On a recent team call, we discussed one of the most pressing questions facing both entrepreneurs starting up a new business, as well as existing business owners that have not yet been able to create consistent and stable cash flow:
How do I create income for my business when I dont have marketing dollars to generate leads and no one knows who I am or what my business does?
If you want quick cash to generate cash flow for your business, the best way to do that is to fund it through sales. Selling your products or services with payment in advance for a discounted price creates the opportunity to have your customers fund your business during your start-up phase, or in the case of businesses struggling with cash flow issues.
If you dont have the funds to invest in marketing to generate new leads, the best option is to seek referrals. If you have not sold anything yet, it may be difficult for you to get customer referrals. However, you can approach the top 10 business associates you have developed through prior jobs and networking for a lunch.
At this lunch, give them a quick 2-minute overview of your story, explaining how you are excited about your project, what your product or service offering is, and the highlights. Then, ask these folks if they know somebody that might be interested in looking at your product or that your service might be good for. Get a list of referrals and the name of the person that referred them. Call the referrals and make appointment after appointment. If you get 5 appointments a day over the course of a week, you should be able to generate some new business. In fact, it would be very unusual to make 25-30 calls to a warm referral list without generating some kind of sales opportunity.
Additionally, try to serve first. When I say, Serve first, I mean go out into the community and start to help others in order to get exposure for you and your business. Discover what educational, trade and social communities your target prospects are likely to belong to and offer help them out. Speaking for free is a great way to do this.
A presentation discussing the solutions to a problem that you and your prospects are passionate about will help you build significant exposure to and credibility among your target audience. It should not be a sales pitch when you speak. Instead, provide value and education about the topic. You can end your presentation by saying, By the way, my company offers a solution to deal with this problem and if you would like to learn more, please come see me. By delivering education and value, you are serving your prospects first while creating an opportunity for business exposure and ultimately sales without any marketing dollars.
Would you like to learn more about how to sell and take your business from the difficult position of being an unknown or struggling entity to the powerful position of having prospects seeking your company out for help? I invite you to learn about this and so much more at our Sales Explosion Program being held in Scottsdale, AZ.