To find customers you must do one thing first. What’s that? Find people!
Today is my last day as a full-time writer with Live Out Loud. True to Loral working with a lot of companies (in addition to having employees), she’ll be working with me through my company. But I thought today might be a fitting day to talk to Loral’s blog-verse about something that is absolutely essential in business – and Loral taught me this. There are NO people in your home!
Yes, I have a home office now, bt I’ve already started to stake out places I can work that are away from home. Why? Because Loral taught me I need to meet people to make money. I don’t go out ill-equipped. I have my order form pad, Paypal credit card swiper, business cards, and some mini-flyers in hand. I’m working on my laptop, but I’m prepared to book appointments (and get the money for them) with my calendar nearby. In other words, I’m ready to ask for the cash.
You HAVE to find people if you are going to have customers. Real, flesh and blood people you can shake hands with.
So here are some of my favorite places to meet people. Feel free to share yours below.
1) Restaurants where the average entree is about $15. Why? Well, I like those places because a) I can get fed, but b) people who go there typically have a little money. When possible, I sit at the bar versus at my own table. Sitting at your own table sections you off a bit. It’s a “don’t bother me” sign. At the bar, it’s an equal playing field. This is similar to Loral meeting clients on airplanes. It’s a captive audience.
2) Business by referral meetings: I love these. Everyone’s clear intention is to meet as many people as possible, so you don’t have that awkward “geez, I want to talk to you” phase.
3) Charity events: Every community has them. Not only do you meet new people, you are doing something important for your community. Loral’s advice holds true for these: Create your charity rules for your business and STICK TO THEM. She explains charity rules at her 3 Days to Cash workshop.
4) Local organizations: Chamber meetings, Rotary, Optimist, Soroptimist – These organizations are the core of your community. Be part of them or assign someone to be part of them.
5) Entrepreneur MeetUps: I love MeetUp.com – met some great friends there. It’s a great place to network too. If there isn’t an entrepreneur meetup in your area with regular events, start one! If your group gets big enough and can pull together 100 people, Loral might even stop by and say hi when she is in town.
Notice the only ONLINE I mentioned was a Web site meant to encourage live interaction. If people meet you, you can serve them better because they will know you. Have a great week meeting new people!