We’re sure you’ve seen a targeted ad on your social media channels at some point offering referral codes, discounts on your first purchases, or even courses teaching you how to become a Shopify guru. 

But what if your business is primarily B2B? And especially what if you’re looking to sell a product or service that retails for $1,000 (or more), rather than $20?

At Shoestring Services, we’ve been in your position. And not that long ago. We’ve bootstrapped ourselves to hit six-figures in revenue within our first year as a start up. And along the way, we’ve tried and tested many tactics to build our client base.

Because we know how tough it can be when you’re first looking to start your own business, here’s our five top tips on how to shorten your sales cycle. 

You might be surprised – there’s no content creation, social media presence building, etc on the list. Those tactics work great in the longer term but when you really just want to start testing your MVP or service in the market, there are some other ways to close that first sale, quicker.

  1. Talk to your network
    This has been said again and again, however there’s a reason why leveraging your network of friends, family and colleagues is number one lead generation suggestion. Your network already has a level of trust in you and knows your skills. People also genuinely like supporting businesses they have a personal affinity with – “shop local” is not limited to B2C!

    Put the call out on your social media or just mention your new business when catching up with friends – you never know who may end up having a need for your product or service, or know someone that would.

    Of course, you can sweeten the deal for these prospects giving you a shot. You can leverage the psychology of discounts to help make it a lower risk cost (and time) investment for your network to be the first to trial your product or service.

  2. Use LinkedIn
    B2C businesses largely live on Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook. B2B businesses…. Live on LinkedIn. So prospect where your prospects are spending their time!

    Even the free version of LinkedIn gives you the ability to search for individuals by company, geography and industry. What is the key industry your product or service is tailored for? Who are the key decision makers in those organizations?

    Once you’ve identified your key prospects, you then actually have to reach out to them. We understand selling doesn’t come naturally to many people – it definitely didn’t come naturally to us. But at the end of the day, you are your best advocate.

    You may not get accepted by all your prospects, but our experience says 1 in 4 will accept your invite, and close to half of those people will actually be interested in what you’re offering, as long as you do it in a genuine way.

  3. Don’t be afraid to give prospects a nudge
    Follow ups are just as important as your initial outreach. We’ve started you on the path of conversational selling, now you have to keep that conversation going.

    As a tip: it helps to have a pre-written script you can use for all prospects.

    Prospects may not check their inboxes (or LinkedIn even) as regularly as you might. A well-timed, or simply opportune, follow up might make all that difference in the client agreeing to a demo or chat.

  4. Find a Group
    Still intimidated by a personal outreach to a prospect? Or just not quite sure who you should be talking to? Social media groups, on LinkedIn, Slack and Facebook, can be another very effective way at getting your business out there and generating leads quickly.

    We recommend looking for groups that are likely to have an interest in what you’re selling and joining the discussion. For example, if you’ve developed a solution for how learning and development is conducted in companies, it might be worth joining a LinkedIn HR Group (the linked group has over 4,500 members from Australia alone).

    Be careful not to delve straight into a sales pitch – many groups are very strict on direct promotions!

  5. Change up your workspace
    Last of all, there’s nothing like in-person networking. With co-working becoming more popular, we suggest checking out the co-working spots in your area. Many offer free day passes, which is a nice bonus.

    Co-working gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people, many of whom are likely to be starting their own hustle and be open to new ventures. A simple hello over your morning coffee may open doors you may not even have been aware of!

Interested in exploring more ways to build your sales funnel? Or need some help to get your business off the ground? We’re passionate (and pretty good at) B2B lead generation at Shoestring Services – book a quick chat with us and let’s see where that could lead!




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