When you own your own business you are never off duty, it may sound harsh but if you are not willing to promote your business 24/7 then you need to think about your level of commitment to your own success. Each new potential customer has to be sold to, you have to let them know about your services and convince them that you are the best.

always be sellingKnow Your Customer
This is the first rule, who do you sell to? Unless you have a good idea of your customers you will waste time talking to people who are never going to become paying customers. If you sell a product that costs $50k, you are unlikely to find anyone willing (or able) to buy your product in the middle of the projects. Once you have a solid idea of the customer profile for your business you have a better chance of finding them.

Pay It Forward
One of the best types of advertising is word of mouth and the law of reciprocity means that when you help people they feel the need to help you back.

  • Charities – Would you service be of use to a local charity? Offer to help them for free if they can include your name in their newsletters and a note to “support our sponsors” . You should also ask for a link from their website.
  • Social Groups – You need to be careful that you do not join every group and do nothing but help them for free. Join groups where the members are in your customer  profile, if you sell products aimed at babies then join a group that supports pregnant women. If you sell sports equipment then join sports clubs.
  • Network Meetings – Everyone goes to these meetings and promotes their business. Be different, offer each of them something you can do for them, no cost, no strings attached. Help them build their business, find new contacts and generally grow.

The only thing to be aware of with this is that you can not help everyone for free, but when you are first starting out or you need to find new customers all these will help.

No Hard Sell
In no way am I suggesting you wear a sandwich board with your company information on everywhere you go. You must keep your eyes and ears open for opportunity to share your information with people. Business will not always come to you, sometimes you have to go get it or at least point the customers your way.

You can often sell your services just by mixing with your customers. If you sell high precision car parts, then you should be going to every car related show in your area. Not just the well known and popular ones, but the ones that are just starting out. If you join a car club that is just starting out you could become the go to guy for all the members parts.

If people see you and your business name often enough they will automatically come to you when they need help.

Keep it Real
Do not make promises you can not keep, even if you are doing something for free the customer must know you are giving it your all. This is how relationships are built and relationships sell.