4 Rules For Finding New Customers

How do you find new customers? In today’s technology focused age, finding prospects can be a challenge. This topic is so challenging that it is a hot topic among small business speakers. Some of the rules are the same as they were before. However, with changes in consumer behavior and expectations, some rules are completely new.

Rules for finding new customers

Here are four rules you can use when you are hunting those elusive new customers.

  1. Answer the question “Who is your ideal customer?” It is a question that every business owner needs to answer in detail. The answer to that question tells you most of what you need to know when you engage potential customers. What do they need? How can your product or service help them? Is this person a business owner or a retail customer? It is a question that business owners have answered for centuries.
  2. Know where to find and engage potential customers. This is an old rule that works today, just in a different context. A few decades ago, the best way to engage a retail consumer was through an ad in the newspaper. Today, it happens with engaging content and an interactive website. It all comes down to inserting your company, brand, and products in front of the consumer in an engaging way.
  3. Realize that clients do their own research. This is something relatively new. The Internet has opened up the world to consumers and they have ran with it. Many prospects do a lot of research on their own. They will research companies and products without any input from sales people. You have to make sure that you have a strong online presence and that your online reputation is as good as your offline rep.
  4. People want to do business with people. This is a rule that is as important today as it was a century ago. Even if you do a lot of your business online, people still want to know that there is a living, breathing person behind the company. Make sure that your marketing emphasizes this human side.

Finding new customers is something you should be doing all the time. Whether you are doing it in person, having your sales team do it, or leveraging online technology, prospecting and lead generation are a must for business success.

What rules do you follow to find new customers?

6 Tactics to Make Your Marketing More Effective

Do you have an unlimited marketing budget? If you are like most business owners, the answer is “no”. That is why you need to make sure your marketing as effective as possible.

Tactics for Making Your Marketing More Effective

Here are six tactics recommended by business mentorship programs.

  1. Describe what you do or what you offer in a single sentence. That sentence should summarize exactly what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. That summary helps target your message to your target audience. If you cannot summarize exactly what you can do, how do you expect a customer to know what you do?
  2. Use your unique branding consistently in everything you do. This can include your logo, your tagline, your mascot, your color scheme, or anything that makes your brand unique. You need to use it in all your advertising and marketing efforts. Consistency builds your brand and customer recognition.
  3. Know what differentiates you from the competition. What makes you unique is your strongest marketing point. You can leverage these differences to demonstrate why a consumer should choose your company over another. You need to know this before you start any marketing effort.
  4. Establish yourself as an expert in your field. This helps to build trust in your company. You can do this by building a strong online presence, presenting articles in industry publications, and doing speaking engagements.
  5. Have a plan and work it. A marketing plan is much more than a bunch of words on a piece of paper. It is a roadmap that shows where you are, where you want to go, and how you plan on getting there. The time spent developing and solidifying the plan will save time, money and effort in the future.
  6. Remember timing is everything. You need to have the right offer, presented to the right customer, through the right channel, at the right time. For example, there is a big gathering on the beach. A budding entrepreneur sets up a drink stand in the parking lot. He puts out signs pointing out that drinks are available in the parking lot. That is well-timed marketing.

These tactics will make your marketing more effective. That allows you to reach your target market, using less of your marketing budget. That leaves money you can use to market more or to expand your business.

How to Generate 20 Leads in 24 Hours

Leads are the fuel that drives the sales cycle. Without leads, your sales efforts will dwindle quickly before coming to a complete halt. If you find that your lead flow is slowing down, generating more leads quickly will help keep your sales efforts going.

Generating 20 leads in 24 hours

Here are a few ways to get a quick inflow of leads to jump start your sales efforts.

  • Give your existing customers a reason to refer someone else. You run a business where your customers love what you do. They keep coming back for your product or service because of the value and great customer service that you give them. If you offer your existing customers an incentive for referring someone within the next 24 hours, you will get a good number of leads as a result.
  • Take advantage of a current trend. Every couple of weeks, there seems to be something that is running rampant on social media or on the news. If there is a way to hook your product or service to the trend, use it. A clever tie in can grab people’s attention and get them to pay attention. That can be just enough to give them the incentive to learn more about what you have to offer. Some of them will take the next step and become a lead.
  • Attend a local business gathering. Most communities have regular gatherings of local business leaders for the purpose of networking and community development. It is a place you can meet and greet potential clients. It is also a place where you can build your company’s profile. You will get a few leads that way. Plus, you will get your business name out there and likely get more leads in the future.
  • Get out and start talking to people. You are the best sales person that your business has. If you offer a product or service that is useful to other businesses in your community, go out and talk with potential clients face-to-face. Just introduce yourself and tell them a bit about your company. Don’t do a sales pitch. Make it an introduction visit only.

If your lead generation is sluggish and not producing what it should, it is time to give it a jump start. You can use any of these methods to pump fresh life into your sales process. Click here now for more ideas to help your business thrive!

Getting Smart With Lead Generation

Generating consumer interest in your company’s products and services is key to increasing your sales. Lead generation focuses on creating, nurturing and monitoring prospects’ interest in what you have to offer so that your sales team can approach them for conversion. With limited time and budget available, business training experts will tell you that you need to be smart about the way you approach it.

The Smart Approach to Lead Generation

  • Know your ideal customer, inside and out. This should be a given. But a surprising number of companies have never defined their target audience, or have lost sight of it as their businesses have grown. Building, maintaining, and refining consumer personas is critical if you want to attract highly-qualified leads to your company.
  • Determine the best methods for reaching your ideal customer. Once you know your ideal consumer, you should be able to tell the best options for reaching that person. Reaching a B2B customer in your industry takes a very different approach that trying to gain the attention of a 18-year-old kid about ready to go off to college.
  • Build your company’s reputation. Even with the explosion of online and automated marketing, people still want to trust the companies with which they do business. Your company needs to garner customer praise and address any negatives as quickly as possible. Your reputation can generate customers or drive them away.
  • Make your existing customers part of your sales effort. If one of your customers recommends your company to a friend, family member, or business acquaintance, you have just received the highest level lead possible. A personal recommendation from a trusted individual carries far more weight than an anonymous online testimonial or a positive review from an industry magazine.
  • Monitor all lead generation efforts. Most companies do not have an unlimited budget for lead generation or any other marketing effort. Before you deploy any lead generation campaign, make sure you have clear goals and a way to monitor it. That way you can measure just how successful things are and make adjustments as needed.

Successful lead generation begins with knowing who you should be talking to, how to talk with them, and giving them a reason to consider your company. Business training experts will tell you that building an effective, smart lead generation system takes time. But it is a worthy investment.

What No One Tells You About Networking

Networking sounds so easy on paper. There are tons of articles and mentoring programs out there that give you a series of steps to follow so you can start networking and building your business. When you get out there and try it yourself, it is not as easy as they make it out to be.

The truth about networking

Here are some things you may not have heard about networking.

  • First impressions are everything. Bad breath and stained clothing are the last things you want business contacts to remember. But, those will be the things they remember if that is the impression you present. You should look and present yourself as a professional at all times.
  • You have to be well prepared before you make first contact. When you identify a potential client or contact, you should take the time to gather pertinent information about the person and the company they represent. Even basic information will help you build a useful conversation and make a personal connection.
  • Networking is an investment. Don’t expect to introduce yourself to someone the first time and get all the benefits of networking. It is about building a relationship with a person based on trust and mutual benefit. Building that relationship takes time. After first contact, it could take several more touches before that person is ready to do business or bring you further into their trust.
  • Follow-up is almost as important as first impressions.  I like to say, “The Fortune is in  the Follow-Up” People get busy. It is very easy for them to forget about a conversation or email they exchanged with you weeks or months ago. Keep in touch with your contacts. A simple email, a phone call, a note through snail mail, or a social media message will keep you alive in their memories.
  • Don’t become a one-note conversationalist. Being an expert in your industry or niche is important. But, don’t make that the only topic of conversation you can hold. People do business with other people. Being able to have a well-rounded conversation on a number of topics is important for building trust and creating a network. And work on being more interested than interesting.

When you are networking and building that important list of contacts, you are doing it as a real person, not just as a representative of your company. Mentoring programs are an excellent way to build your skills and make networking second nature

How to Turn Your Customers Into Your Sales Team in 3 Easy Steps

Customer referrals are gold when it comes to building your business. Your customers know your products/services, your company, and your people. Any small business expert will tell you that if a customer thinks well enough of your business to refer you to a friend or family member, you have received the best sales referral possible.

The good news is that you can actually turn your customers into your best sales team.

How Do You Do It?

Building your customer sales team can be done in three easy steps:

  1. Build a relationship with each of your customers.

People want to buy from people, not some faceless, nameless automaton. Even if you do most of your business online, you need to make sure that every communication you have with your customers is personal and focused on their needs. Offer clear communications. Enhance your customer service. Be flexible. Make them feel important. Maybe even have them be part of the family.

  1. Continue to innovate.

You need to offer your customers the products and services that address their particular pain points. Even if you have a solution, continue innovating and finding new solutions. Look for new pain points to address. By offering more solutions and better products/services, you will gain your customer’s continued patronage and strengthen the relationship you have developed.

  1. Wow them.

You need to have the mindset that you and your team will do whatever it takes to get the job done. That is key to move from satisfying your customers to wowing them. Wowing your customers means having them go “Wow, no one has ever done THAT before!” Offer your customers solutions, even if it means referring them to a competitor. You cannot be everything to everyone. But, you can be the company that wants to help the customer at all costs.

Add personality to every interaction that your customer has with you. You are talking to a person, use his or her name. Treat every customer the same, no matter if they are your smallest or your largest.

This is not something that is going to happen in a day or even a week. It will take time to build the relationships and put things in place to make your customers want to join your sales team. But, it is time well spent.

Why Entrepreneur’s Have to Be Salespeople

Who is the best salesperson in your company? The answer better be you, the entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs not only have to be salespeople. You can only call yourself an entrepreneur if you are a salesperson. That is key to owning and growing a successful business.

As the business starts up

As an entrepreneur, you have to always be selling. Selling ideas, selling yourself, selling your product, selling your service. That is something that cannot let up, even when you bring other people into the company to fill sales roles.

The truth is that no one can ever sell your ideas as well as you can. This is especially true when your company is just starting up. No one has the same passion and heart as you, the entrepreneur. It is your passion and your heart that will make the difference in whether your company is a success or not.

Adding sales staff

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that a salesperson they bring into the organization will sell the company’s products or services as well as they do. While adding sales staff is a business growth strategy critical to success, it is not a guarantee of success.

Don’t make the mistake of giving the new salesperson just a brief overview of the company before dropping him into the deep end of the client pool. That person will start floundering and eventually start drowning, possibly taking a client or two with him. That is not a business growth strategy for success.

When you start bringing people in to do sales, you have to work with them until they can start taking on your passion and heart. That will take time. They need to understand what drives you and how you take that and use it to sell your brand.

The bottom line is that, no matter how many sales people you bring into the company, you are always going to be the head sales person.

How do you impart your passion and heart to your customers?

Join us at lunch for a webinar and learn more.

Want to Fix Your Sales Problems? Start Looking at the Sales Process as a Buying Process

Is there anything worse than “being sold” something? You know what I’m talking about. The hard sell. You know that the person in front of you is trying to sell you something, touting its benefits and expounding its virtues. And that person is not listening to what you are saying at all.

The truth is that people hate “being sold”, but they love to buy. If you are guilty of trying to “sell” your prospects, you need to change your approach by looking at the sales process as a buying process. It is a business growth strategy that will pay off with big dividends.

Orient your sales process around the buying process that your prospects use.

Ask open-ended questions that get your prospects talking. You need to get as much information as possible. Asking a question that allows the prospect to talk is the perfect way to accomplish this. Keep track of what they are saying and how it pertains to things you can help them with.

Delve deeper into the items they bring up. As the prospect is talking, grab on to the nuggets of information they throw you. “I am having trouble with Product X.” “What is going on with Product X?” Getting more from them gives you the information you need to sell your products or services to them.

Present solutions. Prospects are usually in the market for solutions, not necessarily specific products or services. For example, let’s say they are in the market for products to help them clear up adult acne. You present a solution that helps them clear up acne they currently have and that will help them keep future breakouts at bay. Instead of selling them a single product, you have introduced them to a line of products geared to their needs. That is a business growth strategy for any industry.

Get to the emotion behind the buying. Almost all buying is done with an underlying emotion. It may be a desire to look more beautiful. It may be frustration at an appliance that is no longer working. It may be a medical need that is causing pain or discomfort.

After you get the emotional response, your prospects are going to buy on their own. At that point, you only job is to help them through the details.

Join us for one of our webinars and learn more while you eat lunch.