One of the toughest parts of building a business of any size is acquiring new customers. From small business owners to startup founders, lead acquisition can be a major stumbling block on the path to sustainable revenues. Without a constant influx of new customers, revenues can gradually decline and threaten the survival of your company.
Instead of waiting for new clients to find you, try to fill your sales lead funnel continuously. You can find new customers for your business by investing in paid advertising, or you can approach lead generation with the mindset of an investigative reporter hunting for leads. Integrate the following 10 tips from Rory Angold, a results-driven manager and team leader, into your business development strategy, and you will never experience a lack of customers again.
Tips to Fill Your Business' Sales Funnel
1. LinkedIn isn't just for networking with business associates. Savvy business owners can use LinkedIn's advanced search function to discover potential customers. Think about who your ideal customer is and then search for topics relevant to their interests. Find groups to engage with and scan group members' profiles for additional social media profiles. Create a Twitter list of your new LinkedIn leads and engage with their posts on Twitter too. The more you share their content, the greater the odds they will engage with you. Scanning LinkedIn might take a little extra time, but the results can be worth the extra effort.
2. Hunt for potential new customers on employment websites. Search for companies hiring employees within your market sector and then connect with those companies on Facebook or Twitter. Once you realize the potential of searching for target customers on help wanted websites like Glassdoor or Indeed, you will wonder why you never thought of it sooner.
3. Speaking engagements are a great way to find new customers. Look for speaking opportunities in your area by conducting an online search for the term 'call for speakers'. Add your city/town to your search query and refine your search results to the previous 30 days. Local event professionals are always on the hunt for knowledgeable speakers. Even if you don't receive compensation for your speech, the number of new customers you'll find will surprise you.
4. Meetup.com is an excellent place to discover potential customers. Browse Meetup for events in your area and attend any gatherings that are of interest to you. Discover meetings relevant to your business or search for meetings based upon your favorite pastimes. Conversations frequently start with "What do you do for a living?" Make sure you take full advantage of the opportunity to elaborate on your company.
5. Pay attention to events in your area that your target customer might attend. Focus on larger events to increase your connection opportunities. Wear a t-shirt featuring your business' name, display your URL on your vehicle, or wear a lapel pin featuring information about your company. The more opportunities you give strangers to ask about your firm, the better your odds are of connecting with new clients.
6. Launch a referral program with your existing customers. Offer an exclusive deal in exchange for referrals. Your promotional offer can be anything from free shipping to discounted prices.
7. Hang out at your town's busiest coffee shop regularly. Spend an hour working on your laptop with your business' URL prominently displayed on the back of your laptop. Coffee patrons may strike up conversations with you about your business or check out your website via their smartphone. Don't forget to occasionally look up from your laptop and make eye contact with those around you.
8. Dog lovers can find new customers at the dog park. Chat with other pet parents and casually ask what they do for a living. Make small talk as your pets play and hand out your business card if the moment is right. All sorts of people spend time at the dog park; you could end up landing numerous new clients thanks to your mutual love of dogs.
9. Local Facebook groups offer multiple engagement opportunities with potential clients. Use Facebook's search function to find interesting groups in your area. Become a helpful member of a number of groups without heavily promoting your business. The more help you offer within each group, the more likely they are to trust you and inquire about your business.
10. Publishing online articles is a great way to find new customers while improving your company's SEO at the same time. Perform an online search for the term 'contributor guidelines' and then narrow your search by specifying your area of expertise. You are likely to find dozens of publications willing to accept your content submissions. Make sure your business' URL is displayed in your author profile so potential customers can check out your company. You don't need to be a professional writer to be published online; you just need to write content of interest to a publication's target audience.
Making the effort to hunt for new customers regularly will ensure your revenues remain steady throughout the year. You won't experience the same seasonal fluctuations as other companies, thanks to your ongoing efforts to develop new sales leads. How many of the above-listed tips will you incorporate into your business' growth strategy?
About Rory Angold: Rory Angold is the leader, the manager, the financial expert, and the insurance advisor all car dealers would want to have on their team. He has a knack for risk management, sales, and finance, all paired with a leadership mentality that makes him the ideal strategic consultant. He will help you devise and execute a detailed strategic plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.
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