Grow Your Business by Asking for Help!
We all have two jobs. First is the specific skill or trade we perform and second we all need to be great lead generators.
In this section we will discuss lead generating techniques and ideas to help grow your business and allow you to practice what you love doing.
One great lead generating tip we've learned about that is very low cost, but effective is to grow your business by calling people and asking for help. People in general do not like to be pitched, or sold, or harassed to bring you business, but they do love to "help".
What I want you to do is make a list of all your old clients, current clients, friends, family and business associates (which we should have organized in a contact management or database program) Next you are going to contact them by phone or in person. Business is a contact sport, you need to get comfortable making contact. To get comfortable you'll need to know what your going to say before saying it, in sales we call these "Scripts". Some people get turned off when they think about using a script, or they believe its beneath them or too salesy. To overcome those feelings, all you need to do is take any script, personalize it (so its your words and sounds like you), internalize it (so you can say it naturally) and then capitalize on it (use it!).
The basic call goes like this, and remember these are people you already know, so they are not cold calls, they are warm calls: "Hi Judy, this is Steve did I catch you at a GOOD time?" If the answer is yes or no you will still continue like this "ok this will only take a moment, 1st on a business note I just wanted to call to ask you for your help!" and then you pause. They may respond with "with what?, or what can I help you with?" or with silence. Either way your next comment is "I am growing my Wedding Photography business and I need your help finding new brides and grooms to help with their photography needs! Do you know someone thats is planning a wedding?" or try this variation "I am growing my business and planning out my year. I wanted to make sure I left some dates available to help anyone you may know that needs help with their wedding photography. Do you know someone planning a wedding you'd like me to help?"
They may respond with "no one at this time" or "I do know someone" if they don't know anyone you respond with "thats ok, I'll be checking in with you from time to time over the year so maybe next time" if they know someone say "thats great, what is their phone number so I can give them a call and let them know you thought I'd be able to help?"
After that, you'll want to finish up on a personal note asking about FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams) to learn about them and find some common elements to relate to them on. If they are in a rush you'll want to be brief on the personal talk.
Make sure you document the call in your database so the next time you call you can bring up the last conversation and ask about some of the personal elements you spoke about prior.
If you do get a referral from them, you'll also want to follow up with a handwritten thank you card, and perhaps a small gift certificate. One great idea is a 5$ Gift Card to a regional coffee shop. Write on the note card "Thanks a-latte for the referral!".
This script is an initial script to get the process going of calling someone and asking for help, plan on calling this person again through-out the year. Perhaps once a quarter or just before a holiday so you can work in a happy holiday message.
Any referrals you contact from these referrals will be more receptive to you and your services and they will hold you in a higher regard since you will be recommended by a trusted friend.
About the Author:
Ron Carpenito, WeddingPhotoUSA