I hope all of you reading this will make a commitment to your self to do whatever it takes to make 2016your best year ever! The only way that will happen is if you are as equally committed to being more pro-active, and more assertive in your day-to-day marketing. Here are some proven tips that should help to guide you toward those objectives.

1.  Turn off the news. It’s mostly all negative today and will bring you down if you focus on it.

2. Get into your market. It’s not gonna happen if you wait for the market to come to you. Find out what networking or business social events are being held, and make sure you attend. Work the room by playing host and asking people who they were hoping to meet at the event. Help them, and they’ll help you. Be clear before you attend as to what your objectives are and who you are looking for.

3. First contact your personal “inner circle” and ask for their help. Make up a list of all of your close contacts and call them all. Studies show that most people in business know about 250 other people in business. How many of those would be willing to help you or give you a referral? What about family, friends, old classmates, vendors, suppliers, etc. Who knows? But you never will know if you don’t pick up the phone and tell people that you are “committed to making 2016 your best year ever”. Would they like to help?

4. Prospect to a target market is the easiest way to make cold calls. First, identify the profile of your “ideal prospect”. What industry? What position? What location? Then send them a simple pre-approach letter designed to introduce yourself as someone who specializes in helping people like them eliminate certain “issues” which you refer to in your letter. End with “please expect my call to discuss this in a few days”, and then don’t forget to follow up.

5. Wave mail. One way to keep your name in front of someone you are targeting, or as a way to help you to book an appointment, is through wave-mail. Simply put, it’s sending a variety of different looking things on a regular basis. For example, a newsletter with a handwritten note on it, an article you clipped with a sticky note attached, a brochure, a letter, a post card, a video tape, a fax, etc. Try to vary the format as much as possible.

6. Executive Briefings. One of my favorite pro-active prospecting tools. If I told you, you could qualify 100 people in an hour, you’d probably say “you’re crazy.” But that’s exactly what will happen when you present an executive briefing to a targeted market. Think about a list of people who would benefit from something you know a lot about. Something you are an expert at. Then, develop a list of professional associations where those people belong and call the program chairperson to find out about doing an executive briefing for them in the near future

7. Teaming up on the Internet. Link up with your customers or other firms serving similar markets to magnify your presence on the web. Many industry associations and service organizations have web sites and would probably welcome the opportunity to add yours to theirs through a simple link.

8. Centers of influence can be very helpful to you as you grow your business in 2016. They are typically people who have experienced your work and are very satisfied with it, either directly or indirectly, and are willing to tell others about their experiences. Instead of showing someone a stack of letters that all say you’re great, get them on the phone with a satisfied client, or sphere of influence, and let your prospect speak directly to them about validating your ability and your commitment. Keep a short list of these “live endorsers” in your cell and when someone expresses a need for an outside opinion about your work, dial one up and hand it to your prospect.

9. A process for getting referrals. While it’s true that the best way to get good referrals is to give good referrals, you will need a process for getting referrals from everyone you meet. Clients and prospects alike. Just keep in mind that a referral doesn’t have to be an endorsement. Someone could refer you based on what they think they know about you and your ability to help someone they know. Call all of your clients and tell them that you “are in the service business, and so, don’t have much time to be looking for new business. Would it be a problem for them to help you by referring you to someone that they know, that you should be speaking with”? Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you, and offer to help them with a referral.

10. Former / lapsed clients sure do look like golden opportunities to me. Just because time has lapsed since your last contact, or something happened to cause them to stop doing business with you, doesn’t mean that they are not prospects for you today. Call and find out what happened to your relationship, and inquire about what you can do to revive it. As you may know, CS+M specializes in helping people find new business. If you need help with any of these concepts, please feel free to call, or e-mail me.

Plan now to make 2016 your best sales year ever!