Do you get confused over which marketing strategies to use? Want some advice on what you should do first?
Recently one of my clients, a design business, was in the same situation. Partners Steve and Wayne have been in business around 7 years. They are making
good money and have a great reputation in their industry.
They do get regular referrals but Steve was worried because they were not getting the sort of referrals they really want. They want new clients who have a
better understanding of the sort of work they do. They want clients who are willing to pay for a quality outcome.
Steve and Wayne were stuck without any purposeful marketing strategies. They could not attract the sort of clients they want.
Remember: No marketing = no control over the future of the business.
So how did I get their marketing unstuck?
By following these steps. You can do the same.
(1) Who do you want as clients?
Firstly, lets be clear about which type of clients you really want. In this case Steve and Wayne wanted more educated clients that have done this
sort of thing before, and often have larger budgets to spend.
(2) Develop specific marketing tools.
All businesses, especially service-based businesses and professional service firms, need specific marketing documents they can use during sales
discussions. These marketing documents are usually one or more of:
About us, or company profile.
Your service process (chart or diagram).
What we do page, explaining the benefits of your approach.
(3) Understand how to use the tools.
You really need to have a clear plan for your sales discussions, starting with what happens at the first point of contact. This is usually a phone
enquiry, personal contact (such as at a networking event) or a referral to you. Map out your strategy. Your objective for these early discussions is to
identify what your prospect really needs, and how likely they are to buy from you.
(4) Create a client-centred proposal format (or quotation).
You do not always need to provide a written proposal or quote. But when you do make sure you follow a format that is clearly focused on helping your
prospect to move forward and commit to you. Do not have too many words, or long-winded explanations of your detailed approach – unless it is essential for
your prospect to know that.
(5) Identify and schedule high-value marketing tactics.
This is where you look at all the options that are suitable – then narrow your choice. But please, use some common sense and discipline to only consider
what is most suitable for your business. Taking out billboard ads all across town, wide and far, is a waste of money if your clients come from your closer
High-value marketing tactics are the ones that:
Reach your target audience (we identified them in Step 1).
Can communicate a meaningful message about your business (example, radio advertisments are limited in what you can say in 30-seconds).
You can afford to do properly, without cutting the corners and negatively impacting on results (such as paying to exhibit at a trade show, then
skimping on signage, so people can not tell what you offer)
You can monitor for results.
Can create synergy when used in combination with other marketing tactics. (example, a regular newsletter where you can promote upcoming seminar
The final part of this step is to create a schedule, or a marketing action plan. This way you can effectively manage your marketing activities to stay
within your budget, allow time to prepare for each activity to make it as effective as possible (avoiding costly last minute reactions) and easily meet