Spring will be here soon! Not with the Iowa weather, but at least on the calendar! So, it’s time to get inspired and motivated to go out and hit the pavement.
One of your 2019 goals is likely gaining new clients and increasing sales, and you’re probably thinking, “How will I get new leads and how will I keep them coming?” It takes time and effort to have a consistent stream of new prospects, and I found some good tips in our industry magazine Advantages. Many of them can apply to any business, not just promotional products and business gifts.
- Ask for Referrals—A referral is gold! But you need to ask for it! After a good experience with a client, ask her if anyone else at her business could use your services. It also doesn’t hurt to ask her to spread your name around at her networking and business meetings. Be warned: this strategy will only work if you’ve delivered on time and your service/product is top notch.Your existing clients need to think you’re the best they’ve worked with in your industry! Once that happens, you start getting testimonials.
- Hit the Pavement—This one works best for salespeople or networkers new to sales or a specific segment. It’s a two-fold approach. First walk around your area and see what local businesses are using your products or services. Check out what new businesses are going in and do research to find out if they could use your company. Next, talk to your friends, neighbors and business associates you’ve met to get their input on businesses that could be potential customers for you.
- Write Targeted Content—This idea applies to emails, newsletters, blog posts, e-books and more. Any content you’re writing to promote your business and gain sales leads should be targeted—if not to the specific person you want to reach, then at least to a situation many people face. What do the readers want to read about? What do they want to be exposed to that will make them glad you reached out? It has to be more than “all sorts of ways you can spend money with me.”
- Try Warm Calling—Instead of the old-fashioned method of generating leads, turn to technology and embrace warm calling. Nobody wants to make a cold call and nobody wants to receive a cold call. I’m not saying that you don’t have to call people you don’t know. In order to warm up a cold call, do some serious research first. Use the Internet to your advantage—it’s so easy now to find anything online that you should have no problem determining if a company is new, celebrating an anniversary or has hit a milestone. Prowl around for company news, promotions or new employees to see what information you can arm yourself with to make a more productive first call or email.
- Use Your Creativity—If you think you have a great wacky idea to collect leads, go for it. Try and get prospects’ attention by catching them off guard with what is unexpected! One example was a company putting a stuffed gorilla in a box and gluing its hands to the inside of the lid. So when it was opened the gorilla came out with a note about a “Guerrilla Marketing” seminar. Something tangible will always get you noticed and set you apart from other people just relying on their business card.
- Go Outside Your Comfort Zone—Niches are fine, but if you really want to expand your sales, also look to industries you normally don’t work with. Clients in that space might welcome the fresh ideas you’d bring. You will need to ask a lot of questions, and that brings more dialogue and sincere interest that you have in that prospective client (think….when you were courting your current clients). This should make them open to seeing what you can do for them; there’s your chance to shine.
- Leverage Social—Yes, buyers / potential customers are getting younger and younger. We need to meet them on their turf. That means hitting social media. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Instagram. You can try them out to see what is most beneficial to your specific business and products or services. Linked In is a great resource where you can find job titles that would be potential customers. Best case scenario, you will have a mutual connection so you can get an introduction. Following social media also helps you find common ground with someone and that is a great way to generate a lead. I suggest meeting with one of our Business Warriors, Renee Schneider with Trio Marketing, to map out a plan and possibly even execute for you.
- Promote Yourself—Imagine that…I’m going to suggest you promote yourself and your company! No brainer—and seriously, it works! Put some thought and effort into choosing what marketing promotion will display your logo and company information, and then use them purposefully. The presentation means a lot, so practice it so you’re not just saying, “Oh, and here’s mug for you.” But rather, “It’s been great getting to know you and I really appreciate your time. I’d like to leave you one of our Primary Source mugs to say thank You.” (smile!) You could even leave the gift with the receptionist to give to the person the next day, or surprise them with something in the mail. Now THAT gets you noticed!
Feel free to comment and share the tips that work for you! Primary Source can help you with the creativity and promoting yourself. Contact me to set up a time to visit the showroom and discuss your strategies and other creative ideas.
A little more about us:
Primary Source provides businesses, schools, non-profits and organizations with promotional products, decorated apparel, personalized awards plus executive and incentive gifts. We help clients choose the products that will fit their budget and recipients, AND give them RESULTS:
- Increase tradeshow traffic
- Enhance marketing plan
- Boost sales
- Reward employees
- Recognize supporters
- Increase attendance at events
- Promote your brand
- Market you services
- Recruit members
- Support your community or cause
At Primary Source, we want your promotional product choice to bring you the results intended – we are Promotional Products with a Purpose!