~by Haley Lynn Gray~
One of the most effective ways to grow your business is by doing cold calls, or meeting people face to face. This method can work extremely well when done correctly, and it can work extremely poorly if you don’t do the right things. It’s important to understand that when you are calling on people, the goal is to build a relationship with the right people and to help solve their problems. Most of them aren’t going to magically give you leads, or give you money out of the goodness of their hearts. You have to establish that “know, like, trust” factor.
11 Tips to Grow Your Business Face To Face
- Networking meetings may be a good way to start, but they are not where you want to spend most of your time. People come to those meetings to meet people, and get leads. Most of them never get a single lead. Those meetings are great for a card grab, and you can then set up a follow-up meeting.
- People aren’t going to just give you their business, or leads. You might get lucky that someone out there will give you a shot, but most of the time, you are going to have to build your relationship with the “know, like, trust” factor. That means taking time. That means it can take 6 months or longer to break into an account.
- Being pushy isn’t going to get you anywhere. People don’t like being sold to, and they especially don’t like being pushed around. You have to be genuine, and real.
- No name dropping, unless someone specifically introduced you. Just because you know my cousin, or best friend, doesn’t mean I’m predisposed to like you or your business.
- Tandem marketing or sales can be a good strategy. Sometimes if you’re trying to get into an account, and get past the gatekeeper, it may be easier if two of you go. It’s not as easy to be rude to someone if there are two of you present.
- Where possible, network, and get your friends to introduce you. This works so much better than name dropping, and is much more likely to give rise to a warm lead.
- You have to get out and make a LOT of calls. By a lot of calls, that means 60-90 calls per week, depending on the business.
- You have to be consistent. For your top accounts, you need to go back as much as a few times per week. For other accounts, you may only go back a couple times per year. You need to have the accounts on a set schedule, where you decide how often to go back and visit them.
- Constant research is a much. Businesses come and go, and the people at those businesses come and go, which means that there is constant churn, and there are constant opportunities.
- Ask everyone you meet who else they know who might need your services. I think that you’ll be delightfully surprised at how well they respond, and how many referrals you get just by asking.
- Once you have established a rapport, you need to ask for the business. Going by and visiting is lovely and all, but you need to ask for that business, or you’re never going to get it. With Girl Scout Cookies, we stand in front of stores freezing our butts off. There have been countless times where we’ve asked for the sale, and people have turned around and bought from us, who were otherwise not aware, or who had decided to ignore us. That has added up to thousands of boxes of cookies sold over the years. The same is true of any sales business. If you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t get it.
If you follow these tips for face to face sales, you will improve your odds of success. Business is 1% inspiration and 99 % perspiration, so just stick with it.
Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching. Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
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