“How can I find buyer leads?” / “How to find buyers?” are one of the first questions any importer & exporter asks him or herself, and it is never ending.
For your business to thrive, you’ll need a steady stream of buyers. Maybe you have one or two in your pocket already, but if they find another supplier or if you’re trying to expand, or both (which does happen from time to time), you’ll be back at square one, asking the same question.
So for you dear entrepreneur, at long last, here are the remaining 6 ways to find exciting prospects. Save this list, because you will refer to it again.
12 Ways to Find Buyer Leads (#12 is insanely effective)
There will come a time in every business owner’s life when you must reevaluate the value of your time and embrace the idea of delegation.
If you are too busy tackling top level business decisions and your prospect list is dwindling, perhaps it is time to hire a sales representative or team of reps (one for each of your key import markets), or reach out to a commission agent.
While a sales rep might work for your company exclusively and would require a regular salary, a commission agent likely represents many different companies and would only collect payment from you when a sale is made (a percentage commission). If you go this route, be sure to take the labor/commission costs into account.
Build a website and optimize it
Thinking “if you build it, they will come” is exactly the wrong way to think about your company website. Yes, you definitely need one, but just creating it will do very little to expose your company to the buyers you seek.
Think of your website as a store that is in the middle of a desert. Without any traffic driving by, your target buyer will never know that your company exists. So how do you help drive traffic to your website? Here are a few basic ways:
- Hire a renowned SEO specialist to make sure your site is optimized for search engines to find it. Make sure to hire someone that will only use ethical practices to optimize your site – if they engage in unethical practices such as keyword stuffing or hidden links, you could get blacklisted by search engines, making your site nearly impossible for buyers to find.
- Translate your site into the languages of your target import countries and optimize it for search within those countries (this might, in turn, require hiring an SEO specialist for each of those countries, so keep a close look at your budget).
- Regularly add new, useful content to your site – search engines give preference to sites that are updated more often.
- List your site in as many directories and lists as possible – search engines will cross-reference your site for authenticity. The more links you have on other legitimate sites, the greater your chances of ranking higher in search results so buyers can find you.
- Advertise (see #9)
Ready, Aim, Advertise!
When you’re ready to boost up the amount of traffic coming to your site, a little targeted advertising can help a lot.
Remember, the key word here is “targeted”. Because you are looking to attract a very specific type of person, paying for blanketed banner ads or Facebook posts will be a waste of money.
Spend some time thinking about who you want to target and which sites they would visit online. Then reach out to the advertising departments of those sites and test a few to see which ones deliver the most qualified leads.
Bring them in from the cold
Sometimes you simply have to go back to the basics and reach out to buyers “cold”.
If you do this, make sure to follow cold calling best practices in order to start the business relationship in the best way possible and enhance your chances for success. Here are some guidelines:
- Research the prospect and their business thoroughly before making the call. There’s almost nothing worse than making them feel like they’re just a number on a list.
- Lead by describing how your compelling product can benefit them (i.e. higher quality, lower cost, potentially increased profit margins, etc..).
- Establish credibility along the way. Name dropping a few of your high profile clients, referencing the amount of product you sell or years you’ve been in the business can help build a level of trust with the prospect.
- Be mindful of their time. If you sense that the prospect is too busy to talk, stop right away, but be sure to ask when and how you should follow up with them again. Some people like to conduct business over email, others prefer a telephone conversation.
- Follow up. Set your calendar to follow up with the prospect again based on your agreed upon time. If no follow up time is scheduled, plan to touch base again in a few days to a few months depending on the prospect’s level of interest. If they don’t seem too interested in your product, give them a little more time. Circumstances do change, and in a few months, they might be more into the market and your product.
- Know when to let go. If after 3 contacts the prospect is still uninterested, or if they’ve given you an affirmative “no,” remove them from your list. There’s no point wasting your time on a dead-end lead.
When it comes to sales calls and emails, there is always room for improvement. Search online for video tutorials that highlight the communication practices that will lead you to a sale.
Promote your site tastefully in online forums, LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium and blogs.
Like or link to others’ posts and pages too – don’t just try to sell right away. Think of social media as a real-life conversation. No one would want to sit and hear you rambling on and on about yourself.
Take time to compliment others and show genuine interest, just like you would in person. Respond to posts that are directed at you – it will make your business seem more human and approachable.
If you reach out and try to connect with prospects via sites like LinkedIn, be sure to tell them why you are reaching out, rather than making them guess. Try something like this, “I see that you sell X and would like the opportunity to tell you more about my product, Y.”
Let the leads come straight to you!
If you’ve made it this far and are feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t fret. The easiest way to find buyer leads is to list your business on Boxme.
We currently have a wide range of fulfillment network in Southeast Asia, with legal presence at Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia that can help you start your business here right now. In addition, we are able to connect you with 50+ local and international warehousing and delivery partners, and thanks to that you can have the most competitive price possible.
Now that’s a return on investment!
BoxMe is the premier cross-border e-Commerce fulfillment network in South East Asia, enabling world-wide merchants to sell online into this region without needing to establish local presence. We are able to deliver our services by aggregating and operating an one-stop value chain of logistic professions including: International shipping, customs clearance, warehousing, connection to local marketplaces, pick and pack, last mile delivery, local payment collection and oversea remittance.
If you have any question about Boxme Asia or how we can support your business, please contact us directly by referring to our hotline. We are glad to be of service!