Marketing Hack: 5 Qualified Leads From 100 Business Cards

August 3, 2014

Want to land more sales with minimal effort and a super-low investment? It’s not that tough to do; in fact, with just 100 business cards you can land five well-qualified leads in no time. I’ll tell you how in a moment, but first let me share a story. There’s this guy I know, let’s call him “Greg.” Greg was never a close friend, but an acquaintance who was always great for conversation. A couple of years ago, Greg started selling a suite of products via an MLM (multi-level marketing) program. Since then, Greg has taken every single opportunity to pitch his products to me. He calls several times a month, stops me when we see each other at the local department store, and sends multiple emails every week – nothing wrong with any of those things, except that in every instance he is pitching his products. Hard. So, a person I used to enjoy catching up with has become a person I go out of my way to avoid because he won’t accept that I’m not interested in what he is selling. Now, Greg’s a good guy – don’t get me wrong – and he’s working hard to be successful. At the same time, however, Greg thinks he’s being a good salesman when in fact he’s simply badgering the heck out of me (and several others, or so the grapevine has told me). Greg’s biggest problem is he’s wasting his efforts on an unqualified lead – me – rather than focusing his efforts on people who actually want what he sells (it’s a good product, just not for me). Greg’s problem, like so many others, is that he’s overthinking the sales and marketing process. He’s trying to get everyone he knows to want his product, rather than trying to get his product in front of people who already want it. Greg sells a suite of health-related products for weight loss and muscle building. If I were Greg, instead of banging my head against a brick wall I would print 100 business cards. On the back of my business cards I would create a checklist, something like: Call me if you want to:

  • lose fat
  • add muscle definition and tone
  • and be in the best shape of your life just 90 days from now

Get a free consultation today and save 10% on your first order! Then, I would join our local YMCA and spend time there on the running track, in the weight room, in the aerobic exercise bike room, playing basketball and racquetball, etc. I would go out of my way to establish friendly relationships with every person I met. My goal would be to get 100 people I meet to either:

  • ask me about my business
  • ask for my contact information
  • specifically ask for my business card
  • ask how I stay in shape

Then I would politely hand them my business card. Out of 100 business cards, I could certainly expect at least five people to call to inquire more about my products. That’s a five percent response rate, and in fact it could be much higher because I’ve taken the time to establish real relationships and earn a level of trust. Instead of badgering, I’m baiting. That might be a cynical way of looking at it, but in the end I’m able to put minimal effort into building relationships and then waiting for the perfect conversational segue to pitch my products. And because my new acquaintances did the asking, because they’re at the gym and obviously have an interest in health products, because they’re able to see first-hand the results I’ve been able to achieve, they are highly qualified leads. We’re not talking demographics here – that part is accomplished within the environment – we’re talking relationships. We’re also talking about filling a customer need at the customer’s request, not trying to create a need at the salesperson’s demand. In addition to working relationships, I might print business cards to leave by the sinks in the locker rooms and at the front desk counter – back side up – because you never know who might  pick one up. I can do this because it’s cheap to print 100 business cards. If Greg were to adopt a similar approach, I can guarantee he’d have better leads and more sales with less effort. Right now, he’s probably spending 20 hours each month trying to convince people they want his product when he could be spending 20 hours fulfilling orders for people who are already convinced. This approach can work for nearly any type of business. To recap:

  • find out where your customers frequent, and go there yourself
  • print 100 business cards that feature the benefits you can provide for your customers, include a special discount if possible
  • make it your goal to personally hand out 100 business cards to people you’ve built rapport with, at precisely the perfect moment

Now, all you have to do is track how many responses you get from your business cad marketing campaign each month. If you can hand out 100 business cards per month that feature the right pitch to the right people at the right time, you’ll start getting more qualified leads and landing more sales. At the end of the day, it’s far easier to sell to people who want to buy than to convince those who don’t.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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