Wednesday, June 06, 2007

7 Ways to Follow Up After a Home Business Presentation

In this day and age, it's simply not enough to call on someone and make a presentation. If you don't follow up at least 7 times, you are wasting your time, as well as theirs. The more time you put into getting to know your potential customers, the better your relationship will be.

Because of that, you need to follow up after a presentation, at least 7 times, and sometimes longer. Here you'll find some creative ideas to follow up that will be sure to impress anyone.

1. Your first follow up should be a hand written note, thanking them for their time. Use a nice card, embossed with your logo, if you want, or just a simple "Thank You" card available anywhere.

2. Second, find some "Cheese Straws" at a specialty store, and send it with a note saying: "Grasping at straws to find the perfect solution to...(include a problem you can solve for them)? We can help! This is not only a cleverly worded reminder of your presentation, but something for them to taste and remember you by.

3. Rolodex cards are excellent reminders: include a note that says: "We are always at your fingertips when you need us!" Make sure your rolodex card has the little tab at the top with either your name, or the biggest benefit of using your services: this will make it stand out from the others cards in the file.

4. Next, send a bag of popcorn with a note saying: "Just popping in to remind you that we can.... " (mention one of the benefits of using your services or products).

5. A coffee mug imprinted with your logo, and filled with some coffee packets and even a cookie could be next: this will remind them of your visit every time they enjoy their coffee.

6. A seed packet with this message: "We would love to help you grow your business" is another original idea that will leave a great impression.

7. Chocolate business cards will be a tasty reminder of your services. This one may be a little more expensive, but well worth the cost. You'll need to pay for a plate with your logo, but it's a one time cost that will pay you many times over. The chocolate business cards are a great conversation starter, and something that will separate you from your competition.

These are just a few ideas: there are many more ways to keep your name in front of your potential clientele.

And to keep track of what you did, create a folder for each presentation and set up your follow-ups before you even go to your presentation.

You are now on your way to success: good luck with your next presentation!


Monday, June 04, 2007

How Joining A Forum Can Help Your Home-Based Business

Online forums are a fantastic reminder of the influence the internet has had on society. Using forums to connect with your market is a natural progression.

Forums are online communities where individuals can discuss topics ranging from fly fishing to breast feeding to internet business. Discussions are conducted by posting notes to the forum. A single discussion is called a 'thread' and most forums have several - even hundreds - of threads going at any time.

What is truly remarkable about the use of forums is the personal quality of the discussions. Read some of the posts on forums such as ivillage.com and you'll soon see that the members become more like neighbors (and even friends) than strangers connected only by the keyboard and monitor in front of them.

Where brick and mortar businesses used to prosper based on their involvement in the community - online businesses now have a neighborhood all their own - online forums.

How can participating in a forum help YOUR business?

NETWORKING:

Online forums are a fantastic place to connect with others who are knowledgeable about your business. You probably cater to the same audience and share a common interest. If your businesses compliment one another you might just find a highly profitable partnership or joint venture.

Even if you don't find a working relationship you may find the referrals or discussions highly beneficial.

TRAFFIC BUILDING:

Along with the referrals you may get when you've developed a trusted online presence with other members of the forum, you are also likely to attract targeted visitors to your website.

If the forum permits you to post a signature (your website URL) onto the posts then you can be sure that some of the members and quite likely some of the 'lurkers' (people who view but don't post) will come check out your site.

EDUCATION:

Using the forums wisely can open you up to a great education. Whether it is from fellow entrepreneurs in your field or experts and other posters - you are participating in an 'inner circle' type discussion that may open your eyes to new developments and opportunities in your business.

ADDICTIVE:

The only downside is the highly addictive atmosphere. With members posting from all over the world it can be difficult to reign in your viewing time on forums.

On the flip side, other members are hopefully as interested in what you have to say and you may quickly develop a reputation as a reliable source for information.

Be very cautious to follow forum rules. Never spam a forum - your aim should be to participate in a conversation, not interrupt it. Have fun and watch your business grow!