Where to find the first customers after your launch

In order to grow your business, you need to make prospecting a regular exercise. FILE PHOTO | NMG
In order to grow your business, you need to make prospecting a regular exercise. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nearly all new entrepreneurs face one major challenge at the initial stages of running their business — failure to find enough customers to buy enough products.

Failure to find customers to generate enough revenue to cover at least operational expenses is a challenge that if not handled well can make your business stagnant.

So, how do you promote your business and get customers to buy your products?

You will get lots of advice on how you can promote your business such as advertising, sales activation, sales calls, attending networking events and so on but chances are you will waste a lot of money unless you target the right people.

In pursuit of customers who will bring in much needed sales revenue, your success will largely depend on ability to identify and reach out to people who are capable of buying your products. In business, identifying someone who could buy your product from the mass is called prospecting.

A prospect is someone who has a need that your product can meet and has potential or a desire and ability to buy or power to make the transaction happen.

Knowing such people and isolating them from the masses is always the hardest part of marketing.

Since there is not one product that fits all people, prospecting is a key determining factor in sales.

By identifying and isolating people who are likely to buy, you are able to tremendously reduce the cost of marketing and increase the time it takes for your business to break-even and make profit.

It saves you the agony and frustration of being rejected because you are approaching anyone you spot.

There are some businesses that have been around for some time, yet they seem to be struggling to break-even let alone make modest profit. This is despite their owners spending on marketing. Such businesses have their problems rooted in poor prospecting. They waste resources targeting and pursuing the wrong people.

Fortunately, prospecting is a learnable art that is easy to master. It starts by understanding your customers and their needs and where they are found.

If you profiled your customers keenly you will realise they have some salient common characteristics.

One of the key areas of prospecting is actually profiling and analysing any customer who buys from you. Keeping and analysing the data of rejections is also helpful in eliminating and classifying your targets.

In order to grow your business, you need to make prospecting a regular or if possible a daily exercise.