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Looking for new business- what has worked for you?

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by MontereySigns, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. MontereySigns

    MontereySigns Member

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    We have been working very well with the local chamber of commerce for several years. We make signs for their events, they promote Monterey Signs to businesses looking to network and grow.

    Recently, we came up with an idea to give away a small 2' x 4' banner for every business that becomes a member or renews their membership. This has given us a steady flow of clients for a free banner but, then, we have their logo and they all seem to need something else (which we charge them for). It's worked out really well for everyone.

    Now, we are looking for another good business-to-business promotion. What has paid off for you?

    Thanks so much!

    -Bud
     
    Tags:
  2. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    Giving away free stuff never worked well enough to spark an interest for me. For us it's all about word of mouth and return customers. 90% of our workflow comes through our website. We get about 3-5k visits a month. 20-30% of that turns into jobs.
     
  3. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    The best things that has paid out in a big way, was I quit the chamber.......
     
  4. Rising

    Rising Member

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    Wow! so based on say 3k visits and the lower end of 20% of that, you are getting approx 600 new jobs every month? some going that. Whats your secret?
     
  5. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Customers searching on the internet is working well for me and I'm trying to improve this with the website and what customers are searching for with the type of work I do or want to do or have not thought about doing and would like to.

    Glad the Chamber of Commerce is working for you and your free banner for every new or renew a $100+ loss for every new customer ouch something I can not afford but a good leader since your getting other work.
     
  6. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Our Chamber went bankrupt years ago. Go figure.
     
  7. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    going from signs to makin pottery)))))))
     
  8. Mikeifg

    Mikeifg Active Member

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    Ditto.....
     
  9. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    They're not all massive jobs. Its all about our name. And how search engines respond to it.


    And good reviews.. i guess?
     
  10. Rising

    Rising Member

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    Sorry I am really not trying to catch you out or be facetious, but I just stumbled on the post you did recently saying you don't do small jobs as such.

    Come on friend I cant believe that you are gaining 600 - 1500 new customers every month from your website plus dealing with regulars.
    If you are doing this kind of turnover, you must have a huge amount of staff and some great systems set to deal with it all.

    Dont get me wrong I like your website, you do some cool work, Im just wondering if you have your estimation correct of new business each month.



    Make me smile and set me right.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  11. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

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    I give away 100 free business cards to new businesses. We have a new business list that comes out from our County every month. So before they can go to vista or to any other shop in town I give them a call and offer them free business cards. This works out well because as new businesses they usually need much more than just a small amount of starter cards. Only costs me about $9.00 to do this. The response is great and I usually upsell 80% of them into something else. We also don't give the design away. We charge for that.

    For the Doubters out their loss leaders are a proven method to gain new customers as long as its well thought out and you are very strict in your guidelines as to what they are and are not getting for Free/Reduced cost.
     
  12. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    I love this! Our chamber is so dumb. I wasn't a member, and they've still ordered signs from me, even though there's two other sign company's in it. Any "organization" that you join to grow your business is normally a joke.
     
  13. Any product or service you give away effectively reduces it's value to zero. I don't see this as a variable way to grow your business. You grow your business with personal contact, via face to face meetings or even telephone.
     
  14. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

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    I have a 8'x20' banner out front that says "Like us on Facebook"



    Not!
     
  15. Fanaticus

    Fanaticus Member

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    My latest idea is a secret until it gets publicly launched. The last idea I had I shared with a few people, who shared it with a few people..... then I went to register it and get the domains and someone through the grapevine beat me to it by 2 days.

    I repaid the favor by signing up the name in every free email account I could find, as well as social networking sites, video sites, and many other places that are commonly used for online venues. So, if they want to use the name for anything other than their website they'll either have to sue me, pay me, or find another way.

    But on this new idea, it's marketing strategy involves newspapers, postcards, business cards, flyers, coro signs, and 2 completely different websites. I'm estimating that after next year (this years "season" is almost over) word of mouth will be doing very well for it in the local area.
     
  16. MontereySigns

    MontereySigns Member

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    OK. Fourteen people responded and only one good idea (Thank you, Adtecchia). The rest of the responses was a bunch of *****ing, which all of us could do without.

    I find it hard to believe all these sign shops have enough business that they don't need to promote themselves outside of their website, their own signage, or referrals. Our work is good, pricing is fair, so our customers love working with us (and refer us afterwards), but the relationship has to have a starting point.

    Has no one offered a promotion, a discount, or unique marketing idea that got your phone ringing? Surely, there are some creative business people out there....

    -Bud
     
  17. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

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    When I am driving down the road, I keep business cards in the car. If I see a company who has a broken sign, I stop by and tell them I can fix it. Once you fix their bigger sign, they also get you to do everything else. Works for me.
     
  18. sar bossier

    sar bossier Very Active Member

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    We send out constant contact lists, with monthly specials. We do this every month, as well as active telemarketing, and an active sales force. I find the best way to get more/new business, I usually offer a ONE TIME 5% discount on first order placed, along with whatever special we decide to promote, based on the season, and upcoming events & holidays. This way, I give nothing away, but leave new clients feeling I did something special for them.
     
  19. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    here we go.

    you asked how. I told you OUR way. the web. You don't have to like it. I'm not in the business to give away free chit.
     
  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Want more business or a gimmick to do so ??

    Treat your business the way you did when you first started. NO CUSTOMERS.

    Go out and sell yourself in any fashion you feel necessary.... be it cold calling, dropping off business cards or just showing off samples of your work. Send out mailers, advertise in the phone book or on the internet or any other media at your fingertips. Put a wrap on your vehicle and drive around town. Hire some guy in a gorilla suit to wave at passerbys on the street to bring in business. Just remember.... you're selling a form of advertising and if you wanna look good, don't buy half-assed, just like you tell YOUR customers about quality. Heed your own words.
     
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