Today I’d like to talk about the four of the most important marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.
- In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
- Follow up letter/email: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter (or email) about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
- Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.
- LinkedIn Connection: After a meeting, if you are not already connected, send a connection request. LinkedIn is a good way to keep your name and your thought leadership content in front of prospects and clients/customers alike.
None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!
Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:
- Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
- Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
- Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
- Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
- Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.
- Develop a compelling message and LinkedIn profile.
“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant
Here’s another one I love from an icon:
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
Now you know the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way. The tools offered in our FREE test drive offer these very same things.
Walter Wise is a Marketing Strategist, Lead Generation Specialist and Executive Coach at BPI Strategy Group, and the author of the highly acclaimed book “Getting Back to Basics, Effective Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business in Today’s Brutal Economy”.
Direct response marketing is a marketing that demands a direct response from your potential customers. This type of marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding, products and the reason you do what you do. Customers love this, as they are offered the opportunity to response, whether that be in the way of signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.
So, what does direct response marketing look like? Well, it comes in many forms, including:
- Direct mail
- Print ads
- Radio and TV ads
- Coupons or other incentives
Some of the advantages of direct marketing are:
- A great way to use free time during lulls in business
- Productive way to communicate and empower you to create more relationships
- Great way to up- and cross-sell to current customers
- Low cost way to rustle up new business
- Used as leverage to turn small sales into large sales
- Supplement your current marketing program
- Cost-effective way to reach target markets
- Offers measurable results
- Reach outside your local area for new business
- Increase the effectiveness of your sales force
These are all great things that can come from just taking a few simple steps to putting together a direct response marketing plan and executing it.
“I honestly don’t think you’ll ever find a safer, lower-risk, higher-profit method of increasing your business or profession than direct-response marketing.” Jay Abraham
Direct response marketing is one of the best ways to launch your business on a large scale and reach out to everyone in your target market whether they are in your local area or not. Our FREE test drive can help you put together a great direct response marketing plan and get you on your way to heightened success.
Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.
Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:
- Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
- Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
- Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
- Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.
There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:
- Quality product/service
- Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
- Offer subjects your customers find interesting
Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.
Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!
As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”
Here are the 5 essential keys to a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.
The 5 essential keys are:
- Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- Put an effective sales offer to work
- Avoid the marketing pitfalls
- Use a world-class marketing perspective
- Get results!
We’ll go through each one of these, so you can see exactly how to use them and how they all affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign.
Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the prospective of the customers/clients. What would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that need to be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?
Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Then take a look at what USP your competitors are using to help you develop your own USP. Your USP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. This is what’s going to set you apart from your competition. Setting yourself apart is key to eliminating the “price war” mechanism in a competitive marketplace.
Put an effective sales offer to work
To develop an effective sales plan, you need to:
- Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
- Share benefits of your products/services speaking from the customers’ perspective.
- Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
- Make it easy to do business with you by offer guarantees.
- Share your specific sales proposition.
- Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
- Motivate with a call to action.
What this all means is, you need to put together what makes your products/services special and compel customers to buy. If they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. You need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession.
You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.
Avoid the marketing pitfalls
There are 5 major marketing pitfalls many businesses fall into and you should avoid:
- Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
- Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout their marketing plan.
- Fail to notice the needs of their prospective customers/clients.
- Fail to diversify their marketing options.
- Fail to get market opinions on their offers.
These are all areas to avoid. If you’ve been working through these lessons, avoiding these pitfalls should be easy and natural.
Use a world-class marketing perspective
World-Class marketing perspective is important, especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this a number of different techniques and activities:
- Keep a marketing journal and scribble down anything innovate you see.
- Keep encouraging your marketing department, or yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
- Order from your own company under a different name and analyze the process of ordering, shipping, online store, customer service and the product itself. This will show you where the areas for improvement in the customer experience.
- Read every quality ad you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.
- When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
- Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
- Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
- Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
- Continuously test markets, ads, and marketing techniques. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
- Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
- A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
- Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
- Improve your best marketing areas and drop those that aren’t working.
- Focus on what you say, not how you say it. The best marketing ideas turn into the best marketing naturally.
- Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials with an attention to compelling and factual information.
By using these techniques you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your marketplace.
Update your website: Make sure the information is current and uses business terms, not the words your industry uses. Ensure your contact information is easily found and is correct.Review your processes and systems: Analyze your metrics and your numbers. Find out what worked in 2014 and what didn’t work. Fix those that didn’t, improve those that did. Update the technology to run those systems if needed. Tune up that Capability Statement. Review and update. Make sure you have the correct contact information, key discriminators and most recent past performance or client list. Update your elevator pitch and business card.
Registrations: Make sure all of your registrations and certifications are accurate and updated. This is especially true for your federal registrations such as SAM.GOV and the SBA’s Small Business Dynamic Search database.
Review your relationships: Touch base with customers and vendors. Make sure they know you appreciate them.
Employee performance reviews: Make sure you evaluate how well your staff performed last year. You may need to replace the poor performers or provide the resources to upgrade their skills. This is a good time for company-wide training, especially sales and marketing.
Check out your competition: Make sure you know what they are up to and how you are different, and it isn’t because you provide good service, or take care of your clients or that you have been in business since 1431 B.C.
Client list: Update your client list, contract summaries and Past Performance files. Make sure you only have the most current information (nothing over three years old).
And finally: Update your annual reports and get ready for tax time with your accountant.