Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Five Ways to Acquire More Customers

  1. Networking: Successful networkers take a three-pronged approach to networking events. They network BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER. Here’s how. Before the event, set goals about why you’re going and what you want to accomplish. Practice your self-introduction, bring plenty of business cards, arrive early and offer to help with the event in some way. During the event, keep your goal in mind. Smile, maintain good eye contact, be purposeful and enthusiastic, have a firm handshake, and strive to step out of your comfort zone. Look for people who are alone and talk to them. Listen for things you have in common. Exchange business cards, and make notes on the back for future follow up. After the event, follow up. Give referrals and be a resource.
  2. Giving Presentations: Think about two or three topics on which you could present a short program. Create great titles. Assemble your program information. Then market these to area networking groups, community organizations, or associations that may be looking for program topics. Consider creating your own seminar series or brown bag lunch series over the course of several weeks or months. This helps potential customers get to know more about you and your business in a more indirect way. It can also help establish you as a subject matter expert, so put some time into developing these as a serious marketing tool.
  3. Branding: Make sure your brand is on everything you use to represent your business – business cards, letterhead, stationery, website, brochures, postcards, billboards, signage, etc. Consider developing a tagline to cement your value and place in your customers’ minds. Example: Nike’s tagline is “Just Do It.” Think of something that is meaningful and sets you apart from your competitors. Ask your close business associates for feedback and ideas to help you get started.
  4. Follow Up: Once you begin making additional contacts through networking and giving presentations, make sure you establish a good method for follow up. Keep your name and the benefits of doing business with you in front of them. There are many systems available to automate this process. Contact me to request more details on these systems.
  5. Referrals: ASK! A good question to always begin with is, “Who do you know that…?” and fill in the blank with the type of service or potential client that you are looking for. Make sure you ask others how you can be a potential referrer for them also. Is there something I can listen for that would be a good resource for you?

No matter which step you decide to do first, just TAKE ACTION! If I can be an additional marketing resource for you, please tell me how. Visit http://www.nemec.com/ and click on FREE STUFF for several free resources to help you make 2008 one of your best years in business yet.

Rose Slaymaker
Nemec Marketing Group

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Getting More Referrals in 2008

Did you know that approximately 90% of people are willing to give referrals, but 80% are never asked?

How many referrals are you potentially missing by not asking your current clients, business associates, and networking resources for referrals?

Setting Goals
What are your marketing goals for 2008? Think of just one and write it down right now.

What type of referral is good for you?
Make a list of the types of referrals or sources of referrals that you are looking for in your business. Sometimes going through the process of making this list helps you think of other referral sources you may not have considered before.

Make a Contact List
Now, make a list of 10 people who would give you a referral for your business. If you know more than 10 people who would give you a referral, keep adding to it! Use this list to get you started in asking for more referrals in 2008.

Your Introduction
When you prepare your 30-60 second intro (aka elevator speech), think about including the phrase "a good referral for me is..." and fill in the blank with the type(s) of referrals that you are looking for.

Networking With Others
Networking events are great opportunities to educate people about what types of referrals you're looking for to grow your business. When you meet other people, find out what types of referrals are good for them, too. Ask them, "How would I know if someone I'm talking to would be a good referral or prospect for you?"

Asking for Referrals
Here are some ways to start conversations when you are asking for referrals:
  • Who do you know that...[fill in the blank with the type of referral source you're looking for]
  • I'm in the process of expanding my business, who do you know that...[fill in the blank with the type of referral source you're looking for]
  • I'm partnering with my current clients, who do you know that...[fill in the blank with the type of referral source you're looking for]

Make sure you include referral requests in your written communications (e-mail, written notes, cards, etc.) also. Continually remind those you meet what type of referrals are the most valuable to you.

Here are some books that I strongly recommend as resources to help you get more referrals in 2008:

May your business reach new heights in 2008 by achieving more referral business than ever before!

Rose Slaymaker
Nemec Marketing Group

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