Cold calling. It is something you either love or hate. There is nothing neutral about it. With Company of Women, I am lucky really as I don’t have to do cold calling, except at times when I am trying to recruit a speaker, but more often than not, I try to use my network to open up the introductions, so not cold calling really.
Trouble is, I am not into sales be it cold, warm or hot. I just want people to love what we do and offer, and sign up which is perhaps a tad unrealistic. I always remember Kim Duke, the Sales Diva, explaining that when you look at sales as helping people, then it become much easier to reach out. And that is true.
Finding customers – especially the ideal customer – is something that most small business owners struggle with, yet in the struggle to find new “suspects,” we forget about the existing customers who have already sampled your products or services, and who likely, if asked, would repeat the experience or better still, make a referral or give you a testimonial.
But you know what, we don’t ask. We don’t follow up with the tried and true. Yet it is much easier to keep an existing customer happy, than to spend all our time and energy chasing after new ones.
How often do you touch base with your existing clientele? Once a month, every two months or do you just let them fade off into the sunset. Well you certainly can’t accuse Company of Women of not touching baseJ In fact it could be argued that we do it too much, and for that I apologize, but you know what, it works.
Who is your ideal client? When you first start out, a warm body willing to pay will suffice, but as you get more established, wouldn’t it be better to do business with people you like, people who appreciate what you do, and get your offering?
When I am giving workshops on finding your ideal customer, I often ask the audience to spend a few minutes thinking about their ideal client – let’s call her Suzy. Who is she? Why did you like working for her? And… here is the important one – how did she find you? Once you’ve answered these questions and hopefully you have several ideal clients in your database, it can become easier to narrow down who you want to work with, why and identify the best resource to finding another client like Suzy.
How do you keep in touch? It can be through special offers or a monthly e-zine or updates on what is happening in your world. A word of advice about the e-zine, include useful, practical information for your clients. It shouldn’t be all about you.
In fact the same is true when you are out there networking too. Spend more time listening and less time talking about your company, and you may find you get further than if you are pushing sales on someone who is not interested.