Volume 46, Issue 11 - December 2011


Looking for Leads?
Where are All the Potential Customers?
by Paul Bieber

Right in front of you in your third desk drawer on the left. It has been there for years, but you have ignored it. Now, when business is slow, wake up! Look at the yellow pages or online directory. You can buy all the lists of businesses you want, but this is the greatest free source of potential customers you can ask for.

In the list that follows, look up any category in your phone book or online and see if you have one current customer in there. If you do, then every person in that category is a potential customer. You will find hundreds of possible leads. But that is the easy part.

Now, go do something about it. Stop in at each potential contact and ask to speak with the person who works with their glass needs. You donít have to be suit-and-tie presentable. Just be you.

What have you got to lose? Absolutely nothing!

If you have a salesperson, give him this article and ask him to report back to you on the number of cold calls he makes each day and the results. It does not matter if he makes 20 calls and gets nothing; the 21st could be the one. You will come up with hundreds of leads and you only need a couple to come through to turn your business around.

This sounds so simplistic. Youíre right. It is. It takes shoe leather and time and doesnít cost a dime, but it sure is a lot better than sitting at your desk waiting for the phone to ring from someone who has already called four shops to get the lowest price for a broken shower door.

Cold calling is not easy. It takes perseverance. Donít give this assignment to someone in your office for phone calls. Every business gets calls all the time trying to sell something. It is a long shot getting a new account with a phone calling program.
An in-person visit is key.
When you finish calling all the categories in your local phone book, call the phone company business office and order the phone books for areas near you.

In the October issue of USGlass, the Contract Glazier Confidence Indexô showed that 19 percent of the glass industry says its backlog is up. Why arenít you in that group? All you have to do is get the business! Donít wait for the business to come to you. Donít rub your rabbitís foot for good luck. Donít pray. Go out there; motivate your company to get new business. Throw a pizza party for every new customer that comes in. For the fifth new customer, take the shop out for a good dinner. Have your field crews stop at every jobsite they see breaking ground to ask if they have selected a glazier or are open to hearing from a second source.

To be redundant, what have you got to lose? Absolutely nothing!

Companies/Places That Use Flat Glass
Aluminum doors
Aluminum windows
Aquarium manufacturers
Arts and craft supplies
Balcony builders
Basketball hoop manufacturers
Bathroom designers
Bathroom installers
Beauty supply designers/builders
Board-up services
Boat building
Boat repairing
Building maintenance companies
Building materials
Bus builders
Cabinet shops
Colleges and universities
Dance studios
Deck builders
Disaster recovery companies
Display builders
Door companies
Eavesdropping prevention
Energy savings contractors
Escalator companies
Fence companies
Fiberglass doors
Fiberglass windows
Fire door manufacturers
Fireplace screen companies
Freezer case manufacturers
Furniture retailers
Furniture manufacturers
Furniture repairs
Garage door manufacturers
Government contractors
Hardware stores
Heavy equipment dealers
Heavy equipment repairers
Hockey rink builders
Home builders
Home remodelers
Housing authorities
Interior designers
Kitchen designers
Kitchen installers/builders
Lighting fixture manufacturers
Local governments
Lumber dealers
Millwork dealers
Martial arts studios
Noise reduction builders
Picture framers
Plumbing distributors
Real estate management
Recording studios
Refrigeration case manufacturers
Restaurant designers and builders
RV manufacturers
RV repairs
School districts
Screen and storm window repairing
Security designers
Showcase designers
Showcase manufacturers
Shower door installers
Sign companies
Solar companies
Stained glass designers
Stained glass repairs
Storm window manufacturers
Storm window repairing
Swimming pool enclosures
Theatre design and sets
Trade show display builders
Van converters
Vinyl windows
Wood windows
Wood doors
Window cleaners
Window manufacturers
Window repair
Window restoration
Window tinters

Can you add any categories to this list?

Please drop me a note at paulbaseball@msn.com.

Paul Bieber has 30 years in the glass industry, including 21 years as the executive vice president of Floral Glass in Hauppauge, N.Y., from which he retired in 2005.

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