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February 16th, 2008
» Chamber of Commerce Blog: Got LEADS?

by PHYLLIS SNODGRASS

Getting leads in the business world is the easiest way to maximize the resources you already have in place and grow your business. It is one of the simplest things you can do but it has the potential to lead to great success. However, to be effective it does require some planning and effort on your part. But the results are well worth that effort! So, where do you begin?

Start with friends and relatives. This is the best way to kick-start your leads generation. Call up the businesses you already do business with and the friends and relatives that you know that might need your product or service.

Then move up to referrals: business names, phone numbers and contact names of other people that your friends, family and current business acquaintances believe would benefit your company. Many of us forget this important step. The best time to get referrals is when you close a deal. Always try to get at least one reference from each sale!

When selling, never forget it’s all about keeping the “funnel” full. The more sources you have to generate business, the better. It is important that you are aware of the various sources available to help you prospect potential clients.

Examples of such resources include the following: Obtaining assumed name (DBA) lists from the County Clerk’s office. Such lists are considered
public information and can be obtained for a small fee. Here in San Marcos you can get an index of DBA’s at the County Clerk’s office. Just enter a date range and pull up a list of DBA’s filed during the period. It is a dollar a page to print the index.

Your local Chamber of Commerce is probably one of the best sources of new leads. By joining committees of interest or the Ambassadors Club and attending many of the great events the Chamber offers, you are exposed to many other business people that could have a need for your product or service, or may know of someone else who does. The San Marcos Chamber also hosts LEADS groups – formal networking groups that meet regularly for the sole purpose of building their businesses by exchanging leads with group members.

Carry your business cards with you wherever you go! It is amazing how many of us forget this, Always have a fresh, clean supply on hand to give to people you meet, regardless of the time or place. I like to keep spares in my glove government in a Ziploc bag, just in case I run out at an event I am attending! It is your calling card and your signature – and you should make sure everyone you meet gets one.

For more information on the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce LEADS groups, contact the chamber at (512) 393-5900.

PHYLLIS SNODGRASS is the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.

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