Is your small business in a summer slump? Don’t just sit there hoping things will pick up in the fall. Take every action you can to shake the bushes and get some business into your company. You may think your business is cyclical, or there is nothing you can do, but it is better to do everything you can now to drum up new business than to wait until it is too late. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to grab attention from your competitors, try these prospecting tips:
- Capitalize on Current Events: What is going on in town or in the news that you can comment on, or relate to in some way? Do you have seasonal tips, back-to-school ideas, safety checklists or anything else that local reporters can use to build a story or add a local angle to a national piece?
- Make Some Phone Calls: Yes, most people have a dread of cold calling, but can you place just one or two calls a day? Think of a special offer or something that you can do to help their business do better in the summer. If your business is down, theirs might be, too, and you might have just what they need to make a difference.
- Send Some Emails: If you really can’t bring yourself to make any telephone calls, send some carefully written emails. You don’t have to spam your prospects; craft a good subject line and then write a brief, succinct reason why you think your services could be of benefit.
- Update Your Social Media: If you haven’t been paying attention to your online presence, now is the time to catch up on that. Write a blog piece, post some items on your Facebook page, sent out a few Tweets. You don’t want to overwhelm your prospects, but you do want to let them know why you’re different or better.
- Hold a Seminar: Think of a topic that is of interest to your target audience and then hold a brief seminar. It doesn’t have to be a massive event – maybe something in your office or at a local restaurant. Serve coffee and muffins. Invite likely prospects, provide them with solid information, and then follow-up.
- Try Public Speaking: If you are comfortable speaking to groups, find out what clubs meet in your community and offer to come present a brief talk at one of their meetings.
- Ask For Referrals: If your clientele is really happy with the service you provide, be sure to ask them to give your name to their contacts.
- Do Charitable Work: You could sponsor a local event, help organize it, or just participate. Mingle with those you meet and let them know about your business.
- Go Old School: If you have a good prospect list with addresses, you can always send a letter with a special offer.
Successful entrepreneurs are always prospecting. Never wait until business slows down to start looking for new customers.