How to Find Sales Leads For Your
Small Town Business

by Tom Egelhoff

Author Tom Egelhoff

Opening a small business is probably one of the scariest things you'll ever do.

It takes money and risk of your investment and probably worst of all it requires delayed gratification.

It's probably going to be awhile before you make any money. To make money you need customers.

You know all there is to know about your product or service, and you are very good at what you do, but if you don't have customers, you won't have a business for long.

In this article I'm going to show you some great places to find prospects for your product or service and how to economically let them know about you.

Before we get to that however, I need to impress upon you the importance of business cards.

Business Cards

They don't have to have an elaborate logo, be full color or foil embossed but they do need to look professional and make a good impression because they will be passed around long after you're gone.

They are one of your most effective business building tools. Get the very best cards you can afford.

Now let's explore ways of finding the people you're going to give them to.

Here are a few of my favorite places to find new customers and/or get your name out.

There are three groups of people that have an interest in seeing you succeed. Your family, your neighbors and your friends.

Each member of these groups should have your business card and be able to tell others how to contact you. Learn to meet people. It's as easy as saying "Hi".

Start a conversation and bring the topic around to what that person does for a living. Then you can give them your card.

One of the most important tips I can give you is to make sure everyone within walking distance of your home should have your business card.

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Be Active In Your Community

Attend city council meetings and civic functions. Attend church regularly. Be where people are and meet them.

Join business groups. Kiwanis, Lions, American Legion, Elks, Rotary, VFW, these are more people who will recommend you to their friends.

If you can't join these groups for some reason, become a speaker to them. Service clubs are always looking for speakers.

I know I belong to several If you have current customers who are happy with your work, ask them for referrals to their friends. Take a look at your checkbook.

Who are you doing business with that could also be doing business with you?

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Other Good Places To Look For Leads

  • Attend trade shows. Pick up business cards and talk to people about their businesses.

  • Follow-up with those businesses that qualify as customer.

  • Create a leads group in your community. A leads group is a group of non-competiting businesses that meet weekly and exchange information that will help each other.

    For example: A realtor might get permission to pass a new homeowners name on to a painter or carpet installer who is also a member of your group.

  • Write a note of congratulations to businesses that appear in the news. Enclose your business card and follow-up with them later.

  • Explore the Yellow Pages. Who are your competitors and whom should you be doing business with? Create a customer list and start making cold calls.

  • Don't forget the salespeople who call on you. They are potential customers too.

  • Good ideas often come out of the blue. Keep a pad and pencil with you at all times. Write down prospects as you think of them.

  • Attend seminars. Buy extra tickets for prospects and take them with you if you both have the same business interests.

  • Publish a newsletter and send it to clients and prospects alike. Subscribe to trade magazines and summarize the articles for your target market.

  • Can you trade your products or services for ad space that will generate leads?

  • Have you lost a customer but don't know why? Follow-up with old customers. It costs six times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep and old one.

  • Keep this list going. I'll bet you've thought of several I've missed.

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The Last Word On Finding Small Business Sales Leads

The point of this article is that prospects to build your business are everywhere.

They're not going to beat a path to your door just because you've built a better mousetrap.

You're going to have to make an effort to find them and turn them into loyal customers.

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