Finding the next client
Seeing your name in lights on Broadway is one way to let people know you “have arrived.” Same thing in business. Top of mind awareness is critical to gain maximum exposure and help ensure long term survival. A business will need to have a never-ending stream of new clients and repeat customers to fuel business growth and expansion over the long haul.
Your business banker is fortunate to see many unique and specialized businesses that may not be common household names Meeting a new client provides a wealth of insight into how a business positions itself in a tough competitive market. Now, more than ever, there are more channels to promote yourself and win new revenue. Here are some of the main marketing aspects that will - to borrow on the Broadway theme - help you succeed in business (with or without really trying).
Define Your Value Proposition
What are you trying to tell clients about your business? Is your value proposition well thought out? Make sure to define that marquee and be the star, and step out of the chorus of competition.
Figuring out your target audience
Who is your audience? Understanding their needs is of the utmost importance. Surveys might be an effective tool to tap into common themes. Researching the market with key data from trade associations, US census and other available public tools can greatly aid the process. Just like in showbiz, too much of the same thing means a smaller slice of the pie for you. Observing and knowing the competition will be very important to differentiate your business from the pack.
Increasing sales to existing client base
Tapping into your existing clientele can be a big source of revenue. You need to find creative ways to make sure your clients are always coming back for more. These are some of the ideas I’ve seen clients use to get their name out there and earn business.
Traditional forms of marketing
- Sponsorships in your community
- Advertising in targeted media
- Chamber of Commerce participation to network
- Speaking opportunities at leading industry events and trade associations expos
- Getting yourself published
- Client testimonials to showcase your exceptional product or service
- Referral networks
- Family networks
- Charitable giving and donating to the community
- Direct mail
- Rewards program
- Leave behinds such as pens, pads etc
- Thank you notes
- Birthday cards
- Service reminder cards
- Client satisfaction surveys
- Television and radio
- Notes in sales management system to capture every critical detail
Online channels for exposure
- Keyword searches for your business, SEO
- Facebook Business Pages
- LinkedIn - Company pages and personal profiles
- New tools everyday popping onto the scene like Pinterest, Instagram, SlideShare, etc.
Remember, there is always someone else waiting in the wings. Always look for new opportunities and be competitive on multiple fronts. A focus must always be maintained and re-tooled to win new client relationships. Providing superior service will often lead the way to more sales. Quickly ramping up a referral network is added insurance to have clients find out about your business. The question is often asked by a business to a client on how did they find them. The response to that is very telling. Entering any business and feeling welcome right from the start will set the tone for your prospects to make critical purchasing decisions that can have long term revenue implications.