"It is impossible for ideas to
compete in the marketplace if no forum for
their presentation is provided or available."
Thomas Mann, 1896
The Business Forum
Eight Simple Ways to Grow Your Business
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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