Having clients is great but having clients that reside close to your business location is superb! Why? Because these clients are well within your reach and you can use a number of marketing tactics to engage them and increase their interest. This includes some strategies that you can’t use on certain clients because they reside further away. Catering to clients that are from within your area is good news on many accounts and you should definitely use the opportunity to your advantage.
The benefits include a potential decrease in costs, an increase in customer engagement, and a higher probability of customer loyalty. How many of you would go to a grocery store that is far away from your area? Would you prefer a salon that provides quality services that is close by or one that is located further away? Are you more likely to visit a furniture shop on the other side of the city or one that is near your area of residence?
One reason why customers have opted for online shopping so fast is because it gives them access to a huge variety of products without the need to travel long distances. However, a recent study has suggested that 85% of consumers still prefer to shop in physical stores. Therefore, a brick and mortar store located nearby is far more appealing to customers, especially if it provides what a customer needs and can grab her attention.
How can you make the most of this opportunity? Here are a few ideas on how to cater to clients from within your area.
- Have an open house event
Clients want to know more about your business, its products and services, and they can’t do that when you keep your business behind closed doors. While your shop or office is probably open during working hours, you may not get the opportunity to provide clients with all possible information about your business.
Arranging an open house event will allow clients, especially those living nearby, to discover your business venue, get ample information about your products and services, and ask any questions that they may have in mind.
Make sure you arrange the event, provide substantial information and demonstrations where needed, and also try to provide appetizers and drinks to let them know that they are valued.
Remember that open house events will allow you to give the right first impression and then set the ground for a fruitful business relationship in the future.
- Invite them to a party
Who doesn’t like being invited to parties? Clients from within your area are like family and if they continue to be loyal customers, they definitely deserve special treatment. You can celebrate business success, your business anniversary, or other important milestones by throwing a party and inviting all your clients from within your area. You can also celebrate national holidays or other fun days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the day that your country won the cricket or football championship, etc. Inviting clients that live close to your area to a party creates goodwill and lets them know that they are valued. This would definitely give a boost to their loyalty and appreciation for the business.
You can also simply hold a client appreciation party and allow your clients to get together, have fun, and get to know you in a more casual atmosphere. This would encourage them to continue to purchase from your business or avail your services.
- Don’t charge them any shipping fees
Sometimes your business demands that you charge separate shipping and handling fees. While it may cost more to ship goods far away, it may be much cheaper to deliver products to clients who are located nearby. Hence, to encourage these clients to make repeat purchases and to increase their loyalty, refrain from charging shipping fees from those located within a certain distance of your business when they want products delivered. You can also deliver goods to them through a sales delivery representative free of charge rather than opting for courier services.
Customers within your area are then likely to continue to give you business as they do not have to pay any shipping and handling fees and can still get the product delivered to their doorsteps. If you are in the service business, you can still give customers the benefit of not charging travel costs for services such as carpet cleaning, lawn mowing, plumbing, and other services that may be needed at home.
- Ask them for testimonials after a free trial
If you have new customers within your area, this is your chance to ask them for a testimonial by allowing them to try your product or service for free. You can simply have a few samples delivered to them or you can ask a representative to knock on doors and offer services for free.
It is not a good idea to get pushy though as you do not want to annoy customers. For example, a new pizza parlor can send freshly baked pizzas via a delivery man and distribute them within the area or you can ask a sales representative to give out coupons for a free makeover at your salon.
Give the customers located close to you a treat and watch them prefer giving you business in return. Make sure you ask them to give you a testimonial and feedback after their free trial. Use negative feedback to make improvements and make sure your future customers know all the positive things that were said about your business.
- Profile your clients
It is easier to profile clients who are located close to you as you gain a lot of insight into their lifestyles, preferences, and purchasing behavior. You can ask a marketing analyst to study the needs of clients within your area to determine how to engage them, send them offers and how to nurture the relationship so they can make repeat sales. For example, if you are a company providing home maintenance services, you may notice that a customer’s garden fence needs painting and decide to offer them a good deal.
You can send them a personalized offer to paint their fence with durable and stain-free paint – something that they probably have not been using before. It is easier to profile and target clients that are located closer to you while it may take a tad bit more effort to understand the needs of clients who are located far away.
- Run ads on local television networks
Advertising locally is cheaper than advertising to an audience that is dispersed all over the country. Studies suggest that local advertisements usually generate many leads from clients residing in the area, while businesses marketing to clients located at a distance may receive less of a response. Why? Because clients like convenience and visiting a local business is much more easier than opting for one located further away.
How do you grab the attention of the local audience? Market your product or service to them through a local television advertisement that is specifically tailored to attract the local audience and meet their needs. Ensure that the tone and content of the advertisement is conducive to the type of environment that your local audience lives and socializes in.
If you cannot afford a local television advertisement, opt for local radio stations, newspapers, magazines, or billboards. You can even use Facebook to reach a local clientele and appropriately target them.
Now that you know a lot about local advertising, get going and turn local customers into loyal customers! A CRM software will likely help you segment and target each customer appropriately. Combine the mentioned tips with your savvy business acumen, and you are sure to have a win-win situation!