Regardless of whether you have an established business or are just starting out, one simple fact stands out above all other things in your role as a business owner:
If you can’t get clients or customers, you’re going to starve.
It’s a very, very simple equation: If you fix widgets for a living, then you need people walking through your door with a widget needing fixed in order to make a living!
Fortunately, just like becoming great at doing the thing your business does, becoming great at getting paying customers is nothing more than another learned skill that anybody can master.
Take a tax accountant in private practice, for example. As a tax practitioner, you take great pride in your education, in your tax knowledge, in your ability to recognize missed opportunities for tax savings, and in your ability to prepare an accurate tax return.
At the same time, however, you should take great pride in knowing how to make yourself available to the people that need your expertise. After all, that’s what we do, right? We help people. Therefore, you should feel GREAT about learning and doing marketing, because by learning and doing marketing, you are doing the things necessary for the people that NEED YOU to actually be able to FIND YOU.
When you understand both the theory and the practical mechanics of marketing, you can literally create a MACHINE that runs almost on auto-pilot, that brings you in a steady stream of new prospects. And when you understand “sales”, you know how to convert those prospects into clients — and the best part is that there is nothing required from the old fashioned notion of what “selling” is. In reality, as a business owner with your marketing done properly, people don’t need to be “sold”. Instead, the “sales” process becomes merely the initial consultation, and “closing” is simply the act of preparing their tax return and getting paid.
Marketing and sales are, in my mind, such interconnected processes that it’s hard for me to separate them. Some people view marketing as the process to get them to come to you, and sales as the process where they pay you. To me, sales is a natural extension of the conversation you’re already having on the marketing side, even if you’re not physically speaking to them yet. This integrated approach to building client relationships is really what we’re talking about.
You should constantly be asking questions like these in your business:
- How am I going to replace clients I’ve lost to do-it-yourself solutions?
- How am I going to compete with gigantic corporations moving down-market?
- What can I do to retain existing customers that are contemplating leaving me?
- How am I going to stand out from my competition and get new clients?
- Are there things I can do in order to position myself in such a way as to justify charging higher fees? (Hint: The answer is YES!)
- What additional products and services can I offer my customers in order to increase the value of my business relationship which each of them?
What you need to create is step-by-step process for generating interested prospects, maintaining communication with them, and bringing them on board as customers. You need to learn how to foster relationships with people you don’t know, while also strengthening the relationship with the clients that already know you. By helping other people in great ways, you’re also going to help yourself and your business to grow, both personally and professionally.
Your company’s Marketing Success System is a roadmap that shows you how to connect with new clients, reactivate old clients, and retain existing clients. Here are just a few examples of what your internal marketing processes should cover:
- Direct response marketing, measuring your marketing results, testing your marketing, and implementing iterative improvements to increase conversions.
- How to write scripts, copy, headlines, and effective advertising that actually generates inquiries.
- How to use the telephone to build a massive prospect base.
- Use all marketing media, not just the Internet, including direct mail, classified ads, yellow pages, newspaper, flyers — whatever works — to generate clients.
- Yes, of course, an effective digital marketing strategy, too.
- Strategies for maintaining active communication with prospects to turn them into paying clients.
Tomorrow is going to come whether you want it to or not. So if you want to optimize the profitability of your company, start building out your company’s Marketing Success System now.
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