Businesses don’t succeed by chance. You can build your business by taking action and putting these five ideas into practice:

Make it easier for customers to say ‘yes’

I was trying on a pair of shoes in a department store recently, and I really liked them.

However, I told the sales assistant that I would come back and try them again when I had on more suitable clothes.

She immediately suggested that I buy the shoes, try them on at home, and if I didn’t like them, to bring them back within 30 days for a full refund.

Needless to say, I bought the shoes and didn’t take them back.

Well done to this sales assistant, another sale to a satisfied customer. She made it easy for me to say “yes”.

So think of things you can do or say that will make buying easier for your customers.

Make sure everyone in the company is selling the business

Service engineers, finance people, delivery drivers, administration, sales and customer service staff all communicate with your customers in both their business and personal lives.

They all need to be talking up the organisation they work for. The only way they will do this is if they are motivated to do so.

You need to spend less time managing people and more time motivating them.

Use your free sales force

Many people tell me that much of their business comes by word of mouth. I can only assume that they have existing customers selling on their behalf at no cost to them.

Word of mouth is an excellent way to obtain new business; however, don’t just wait for it to happen. Do something to encourage it and motivate new customers to come to you. Here’s how:

* Make sure you give existing customers fantastic service.

* Ask customers to refer you to someone else.

* Offer them an incentive to do it.

* Offer a prize or extra discount or free product for the names of some potential customers.

Sort complaints quickly

You need to do all you can to minimise mistakes in your business. However, it is inevitable that from time to time you will slip up and disappoint a customer.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world, as it can be an opportunity to demonstrate exceptional customer service.

If you recover well, then it is highly possible that a customer will forgive you and be really impressed by your service.

Network more effectively

Networking is an excellent and low-cost way to find new customers. Try to attend at least one networking event every week, especially in the early evening.

There are networking clubs, chambers of commerce meetings, trade events, exhibitions and so on.

In addition, let people in your social life know what you do. There is no need to bore them; just subtly let them know how your business benefits your customers.

So there you have it — five simple steps to help you motivate customers and build your business.