Whether you’re looking to finish out 2013 with a bang or jump-start your 2014, there's a surprising amount of opportunity available in these last few weeks. How can you find new customers and win business before the new year rings in?
1. Throw a Party!
In order to use a party to successfully build your business, it’s essential that you invite current satisfied customers as well as your top prospects for new business. Giving potential clients evidence of your success with other clients is social proof of the value of your products. Resist the urge to turn the event into a pitch-fest, and use the party instead as an appreciation-fest. Let your current customers know how much you value their business and show prospective clients how well you treat your valuable customers.
Perhaps the most important is what happens the next day. Don't neglect those thank you emails and calls, make sure you schedule a little face time to catch up and push for new business. Your party and the gratitude you show your customers may well give you the edge in landing that new big fish.
Don’t underestimate the potential business that you can secure as the year winds down. Finding—and creating—opportunities when other business owners have put the year to bed can help you both finish 2013 and begin 2014 from a position of strength.
2. Big Company Year-End Opportunities
As budget years wind down, it's not uncommon for large corporations to find themselves with money left over that they have to use, or risk losing it for the subsequent year. Look for these opportunities as the year comes to a close. Are you likely to land a monster new project mid-December? Probably not, but what I’ve found to be successful is to help a company spend its remaining dollars on a small-scale trial project with the option to evaluate and renegotiate into a larger project the following year.
When other business owners are slacking at year’s end, take the chance to impress potential new clients with your vision and dedication. It’s not often that companies are actually in the position of needing to spend some extra money, and you can transform these trial projects into long-term relationships.
3. Year-End Tax Savings For Small Businesses
As December rolls around, savvy small-business owners start to evaluate the tax burden of a successful year and look for ways they can reduce their tax liability by purchasing equipment or prepaying for services. Look around to find these businesses and pitch your product with figures that reflect both their initial investment as well as an estimate of the savings they can realize in their tax liability. If you select your potential clients properly, you can provide them with a product they need and help them realize a real financial gain at tax time.
4. Video Sales Page
It’s never been easier to put video on your website, but the key for your very best prospects is to personalize your pitch. Rather than using a stock video overview of your services, speak directly to your prospective client and deliver a powerful message that incorporates their unique business challenges and the solutions you can provide.
Keep the video brief—two minutes or less should be your target—and be specific about how you can address your client’s individual needs. Take the time to make sure that your audio quality is excellent and that you get good lighting for your presentation.
5. Build The Vendor Well
Here’s a technique I’ve successfully used that seems counterintuitive but is very effective: Rather than asking a great client to refer you to other clients, ask for referrals to other key vendors. The idea is to work with those vendors to improve overall service for your important clients and—here’s the key—open yourself up to the contacts from those vendors’ connections. You shift the focus from your needs to the needs of your clients by asking how you can better serve them, and you broaden your network at the same time.
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