How does your company find new customers

New Customer Acquisition: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

What does new customer acquisition mean?

This includes all strategy-based measures that are intended to serve to acquire new customers. New customer acquisition is therefore not limited to actually making contact with potential customers, but also includes them in a broader sense planning and Success analysis the same.

There are many different instruments in customer acquisition, but it can be roughly divided into two categories:

In the Warm acquisition there are already contacts with potential customers. This is the case, for example, when an interested party has registered for a newsletter and has given a company their contact details.

In this case, it is easier to approach customers because the leads already know the company and have shown a fundamental interest in the topic through their behavior.

It is different with cold calling. Potential interested parties who have not yet come into contact with the company are addressed here.

This form of the initial approach is a significantly greater challenge, as there is no relationship with the brand or the company and it is questionable whether the product or service is actually in demand by the person addressed. In addition, cold calling is subject to legal restrictions.

What forms of new customer acquisition are there?

The most common forms of new customer acquisition are telephone acquisition, e-mail acquisition, postal acquisition, "social selling", passive customer acquisition and recommendation marketing.

In the New customer acquisition There is not just one correct approach, but various ways of winning customers, which, however, vary greatly in their use. We present the most common methods.

1) phone acquisition

Telephone acquisition is often equated with the notorious “cold calls” - cold calling by telephone. These are not only viewed critically, but are in B2C area even banned thanks to the law against unfair competition. In the case of private individuals, cold calling by telephone must be avoided, they may only be contacted with explicit consent.

It looks different in the B2B area out. So-called "cold calls" are not permitted in principle, but an exception applies if a "presumed interest”Of the company exists or can be recognized. When this is the case, however, is a matter of interpretation. As a rule, interest can be assumed if there is a connection between the offer of the caller and the product or service of the company contacted.

However, this is always a tightrope act, because the telephone acquisition of commercial customers has already been prohibited by court rulings in individual cases.

You are on the safe side here if you contact leads by phone who have expressly consented to the processing of their contact data.

2) Email Acquisition

Similar rules apply to acquisitions by email. You may not contact private individuals or companies who have not given their explicit consent. This is regulated by Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means that neither purchased recipient lists may be used, nor can you simply enter contact data from business cards into your e-mail distribution list.

However, there are exceptions: You can contact potential customers without prior consent, provided that this is not an automated mass e-mail and you use a link to your privacy policy to make it transparent why you have alegitimate interest”To have in contact.

However, Recital 47 of the GDPR defines this as follows:

A legitimate interest could exist, for example, if there is a relevant and appropriate relationship between the data subject and the person responsible, e.g. B. if the person concerned is a customer of the person responsible or is in his service. "

The cold calling cannot therefore be assumed to be of legitimate interest. Here, too, you are only legally on safe ground when potential customers have already proactively contacted your company and converted to leads, with the processing of your own data explicitly consented to.

3) Postal acquisition

The New customer acquisition Posting may seem a bit antiquated, but it has several advantages. In contrast to an e-mail, a letter does not end up in the spam folder, is not deleted that quickly and can be touched, which is more likely to catch the recipient's attention.

At the same time, this way of acquiring new customers is not as strictly regulated as addressing them by phone or email. However, you have to react to the explicit request of a recipient not to receive any more mail and discontinue this.

It should also be borne in mind that sending physical promotional materials higher cost caused. In addition, when measured against digital alternatives, “offline” is not that easy potentially suitable customers identify.

4) "Social Selling"

"Social selling" is certainly one of the most modern acquisition instruments. Here you work specifically on the creation of large networks in social media, look at the activities of other users and establish direct contact with potential interested parties.

Business networks such as LinkedIn and XING are particularly suitable for the B2B area while Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in B2C area are attractive.

The procedure brings various advantages with himself. On the one hand, you create a personal and less intrusive way of making contact, as the addressees can see who they are dealing with based on your profile. On the other hand, social networks offer a lot of information about the interests and demographics of the users so that you can easily identify members of your target group.

However, "social selling" is also comparatively complex and resource-intensive, as regular and active social media activity is required and it can take time to develop a noteworthy network.

5) Passive customer acquisition

Especially since the direct approach of potential customers is subject to more and more legal restrictions, the inbound sales principle for warm acquisition is becoming more and more important.

Just like with the Inbound marketing The point here is not to force contact on interested parties, but to provide them with so much relevant information that they themselves seek contact and ultimately the purchase.

It is crucial here that companies are online as much as possible extensive information about your products and the problemsthat solve these, provide. If a user Googles the problem they want to solve, they find the relevant content, if necessary, subscribe to the newsletter and give the company permission to contact them.

Now he can continue from the marketing and sales teams according to his position in the buying process as part of the Nurturing be supplied until it is ready for the final purchase.

6) Referral Marketing

Another method of circumventing the legal restrictions is not to acquire customers yourself. Instead, you can be confident Regular customers be encouraged to recommend you. One common method is to give existing customers benefits for every acquaintance they refer.

That too Affiliate marketing works on a similar principle: influencers recommend your product by sharing the appropriate link and receive a commission for every purchase made through that link.

Review portals are also part of recommendation marketing. The basic idea behind the concept of “social proof” is that interested parties are more likely to buy from companies that have been positively rated by other customers.

Almost 32 percent of consumers state that reviews have a decisive influence on their purchase decision. So it pays to actively ask your customers for a review after they make a purchase.

New customer acquisition in B2B vs. B2C

In addition to the differing legal provisions, B2B and B2C also vary in how they approach customers.

in the B2B Direct approach is crucial. You almost always communicate directly with potential customers. Cold calling is not only relatively unproblematic from a legal point of view, it is also widely accepted in many industries. The personal approach, for example in the context of trade fairs, is of particular importance.

This is also due to the fact that B2B sales are mostly about expensive products and services as well longterm cooperation who want to be carefully considered. Accordingly, it is also important to provide close support throughout the entire sales process. If you want to do traditional advertising, then the specialist media are particularly useful in order to reach the right recipients.

in the B2C on the other hand, customer acquisition is more likely to happen indirectly through trade than an intermediary. This brings with it the challenge of having to convince both middlemen and end customers.

However, you can also get in direct contact with end customers and complete sales via web shops. Many products are less expensive and therefore less advice-intensive, such as classic consumer goods for everyday use. The individual sales process is therefore usually completed much faster and less time-consuming.

How does strategic new customer acquisition work?

The New customer acquisition does not just consist of addressing customers. Instead, it should be well thought out and planned as a strategic approach and systematically carried out in several steps: Define goals, view the offer critically, define buyer persona, check resources, collect contact information, determine the approach to acquisition, train sales staff, planning results, practical implementation of new customer acquisition.

1) Set goals

At the beginning there should be the definition of goals that are to be achieved. For example, do you want to increase your market share, open up new markets or establish a completely new range of services? Depending on which goal is in focus, other acquisition instruments should be used to address specific target groups.

In order for the goals to be achievable and verifiable, you should also use the SMART principle (specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timed).

2) Consider the range of services

Before considering how to communicate your offer, you should first determine what you can and would like to convey to potential customers. Take a critical look at your own offer and compare it with competitors:

  • What is your Unique Selling Point (USP, USP)?
  • Why should prospects choose you and not them competitor decide?

At this point there is also one SWOT analysis to internalize your own strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and dangers of the market. This not only opens up the opportunity to improve your own range of services, but you can also anticipate and refute objections in sales discussions.

3) Define buyer persona

So that New customer acquisition If it is successful, the targeted target group must also be precisely defined. Only if you know exactly the wishes, needs and problems of your potential customers can you deal with them effectively in the acquisition discussion.

In order to make this target group more tangible, it is possible to define a buyer persona. You create a fictional person who represents a typical customer, including information such as:

  • Surname
  • Age
  • job
  • income
  • marital status
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Values ​​and beliefs
  • Requirements for the product or service

When designing, you can rely on the Regular customer data fall back and look for patterns. The buyer persona not only determines the content and tone of your address, but also that optimal form of acquisition and the appropriate communication channel.

For example, if your buyer persona is 65+, single and has a rather conservative attitude, it makes little sense to try to address them via "social selling". More traditional forms of acquisition, such as the post, are more suitable here.

4) Check resources

In addition to the buyer persona and their preferences, your resources also determine the appropriate approach to acquisition. You should take time, financial and personnel-related factors into account.

  • "Social Selling" This means, for example, a high expenditure of time and personnel, as you have to be constantly active in social media over a longer period of time in order to build up reach and a network.
  • Also the Telephone acquisition takes time, as only one acquisition call can be held at the same time per employee.
  • E-mail acquisition however, it reaches all contacts in your distribution list at the same time.
  • The postal acquisition on the other hand is legally more secure, but also associated with higher costs for postage and material.

5) Collect contact information

Now it is time to take action and start looking for contact details. They form the basis of everyone New customer acquisition.

There are many ways to find contacts. From the simple one Google research to potential B2B customers in the region Associations up to social networks There are a wide variety of options open to you here. You should, however, keep your hands off the contact lists offered for sale, as with their use (as explained above) you are stepping on the black ice!

Also, make sure you choose the right one from the outset, if possible Contact Person and avoid unspecific contact, for example via “info @ ...” email addresses.

In the sense of the passive new customer acquisition Trade fair appearances, self-organized workshops or other events are also a good opportunity to acquire new contacts. Because in this way you offer prospective customers who proactively decide to participate directly added value and convey a less oppressive feeling.

Also important: Enter the collected contact addresses directly into a well-organized customer relationship management tool (CRM). This way you can keep track of things, group your contacts better and reach them more easily with automated communication measures.

6) Determine the exact procedure

Now it is a matter of deciding on one or more specific acquisition approaches and different channels in order to win customers.

The aspects mentioned so far should be taken into account:

  • How do they see legal framework out?
  • Which Path of acquisition are you even allowed to consider?
  • How do you get there Buyer Persona preferably?
  • Which activities are accepted and common in the industry?
  • Which forms of acquisition can be used with the existing resources actually implement?

7) Train salespeople

Once the first contact has been made and an appointment has perhaps already been made, the real challenge is on - to convince potential customers in the acquisition meeting.

To do this, you shouldn't leave anything to chance. Train your sales reps in Interviewing and Conversation techniques, so that they can appear determined but not too dominant, informed but not too sober. Sales strategies can serve as a guide.

SPIN-Selling, for example, ensures that you can actually identify the problems of a potential customer and offer them tailor-made solutions instead of simply imposing a product on them. Let your salespeople act as "challengers" who always keep control of the communication.

8) Results planning

Results planning is about further intensifying the general goals and defining them for shorter periods of time.

For example, you can specify that X contacts per week should be contacted by phone. Then record how close you have come to this goal and how successful the discussions were in detail.

  • Has been Information material requested?
  • Could one meeting be agreed?
  • Or did it even come to Purchase completion?

In this way, you can check the success of your acquisition strategy in detail and make adjustments at an early stage if necessary.

9) Practical implementation

After all preparations have been completed, you can now start the actual acquisition. For example, write up a letter of acquisition and send out the first e-mails.

Very important: Check your approach (in comparison with the results planning) again and again and change your strategy if it does not bear fruit.

But also keep in mind that the New customer acquisitionis never a hundred percent success. Even the best strategy will not lead to every prospect that is addressed becoming a customer in the end. So be patient and don't let the first refusals discourage you.

Tips to avoid classic mistakes in customer acquisition

Even the best strategy and planning cannot protect against immediate success or failure. However, with these tips you will come into your own success New customer acquisition even closer.

1) Just convey a message

Motivated salespeople are quick to get lost in describing the many benefits a product offers. The interlocutor cannot grasp all of the mentioned aspects at all. This often leaves a watered-down impression of a product without a clear profile.

On the other hand, concentrate on a central message that you want to convey in the sales pitch: This should ideally include the extent to which the product or service is considered to be for the specific prospect Problem solver serves and added value creates. In order to find out, it is important to research as exhaustively as possible in advance and to listen carefully.

2) Build a large network

Networks tend to be neglected in companies. Only 17 percent of managing directors state that there are established processes for evaluating network activities in their company.

Networks are the be-all and end-all for long-term and constant New customer acquisition to be able to operate. This is because interested parties will automatically become aware of you via a shared network. At the same time, you can more confidently address potential new customers by referring to mutual contacts.

You can use networks both online in professional social networks how to build Xing and LinkedIn as well as offline, for example via Founders meeting and Industry events.

3) Emphasize emotional value

People don't buy products, they buy Solutions to your problems and these problems usually have a Strengthemotional component. It is therefore crucial that supposedly sober, factual products also address this value.

Insurance, for example, is closely related to the fear of (financial) loss. It is therefore important to emphasize the level of security that insurance offers.

But be careful: Especially with articles such as financial products, the hard facts, which enable customers to soberly weigh up, should of course not be neglected.

4) Do trust and relationship work

Of course, the product is in the foreground in sales negotiations. However, you should not underestimate that you, as a company, play an important role in the background in the purchase decision. Especially when it comes to long-term cooperation or the retention of regular customers, you need to be trustworthy cooperation partner prove.

Provide insight into your Corporate philosophy and behave reliably, empathically and openly. Once a stable business relationship has been established, it can last for a long time with good care.

5) Do continuous acquisition

Another common mistake: Companies operate intensively immediately after they are founded New customer acquisition and then let them rest as soon as they are full. Only when the first customers migrate or the company has grown significantly will new customers begin again.

In fact, new customer acquisition should be a continuous process be. In particular, the establishment and maintenance of networks and valuable contacts should not simply be paused and resumed at a later point in time. Rather, acquisition activities should be aimed at everyday businessin order to guarantee an even and largely predictable proportion of new customers.

6) Remain concerned about the customer even after the purchase

And finally: The acquisition of new customers is crucial, but that is even more important Care of existing customers. According to a study by Adobe, an average of 20 percent of regular customers in companies account for 40 percent of total sales.

So don't be tempted to let the contact with your customers fall asleep after the purchase has been made. Instead, try that in the sales process to further expand the established relationship.

In this way, ultimately benefits New customer acquisition. Satisfied existing customers become promoters of your company who you recommend to friends, business contacts or even strangers via rating platforms.

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