There is no getting around the fact that the holiday season is busy for everyone. As consumers begin making their holiday purchases many small businesses struggle to keep up with orders. It can be difficult for them to have the working capital they need. They have to have funds to purchase the material they need to produce and ship their products. It is the perfect time for merchants to secure an alternative business loan, but many are too busy to realize their options. Here is how you can help:
Contact past customers
Start by running through your list of customers that are ready for a chance to renew or those that you have worked with in the past. As their business increases over the holiday season there is a chance they could use a little extra working capital to keep up with their necessary purchases. It is always easier to work with merchants that have already used your services in the past. They understand how it works and the benefits that it brings them.
With past or current customers, you don’t need to make a hard sell. You have a relationship built with the company, so contact them to check in. Ask if there are any additional services that they are in need of.
Think like your customer
If you want to provide your customer with the products and services that they need you need to think like them. What are their pain points at this moment in time? With the fourth quarter underway there are a few positions your client might relate to:
- The money isn’t coming in fast enough – With the year coming to an end the budget is running out. Sales may have been good so far for the year, but the receivables aren’t coming in as fast as the payables.
- Expenses are covered but there isn’t anything leftover – A business cannot gear up for the holiday rush without the funds available to use. As the old saying goes, “it takes money to make money”. If a merchant wants to bring in extra sales for the holiday season they need access to the funds to help them get started.
- Ready for growth but can’t make the jump – The merchant has been steadily growing and has hit the point that they cannot grow any further without additional working capital. They are poised for growth and just need the resources to make it happen. if they can find the capital they need they will go into 2018 stronger than ever.
Identify the pain point of the merchant and let them know you understand. Then, show them that you have the answer.
Honesty is always the best policy, even in sales. No one likes to be sold to. Think of how it feels when you walk into a store and it feels like the salespeople are ready to pounce. You do not want your customers to feel like that. Always do what is best for your customer. Show them that you care about their business. Then, actually do it.
Help them identify what issues they are having. Then show them the product or service that can meet their needs. If you are working with a merchant that needs additional funds to make it through a busy fourth quarter show them how you can help. Do not try to sell them on a product that is not going to meet their needs. The minute that someone knows that you are just trying to sell them on something without caring if it is a good fit for you, you will lose their trust. Always be working to help your customer and you will be rewarded.
Spend time doing follow up
2017 has been a busy year for people including those you work with. If you had conversations with merchants that didn’t result in them taking action now is a good time to follow up. If these merchants were in need of additional working capital at some point during the year there is a good chance they still are. Recontact them to follow up. They may be more comfortable with the idea of it now, or they may be in a situation where they truly need it to make it through the fourth quarter
Look for new ways to contact them
While email and phone calls still work, there are new ways to do business. Once the holidays come schedules get busier and people are spending more time out of the office. That means the best way to contact them is via their cell phone. Many different surveys have found that almost all text messages are viewed and usually within minutes of being received. What does that mean to you? You should be using text messages to reach your customers. Ask their permission when you first speak with them and then don’t be afraid to use it. People are more likely to respond to a quick text message if they are out of the office then they are an email or phone call.
The fourth quarter is here and merchants everywhere are in need of additional working capital to make it through the holiday rush. They are searching and stressing about how to make ends meet as they push through this busy time. You have the answer they are looking for. Look for opportunities to help them, be genuine, and you will have customers for life.