Starting out as an entrepreneur or salesperson can often be a lonely place to be when you have few or no business contacts. When this situation drags on for weeks or months on end, it can seem to put a stranglehold on your ability to do business.
While it may be tempting to want to throw in the towel and try something else, to take such a course of action will generally rob a person of an amazing education in how to deal with people in a business-related context.
Passing up this kind of opportunity can lead to shortcomings in other areas of life and business. The heart of business is centered around taking the necessary steps to build your contact list.
So, if you are ready to take massive action now, here is how to get started.
Check Your Company’s Former Client List
There is nothing more inviting to a former client or past customer than when someone cares enough to make contact. All business relationships begin with a point of contact and build over time through continued nurturing.
If your company keeps records on former clients, it never hurts to hit these clients up with new offers and market information relevant to their situation.
In fact, you might be contacting them at the right time. Additionally, if no one else in the office is working past leads, this piece of the pie literally belongs to you for the taking.
So, why pass it up when you can capitalize on what is practically being handed to you alone.
Do not forget that you want to emphasize that you have taken over this client’s file and that if there are any questions or services you can provide the client, they should ask for you personally when they decide to make contact.
Go Where the Money Is
While it is great to amass a large number of contacts, one thing to watch out for is the quality of your contacts.
If you are trying to move people without the means to buy your product or purchase your service plan, chances are you are wasting time with the wrong contacts.
You must always ask yourself, does this client truly fit the profile of a person with the means and motivation to put their money where their mouth is?
Remember, sales is about closing the deal, not wasting time with clients that are not in a position to do business; consequently, job one is to determine if the contact you are trying to reach out to is right for your business needs.
These contacts warrant more attention than contacts that will only serve to distract you from building a quality database of potential leads.
Relationships Bring Rewards
As you meet and make new contacts, it is going to be important to learn about who your contacts know.
People know people you do not know and that is sometimes extremely valuable information to grab hold of when the opportunity arises.
When a client tells you about a friend or family member that might be interested in what you are selling, it can be very profitable to leverage their contact, with their help, to gain another quality lead.
In these situations, you are not heading into the point of contact blind; rather, you are using the authority of being referred by a trusted party to reach a third party contact.
This is often like having gold in the bank. Sometimes the best way to foster this type of situation is by offering your original client something of value if they will refer one or two people your way or help you make the connection in some fashion.
Repeat Contacts Matter
Just because you have someone’s personal contact information in your database, this does not mean you should ignore making contact for long periods of time.
As a matter of fact, contact should be made on an ongoing basis with some degree of regular frequency.
While professional sales people tend to differ in opinion as to how often contact should be maintained, most will argue for more frequently than less frequently.
If these contacts are on your mailing list, either online or in print, the general frequency of contact that seems to work best is once every two weeks.
It is important to remember, however, that contacting people on a regular basis means that you will want to provide them with something of value. A contacts time is precious too.
So, new product offers, new market information or whatever you can offer them of value, to help them realize why it is worth their time to take you seriously, makes all the difference.
Now that you know what it takes to start adding quality contacts to your database, there is no excuse for being lonely in the business world anymore.
It is now time to go out and take massive action to put these ideas into practice.
Taking the time to make a positive difference in the lives of those you make contact with will only serve to build trust and long term business relations that will reward you over and over again throughout your career.
What do you think is the best strategy for growing your list of business prospects?
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