5 Methods To Grow Your Business Without Spending A Cent
A constant question for business owners? How do I bring in more business? What else can I do to increase revenues and profits? While strategic marketing campaigns are critically important, one of the fastest and most cost effective ways to grow your business is actually very simple: Ask for it.
Many times we have heard, “Ask and you shall receive.” We even use that phrase ourselves when we talk to friends or colleagues. But when did you stop last to and evaluated how you incorporate this understanding into your business? When was the last time you have asked for a testimonial, an endorsement, or a referral from a happy client?
If we were to ask top professionals how they achieved their success, I am sure that most of them would state that it wasn’t just handed to them. They asked for more responsibility, a bigger challenge, favors from friends and colleagues along the way. They knew when and how to ask the right questions so they could gather the right information, build their reputation, seek useful referrals, generate new business, and expand their audience or customer base.
The simple act of asking is critical to success. Yet many people don’t do it for one reason or another. Maybe they feel that asking implies some kind of weakness, maybe they are afraid of rejection, maybe they don’t really understand the power of it yet.
Here are seven asking strategies you can implement in your business (and in life) to boost your results:
1. Ask For More Information
As your business grows it’s important that you gather the right type of information. You need to know how your current clients are finding you, what their challenges are and For example, to win potential new clients, you first need to understand their current challenges, and what they hope your product or service will solve for them. Only when you truly understand and appreciate a prospect’s needs can you offer a solution.
2. Ask for Business
Believe it or not, but a recent study showed that more than 50% of sales people don’t ask for the business after they have given a presentation about the benefits of their product or service. There are certain parts in the sales process that are unique for every prospect, but there are also certain parts of the sales process that you want to have carefully scripted in order to make the sale.
3. Ask for Testimonials Or Endorsements
Too often we feel it is not appropriate to ask for testimonials for work that we have done. Dizzy Dean once said “It ain't braggin' if you done it.” It’s important to remember that well-written, results-oriented testimonials from respected people in the community can substantially increase your credibility and profitability The best time to ask is right after you have provided excellent service, gone the extra mile to help out, or in any other way made your customer really happy. Simply ask if your customer would be willing to give you a testimonial about the value of your product or service, plus any other helpful comments.
4. Ask for Top-Quality Referrals
It is very a very crowed market place and very difficult to stand out in the constant white noise of promises and superlatives. A referral from a friend or a trusted resource can make all the difference when it comes to converting a prospect into a client. There are many people in your current contact sphere you can ask for referrals, from your current and past clients, to your vendors, people you meet at networking events, to people you have referred business to in the past. If you can make asking for a referral a habit, you will see that it will dramatically increase your income. And like any other habit, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
5. Ask for Feedback
Another important type of “ask” is the “ask” for feedback. You need to know if your product or service is meeting your customers’ needs. Ask them, “How are we doing? What can we do to improve our service to you? Please share what you like or don’t like about our products.” Set up regular customer surveys that ask good questions and tough questions. It’s a powerful way to fine-tune your business.
How to Ask Successfully
For a lot of us, we are not as proactive as we’d like to be when it comes to asking, because we don’t really know how to ask. If you start applying the five tips below you will see that you get great results.
1. Be Confident
People who ask confidently get more than those who are tentative and uncertain. Once you know what you’d like to ask, do it with certainty and confidence. It may help to practice with someone, or write out your question in advance.
2. Be Specific
If your question is not specific, you will make the other person work too hard and you won’t get the answer you were actually looking for. Be sure you don’t confuse listeners, making it difficult for them to provide the information or help you desire.
3. Be Consistent
The more you make it habit to ask, the easier it will become and the better you will become at doing it. Don’t let yourself be discourage by a few attempts that don’t produce results. Stick with it!
4. Be Creative
In this age communication saturation your asking may get lost in the crowd, so you might need to be creative in how you ask. The best way by far is still meeting in person, or having a conversation over the phone. Don’t just shoot of an email hoping it will ever make it on the top of the other person’s to do list.
5. Be Sincere
When interact with people and ask them for something make sure you are sincere and that people can feel that. It’s good to have processes in place, but never let your ask become a stale process that has no life in it.