In this week’s blog post, we are going to look at a very important part of every business: prospecting for new clients and customers. We’ll share some tips and techniques that should make acquiring new leads – and closing those leads – a whole lot easier!
Prospecting Tips to Increase Business
Running a business is a never-ending job – if you are lucky. The minute you quit trying to obtain new clients and customers, you may as well close the door. Unfortunately, obtaining new clients is not always an easy task. Part of the process is knowing where to look for new clients and figuring out how to make those clients come to you.
One great method for finding prospective clients is through places such as your local chamber of commerce, networking groups, workshops, or even community events. At these types of events you can shake hands with local business leaders and corporate decision makers (the people who will ultimately decide if the prospect becomes your client) and start the pivotal process of building a relationship that will (hopefully) one day turn into one of a business nature.
The key to this type of prospecting is not coming on too strong or trying to pitch your business or product – that comes later. Instead, this is all about building that initial contact and generating a “lead”. If the prospect decides to pursue you on the spot, that is great, but it should always be their decision in this type of setting, and not because you “pitched” them.
Another great way to prospect in this type of setting is to be one of the keynote speakers, presenters, or guest hosts. By presenting about a topic related to your business, you present yourself as an expert on the subject matter, and, on a subconscious level, advertise your service at the same time – and all you have to do is share your knowledge!
Profiling Your Prospects
Knowing who you are targeting as a client should be a basic business practice, but you would be surprised at the number of business owners that neglect this crucial step.
Let’s face it – your product or service will not appeal to everyone. Wasting money advertising to, or targeting, potential prospects that have no need for what you are offering is a huge waste of money and time and will result in a poor ROI.
Having a profile of your ideal customer will help resolve this issue. By knowing the key profile traits of your best customers, you can begin to build a prospecting list that will instantly be more successful than taking the shotgun approach – that is, pointing the gun and seeing where the bullets land.
As an example, maybe your product only appeals to women and is something men would never purchase, even as a gift. If you ignore this simple fact, 50% of the prospects you target are going to automatically never convert to a sale. Business rule #1: always know your audience!
Never Underestimate Referrals
Finally, one of the greatest prospecting tools available to a business owner is customer referrals. There is no better advertisement than a satisfied customer. Without having to spend a dime on advertising, a referral from a happy client can net you multiple prospects, all of whom enter your marketing funnel with a positive view of your company and services/products. In the business world, it doesn’t get any better than that!