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Be a Hunter not a Gatherer (replay)

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hunting"No matter how good your product is, customers aren’t just going to magically start knocking at your door. There are two main reasons for this: First, the initial version of your product is almost certainly wrong. Second, your customers don’t know they should be looking for you--and even if they do, they're probably too busy to try your product. This is why you need to go hunt."

 

Bastiaan Janmaat writing in Fast Company

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3015583/open-company/looking-for-customers-be-a-hunter-not-a-gatherer

When the phone is ringing regularly, as it has been for me lately (thank you all very, very much), it is easy to move from actively looking for new business to letting the business come to you.  This works well - until the phone stops ringing.  If you are just starting up your endeaver, you need to become a hunter.

Of the six items on Bastians list, two stike me as being especially helpful for getting back on the trail of hunting for business.

 

Create Your List

Most of your new customers come from people that you know - people you have worked with, done work for, or know in non-work situations. Identify where your potential customers hang out and engage them on their turf - join your local APICS chapter if you are in manufacturing, and your customers' industry association. 

My Dad was the dominant CPA in the Iowa City area when I was growing up.  He belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, was President of the local homebuilders association, and involved in many community organizations.  He believed in the causes that he was involved in but he also engaged with clients and potential clients in their habitat. Dad was a great hunter of business and an inspiration for me.

 

Eat the Frog (First)

I love meeting new people and learning about their organizations.  I truly learn something new every day in my work.  The challenge is in taking the initiative to make contacts to those who don't know about you and your product.  I reject cold-callers and have no interest in the rejection I know I will face in cold-contacting potential clients.

Per Bastiann - "Unless you have years of sales experience, cold-calling, emailing and seeking warm introductions to potential customers can be a grueling endeavor. Because it's so difficult, give yourself large chunks of undisturbed time to do this. Don't let other tasks distract you. The expression "eat the frog" refers to tackling your most arduous (and important) tasks at the beginning of the day, when your mental energy is high." 

I may not (don't say never) cold-call clients, but I do make time early in the dayto take care of the less glamorous tasks that do provide me with links to potential clients. I can procrastinate and put off the tasks that I am not looking forward to. If I can't sleep at four in the morning, getting something done and out of the way gives me a leg up.

 

Check out Bastian's article and decide how you will move out of passivity into action in growing your business.

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Scott is co-owner of Wave's End Services, LLC, a Colorado-based provider of Web, IT Consulting, photography, video, and training services.