Finding Customers for Commercial Finance Transactions

It's 2013! Time to boost your business to the next level and I'm here to show you how.

I've listed some of the most effective ways to quickly increase your bottom line by finding new customers who need your services. First and foremost, get the word out.

• Attend specific industry networking events – Identify the business and professional groups in your area. If you can gain access to their memberships, you'll be able to determine who will be a good referral source for you. Before joining, attend a variety of meetings, then select only those that proactively support networking and lead exchange.

• Participate in trade shows – While some tradeshows can be expensive, others may fit right into your marketing budget. First determine which areas of finance you will be pitching to attendees ie construction development, growth capital, etc. Then, select only the trade shows that cater to this industry. Not only is it important to network and collect as many business cards as possible, but the follow up is imperative. I used to attend over 10 trade shows a year and I can tell you first hand that lack of follow up with attendees causes lost opportunities.

• Attend Local chamber of commerce meetings – Attending a local Chamber of Commerce meeting is a great opportunity to speak publicly in front of decision makers. The local business owners, attorneys, community organizers that attend these events can be a great referral source for new business. If your Chamber of Commerce published a newsletter, ask if you can be a monthly contributor. I have personally found this avenue to be very effective. It's free and I love a captive audience!

• Reach out to Bankers, Attorneys and Accountants – While these professional can be difficult to connect with initially (especially accountants during tax time), be persistent. Invite them for a cup of coffee. Let them know that you can assist them with providing non-traditional lending sources for their clients. Keep the conversation short and sweet and always follow up with a "thank you" email. Once you've made a connection (or assisted one of their clients with financing) ask for a referral. Have them put you in touch with others in their field.

• Social Networking – I saved this category for last because I'm old school. People still like to do business with people that they like. Meeting a prospect in person or through a referral will always be more effective than connecting via social media. However, in today's internet ruled world, you need a presence to connect with potential prospects. I like LinkedIn and to jump start a conversation but then I inevitably will meet up with my prospects at a function.

This article in should help you prepare for meeting these new contacts

This is a business based on relationships. The wise consultant always listens before she speaks. Keep your relationships healthy by being accessible to your contacts. Return every phone call, answer every email and you'll be the go-to person for a client's financing needs.

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