client base. And this is easier said than done.
You can’t please everyone. That’s a fact. But continually improving your own services and finding out how you can better serve your clients is still the best approach you can take. While there’s no guarantee they’ll stay with you, at least you did your part and have learned valuable lessons along the way.
Always remember that stealing customers and clients is part of the battle strategy. And you will need to be a bully about it, unfortunately. But unlike real battles, instead of beating down your opponent, you focus on lifting your own business up.
Understanding the power of stealing using the approaches we’ve shared above will help you realize your own business’ true potential. It helps you identify gaps in other’s services, while at the same time improving your own.