rainy day, a
When times are good, money is flowing into your business and you have your brand new Porche 911 Turbo parked outside your shop, it’s very easy to take it all for granted. After all, there’s nothing wrong with your business, there’s plenty of customers and life is good.
If that’s where you are right now, I’m truly happy for you and I hope your business continues to go from strength to strength. But consider this universal rule…
You’re either growing or you’re dying…there’s no staying the same.
The important questions now is: Is your business in growth or decay? When your business is in a period of growth there will be a “buzz” about the place, you and your staff will be busier, your cash flow will increase and you’ll be receiving more constructive feedback from your customers or clients. It’s quite obvious when a business is in a period of growth. It’s also equally obvious when your business is in decay – the quiet spells in your establishment become more frequent, you and your staff have more free time on your hands, the cash flow dries up and you hear very little from your customers and clients.
The time you don’t really notice something is when you ‘think’ your cruising along. You might be saying things like “…business is steady” or “…we’re doing ok”. But there is NO staying the same, this is actually a decline, the slow and steady death of your business. It’s the silent killer because it’s hard to see it coming. If you’re really unsure…just check your monthly profit and loss and compare to previous months records.
Why Aren’t Business Owners Prospecting?
The reason most business owners are not prospecting at all or enough comes down to one of three primary reasons:
- they don’t know how
- they don’t think it’s important
- they’re afraid of prospecting
If you don’t know how, this website will show you. Keep reading the articles and asking questions on the community page and you’ll learn dozens of ways to prospect effectively. If you don’t think it’s important, hopefully this article has shed some light on why it’s crucial to prospect and capture contact information. And lastly, if you’re a bit apprehensive about prospecting…don’t be. Delegate prospecting to your staff or to a third party service or even automate your prospecting (contact me for more information). Your business needs new customers and clients…you need to be growing your list every single day, that’s a fact.
Preparing & Prospecting
Whether you in a period of growth or experiencing a period of decay in your business, you need to always be prospecting, always be marketing and always be exposing your brand to your target market.
Every business is likely to go through challenging times. Anything from financial collapses to new trending products and about a million other things can happen which can adversely affect your business and they’re 100% out of your control.
However, you do have control over your marketing strategy, the activities your staff perform, the activities you perform…in essence, your actions! You have control of your business and if you gear up correctly (by capturing contact information and growing your list), you’ll also have influence over your previous and current customers.
Here’s a list of 5 prospecting activities you can do right now:
- The Street Approach – create a compelling offer and approach people on the street with your offer in exchange for their first name and email address for example
- The Staff Approach – take that same compelling offer, but instead approach people who are working; as long as you’re not interrupting them while their helping a customer, often they’ll be quite interested and are far more open to approaches
- Lead Boxes – order some lead boxes, ask other non-competitive local businesses who have your target market visiting them if you can place a lead box in their shop. Have a think about what you can offer them in return.
- Loyalty Cards – give your customers, whether they’ve been coming to you for years or it’s their first visit. Provide them with an exceptional experience and get them on a loyalty rewards program. As part of this process, gather their contact information to register them in your database.
- Referrals – ask your customers for referrals by incentivising them with an offer, or by asking nicely if you have customers that are already raving about you. Then offer the referred people something to entice them to visit your shop.
Cultivate Your List
Don’t wait until your business is failing to get more customers. Build your customer and prospect database now! Spend some time and resources each and every day to add more people to your list and market and promote your products and services to them consistently. Use the prospecting methods listed above to get the ball rolling, so that when that rainy day does come, you’ll be prepared. You’ll have a list of existing customers, past customers and prospects which you can tap into to drive sales when you need them most.
Once you have established your list, now you can setup a schedule where you contact your list of a regular basis with exciting relevant news, special offers and anything else you would be excited to receive if you were in the shoes of one of your customers or prospects. Emailing marketing is a perfect option for regular contact as it’s low cost, delivered immediately to your list and almost everyone has access to email. SMS marketing is also a good option and provides an even higher rate of delivery and opens.
If you get stuck for ideas…ask me a question. I respond to all questions personally and I’m here to provide you with the support you need, whenever you need it. Now get out there and grow that list.