As a marketing firm, it doesn’t matter what we are doing for a client be itSearch Engine Optimization,developing a new website, or an entire brand build out for a company… at the end of the day any marketing efforts should be an investment into the business itself. Do the marketing efforts bring in more clients, expand brand presence, increase sales conversions… or is the marketing efforts simply not performing up to par.
Of course, Plan Left can help with this – but we always go over the basics to make sure your business is working for you compared to you working for your business. Plan Left can help market anything, but we can only help lead people to your company – you have to sell them!
1. Talk to your existing Clients!
Sounds simple enough, but does it happen? Who do you think is easier to sell something too? Your firm has already ‘converted’ a potential client into a client. Does the client like the work you do? Do they need something? These are all things you should already know, but as people are time sensitive even the most hands on service providers can get overwhelmed and backburner existing clients. The quick answer is DON’T! Serve your clients and present ideas to them to stay top of mind as well as a trusted resource.
Even if your clients’ do not need anything from you – would it be a bad idea to get your existing clients to refer business to you? Stay in touch and take care of your clients and referrals will grow naturally.
2. Make it easier for potential clients to find you
Again, simple enough (we still have 5.5 to go!) but actually think about this one. Make a list. How can potential clients find you. Do you have a website? Do you have a phone number? Do you check your voicemail? What about email? In the phonebook? Facebook? And on and on and on. Wherever you are…. is it where your potential clients are?
When you are making this list, try to imagine yourself as a potential client. Is your business specialized in a niche and technical field or do your potential clients not care about the specifics and focus on the results. Lets imagine a security company. Do your potential clients care about the specific frequencies the alarm emits alerts to or do they simply care about being secure? Maybe you should content about being secure for those potential clients that only care about being secure, but also have content about the specifics for the potential commercial client.
3. Evaluate your sales process – also known as – What does it take to get service around here!
When a potential client shows interest in your services….. what is the next step? Is it a retail sales process where your potential client picks up a product and goes to ‘checkout’ or is it a streamlined process that reviews the potential clients needs and provides the opportunity for additional services by your team? Is the process easy or confusing? How long does the entire process take? Can you speed up the process?
The other side is a potential client that shows interest in your services may not even know, understand, or care about what they need fully, but by having conversation with them and looking at their needs you establish that you are the expert and the opportunity to expand on the ‘sale’ and client satisfaction.
This is a big one and one where a lot of companies falter. Imagine yourself as a potential client again – you probably have hundreds of other things to do compared to looking up and researching who the best plumber is in town… but Jane Doe’s Plumbing called you back within 10 minutes and checked in with you the next day compared to Johnny Doe’s Plumber Service which hasn’t returned your call.
Present yourself to potential clients, follow up, and move the process forward. The goal is to move them from a potential client to a real client.
Sadly enough, not everyone in the world needs my services. I have been coping with this for a while and taking it one day at a time, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel for me…. because the people that don’t need my services know people…. and those people know other people… and those people know others… and eventually Kevin Bacon.
But in all seriousness, does your company have a plan in place for networking. Are you in any associations. Are you involved with local business groups? Are you active in the community? Do you invite people into your business? Everyone knows somebody so it is important to present your company to as many people – let these good impressions you set with these non-clients sell your company for you.
6. Evaluate Existing Marketing – Is it working or not?
Marketing efforts all cost something. There is free marketing efforts out there, but even free costs something many small businesses are already limited at – Time. Is it worth your time to post on Facebook or to call an existing client? How much are you spending on directory books (guess how many people use those)? If a billboard will show your company to 100,000 people who may or may never need your service? Maybe the trade association magazine that only shows 100 people who more likely need your service is worth more?
7. Quality work
Simple things, but in all fairness, where does your work stand compared to your competition. I am not saying that everything you do needs to be the most elaborate and only the highest quality materials are in it, but it does need to meet the expectation of the client. If you do what you say you will do your firm is already ahead of the competition.
Now, I am not saying everything you do has to be made with only the finest, rarest, and most expensive ingredients or components – when I say quality work, it simply means the client get what they paid for. A roof with shingles held on by regular nails hold as good if not better than gold and diamond encrusted screws.
By meeting your clients’ needs and expectations, you are empowering these clients to be your sales team themselves.
and a half
Smile – not being cheesy, but everyone can hear and see the difference. Be it on the phone or in person, people like to work with positive and upbeat individuals who want to serve them.
All of these are simple enough – the follow through is the hard part.