By: Adrian Miller, President, Adrian Miller Sales Training

The other day someone said to me, “Adrian, you’re so lucky. Younever have to look for a job because you have your own company!”

Are they kidding? I’ve been looking for a job for the past 23 years, from the very first day I decided that I was going to have my own business (and not really even knowing what that entailed!)

Owners of small businesses and solopreneurs are integrally involved in the acquisition of new business. From developing their business brand to creating marketing materials to ultimately presenting and selling their product or services to their prospects, the business owner can never say that they are not looking for a “job”.

And in these tough times (yes, they are STILL tough times) we owners have to look even harder and with more and more diligence, and just like folks out in the “job market” we are finding that getting a new client is an extremely difficult task.

So what’s a business owner to do? Here are some top tips that must be put into practice. They are not much different from when times are good, however right now, it’s even more important to do them “exquisitely”!

Don’t Waste Time

Don’t waste time on prospects who are neither decision-makers nor influencers. By strategically scoping out who is actually calling the shots, you minimize your frustrations and maximize your time.

Be Optimistic

Try to stay on an even keel despite this horrendous dip in the economy.  And don’t HIDE. Stay out there marketing, networking and getting yourself positioned so that when things turn around you’ll be ready to bring in the business.

Be Willing to Take Risks

There’s no reward without risk, and mistakes are only lessons to be learned.  And of course, you can’t lose what you don’t have.

Over Deliver

Are your customers being blown away by your product or service. Loyalty is created in all of the attention to detail and little extras that you provide.

Keep the Funnel Filled

Most importantly, make sure that you keep your sales funnel as full as possible.  Job hunters try to have as many interviews as can so they can “explore their options”. The business owner must have the same mind set and have a pipeline filled with prospects some of whom are close to making a decision, and others that will take a bit longer to cultivate. If your pipeline is full enough you will always have enough prospects ready to turn into clients.