Small business owners know that there are ups and downs to running a business. There are times where sales seem to be coming in hand over fist, and there are times where you might be scraping by. While the low overhead of a virtual office makes it easier to handle the slow times, it is a concern for any business. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce this feast and famine cycle. By managing your sales cycle and consistently putting yourself out there for new business, you’ll find yourself with a continuous stream of leads and sales.
The most common problem small business owners encounter is not being consistent with their lead cultivation. You’ve probably encountered a period of time where you feel like you’re so busy with your current clients or orders that you’ll never find time to squeeze in lead generation. However, if you want your business to continue to grow – you’ve got to keep looking for sales even when you’ve got too much going on. Making time for marketing and finding ways to generate future sales will help you keep your business afloat.
Finding a steady stream of sales is possible if you look at marketing your small business in a specific pattern. You need to cultivate new leads, follow up with those leads and close the deal on them consistently in order to keep your sales going. In order to get new sales in the coming weeks and months, you need to take action now. Here are important tips for each stage of the game.
Cultivating new leads
Growing your business means getting your name out in front of potential customers all of the time. You’ve got to put the seeds out there so you can harvest them later. The more seeds you have out, the more customers you’ll reap in the future. In order to get your name out you should do the following:
- Attend networking events, either online or in your local area.
- Release a free report for distribution on your website.
- Issue an online press release on a newsworthy event about your company.
- Email or cold call prospects
Decide on three to four core prospecting actions that you’ll take each month and follow through so you’ll always have a fresh set of leads.
Follow up on leads
After establishing contact through one of your prospecting actions, it’s time to deepen the relationship. Follow up with people once they know about you. Following up will help keep you present in their minds and when they need your services, they’ll talk action. You can keep in touch with your customers in the following ways:
- Periodic email newsletters
- Courtesy follow up calls
- Special announcements about new products, services or sales.
Make sure to stay on top of the leads that you initially find in the first step so you can make the most of them.
Close the deal
The final part of the process is to close the deal with your prospects. If you’ve done enough work in the first two steps, you’ll have people contacting you consistently for products or services. Although it may seem like more work initially, you’ll reduce the feast and famine cycle in your business and you’ll be able to do more with the leads that you get.