Sales & Marketing Tips from Sawgrass Ink

by Jimmy Lamb

A key area to consider when looking for potential customers is your own background. Are you currently employed? If so, chances are you are surrounded by potential leads. Use these contacts to carve out business relationships. It’s much easier to make sales in an environment that is comfortable and familiar, than having to go out and knock on doors. And don’t just look around, write it all down.

One exercise that you can do to help you generate a potential list of customers is to take a sheet of paper and divide it into to three columns. In the left hand column list the name of every person that you know. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, church members, club members, etc. You’ll probably be surprised at how many people you really do know.

In the center column, write down each person’s occupation or special circumstance. Special circumstance might be president of a fishing club, or member of a civic group.

Then in the third column, give each person a ranking as to whether they could be a potential customer or not. Use a scale of 1-3, with 1 being a hot lead, 2 being a possible lead, and 3 being a dead end. Put some thought into this process. It’s tempting to rank business owners high and everyone else low, especially someone like a housewife. However, if you are thinking about providing personalization services, then gift items will be a big seller. Thus, housewives have the potential for being ranked at the top.

Once you have your ranking list ready, you are now ready to pursue your potential clients. Obviously, the 1’s are the first to go after, followed by the 2’s. The 3’s can be stored away for future reference.

Focus on like similarities between the people listed as 1’s and group them accordingly. For example, business owners, club officers, event coordinators, etc. Then create sub-groups. For example, business owners can be broken down by type of business: restaurant, real estate, retailer, professional, etc.

Now analyze each group for ideas of products to show them. Think about designs, products, packaged themes, etc. Also think about an angle or “spin” that you want to place on your products. Simply telling a potential client that you can do great work is not usually enough to get anyone excited. Instead, you can make your presentation much more interesting if you present specific products and concepts to the customer. For example, a business logo on a polo shouldn’t be treated as printed shirt, but as a form of advertising.

By putting together a methodical approach for specific groups of people, you will increase your chances of turning prospects into profits.