The ability to build networks is vital for you as an entrepreneur. Make use of every opportunity to forge a new connection – whether on a plane, in a queue or at a conference. Your new acquaintance, if not potentially a client, could provide you with a referral.
Seek business amongst existing customers
You have a proven track record with your clients – it’s easier to make a new sale to your current customer base.
Implement a relationship marketing strategy to ensure you stay in touch and keep your brand top of mind. Consider offering your customers a loyalty programme to encourage repeat purchase and launch new product offerings to them first.
(Netflorist has expanded from an online purveyor of flower arrangements to a supplier of an extensive range of gift products, including personalised birthday cakes, jewellery and perfume. It’s successfully increased the number of special occasions on which its customers can buy.)
Obtain testimonials from your customers and use these in your presentations to your prospects. If possible, ask your clients to refer you to other potential buyers. You may even consider incentivising them to do so.
Attend at least one networking event per month. Select a business chamber meeting in your business area. Have your 30 second elevator pitch ready when asked about your business but focus on listening and finding out what the needs are of those you meet.
Exchange business cards with key people and follow up, sending an e-mail within 24 hours.
Attending exhibitions or talks in your industry provides an opportunity to raise the profile of your business. First prize is to be a speaker at an event. This will automatically portray you as an expert in your field and increase the chance of attracting new clients.
LinkedIn is excellent for business networking. Draft a business profile written with the interests of your prospects in mind. Define what they are seeking and show, in your write up, how your business can fulfil their needs.
Garner testimonials and endorsements on LinkedIn and connect with at least 500+ people in your target market. Pen a regular value add article and publish it in Pulse on LinkedIn. This will be sent to all your connections.
(On two occasions I’ve had clients who signed up with me, having read an article which they received via Pulse.)
Former sales guru, Zig Ziglar, said that selling is a transfer of feelings. Make sure you are enthusiastic when you meet your prospect. People will only do business with those with whom they feel comfortable.
Business and Executive Coach