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There are two ways you can attain new customers: find them or steal them.

But since “stealing” is such a dirty word, you could also say “woo” or “attract” them from your competitors.

3 ways to win over customers from your competitors

The last thing you want to do is try to actually play dirty by undermining your competitors directly, but by implementing a few key changes, you could influence their decision to make a switch. 

Here’s how:

1. Offer better service

This time-tested way is still one of the most effective strategies for attracting customers away from your competitors and joining your team.

The idea is simple:

find unhappy customers and offer them the support that their current provider can’t.

But how do you find those unhappy customers in the first place?

While you could run an ad that targets customers from your competitors and let them come to you, one of the best ways is to stalk the customer service twitters of other companies and find the ones that are unhappy with the level of service they received.

This shouldn’t be too hard, since a lot of companies have a separate twitter account for customer service than they do for their primary company, primarily to keep the negative experiences dominate their image.

Go one by one through each of the complaints and find ways you could do better.

Then simply retweet or reach out to them via private message.

Most won’t respond, but some will, which, over time, can develop into a solid quota of “stolen” customers.

Target them, speak to them using one of the best free CRM tools out there, and you’re in business.

2. Pay to advertise to their followers

Unfortunately, you can’t actually focus your social media campaigns to a competitor’s exact audience, but you can target people who have similar interests.

The spectrum of people that may have liked a particular page could be all over the map, but by putting in a company name into the targeting section of Facebook’s ad manager, you can see what their interests are, and then target accordingly.

Likewise, you could do the same with Twitter ads as well; most people follow companies on Twitter to receive promotions or coupons, so targeting those brands with similar offers could net you some customers.

One of the more under-utilized techniques in the paid advertising world comes in the form of emails.

Gmail – one of the largest email platforms in the world – allows you to target people based on a variety of keywords, topics, interests, etc, and place an ad directly in their inbox at the top of their queue.

These ads look like e-mails and, like most ads, only charge you if they click on them. This is a perfect technique for both B2C and B2B companies.

3. Go after their SEO through Google Adwords

This one can be sticky, especially when you consider the mile-long list of Google’s terms and services agreement for using their advertising platform, but if executed properly, can be a huge coup for your company.

While you have to be careful about using brand names in AdWords, you can position your brand next to theirs by doing a mock comparison ad: “[Your Brand] vs {Your Competitor’s Brand]”, or something similar.

Why should you do this?

Simple. Most people who are looking for the types of goods and services you and your competitors are in may search for your competitor before you – especially if they have a significantly larger following.

Putting yourself alongside them in a paid advertisement allows them to see you in the same spot as their competitor, forcing them to make a choice. It’s subtle but surprisingly effective.

One of the obvious downsides to this tactic is that you’re essentially paying to advertise for your competitors, but by leveraging their brand recognition, you could piggyback off of their success by drawing some of their customers away for your superior goods and services.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics before? What other tactics could you suggest? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments section below!


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