Growing a small business can be challenging and time-consuming. You need a steady stream of sales leads in order to thrive in today’s economy. And to do this, you need a system in place that generates these leads and expands your customer base.
Every business has its own way of doing this, but there are many that will work for almost anyone. Read on for a few examples.
Begin by identifying your target market
You won’t have much luck with gathering sales leads if you don’t know who to target. And a lot of work goes into finding the customers who are interested in what you’re selling. This target market is made up of specific demographics who consistently buy specific products or services.
For example, an interior designer might target homeowners. But to find out which homeowners are actually interested in her service, she’d have to delve much deeper into their buying habits. She might discover that most people who use interior designers in her area are professional women between the ages of 45 and 60 with an average income of $75,000 per year.
This data is extremely helpful in knowing where to spend your marketing dollars, and there are many ways to find it. First, take a look at your current customers. What do they all have in common? Are they all women, all men, or all within a certain age range? Any common factor you can find is a good jumping off point.
Secondly, scope out your competition. See if their customers have anything in common with your customers. If not, you might find that you’re overlooking a segment of potential leads. In many cases, businesses find their target market through trial and error. While that’s okay, it could end up costing you more in the long run.
Hire a service
One of the easiest ways to generate sales leads is to hire someone else to do it for you. A good service has a lot of data already at their disposal.
This means you can choose all your relevant criteria from your market research and come up with a list of leads that are actually relevant. Examples of the criteria you might be able to choose from include, income, location, age, and credit scores.
Get involved in your community
Small businesses are primarily represented by their owners. In other words, what people think of you is what they think of your business. This is especially true in small communities where your biggest commodity is word-of-mouth advertising.
Since that is the case, it’s important for you to be as involved in your community as possible. Join service clubs like Lions or Kiwanis, where you can network with other professionals. Join the Chamber of Commerce and get involved in their events.
Anything that affords you the opportunity to get to know the people who live and work in your area can help you generate sales leads.
Give away promotional items
So many companies use digital marketing as their sole source of advertising. But the truth is that they’re missing out on a powerful method that’s been around for decades. Branded products may seem like a waste of money until you check out the research.
Studies show that people don’t usually throw promotional items away. In fact, they keep them for an average of eight months. That means almost an entire year of having your company’s name in front of them. And in addition, their friends, family, and business associates are also seeing them.
Among the most popular of these types of items are promotional wall calendars and t-shirts. You can just imagine the number of people who will see your brand when someone displays these items.