Archive for 2006
Clients come to me because their sales are not where they would like them to be – they want to see higher revenues in their business. They want to attract new customers. And they want me to tell them how. My answer is always the same. How much networking do you do? What do you do on a regular basis to get in front of new prospects?
I did a seminar for a group of graphic designers who were all struggling to grow their businesses. The only networking they did was to attend graphic design conferences – where they met other graphic designers! Like most people, they hated networking.
To grow your business, you have to uncover new opportunities. How do you expect new customers to find you? Networking is one of the most effective ways to find them and to build visibility for your business. It offers you the chance to expand your network. Figure out places where your potential customers hang out, such as:
- Local chamber of commerce
- Industry organizations
- Business networking groups
Put together an interesting description of what you do that will encourage people to ask you questions. One businesswoman who is an executive management coach, describes herself as a “corporate instigator”. She leaves every event with 2-3 good contacts and her practice is booming – she even has a wait list for new clients.
Still hate networking? Get over it!
Ever wonder how to differentiate yourself or your company in a world where the starting point is excellence? A world where being great at your job, having all the right tools and products – is the commodity-level minimum?
Most of the clients I see in my coaching practice want to build their business and their focus is on finding new prospects. Finding new customers is great, but landing a new one takes a lot more time and energy than expanding your business with existing customers.
As business people we are all guilty of overlooking the gold in our existing networks. One of the first things I get clients to do is to look at their existing database to see what opportunities they might have missed out on. It is a simple process. Go through your Outlook, your day timer, your notebooks for the past year or two. Make a list of those people you have not spoken to in a year; see who you want to connect with. Get in touch and remind them of what you are up to – see if there are any opportunities to do business together. Almost every client ends up uncovering some new business.
A butterfly chaser is a salesperson who will spend time generating leads and then abandon them if they do not make the sale immediately.
This behaviour is costly to your business. Generating a lead and building a relationship with a customer takes time but it does pay off in loyalty and sales.
It can take an average of 4 or more contacts before a sale is made. 46% of people call once and quit. Only 25% contact a prospect twice. Are you quitting on a prospect too soon? Are you letting business go to your competition?
Be quietly persistent and show a clear interest in understanding the customer’s needs and how your product provides a solution to them – you will close the deal more often and your business will grow.