There’s an old joke about the warship captain who sees a light approaching dead ahead in the dead of night. He signals the approaching ship and tells him to change course and get out of his way. The ship signals back and tells the captain to do likewise.
Infuriated, the captain signals back, “We are a warship of Her Majesty’s Navy and I demand you change course”. The other party signals back – “We’re a lighthouse – so you’d better stop making demands and change course yourself!”
It seems that everywhere I turn business owners complain to me about the economy, the “lousy government” and the fact that people aren’t spending. And frankly I’m sick of it.
There are things you can control and things you can’t. Rather than whinging and spiralling into doom and gloom, when are people going to take responsibility for themselves and get off their butts and actually take action, rather than complaining?
Fact: The economy is not that bad. In fact looking at the real figures it’s doing pretty well compared to the rest of the world.
Fact: People are still spending money. They’re just being more careful with it and only spending with people who can demonstrate value.
So if your business is suffering, it’s up to you to take action, get out there, and demonstrate value using better marketing and sales processes.
Now is not the time to shrivel up and stop marketing. This is exactly when you need to reach out to both prospects and existing clients to find out what they really want to buy and then sell it to them!
How? You ask them directly, just like we did a couple of weeks ago. Or you can ask us to survey your clients on your behalf to get an unbiased view.
Our accountant, one of Australia’s leading property tax specialists did exactly this and found clients wanted his strategic tax advice but were worried about the clock ticking every time they called.
So with our help he’s putting together fixed price packages which include tax returns, advice, and other structuring which allow his clients to know exactly what they get for their money. Wrapping your product and services together into a defined package has many advantages over a straight time and materials model.
For one thing, your clients know exactly what they get for their money. You can offer them a better price if they take the whole bundle. And from your point of view, the better you are at delivery, the less time you take – and your profit margin increases.
The results from our own survey showed our readers want help in three main areas.
- Setting up a regular keep in touch newsletter mechanism. This is where we help you create the content by interviewing your clients and creating case studies that showcase your solutions. We’re also offering to send it out on your behalf, update your social networks with the material, so you increase customer engagement.
- Creating Facebook business pages and running Facebook advertising as appropriate. Appropriate for many B2C focused businesses, Facebook advertising can be extremely effective as you can very specifically target your audience by what they’re interested in, location, age, relationship status etc.
- Setting up Linkedin Profiles, advertising and targeted client acquisition. Appropriate for both B2B and some B2C products and services, we have personally found Linkedin to be an absolute goldmine. So we’re teaching others to how to cash in too.
So we’re busily creating packages around these. Drop me a line if you’d like to know more. And if you’re stuck regarding what you can offer and how you can package up your services, we can help too. We’ve worked with businesses in over 35 industries doing just that, and we can do it for you!
Okay, you’ve got your packages ready, how do you market them?
Here are two obvious and easy ways…
First of all, go back to your previous and current clients and start there. They already have a relationship with you so you don’t have to break through the trust barrier. I can’t tell you how many people neglect this step, to their cost.
Ask your clients for referrals. Packaging up your stuff into defined products makes it much easier for your clients to refer you on as they can easily explain what you do and what the referral would get.
Now broaden your reach using inbound (advertising – online, offline) and/or direct mail (email, fax sms, physical mail).
And yes, this will take time, expertise and money. But what’s the alternative? Sitting around and hoping? Remember, in business you’re either growing or dying. There is no standing still.
Now if you’ve read this far and would like help expanding your business, give us a call.
We have marketing packages that include:
Direct mail advertising (sales promotions, white papers, case studies), on-line (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Linkedin), web copy, promotional flyers, client interviews and testimonials.
And on the sales side, we’re experts in conversion optimisation – i.e. improving your team’s sales performance through training and coaching programs.
All of which are designed to bring in more good quality business.
Call us now on (02) 9499-7958 to get the ball rolling.