How to Fill Your Sales Pipeline For Small Business

Every small business owner is actually in the lead generation business! If you own a small business, the only thing you need to do every day is generate more leads, so that you can get more sales, so that you can make more money. Getting those leads in abundance means filling your “pipeline” with suspects, prospects and actual leads.

There are multiple levels of lead types for your pipeline, here they are from least urgent to most urgent:

People who know you are in business but are not currently using your products or services. These can include people from your networking groups, someone who has entered your retail store but has not purchased or even your friends and family. These people should get something from you occasionally to remind them that you are in business, but should not occupy many of your marketing dollars.

Suspects are people who have at least expressed an interest in what you sell. They may have signed up for a free report on your website or dropped their name in a bowl at your trade show. These people should receive something from you that helps remind them about the benefits of your product or service, but should not be a blatant sales pitch. These could include a piece of industry news sent by email or snail mail, a personal phone call or even a marketing piece.

Prospects are people who have indicated that they want to buy your product. They may be taking their time making a decision, but they have expressed an interest. Be careful not to lose touch with these folks! You do not want to do all the hard work of selling them on your type of product or service, only to have someone swoop in at exactly the right time to steal your sale. Make sure to contact them on at least a bi-weekly basis and it is absolutely appropriate to send them industry news that will help them make a decision. Additionally, make sure to cut the time they say it will take to make a decision in half. If they say they will buy in six months, make sure to contact them in three months so that you do not lose the sale.

And the number one most important type of lead…

Someone who refers you business, whether they have ever purchased from you or not! This one can seem counter-intuitive. Why would you pay attention to someone who does not buy from you? A person who is willing to refer you to their friends and family can, over time, greatly increase your income. Make sure that you are sending them a personal note thanking them for their referral, every time they send someone your way. Also, make sure that they are invited to your client appreciation parties, that they get a special Christmas treat and that you call them at least monthly.

If you stay aware of your leads and which are the most important, you can fill your pipeline with people at each step of the sales process and help to smooth out the sales volume ups and downs that most small business owners experience.

The Power of Small Business Classifieds

There are a great many potential buyers out there on the internet and many ways to advertise your small business in America. This article deals exclusively with internet classifieds.

Writing small classifieds is superb training for creating all types of advertising. The internet has developed since the home computer. You can now start a small business from home and produce terrific returns.

Small Business Classifieds, when used effectively, can be one of the quickest and inexpensive ways to increase sales and customers. One or two, well-written small classifieds can generate thousands in sales. Most people in America, don’t appreciate the pulling power of classified advertising. They think small classifieds are for selling unwanted items, or finding cheap bargains, not for developing a business. While it’s true small classifieds are a good way to sell unwanted items, or find a bargain, it is also true that small classifieds can be used to launch and operate a multi-million dollar corporate or small business.

Many a successful Corporate and Small Business depend totally on small classifieds to generate all their sales. The reason is simple. Once you have discovered how to harness the power of these small classifieds, you really don’t need to run expensive display ads.

Creating successful small classifieds is not a job for an amateur. You may become qualified to create killer classifieds, if you study and work hard at it. But without practice, you are unlikely to do a good job. And only good classifieds make money.

How to Write Successful Small Classified Ads

Your small classified ad must compete with other ads for the readers attention. Your small classifieds has no artwork or layout. The whole job of leading readers into and through your classified ad must be done by the first word or words in the advertisement. You must use exciting and interesting words to the potential buyers of your product. The lead words must go to the heart of the product.

Do not deceive people with your small classified ads. What you want are quality names of potential customers… not a large quantity of useless names. It would be easy to promise the stars in your small classified ads. But if it can’t deliver, you will not only lose the initial sale, you will have alienated your buyer.

Place your small classified ads under the most appropriate heading. If you were offering something appealing to health, the classifieds heading would be HEALTH. If you’re aiming at a specific type of sportsman such as cyclists, swimmers, or bodybuilders, you might find such a classifieds heading.

Small Classified advertising is a powerful tool. You must first become aware of the effective use of classifieds advertising as a business builder. Understand exactly what can be expected from small classifieds advertising and what cannot.

Stir Emotion with your Corporate, or Small Business Classifieds

Your product or service must contain the “emotional appeal” that is the key element of many display ads. This “emotional appeal” must have the power to attract the reader. After the lead words, the good small classified advertisement will contain whatever descriptive words are necessary to tell enough about your product to make your prospect want it and to convince him you are telling the truth and are reliable. Concentrate on benefits, not features. Include your contact details, so that you can follow up on leads from your small classifieds. If you are making direct sales, include the price. Study the small classified advertisements of your successful competitors.

Write the Best Small Classified Ad you can

Include all the classic advertising
words: “news”, “new”, “discovery”, “bargain”, “free”, “save”, etc. Hone and polish your small classified ad. Try to use the most powerful and evocative words. Make your small classifieds ad look exciting and big.

Mail Order Classifieds in America make Big Money !!!

Are you ready to make lots of money in your Small Business in America? Do you want to spend little time and money? If you are prepared to fulfill your dreams and realize your goals, mail order classifieds in America are your best bet to success. You have what it takes – right now. Small classifieds in America are the best dollar for-dollar return in advertising, and you can earn a high profit on your product investment.

People in America read small classifieds for a purpose. They aren’t interrupted – as in most advertising – and are specifically looking for products, services and information that appeal to them. Well-placed small classifieds in America will bring hundreds – thousands – of replies month after month, year after year.

Don’t forget the value of the names of your customers and enquirers. Satisfied customers can later be sold other products and each customer’s name can be very valuable.

How to Easily Generate Home Based Business Leads

As the current economic climate becomes more unstable, many are moving towards home based business opportunities. It is critical that these individuals learn to effectively generate home based business leads. The difference between thriving or dying in today’s competitive market hinges on the ability to consistently generate leads for the business. While advertising and marketing for a small business may share some similarities to that of a major corporation, the methods and strategies used are very different.

A home business owner should start with a thorough knowledge of their target market. For example, an understanding of the primary customer base would be critical for a cake decorating business. This target market might include: engaged couples, parents with young children and civic organizations who conduct regular fund raising dinners. A thorough understanding of the target market will help guide the rest of the lead generation process.

Determining where to connect with the target market is the next consideration of the home based business owner. In the example of the cake decorator, let’s assume the business owner has decided to target the wedding cake segment of the market. The business owner would look for points of connection where engaged couples would be researching wedding preparations. Some of these connecting points might include tuxedo shops, wedding dress shops, limousine services, DJ services and local churches.

The next element in the lead generation strategy is a creation of awareness. This would be accomplished as the cake decorating business is introduced to key people at each of the aforementioned connecting points, as a resource for couples planning their weddings. An offer to cross-promote the business of the other would be appropriate. As part of this cross promotion strategy, it would be appropriate to leave brochures, business cards and even photographs of cakes to give a sampling of the home business owner’s work. To put some real power to the home based business lead generation process, the owner would actually take a sample of one of their cakes as a “gift” for each of their connecting partners. Creating synergy with other business owners is the key to making this strategy successful. When a strong impression is made, these connecting partners essentially become a volunteer sales force to the target market on behalf of the home based business owner.

Offering exceptional value is critical for generating leads for your home based business. A small brochure on the top 10 mistakes to avoid when planning your wedding would be of great value to the target market. Distributing this brochure at the connecting points and including a tagline, showing the information being provided courtesy of the home based cake decorating business. Creates value and personal branding for the home based business.

The strategies mentioned above involve localized, face to face marketing techniques. Consider a variation on the previous strategies when dealing with a business that is using the internet for generating home based business leads. For example, a home based business that sells cleaning products would utilize the same principles for identifying a target market. In this example the business owner has chosen to those looking for environmentally friendly cleaning products.

The business owner would begin by finding online connecting points. A great starting place would be community groups that deal with “green” living. As the business owner interacts in the community, they would include their website in their forum signature. The business owner would become part of the life of the community by making regular informative posts that discuss the benefits of using organic cleaning products. Additionally, the business owner would want to create a small report listing 5 things to look for when choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products. The report would be offered freely to anyone interested in receiving it. This online report would have a tagline indicating that is being provided courtesy of the cleaning products business. Those participating in forum discussions with the business owner and those requesting the free report are all examples of home based business leads that have been generated from taking a few small steps.

Relationship building is the key to generating home based business leads in your marketing efforts. These strategies can be implemented for both online and offline home based businesses.

Small Business Networking – 7 Essential Factors of Generating Business Leads

Network is and always will be about building relationships. Too many people make the mistake of believing that it’s about only building business leads or selling products. While this is what drives us to improve our networking it shouldn’t be the only thing.

When done well, and done properly, networking brings together 7 core ingredients or factors that make your outreach more successful. This combination, with no factor being more important than another, will help you master the art of small business networking and as a results – you’ll generate more quality business leads. The important thing is to focus on the individual and the relationship – the rest will fall into play. Start by working on these 7 factors.

Personality

When you first approach someone to begin a networking relationship you need make sure that you will communicate effectively and openly – that means being authentic. Show that you’re enthusiastic and genuine while expressing real interest.

Body Language

Respect the personal space of the other person while standing tall and holding your position in a conversation. Make sure your body languages gives off the overall perception of being confident and assured. Don’t try too hard to appear confident because it’s equally important to appear relaxed – above all else you need to “look comfortable in your shoes”.

Interest

One of the ideal ways to show that you’re interested in what someone else has to say is to listen carefully and ask appropriate questions during the conversation. When you stay engaged it inspires a contact to keep talking. Genuine interest (or the impression of it) is a great way to foster business leads.

Focus

When conversation runs all over the place while talking to business leads, it’s hard to make the discussion memorable – especially when it’s just a bunch of small talk. Focus the conversation onto one interesting topic that a contact brought up. Expand on it and explore.

Connection

During the conversation you’ll likely come across topics of interest. Grab those because those a strong connection points. This flows back to the point of Focus. When you find a topic that resonates with both of you (or everyone in the conversation) use that to cement the relationship for a better chance at building good business leads

Visualization

It might sound like something out an alternative wellness book or self help guide but when you’re networking and trying to build relationships with business leads you should visualize a successful outcome. When you’re positive, there’s a better chance for a positive outcome and it shows in your body language.

Invitation

As you build on the relationship with business leads, don’t forget to follow up. You don’t have to offer an invitation immediately but be sure to follow up quickly with an offer for a meeting, coffee, etc. to hook up and talk shop – or simply to keep the personal conversations and interests flowing.