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Sunday, August 08, 2010

SOUND INVESTING: Five Steps to Successfully Marketing Your Business

Sound Investing with Jason Lampa, MBA

You can be the very best at what you do, but if no one knows it, or has ever heard of you, you’re going to have a tough time achieving the success you desire. This is a series of five articles which discuss ways to successfully market your business and make sure that people know who you are. The five methods we will discuss include:
  • Strategic Networking

  • Niche Marketing

  • Community Marketing

  • Social Prospecting

  • Reciprocity Marketing

Emerging enterprise owners or those considering becoming one, after reading this article, will have the foundation in which to create a winning marketing strategy.

There are many ways to grow your business. Most business owners have tried a variety of techniques, with varying degrees of success. In the world we are living today, change is accelerating at a light-speed pace, global competition is mounting, and the internet is providing consumers the ability to shop for the best prices without leaving their home. Given the changes taking place, the ability to effectively market your business to the right consumers, at the right time, with the right message is paramount. This process starts with Strategic Networking.

The first step in the strategic networking plan is to perform a detailed analysis of your top 25 customers to identify the 10 with whom you have the strongest relationships. The criteria for choosing these 10 customers should be based on those which score the highest in the following areas:
  • Annual Revenue brought to your company

  • Influence in the community

  • Are professionals within an industry in which your company would like to focus

Incorporating this strategy into your business will increase the probability that you will increase the number of "right" clients to your business. The first step in finding the best prospects is to look at your best clients, and replicate this group of clients, making this your niche market. By finding the commonalities that your top 10 customers share, you will have created your niche market that you want to pursue. To optimize the benefits of this segment of your marketing strategy it is critical that you do homework to better understand that market.

Step two of Strategic Networking is to research your target market. Do the clients in this market have an association or publications? How many people are in the group? How likely are they to be willing investors?

After researching the markets of your top 10 customers, call these customers and arrange individual meetings. Share with them that you are working on a business plan and that you would like their advice.

When you and your staff meet with these loyal customers, you will need to be prepared to discuss the following points in a natural manner. I understand that it can be difficult to go through this process with clients as you may be afraid of annoying them or creating a situation that may be uncomfortable. I firmly believe that should you have provided first-class service to these customers over a long-period of time then you deserve referrals from them. If they are not willing to help, scratch them off the list and replace them with another customer from your Top 25 list.

You may want to consider starting the conversation using the following words: "Mr. customer, I have a strong business, but I am looking to grow my business selectively. I am seeking additional clients like yourself. Do you think this is a good way to grow my business?"

It is important that you are able to explain the meaning of "just like yourself". Your research on them should help you address this issue effectively. "I am considering customers who are executives retiring in the next five years and are looking to establish businesses of their own." Hopefully, the customer lets you know that this is a good idea. After they have agreed that you have a good idea, ask, " Do you have a suggestion on how I can begin to identify these people? In most cases, they will begin to help you at this point. Congratulations, you're on your way to not only attracting more customers, but you'll be attracting the "right" customers.

For more information, please visit Jason's TNNWC Bio.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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