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The Business Forum Journal

 

Eight Simple Ways to Grow Your Business   
 

By George Carson

 

Businesses are always seeking new clients and most companies do so without a plan or use a process to find new clients. Making 100 sales calls per month isn’t productive anymore when you consider the odds to close new business is about 1% at best. New business development programs have been around for decades. Yet we keep searching for a full proof system that doesn’t require effort.

Maybe it is time to stop searching, and time to begin with a plan or process that will help your business today. For those who truly want to grow their business, I would suggest that you consider these eight tips. You might just be surprised how these simple little tips (reminders) can help your business grow this year.

     1: Existing Clients Bring More Business.

After we close a new client, typically we move on to search out another new client; and we tend to forget that this is both time consuming and not always rewarding.

Existing clients can bring you more business. For example, ask what their goals are and see how you can help them reach those goals. In turn, they just might buy more from you. Also, remembering that you are now their chosen supplier and "friend" and so when you ask them for referrals, you might be surprised at how eager they are to help you.

    2: Go Beyond What Is Expected.

Providing the goods and services to your existing clients is usually the easy part. But why not go one step further? Show your interest in their industry as it affects your future and learn more about it. Also, take little time to investigate your own network and contacts to see if someone might be a good match for your client.

      3: Painkillers Remove Headaches.

It does not matter what type of business or service you provide, the reason why a client does business with you is to remove their pain. So become a “listener.” Whether you are at a cocktail party, an event or other social gathering, let a potential, or existing clients vent their pain. This might sound strange, but it will help to gain their loyalty and being there to listen will show you are interested. Who knows, you might just have a solution to lessen their pain.

      4: Power Partners.

Surround yourself with similar businesses. Ask how they built their customer base and what things they did right and wrong. Ask how they improved their sales and if they have a new business development program. You may not get all the answers you are looking for, but you can learn from their mistakes to avoid those pitfalls.

Another great business source are your vendors. Ask them who they know that could use your products or services. It’s ok to request an introduction, just make sure you are offering your vendor an incentive. It can be a finder fee after you make that new sale, or a gift card to a nice restaurant.

     5:  Networking Face-to-Face.

Belonging to groups online, such as LinkedIn is fine. But the best way to find new business is through the traditional face-to-face meetings. Some people call these one-on-one meetings. The point is to meet prospects in person, while keeping your online social network active.

      6: Elevator Explanation.

This is the most known term in business, the elevator speech. Unfortunately most sales people, even business owners cannot explain their business in a short 30-second speech. Probably because we want to tell everything about our business and we fear that we might miss something in a short introduction. One way to better understand the elevator speech is to ask your self what would you put on a billboard, or say in a 30-second TV commercial. I recommend having two maybe three different elevator speeches. They can be written for specific markets, or industries. Then use the one that is most appropriate.

        7: Standing Out in the Crowd.

No matter how successful or popular a business or person might be, they are continually marketing themselves through all forms of media: print, broadcast, mailers, and social media. A day does not go by without reading about Apple, UPS, Taylor Swift, or Kim Kardashian to name a few.

This does not mean you have to spend millions, or invent the first smart phone to get noticed. You merely need to be a little creative. Join a local community program or offer your spare time to a charity.  If you are a B2B company, or B2C, use social media to build awareness. Using word of mouth and "just showing up" publicity is another inexpensive form of media that will get you noticed.

        8: Do Your Homework Before Making any Contact.

Whatever else you do to prepare you need to know who you are trying to convince to enter into an association with you. Know what the potential client company is selling; whether they have more than one location; who their competition is; and where they think that they fit into their market, are just a few things to know before making that first sales call. Being knowledgeable about their company will give you the advantage over your competition. 

These tips might sound like reminders, and they are; and you are probably saying, “I have used some of these in the past”. However, that might be the problem. They should be used all the time, but we all become too busy running the business and then we allow them to be missed when they are most needed.
 

Then I would suggest that you get your team together and allow them to voice their opinions on how to use the Super Eight Ball approach and then make this your new business development program.

 


George Carson is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute  and he has been active in the advertising arena since 1973.  He has successfully developed unique concepts, programs, designs and corporate campaigns for a variety of local, regional and national accounts.  He founded his own advertising and publicity firm in 1980. Since that time, he has provided the marketing and publicity services to a wide range of clients including: Jeep Corporation, Sir Speedy Corporation, Yamaha Sports, Regal Medial Group, Bell Brand Foods, Laura Scudder’s, CBS radio, Uniden LPGA Golf Tournament, the City of Orange, Universal Studios, Snak King, ASICS sporting goods, La Reina Family Brands, Partition Specialties Inc., MVP RV, Yamaha Music Schools, Encryption Solutions, Inc., McMahon’s RV, amongst others.  As a designer in Los Angeles, California, George co-founded a design studio where he created materials for a variety of television shows and motion pictures: including: “The Sting”, “Kojak”, and “Lombard and Gable”. He also developed campaigns for Kenny Rogers, the Osmonds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Budget Rent-A-Car, Transamerica and Occidental Life. George holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with minors in English and Photography from Cal State University of Long Beach.


Visit the Authors Web Site  ~  http://www.carsonandcompany.com

Contact the Author:  ~  Click Here


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