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Six Ideas to Expand Your Customer Base

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Customers are vital to any business, so it’s important to keep generating leads and retaining your existing customers. But generating new business is somewhat daunting. Kim Brown, Director – Business Solutions at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and manages IMTS, shares six ideas to help generate leads.

  1. Know your target audience. Take the time to listen to the people you call upon. Ask them about their toughest problem, work flow and what their customers want. These questions will give you a better understanding of your customers’ needs, which allows you to match up your products or service.
  2. Know the solution your product offers. Buyers come to shows seeking solutions to problems. Be ready to demonstrate how your product can contribute to their solutions and share the solutions you’ve provided to satisfied customers.
  3. Put social media to work for you. More than 50 percent of IMTS surveyed buyers use both Facebook and LinkedIn. Start up a page and follow your current and prospective customers. Observe who they follow and what they are posting – to get an idea of what’s important to them.
  4. Network. Develop the discipline to ask for a lead on every call you make. At the end of a sales call ask: “Are you aware of any other job shops or manufacturing plants that would benefit from the productivity provided by this (machine, accessory, tooling, etc.)?”  Most of the time, being referred to a prospective customer by another shop owner is beneficial.
  5. Showcase your product. Exhibit at a regional show, host an open house, and or arrange a small networking reception to learn more about your prospective customers in a relaxed setting.
  6. Use “snail mail.” Try what most of your competitors aren’t doing. Only 30 percent of surveyed IMTS exhibitors use direct mail, which means U.S. mail is a huge opportunity to extend your campaign and message. Try an economical solution like postcards. Find a powerful image and craft a unique message that provides value to your customer.

IMTS has a marketing tool that can help you with most of the ideas mentioned above. IMTS Exhibitor Passport reaches beyond the IMTS biennial event. Passport can help you zero in on those that are looking for your products and services. The demographic filters and built-in email tool allow you to locate and contact these potential customers directly from your desk 24/7!

To experience IMTS Exhibitor Passport in action and learn more, please contact Business Solutions at solutions@AMTonline.org or call 1.888.268.3292.

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