Everyone wants their business to be a success, and to be successful it has to grow. To grow it needs new customers. As much as customer retention is important – your business wouldn’t be a business at all without them – finding new customers is vital. But it can be time consuming and it might even be expensive. It is estimated that attracting a new customer is approximately 10 times more expensive as it is to retain one of your existing customers. Companies selling closeouts understand this and are well aware of how important it is to continue to sell unwanted inventory to existing customers. Closeout websites and companies that buy liquidations are not easy to come by, so it is necessary to retain customers while searching for new ones. In spite of that though it is important to try…and it need not be expensive…but it might take some effort on your part. Here are some recommendations for low cost ways to grow your closeout business by attracting new customers. What’s the hardest thing about starting and growing a business? For many small businesses, the answer is finding clients or getting closeout customers. Customer acquisition is particularly difficult if your marketing budget is limited. Here are time-tested strategies to help build your customer base of closeout websites, discounters selling closeouts and other businesses that buy liquidations.
When you sell unwanted inventory, finding customers is one of the most difficult challenges for startup and established small closeout businesses. Having a great product or service that you are sure many people will need isn’t good enough. Customers won’t find you, your store, your closeout websites or your Facebook page just because you start a business. You have to go out and find potential customers and clients. In fact, customer acquisition needs to be an ongoing focus for most closeout businesses. Even successful businesses will have customers or clients who stop buying for one reason or another. Those customers have to be replaced just to keep your business on an even keel. Companies that buy liquidations and overstock inventory are always moving, closing and changing. If you sell unwanted inventory for a living, you must always be looking for new accounts.
The secret to creating a successful acquisition plan is to know who would make the ideal customer. If you sell to businesses, consider what department is most likely to buy your products or services, and what individual (what level of responsibility) would be the one to determine the specific purchase requirements. (Make some calls if you don’t know!) Determine how long the buying cycle is. Is buying your closeout products a decision that can be made quickly by a single person? Or are you selling something that has a long buying cycle, possibly involving multiple individuals? Typically, closeouts are high volume products so decisions are made quickly and turnover is fast. Companies that specialize in unwanted inventory are always looking to make purchases and acquisitions of excess inventory and inventory liquidations. Buying closeouts is a fast paced business, so you should not have a hard time finding customers if the deals are right. Just keep in mind the best liquidations are those where a company is closing, shutting down a 3PL warehouse, moving to a smaller warehouse, or liquidating inventory and selling dead stock.Next, think about how the typical closeout buyers normally find overstock products or services like yours. What circles do they travel in? Are they active in social media? Who are they likely to listen to or where do they look when they want to buy your type of product or service. What could you do to get referrals and recommendations from those sources? Write all this information down and look for patterns. Then, to get more customers, plan ways to put yourself and your information where the people in your target market can find it when they are ready to buy. Look for publications selling closeouts and promoting overstock inventory or find closeout websites where businesses want to sell unwanted inventory and stock lots.
Look for events that may bring your potential market together. Look for fliers about the event at local networking group meetings. Or, call and ask the organizers if there are sponsorship opportunities available. Local events can be quite inexpensive to sponsor. Or if the sponsorship cost is high, they may have a “Friends” of the event option that will give you the right to have fliers at the event for a very small fee. You might be able to find closeout buyers and liquidation specialists who meet to discuss opportunities.
Everybody loves a bargain. Offer a discount to new customers on their first purchase. If you sell overstock products or closeouts that need to be purchased repeatedly, consider making that first discount contingent on the customer signing a contract for a year of service or placing repeat orders.
Don’t try to sell to them on their social media feeds. Instead, try to develop relationships with potential customers. Retweet or comment on their posts. Mention them if appropriate in your own social media posts (ie, “@JoeSmith gave a terrific presentation on retail security at today’s Chamber meeting”) Your goal: to get known and seen as a friend. Selling is a lot easier when you sell to people who feel like they know you and when they feel you are giving them a genuine deal on closeouts. If you have liquidation stock for sale, try a free giveaway or a free test of the product. Let customers see you are willing to let them try your closeouts before they have to pay. This is a great way to get customers to buy closeout online.
Email marketing isn’t the newest marketing channel around, but it continues to be one of the most effective. With an average return of $38 for every dollar spent, email outperforms digital marketing tactics like social media and paid search. It’s easy to email closeout opportunities for liquidation stock; you can include a spreadsheet with details of the products, quantities and images. If you are selling closeouts of toys as well as other liquidations of housewares, sporting goods, lawn and garden, etc, you can make a separate tab for each closeout category. It’s easy to sell old inventory through email if you are organized.
If you are new to email marketing, getting started with liquidation items and closeout brokers is easy. Sign up for an email marketing provider, gather contacts online by adding a sign up form to your closeout websites, and start sending professional messages using a mobile responsive email template. Sell excess inventory in large quantities quickly and you can also buy liquidations by using email campaigns.
If you don’t have existing customers that love you, you’re going to have trouble finding new fans. Cultivating a customer base that will add tremendous value starts with going above and beyond – truly surprising and delighting the customers you’ve got. And you can do this by offering fabulous closeouts and super deals on excess inventory. Liquidation buyers expect something special and you can give it to them if you have the right contacts for businesses wanting to sell unwanted inventory cheap.
Now, you’re eager to expand and grow your closeout business. But, growing your customer base is much easier said than done. How do you get more customers for your business? You can liquidate Amazon FBA inventory for pennies on the dollar and this will offer amazing value to your customers. You can also liquidate excess inventory and work with closeout wholesalers or closeout distributors to find deals.
Merchandise USA is a closeout buyer in business 37 years. We liquidate inventory of pretty much anything including closeout toys, closeout housewares, overstock pet products and much more. One of the best ways to keep your inventory in check is by selling dead stock and liquidating old inventory.