We’re about to begin a new decade. Many businesses reveal they don’t’ really have a plan when push comes to shove. Or, if they do have a plan, they admit they haven’t looked at it in over a year and it is pretty much worthless.The message that must be embraced by business owners and sales professionals is you must have a relevant and compelling plan AND you must review it on an ongoing basis. It needs to be a ubiquitous document that you can refer to and recalibrate at the speed of business. There is just too much change whizzing by us on a daily basis to think that you can set it and forget it.When it comes to creating your plan to grow your business the cornerstone of that plan is marketing. Marketing is simply communicating over and over and over to your target market how your products and services will make their life better. The trick is in finding out what your ideal prospective clients’ communications of choice are.
The bottom line is this - growing a business is about cultivating relationships.
It’s about growing relationships with prospective clients and deepening relationships with existing clients. Don’t forget about the relationship with your employees. Many employers become fatigued from dealing with employees and their issues. They need to shift their perspective and realize if they grow their people, the people will grow the organization.When it comes to how to communicate effectively with your prospects, we have to ask - would they rather it be via newspaper advertising, a phone call during dinner, a Facebook post, an email, a text, a favorable introduction from a friend or perhaps attending a workshop or webinar?Even though the internet has been around since the mid ‘60s used exclusively by the government, it has only been since the mid 1990’s since it was commercialized and not really until the early 2000’s until it has started to be used effectively in commerce or what many refer to as web 2.0. Facebook was founded in 2004. Popularity of text messaging is about the same. These tools and more make it easier to establish and deepen relationships. If you are not optimizing these you are starving at the barbecue.There are a somewhere between a gazillion (not an actual number just a term for a lot) and a googol (an actual number of 1 followed by 100 zeros or the number 10 to the 100 th power) of resources available to market your business. Chances are you know of about 12. The good news is you don’t need to know about all of them. You just need to know how to implement the right and manageable amount of them for you to develop and deepen your relationships so that when people are ready to buy you are on the top of their mind. The ultimate outcome of your marketing is that they want to buy from you because they feel you understand them and really know them and can deliver the experience they desire.Hundreds of marketing tools and applications come to market each month. You may wonder how you ever existed without some of them and others you may view as superfluous. Look to implement and master the resources that serve you best in your endeavor to develop and deepen relationships. Be mindful on how much time you take in exploring and taking on new technology. There’s an app for that. Seriously, schedule time each week to broaden your marketing horizons and to learn and implement what will work to make your sales improve. If it enables you to ultimately spend more face time with ideal prospects and clients it is the right tool. If it gets in the way and prevents you from spending more face time it’s the wrong tool.
Your marketing plan and calendar should serve to keep you on track to effectively perform the following:
- Gather new names of prospective clients on a regular basis.
- Communicate an interesting value proposition that gets their attention and interest to want to learn more about you and your offering.
- Gain permission to stay in touch on an ongoing basis
- Establish enough rapport to gather information from them to learn of their needs and wants as it relates to your products and services potentially providing a solution.
- Present solutions and quantify the decision and investment to move forward. And because people
- buy when they are ready to buy and not necessarily when you need to sell …
- Communicate on a planned and regular basis with those people that may have indicated they were not ready to buy yet. This typically looks like one to three touches per month via a strategically thought out blend of phone calls, emails, social media posts, advertising, texting, events, as well as other tactics.
- Remember, if you are not executing on these your competition most likely is. And they are not just marketing to the same prospects as you should be, they are marketing to your current clients as well.As the saying goes, plan your work and work your plan. Doing so will cause you to find your revenue goals being achieved. Make a commitment this year to get your plan done.Make it up, make it fun and get it done!