2010. WOW! The second decade of the 21st Century. It seems like just yesterday that this new Century started.
To celebrate the New Year and new decade I thought it would be appropriate to help my readers ensure they are on track and ready to maximize their sales and marketing effectiveness in 2010.
Please accept this easy to follow plan as my holiday gift to your business growth, ultimate success and complete satisfaction of your life in business.
The purpose of marketing is to attract people to your offer and into your sales pipeline.
Desired Outcome of your attraction (marketing) program: Keep your sales pipeline full of qualified leads you would actually enjoy working with.
To achieve attraction effectiveness …
… Review your client list. Who do you most enjoy working with? What are the special characteristics of this desirable group of people?
Develop a list of the characteristics that make your favorite clients tick. Then go online and find more people like this special group by searching keywords using tools like http://www.spyfu.com and http://www.alexa.com as starting points. Be sure to use http://technorati.com to find bloggers who are just like your favorite clients.
… Review your sales ‘soft step.’ Is it something your buyers want to take advantage of?
How does it lead to new sales opportunities?
Is it easy for your buyers to take advantage of?
… Review your Web site, marketing materials and proposals.
Is your message focused on solving buyer challenges or is the message focused on your business.
Do these materials say YOU twice as much as I or ME?
If your marketing message is focused on your business make it buyer centric by using the words your buyers use when describing the assistance they are looking for. If you don’t know what those words are do a survey or call your top clients and ask.
To convert the attraction and interest gained in marketing into revenue consistently.
Desired Outcome of your system of selling: Convert attraction gained in marketing into revenue 1 in 3 times (best) to 1 in 5 times (minimum).
To achieve conversion effectiveness …
… Analyze your System of Selling
When you’re selling are you listening twice as much as you’re talking or are you ‘pitching’ hoping to “talk someone into buying”?
Are you asking questions that help buyers really “feel” the challenges they are experiencing?
When closing do you ask your buyers “How do you go about making a decision like this?” Or do you use standard sales closing techniques? (Asking how they make decisions is the best approach).
Do you always ask the buyer to become involved in your offer 100% of the time before leaving?
If they need more time to consider your offer do you always set (100% of the time) a clear and focused next step to check back?
BONUS THAT WILL MAKE YOU MORE MONEY: Does your prospect write that next step time into their appointment calendar as an appointment to keep?
Do you know your sales closing ratio? Do you convert interest into revenue at least 1 in 5 times (1 close for every 5 sales appointments) at minimum for sure? (1 in 3 times is most desirable)
Client Relationship Management (CRM)
To continue to serve the people who can use the value you provide. To ensure satisfaction, understand ongoing challenges your clients face and offer to assist your buyers throughout the year.
Desired Outcome of your CRM program: create more sales from people who have already purchased from you. Create more opportunities for referrals and recommendations. The end result is increased revenue with minimal “cost of sales” expense.
To achieve CRM effectiveness focus on …
… Your Client Relationship Management program
By definition, a customer is someone who purchases goods and services from another person. A client is someone who is under the guidance and direction of another. Everyone is a client. No one is just a customer in your business.
Do you follow up once a sale is completed to ensure satisfaction?
Do you follow up after the first month a sale is completed to ensure ongoing satisfaction?
Do you send information of value to your clients at least once a month?
Do you call your good clients at least quarterly?
Do you watch for opportunities to refer people you meet who may need the assistance of one of your clients?
Do you really care about the results your clients gain, more than the dollars they represent on your profit and loss statements?
If so, how many different ways do you communicate that message to your clients?
Let me totally frank here. Following this process can be a pain in the butt.
It may take time away from other activities, like checking email, surfing the Web, shopping during business hours and taking that long lunch break you so richly deserve.
I can only tell you this because I, like you, get distracted by things all day long.
You have to build self-awareness. You have to “catch” yourself doing non-optimum tasks.
Make awareness building your only resolution for the New Year. “I will be aware of my actions every day and catch myself doing things that do not move me forward in my life and business as they occur.”
Or you can keep getting the same results you have over the past 10 years. The choice is always up to each of us to make.
Now you may be asking yourself …
… What should I do if these ideas REALLY helped me?
Tweet them and share them with your friends, associates and network connections.
… What should I do if I can’t accomplish the things on this list on my own?
Call on me, I’ll help you.
… What if I don’t have the money to get help?
Review past blog posts on the Creative Business Strategy blog. I’ve been helping you gain new ideas to grow your business since 2003 and on this blog since 2005. There’s a lot of help in all of these past posts.
There are changes coming in my life and business that I’d love to share with you. There are ideas on living in greater happiness and fulfillment coming your way, right here too. So please stay tuned.
For now, however, I'd like to wish you a prosperous and very Happy New Year.