The challenge for any business comes down to turning traffic into paying customers. How can I get people to use my marketplace? What are your competitors doing that you are not? There’s no big secret to the success of companies as they simply have a great team and or great product (and funds of course). Those factors are something that is under your control so why not build them to the best of your abilities and bring traffic your way?
Getting new leads and bring customers down the sales funnel should be the primary goal of your sales team but what if you are having trouble converting? Why are people not purchasing your product or service? Is there something wrong? Maybe your team? Sure it is always ideal to do a review when things aren’t going right but how about look at the bigger picture of things. Take a look at these 3 tips we have learned through our experiences and speaking with other marketplace owners.
1. Put Your Customers As The Focus.
Customers are the driving force in your marketplace and without them, you would no longer be in business. Whether you are providing a product or software, putting the focus on your customers is a must. Are your sales and support teams listening to what current customers are saying? The best information you can receive is, criticism when it comes to your marketplace. It can be negative or positive, as long as you and your team are learning from those experiences.
Have you run a survey for feedback from your customers? Are you checking in with them at least once a month to ensure they are happy with your platform? This will help your team build a bond with each of your customers and more importantly gain their trust. Many companies do not understand the importance of their customers and quite frankly it plays a major role in their success.
While your company will grow and soon be tough to manage every single customer you have. When that time comes, it’s vital not to forget those who have helped you get to that point. Don’t forget about your very first customers and everybody else in between. Keep the focus on every customer and not just your most recent ones. It will be tough to make everyone happy but ultimately that should be your main goal.
2. Pay To Play With The Big Dogs.
If you are a marketplace looking to make some noise in an already crowded industry, you are in for a long road ahead but is not impossible. First, you must start by understanding your market. Who are your competitors and what are they doing to attract their customers? Take the time to study their marketing strategies and see the kind of promotions they are running. It’s important to know what you will be competing against before creating your own strategy.
Once you have completed your research, look at your budgets. Do you have enough to build your brand awareness and make a splash in the market? It’s tough for anybody to use your product or service if they don’t know what it is. Your team will need to work on building your brand name and spreading the word as much as possible. Whether that is through billboard ads, social media, television, or whichever medium your target market uses most. That will be up to you and your team to decide.
While billboards come at a hefty price, especially in the Silicon Valley, they are also hard to put an ROI on. To get more targeted data and feedback, I would suggest using Google Adwords and social media to start. This will give you more concrete data to work off and some benchmarks as well.
3. Product Or Service Must Be Able To Sell Itself.
You don’t want to build a product or service that relies heavily on the ability of your salespeople. No one likes to conversate with a pushy salesman. This is far from what you want from your company. Instead, let your product or service sell itself. Create something that you and your team are proud of while “wowing” your customers. Let the customers decide for themselves whether it is something they wish to purchase or use.
How will people buy if they don’t get a chance to use it? That is where offering a free version of your product or service comes into play. Giving the opportunity for people to try it out for themselves with some functionalities can really win your customers over. Of course, there will need to be differences between the free and paid versions but offer a taste where it leaves them wanting more. Think of eating a cashew or peanut. Have you ever eaten just ONE piece? You always reach back in for more.
Attend conferences in your industry to help display the capabilities of your marketplace. Even if it’s a small booth, just being there to show attendees your brand can help build recognition. If you are a product based marketplace, let people test it out for themselves. Let them decide whether it is something they want or need and have your team their for any questions. Don’t be pushy as like I said before, your product or service should be able to sell itself.
Your marketplace will come to many different audiences and not all of them will be turned into customers. While that may sound like the ideal situation, it is very unlikely to get 100% conversion rate. As you do work on turning people into paying customers, remember to keep it manageable. Sure growth must happen to stay in business, but monitor it. If you have to turn people away for the sake of your customer service, then so be it. It is better to turn away business and refer them to your competitors rather than take them on board to only overpromise and underdeliver.
Do you have any experiences with turning your traffic into customers? We would love to hear your story! Share in the comments below or give us a shout on social media.