In a sense, all businesses are the same. They all need three things:
- A product or service that can be sold profitably.
- A supply of paying customers.
- Someone to do the work.
Marketing is mostly about the first two of these. That is, working out what you’re going to sell and who you’re going to sell it to. It’s a huge subject, which means that the only way to deal with it is to break it down into its basic parts.
Figure out how your target market is.
Start with a clear picture in your head of who your ideal customers are and tailor your whole business process to get those people. Once you have figured out who you want to sell to think about your product of service. If you were part of your target market, how well would your product or service suit you? If it’s not a good fit then you either have to adjust your product or adjust your target market.
What’s your message to your market?
Put yourself in the mind of your target customer. Ask yourself “what is it that I am going to value about the product of service”? What are the benefits? What’s important to me? Quality, price, reliability, turn-around time?
You need to decide which message is going to resonate the most with your target market and push that message hard in everything you do.
What are your channels of communication?
The days when you could just stick an advertisement in the yellow pages and expect that to reach everyone are gone. Today you have a myriad of options and countless opportunities. These include Facebook, your website, Google, direct mail, billboards, you name it. It can be very confusing but remember the simple rule is that you are trying to find the best channels where your particular product will get the most attention for your particular target market. As they say, ‘you gotta fish where the fish are’.
How do you plan to generate leads?
Nearly all businesses rely on repeat customers. They start off as prospects, that’s people who show a basic interest in your product. Then they turn into leads, that’s people who might potentially make a buying decision. You can increase the number of people that make the journey from prospect to customer by gathering their information and building a relationship that will lead to them eventually placing an order. Get yourself a prospect and lead database. I repeat, get yourself a prospect and lead database. Stay in contact with them any legal way you can. Every marketing expert in the world will tell you that maintaining a constant presence in the minds of your prospects is the key to turning them into paying customers.
How do you convert enquiries into sales?
Step 1 – get some sales training.
Step 2 – repeat step 1.
There are a tiny number of people who have a natural talent for sales. But that doesn’t matter because sales is something that can be taught. It is a learned skill, like bicycle riding. There are countless sales training organisations and aids that can help you learn these skills. The can be the best investment you’ll ever make.
How to build a customer for life?
If you have a customer for ten years and they spend $1,000 a year then that customer is worth far more than a customer that spends $1,000 in year one and then disappears. The key to retaining customers is to maintain the continuous flow of communication between you both. Your customers also need to feel that they’re valued and important. They need to know that you understand their needs. And you need to know that their need can change over time.
How do you gather referrals?
Easy, you just ask for them. The best time to ask is straight after you have completed a job that they are obviously happy with. Get it down in writing and take a photo and add it into your marketing materials. These days, nothing beats video and everyone has a video camera in their pocket. Referrals are the one area that don’t need to have a professional look – the more genuine that better.
At Certus Group we’re more than accountants. We’re business growth specialists. Give a call today and we can help you kick your marketing into gear.