Generating those first business leads and turning them into customers is probably the hardest or at least most worrisome part of starting any business. You can do all the planning, make all the forms and prepare the ads and brochures, but when you first start looking to land that first customer, this is when the rubber meets the road.
Simply put, until you have your first 7-8 customers, you simply donít have a business. You have a plan. Getting those first business leads and turning them into customers is critical because:
There are many factors that stand in the way of making those first business leads into customers, but one of the biggest issues is that if people donít know you or know someone that knows you, they have no reason to offer you their blind trust. You cannot offer them any customer referrals from your business and when prospects find out that you have no business, it can instantly throw up a red flag. Explain your new business status all you want, but to many people, there is still going to be a doubt.
This is particularly true in the personal services fields and many people will choose to go with the more established companies that have a solid performance track record and dozens of clients to give as references.
You are probably going to fail a lot in the first few months. You will lose a lot of potential clients simply because of how new your business is and the fact that the number of avenues that clients come to you will be limited. One way to get around this quickly is to identify your cold, hot, and warm markets and how and when you should attack them.
A cold market would be the average person that would see your ad in a newspaper or on television. You can draw business from these, but itís tough and you have to warm them up before you can even hope for a contract.
Simply put, if you have not been in business long and you donít have people that call you in to simply take the business, you donít have a hot market yet. Hot markets are hard to come by, they often fall into your lap, and they only happen when someone is very familiar with what you do and they have an immediate need.
When someone's mother is coming home from the hospital tomorrow and the adult child cannot take off from work to provide care, this is a hot lead. There is little need to convince them of the need for the service. If you are the first one in the door, you probably have a client unless you really blow it.Warm markets are the ďsweet spotĒ of marketing for new and established businesses. For the most part, they are considered warm because they come to you through a trusted referral. They have the need, they know what the need is, and they have been told they should talk to you.
More - Creating Warm Business Leads