Sales can be a tough job no matter what industry you're in. Many sales people are able to quickly learn their products and become the expert, however, the roadblock we see most often relates to building a new customer base. We don't want to limit the term of "sales" to the well-known avenues of selling such as insurance or cars. When we talk about sales we are talking about individuals and business owners that not only sell products but may also sell a service. Learning how to sell a service can be just as difficult as selling a product. While there are many expensive marketing options out there, here are a few less expensive but equally successful tools to reach new customers:
Sponsor Community or Charitable Events
Fortunately most community events or charity events have more affordable sponsorship fees. Many range from $100-$1,000 depending on the event or the level or exposure you are looking for. Many event sponsorships allow businesses to include logos in programs and advertising materials, set up booths or tables to pass out promotional and informational materials, and receive verbal recognition at the event. These are great ways to meet new potential customers and start building recognition for your brand and business for a fairly low cost.
Focus on Niche Markets
If you're a car enthusiast sign up to have a booth at a local car show or participate in marketing that targets car clubs or other car enthusiasts. Being able to interact and build relationships within a community you enjoy and are already a part of is a great and easy way to meet potential customers. Having a common hobby helps keep you and your business in the mind of people you meet.
Build a Referral Network
This is an excellent way to build a customer base! Networking with people in your industry can be an excellent way to bring new customers in as well as build your relationship with current customera by referring them to a reliable place to get their additional needs met. Some great examples of referral networks are:
- A massage therapist and a chiropractor. These two professions go hand in hand when it comes to treatment of the human body. Referring customers back and forth can be hugely beneficial to both parties
- An insurance agent and a mortgage broker. These two professions are both in the financial services industry and deal with the sale and protection of homes. It's easy for a mortgage broker to refer a new home buyer to an insurance agent for a policy and it's easy for an agent that knows their customer wants to upgrade from renting to owning to refer their customer to a mortgage broker for a loan
These are just a couple of examples, but you get my gist. There are opportunities everywhere for people in the business of selling goods and services to build referral networks. This is one of the best ways to build your customer base, but all three ideas have had major success within our industry and we know they will bring success to you as well.