Prospecting Tips For Your Small Business

Are you in the dark about how to start small business? The very first item on your to do list should be prospecting leads.

With the dozens of details to consider-finding a location, appealing to investors, choosing the right suppliers, and hunting for employees-it can be easy to lose sight of what should be your most important focus: the customer.

After all, without customers, you haven’t any business.

You might have the best product or service anywhere, but if you have not drawn up a marketing plan outline for prospecting leads that can benefit from your new business idea, you’ll be struggling with how to start your small business.

The good news is, lead generation doesn’t have to be rocket science. With the right combination of research, planning, and execution, you can increase your market presence and make yourself known to your target demographic.

Top 8 Prospecting Tips

1. Create a concrete plan. Before you start prospecting leads, spend some time formulating a realistic, workable plan of attack.

For example, if you’re marketing a product or service to businesses, create a list of target companies along with the name of the department and person you need to reach. Determine how you’ll attempt to contact them (phone, email, or a face-to-face visit at their office or at a networking function).

2. Become an event junkie. Conferences, trade shows, and seminars can be gold mines for prospective customers. Look in newspapers and online for event calendars.

If you run a wedding planning business, invest in booth space at a bridal show. If you sell landscaping services, contact the coordinator of an upcoming home and garden show and offer to give away a free lawn treatment in exchange for prime advertising placement. Attending industry events is also a great way to build a network of professional associates in the industry.

3. Peruse the papers. Take a few minutes each day to scan the local headlines. Be on the lookout for new businesses opening up, awards or promotions that have been bestowed, and any developments related to your product or service. Drop an email to the people mentioned in the articles letting them know you saw the piece and subtly upselling your offering.

4. Watch your competitors. While you’ll want to develop your own unique approach, studying the competition can help you stay up to speed on the latest industry trends and developments. If your biggest rival is offering free shipping during the holidays, you may want to follow suit to remain competitive. It’s also a good idea to place advertisements in the same publications and venues as your competitors.

5. Don’t be afraid to follow up. One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is pay a single visit to a prospect and then sit back and wait for them to come knocking. After the initial contact, it’s essential to follow up to gauge their level of interest, answer any remaining questions, and attempt to close the deal. If they aren’t ready to buy, ask if they know anyone who may have a need for your product or service.

6. Use the power of referral marketing. One delighted customer can lead to dozens more. Why wait for word-of-mouth advertising to happen on its own? Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to spread the word to their friends and colleagues. Chances are they’ll be delighted to see their associates reaping the same benefits they’ve enjoyed.

7. Sample your way to success. Who doesn’t love a freebie? Giving away a complimentary sample of your product or service is a great way to demonstrate its benefits and encourage future sales. If you sell bath and body products, include a small packet of lotion with your marketing postcards. If you’re an IT consultant, offer businesses a free technology assessment.

8. Partner with other businesses. Nearly every industry has parallel providers that cater to the same group but offer different products or services. Forming an alliance with people in the same market can be mutually beneficial. If you sell custom stationery, contact a local bridal gown boutique and ask if you can drop off some business cards. If you provide consulting services for small businesses, ask a local office furniture seller if you can post a flier. Offer reciprocal exposure in exchange.

Remember, prospecting leads isn’t a one-time excursion. To sustain the profitability and branding identity of your business, you’ll need to devote time and resources to ongoing prospecting campaigns.

Small Business Leads to Keep You Going and Growing

You are reading this today because you have made a conscious effort to develop and maintain your business or perhaps you are not yet in business and you are doing some preliminary research. You want to know what it will take to find new customers.

You have likely looked into Yellow Pages advertising. Incredibly expensive is it not? Perhaps even radio, television or newspaper advertising has crossed your mind. After all, these are viable and time tested methods to explore markets and drive new business right? They used to be. Not anymore.

A search engine on the internet has led you to this article. You found it. I did not go looking for you. I strategically placed this content where I knew only those I cared to reach would find it. I find it odd that business owners with real capital and extensive knowledge in their markets would just poke around in the dark in an attempt to bring in new revenues. They do this because they do not know any better, not yet.

I understand internet marketing. I have made that pretty obvious just by being exactly where I needed to be in order for you to find me. I truly believe that business owners like myself need to take control of our marketing platforms. In your case, no one knows your business better than you do. If you want quality, qualified and ready to buy prospects to talk to every every day you need to fully grasp and understand one rule.

“The right prospect, at the right time and the right place is looking for you.” Your absolute best prospect is the one looking for you. If you are putting generic ads out there hoping to come across the right customer that is like throwing your net out to sea. Be a lighthouse instead and bring your prospects to you.

If you have purchased leads before you have probably done so with good intentions. The decision to purchase leads usually comes at a time when a marketer, salesperson or business owner has hit a wall. Tired of trying to convince people to become prospects the natural next step is to find a way to cater to the “searcher”.

As a result of this niche naturally developing on its own there is a huge surplus of websites selling leads. Lead purchasers from all walks of life and all lines of industry are buying up leads based on the premise that they are not in the marketing business so they should just let someone else do the prospecting leaving the business owner to close sales in his/her area of expertise.

The problem with purchased small business leads is that they are rarely exclusive to you. They are often sold to more than one small business. You end up paying to talk to your competitors prospects! That is insane. Especially when purchasing leads at a premium.

If you want to get ahead and stay there you need a dynamic approach. There is some setup time and a little financial investment involved in setting up your own private lead generation system online. It is worth so much more than you will ever put into it though because you will own and control this system online.

Your next step towards lowering or completely eliminating your marketing expenses while increasing your enjoyment and revenues at work begins with taking control of your small business lead flow

Jean-Marc Begin

Home Based Business Leads – 3 Simple Ways To Get More Network Marketing Leads From Free Methods!

In any business that you are part of, having the ability to generate a steady flow of new customers is essential. Nowhere else is this more pivotal than in network marketing. If you are going to be successful in this type of business you have to be able to generate home based business leads from multiple sources. Below you will find my top three favorite ways of generating network marketing leads for free. Yes you can use pay methods, but when you are spending a dime and still getting a good amount of leads on autopilot, it’s a pretty nice situation.

One of the best ways to get business opportunity leads is through content generation. Usually this comes in the form of what is called article marketing. Third many different article directories that are more than happy to take your content and put it up on their website. The more places you have your articles the better chance you have of people seeing them. This strategy can be highly effective for building MLM leads if you are consistent with your writing.

Another good form of lead generation that won’t cost you a dime is called blog commenting. This is where you visit other peoples sites and read what they have to say. If you like what they had to say or think you can add to the conversation, you leave a comment on their blog that points back to your site. This is a great way to get traffic coming to your site because of all the different visitors to the blog receives.

Being active in related forms also can help you build up your business opportunity leads. Because people who are like-minded are also members of these forms, you stand a good chance at building some nice leads from those who are visiting the forum. Just make sure you are being as helpful as you can and people will find you.

Now these methods all work great for traffic and building up a small business leads, but if you don’t have a solid marketing plan to convert them, you’re just wasting valuable traffic. You have to have a way to get this traffic to convert into some form of money for you. This could be into your primary MLM opportunity or even better, it could be into something that allows you to make some nice commissions from as an affiliate.

The opportunities are endless once you have a good supply of leads.

Small Business Lead Generation and Why It Works So Well

Small business lead generation is one of those things every small business owner talks about but doesn’t really know how to do properly. This is a shame, because using lead generation for a small business is one of the easiest ways to increase revenue and make more profits. It does take some work, but the concepts are so simple any business can start the process right now and begin to see more sales in a matter of months.

Effective Small Business Lead Generation

Here is why using the lead generation approach is such a powerful strategy and why every small business should use it.

1. It sets your business apart from all the others in the same market. Being different to your competitors is essential if you want to be a success, and concentrating on the lead-generation approach will do just that. Most business don’t actually concentrate on getting leads, even if they say they do. They actually concentrate on making sales, which means trying to sell to a prospect immediately. Effective lead-generation means getting a lead, and then building a relationship with that prospect over time. This could be weeks or months, but it almost always leads to more sales in the long term.

2. To follow on from the point above, this strategy of looking at the long term is one of the best things you can do, because your prospects often don’t want to buy from you just yet, and when you try to make the sale immediately, they tend to walk away. Building a relationship means your prospects don’t buy from you when you want then to, but when they want to, and that makes the whole process smoother and more pleasant for everyone.

3. You have more chances to close the sale. This is something most small business owners never understand, but by concentrating on building a relationship you actually get many more chances of actually selling something.

So how do you start to build a relationship with your prospects? You simply give away something for free (a free report with good information, or perhaps an entry to a competition) in return for the prospect’s contact details. These should include email, postal address, phone and even fax. Email is the best of these, because it’s so quick and personal.

Be The Expert

In most cases the free report is the best way of collecting prospect’s details, because it has the added advantage of making you appear the expert in your market as well as starting to build the relationship. Once you have the contact details, you simply keep in touch with your prospects, giving them more information and sometimes telling them about the stuff you have for sale. Essentially it’s a numbers game, and a large percentage of people will buy from you when they’re ready. The great thing about this method of making sales is that most small businesses won’t try it, and that puts you right at the front when it comes to making more sales in the long term.

As I said, it does take a bit of work to put into practice, but the rewards are huge.