Anyone with a sufficient amount of drive and determination can build a business. Any business owner will tell you, though, that building a customer base is one of the most challenging aspects of business. I've been an entrepreneur for over a decade, and I can attest to that. No matter the genre of your company, your pipeline can make or break you.
So how do you build a customer base for your essential oils business? How do you grow your pipeline?
- Use your products in public. It sounds silly, but I can't tell you how many business owners I meet that I had no idea were business owners! If essential oils are your jam (and I sure hope they are), let people see you using them! Roll on some wild orange or Balance in the grocery store check out line, drop some lemon oil in your (stainless steel, reusable) cup of water at Starbucks or Bible study, offer some OnGuard sanitizing spray to the other lady in that nasty elevator. Whatever it is, just use your oils in public. If your business isn't oils, find a way to rep your brand. Wear your company's logo on your shirt, on your phone case, or slap a decal on your car. People will ask you questions, and it will be a perfect opportunity to add a customer to your repertoire.
- Share with your friends and family. If you start a brand new company, your friends and family will be the first to support you and sing your praises. If they don't, you need new friends. So why is it that people get all weird about essential oil businesses? Why are we so hesitant to share it with our friends? I know, I know. You're scared they're going to look at you like another one of those direct marketing girls. Well, you're not. Here, we do our business differently. We aren't salesy. In fact, if you're super salesy, this probably isn't the business for you. I need to be sure you understand this- I'm not telling you to go sell to your friends and family members. I am telling you to go share with them. TELL them about what you're doing, tell them why. Don't, I beg of you, try to coerce them into buying something from you. If they want it, they will see the benefit and buy. Be cool. Relax. Don't try to force something, and don't be desperate. Give them samples, invite them to a Make & Take, talk about it (but not all the time in an annoying way), be excited for your new biz. They'll be lining up to support you!
- Be prepared. When you're in the grocery line and you use that Balance roller bottle, someone may say, "Hey, what is that?!". BE PREPARED TO TELL THEM! Have your "elevator pitch" ready to go. You should be able to share what it is and what you do in a brief, 60 second or less pitch. This is where some business gurus will say to have business cards handy, and maybe even a sample. I'm a big fan of samples. I'm also a big fan of paying customers. Here's the thing...when you give a stranger your business card, they have your info but you don't have theirs. And 9 times out of 10, you'll never hear from them. Honestly- how often have you called a random stranger that gave you a biz card? Yeh, that's what I thought. My sneaky trick? I don't always have business cards on me for my oils business. When I meet someone who's interested in my oils, I often times will say something to the effect of "Oh, man, I don't have any cards on me. Text me your number and I'll send you some info!" That way I can follow up. Otherwise, it's a shot in the dark.
- Follow up. It sounds simple, but seriously, so many people fail at this. You must follow up, and follow up well. When you send someone a sample or information, give it a day or two, then follow up. Tell them when you send the sample that you'll be following up in X amount of days- then do it. If someone texts/messages you a question about oils, answer the question. Then follow up 24-48 hours later and ask if that worked for them, or if they have any other questions. If people have attended a workshop or class that you hosted, reach out and thank them. Take that opportunity to ask them to host their own workshop, or to ask for referrals.
- Ask for referrals. How do you expand your market? By expanding your market. I'm not being cheeky. When you host an essential oils event, you invite your friends and family. People you know personally. How do you ever expand from your own circle? You open yourself up to the circles of others. When your BFF hosts a workshop for you, she invites her work friends. One of them decides to host another event, and invites her neighborhood moms. Suddenly, you've been introduced to a whole new plethora of people that were otherwise inaccessible to you. Do you see how quickly you move from your warm market to a cold market? Except...you're introduced in a warm way. That's what I love this essential oils business! I will never cold call someone, or cold message, or message someone I haven't talked to in ten years with the sole intention of selling something. But I will for sure ask the people who come to my events to introduce me to their friends by way of hosting their own event.
Ladies, building a business isn't rocket science! If you have a passion, a smart phone, and WiFi, you have what it takes. You can take a few simple steps and launch a thriving work from home business! What's holding you back?! You got this.