Three ways of acquiring new business customers are advertising, telemarketing, and sending direct mail. My favorite method by far for a small business is direct mail. When you send direct mail on a regular basis to specific target prospects, it brings customers and leads to you at a relatively low cost. Advertising does the same thing, but at a higher cost per response. How many small businesses can afford the high price of a half-page ad in a major industry publication? Not many. And further, can they spend the money it costs to run the ad several times for full effectiveness? How many people are going to look at the ad and respond—enough to make it worthwhile?
By the time the next issue comes out, the magazine and your ad in it are likely gone—tossed aside by the prospect. However, business prospects can and do save direct-mail pieces if they aren’t in the market for your product right when the direct mail arrives. I’ve had many calls from business prospects months after sending out direct mail. Many prospects save direct-mail pieces in a file if they know they may have a need for your product or service in the relatively near future.
Telemarketing to set up face-to-face appointments or to sell your products directly is also a good tool if you can reach the decision maker. However, your direct mail and telemarketing will only be as good as your prospects list.
Another way of getting new business is through referrals from your satisfied customers. Referrals can be leads that you receive and follow up on, or the referral may actually call your company himself. These are the best prospects because the interest is already there, and you should be able to close many of the sales.
Whatever method or combination of methods you use to acquire new business, you need to keep doing it regularly. This will replace any lost customers and grow your business by adding sales and profits. A small business (or any size business, really) will not survive without adding new customers regularly. You need to replace the lost ones and keep finding new ones to grow. Test and retest to find the methods that work best for your business; then make regular investments to acquire a constant stream of new business.