5 Out-of-the-Box Prospecting Ideas for 2017

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out-of-the-boxUnless you’ve developed a cult following for your business, you need to get out there and hustle and continually develop a pipeline of business prospects. When you’re prospecting, it’s important to keep it fresh. Here are five “out-of-the-box” ideas to help you develop more business in 2017.

Be a (friendly) Social Media Stalker
Social media is a great place to find prospective clients, because people are on there posting about what’s going on in their lives, anyway. If you run an event planning company, you should be on the lookout for people in your area posting about getting engaged. You can automate this process a bit by taking out targeted ads, but I think a more respectful, direct, person-to-person contact is a lot better. Tip: Do a regular scan, or hire someone, to check when people in your geographic area are using hashtags relevant to your business, like #Engaged for a wedding planner.

Have a Perfect Pop-Up
We’ve all seen people walking around, handing out their cards at an event. The classic example here in Fort Lauderdale is real estate agents at the Boat Show, which is minor league. Instead of just walking around trying to promote yourself, work with event organizers (when possible) and put on your own pop-up event either there or nearby. Tip: At an event like a food and wine fest – if you have a donut shop, create a donutopia experience. Leverage the larger event and go big.

Get Charitable
Align your company and yourself personally with charities that have a tie to your business, or other people who are involved who would be great clients for your company. People notice where you give your time. Tip: Get involved and get to know others involved with the charity on a personal level, meet them for a meal and don’t make it a hard sell.

Be Merry and Celebrate
There are a lot of fun ways to tie in to the winter holidays like Christmas and Chanukah, but don’t forget the smaller holidays, and even people’s individual birthdays. It’s easy to target and provide offers for a specific person through social media. Tip: Offer a special incentive for people with January birthdays – just make sure it’s really worth their time.

Go Back in the Box/Old School
Everything that is old eventually becomes new again. Why not try some old school prospecting that people have largely abandoned due to relying so much on the internet? Personal touches like phone calls, handwritten letters and even sending little gifts or dropping by with treats can go a long way in a world so obsessed with everything online. Tip: There’s a reason pharmaceutical reps bring lunch to doctors’ offices. It works – try it!

I hope you can put at least one of these prospecting ideas to work for your business in 2017 – and I look forward to celebrating your company’s success in the new year!

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