You might think that your company needs to spend a fortune in advertising or distribute a flurry of press releases to bring in new customers and clients.
By Serrai Invest Capital (Media Team) May 06/2015
The simple truth is, a well-organized business development plan can substantially increase your customer base in 90 days
If you’re the owner, you know all about your company. If you’re new, here’s where to get started. Know what the business has to offer, what the products and services are. How long it has been in business. Who the major players are, and where they came from. Do an online search using your company’s name. Search social networking sites for information about your company. Set up a Google alert for your company. If it’s in the news, you’ll be notified. If you don’t know the ins and outs of your company it’s difficult to develop new business for it.
Script your elevator pitch. It’s a 60-second summary of your company and what it does. Practice the pitch in front of a mirror or friends until you feel it comes naturally to you. Prepare a “part 2” to the pitch that’s about two minutes long. You want to be ready to respond when someone says “that sounds interesting, I’d like to learn more.”
Design and print the relevant promotional materials you’ll need. At the minimum, business cards are required. There’s no point meeting someone and not having something to leave behind. While you’re at it, create a brochure and letterhead. Create a website that reflects the personality of your company. Potential clients may misplace a brochure but if your URL is on your card they can still find out about you.
Join the business networking sites and set up a profile that’s professional but friendly.
Write down a list of contacts, associates, schoolmates, old friends and yes, even people you’ve dated. This is the first level of your business contacts. You could find them on the “people finder” sites that require a minimal membership fee. Search for them on social sites and business sites.
Send emails or letters to this first level of contacts. Keep it personal, not a mass mailing. Add a note that says something like, “Remember when we went river rafting and ended up in the river? I had such a great time. I just wanted to let you know I’ve joined XYZ firm in London or Amsterdam.”
Attend networking meetings such as the local chamber of commerce, and professional organizations. Expand to organizations outside your own profession. It’s fine to meet with peers, but what you’re after are new clients. If you’re a mother, you might consider joining both a working women’s association and a working mom’s association.
Introduce yourself at the meetings. Ask what the other person does. Listen. Ask for their business card. Give your elevator pitch and offer your card.
Make a quick note on the back of the business card about the person. Email the person the next day and include that personal information.
Follow up with your contacts on a regular basis either by email or snail mail. Everybody sends a Holiday greeting — consider sending greetings then, of course, but at other times of the year as well.