When I question business owners looking for more customers, their desired growth rate in relation to their number of customers is often a very sensible number. In most circumstances, just one or two new customers per week would revolutionize a business. So what could 100 new customers do for yours?
If you’re serious about this level of growth, then I have a tried and true strategy that will guarantee success. Before I share it with you, let me explain my three key concerns with all forms of traditional marketing.
1. They all go looking for people who have already decided they’re interested in your product or service and have a strict set of requirements.
2. Prospects will typically shop around so you don’t have an exclusive opportunity.
3. There’s no way to control the results.
With this in mind, the job of persuading our prospects that they should do business with us can become extremely difficult, since they’ve already developed so many preconceived ideas.
My route to market is completely different. I believe that there is no fast track to the perfect opportunity, and often the missing ingredient to the success you desire is a little extra activity and a lot more direction. I urge you to try my simple technique for just four weeks and measure the results.
Define your target market. By “target market” I don’t mean your perfect customer, but rather, people in a position to buy your product or service. For some companies, this could be all American businesses, of which there are millions. For others, it will be a little (or a lot) narrower. The trick is not to be too specific and to have the largest target market possible.
Create a list of all local contacts that are not currently customers with the aim of getting 50 names — minimum.
Make phone calls to arrange appointments with as many contacts from your list as you can. The purpose of the appointment should be for two local business owners to have 15 minutes together over coffee and see how you can help each other.
You will get at least 10 appointments. During your appointments, first establish how you can help them. Then ask questions to establish what requirements they have for what you do and look for simple solutions. Don’t try to sell to them. You’re simply looking to establish whether or not there is a genuine business opportunity.
At least five of your meetings will highlight a requirement for what you do. Then say these words: “I am not sure if this is for you, but do you know anyone who …” and introduce your products and services. By presenting your business this way, you’ll face a completely rejection-free process and make it easier for your prospect to answer.
If you do this correctly, at least two of your prospects will buy from you. The good news is that when you use this technique, those who don’t buy will typically refer you to someone who might. They’ll find it easier to pass you on than to give you a reason why they don’t want to buy. Then you simply start the process again.
The trick to this method is to get the appointment without being too prescriptive. Yes, you have a lot of meetings. However, if two new customers a week could change your business, then getting 10 appointments a week is surely worth a try. Meetings typically last less than an hour and you may just find it’s the best way to invest 10 hours a week.