Customer acquisition is about more than just a quick sale; it’s about building a solid client base that will help you grow your business over time.

The point of customer acquisition is to connect deeply with your target customer — so that they want to take action now and, ideally, also want to stick around for the long haul. Doing this right will help you systematically and sustainably gain new customers and grow your revenue.

Here’s how you can put an effective system in place to consistently acquire new customers:

1. Treat customers like investments

Your customers are your most valuable asset, so think of acquiring customers as making investments. It takes time and effort for an investment to yield returns, just as it takes time and effort to prove to prospects that your brand is trustworthy and has something valuable to offer them.

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It’s not easy, but it’s worth being patient. Rushing the customer relationship doesn’t do anyone any good.

2. Create a sales funnel

A sales funnel is simply a map of the customer journey. The funnel begins when someone first discovers your product and ends when they purchase it. When you make this journey intentional and deliver an exceptional experience, your conversion rate from prospect to customer skyrockets.

In fact, 73 percent of consumers consider customer experience an important factor in their buying decisions, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

3. Focus on upselling and repeat business

Your current customers are your best future customers — really. Maximize these customers’ value and influence by getting testimonials from them, incentivizing referrals and selling larger amounts. Follow up on any problems they run into and keep delivering great customer service to retain your existing customers and turn them into fans who help grow your business by word of mouth.

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Keep in mind, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, according to Invesp, and increasing customer retention by 5 percent can increase profits by 25 to 95 percent.

4. Test, adjust, repeat

Setting up a prospecting system and sales funnel is important, but so is adaptability. If your prospects aren’t behaving as you anticipated, you’ll need to make changes.

First, check your metrics. Are you way off from your expectations or only slightly off? This will determine the size and scope of your adjustments. Then change what you’re doing. Change what you’re saying. Try different approaches and see what sticks. Customer acquisition focuses on engagement and connection, so when things don’t flow well, ask why.

The better you understand your customers, the more effectively you can strategize to achieve your business goals — by successfully turning prospects into customers, and customers into fans.

As you work to grow your operations, see how Samsung’s small business solutions can help take your business to the next level. You can also get exclusive discounts, financing and other deals on Samsung business solutions through Advantage.

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Tiffany C. Wright

Tiffany C. Wright is a former business owner and results-driven COO currently working as an SMB consultant helping owners drive major changes in their businesses and perspectives to achieve their objectives. Her clients have experienced cash flow improvement of 2 to 4 times, 20% to 250% increases in profitability, drastic increases in employee morale, transformation into salable businesses, and high owner satisfaction.

View more posts by Tiffany C. Wright