We hear it all the time: I NEED MORE LEADS!!! I don’t have enough customers!!! The frantic calls come often in between heating and cooling seasons. And usually the contractors struggling for business are those who say they don’t have any money to market. They’re panicked and can’t see a resolution. Thankfully, we have a resolution for them.
How many business networking groups are in your community? If you spend a good 10 minutes online, I’m willing to bet you can find several in your town alone. In bigger markets, you could find dozens.
Local business groups are sensational ways to not only get great business-building ideas from successful business owners; they’re a great chance to find new leads! Here’s what you need to do…
See what it takes to join several new business networking groups. Show up to the meetings with a stack of business cards, look highly professional, and show up with a great attitude, and a big smile. Your job is to pass out all of your business cards. At the very least, introduce yourself to as many people as you can. While introducing yourself to these small business owners, see if they too have a business card. Most will.
After this meeting, take a look at the business cards you have. What companies are similar to yours – in that they deal with residential service? Spend a few minutes researching each online. Make sure they are reputable and don’t have any problems with the BBB or scandalous new stories. If your research comes up clean, these are the business owners you want to seek out at the next networking meeting. Be sociable. Don’t hesitate to walk up to them. Ask questions about their business. Offer to buy the person lunch some time to learn more.
Your goal is to develop a personal relationship with these similar business owners. Eventually, once you have each other’s trust, offer your customer list to them in exchange for theirs. You should send letters to each other’s customers. In the letter explain that if you enjoy doing business with one company, you’ll enjoy the other too. Be sure to include a great offer to catch people’s attention. Have your call taker do a follow-up phone call behind the direct mail piece a week later.
Yes, doing this all takes time. But when you don’t have money to spend on marketing, it means you’re going to have to spend your time. But these leads you’ll find from other small business owners will be worth that investment you’ll make.