Customer referrals in Thailand (Has the Internet made it any easier to find new business?)
Dedicated to all the spam emails we are dreading after the holidays!
9 AM Monday Morning at any desk at any office anywhere in the world, a PC screen is fired into life and regardless of who you are and your position, you all wish for that magic email that tells you; you have either a new enquiry or some customer referrals.
I believe 99% of us use the Internet to find new customers, to hunt and prey for anyone anywhere who wants to buy what we sell!
I was hoping by now that the Internet would have revolutionised the way we work, but it’s only made the way people look for business different, and not necessarily easier.
If I go back 14 years ago to 2000 when I was a Sales rep for Mail automation in UK, we had an office day once a week where we would make over 50 calls a day to a mixture of existing customers, competition users, and non-users of our products, in a bid to get more appointments for the week ahead and grow our companies database.
Fast forward 14 years to present day and the only difference is rather than use the phone we are using the internet, it’s a little easier, well to those of us who are using social media marketing effectively, and even easier to those who have a budget for Facebook and PPC (Pay per click advertising on the search engines).
However the vast majority of business people are confused by how the internet is actually helping business.
If you are in hard core manufacturing, I imagine you would be hard pressed to believe the Internet has made any improvement or even changed the way you have done business over the last twenty years at all.
You probably log into Facebook once a week at most to see what family are up to, and your website is probably awful, but you don’t care, because, Rotary club and the Lodge once a week along with golf and lunch twice a week with existing and potential clients, is the way your Dad did business, and the way you are doing business now. People still buy from people right?
Well of course people buy from people, and for me as an online marketing consultant my main strategy I try to get people to realise is; that the internet is about selling you and humanising the experience and selling you first and gleaning appointments through a consistent content marketing strategy, but many traditional businesses do not have the kind of time it takes to be successful at this, as quickly as they would like.
This has been the evolution from the phone to the laptop to make appointments, and for me it works, however the changeover from getting appointments on the old telephone to getting appointments through Facebook and LinkedIn took 7 years of hard work and many companies are just starting to realise that doing business online is about competing with the whole world in one place and everyone fighting for space on Google’s first page, and that takes a lot of energy and time, that quite frankly is time most people don’t have, they want appointments now! So off they trot to BNI or to telemarketing companies because they believe that strategy works.
What I was hoping for by now; is a way for people to go online and say: “Hey I am looking to buy this and that” and a seller would respond, there are many places this happens but it takes a while for you to stumble upon these sites. I expected everyone would be in communicating better, and our emails are just full of people selling exactly what we asked for to us, and emails from people wanting to buy exactly what we sell.
Alas our email boxes have become so diluted with crap we don’t want, that there is a roaring trade in spam filters to protect us from unsolicited emails.
Did we really expect the internet would become a place where thousands of people are knocking on our virtual doors daily, selling us stuff we don’t really want, rather than just the weekly annoyance of a real salesman at our real door?
I created a business directory for business in Thailand, with the end goal of creating an environment where people could actually find buyers quickly, and market to a warm audience of B2B visitors as well, all on the same website! It took a long time, and like anything, I had to give free marketing to attract members and then give them incentives to give us leads that we then advertise to buyers.
I wanted people to come to Biz-find sites and see customers referrals waiting for them, I think that is exciting to any business person, and is inventing a better mousetrap. This also cuts out a massive cost of customer acquisition, imagine no phone or internet, how much would it cost you to find just one new happy client?
We actually pay money to our members to tell us what they want to buy, 50 Baht to any company who needs quotes for any service;
Imagine you need a new office desk, you put the free advert on Biz-find, takes 30 seconds, 50 THB goes into your account, and a few days letter you get 2-3 different companies providing you with quotes for your new desk, making you more competitive in negotiations, it’s a win-win all round:
You get paid from Biz-find and get quotes and find a desk at a good price quickly.
An office furniture company has a new customer for their database and may have sold to you.
Biz-find gets paid, as we sell a month’s worth of categorised leads for just 10 USD.
Now I don’t know about you, but that is what I expected the internet to become; a place to get connected to the business you need right now!
To add a lead to any biz-find site and get paid; become a free member and start posting free.
To see our customer leads; become a free member and have a free look at all our leads before you buy.
To advertise free on biz-find; become a free member and add your business NOW; 5,000 companies have taken advantage of a Biz-find site in just 25 years.
I wonder where we will be in another 20 years will we have found a way to get everyone connected to a better service or just a new way for us to be spammed to everyday?