Whatever you’re trying to sell in today’s market — items, services, equipment, advice — you need to find novel and effective ways to get your message out to consumers. Announcing a superior product or service and anticipating a flood of customers is no longer a viable business strategy. Businesses selling services and goods need to do more than “hang out a shingle” and hope customers will find them. What’s required is a systematic strategy for expanding your company’s operations that can be implemented in any economic climate.
How would you like to increase sales by 100% despite the economic downturn? Regardless of your competitors’ performance, how would you like to boost your profit margins by 10, 15, 20%, or more? And be capable of doing so annually? If you stick to these three guidelines, you should be able to.
Create a Marketing Strategy with Measurable Outcomes and Goals I always start a conversation with a potential client by asking, “What do you do for a living?” Do you have a well-defined, actionable, and outcome-focused marketing strategy? When asked, “Do you know?” most people respond with “no,” implying that they do not.
Having a workable marketing strategy is crucial to the success of any business. This goes beyond simple PR and marketing. It would be best if you had a well-thought-out marketing plan that is tailored to assist you in reaching your long-term business objectives. Think about your goals, the steps you’ll need to take to get them, and the strategy you’ll use to implement them. The next step is to zero in on the target audience most receptive to your message and help you succeed.
This is the cornerstone of your promotional strategy. Please don’t make the same mistake as most companies, which create a marketing plan, put it on paper, and never put it into action because it’s too complicated or beyond their means to accomplish. Implementation is the key to effective marketing. And it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on implementation.
Creating a marketing strategy focused on tangible outcomes will put you miles ahead of the competition. I know. I’ve helped several businesses and service providers draft plans and addressed the need for marketing strategies with even more. Be the first “kid on the block” to outline and stick to a marketing strategy.
If you’re worried about the cost of executing the marketing strategy, ask yourself how much it will cost you to do nothing. It is not a question of whether or not your company can afford to advertise. The question is whether or not you can afford to sell it.
Countless effective marketing strategies may be implemented with little to no financial outlay. My book, Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses, has over 300 proven techniques for promoting your goods and services for maximum profit. The books also instruct readers on monitoring their campaigns’ success rates, a skill especially useful when employing low-budget strategies.
So, if you want your firm to expand and thrive, you must implement your marketing strategy.
Above and Beyond in Customer Service Modern culture places a premium on customer service. This is especially true when customers must be incredibly frugal during economic hardship. In many cases, customers are willing to pay a higher price to support a business offering exceptional service.
The focus should be on value rather than the state of the economy. In client service, value is everything. If you want repeat business from your customers, you need to be willing to go above and beyond for them with every transaction. You must stop at nothing to serve, please, and retain customers. Your rivals will if you don’t.
How can you learn more about your client’s wants, needs, and expectations? When they make the request, you oblige. Then, you may convert your customer service activities into marketing strategies.
Today, customer service is a top priority for every company, so your service must find a way to set you apart from the competition. You must focus on client pleasure, loyalty, and long-term retention, not just customer service. Providing excellent service to your customers is essential in today’s competitive market. Your mission, and what will set you apart from the competition, is to amaze and please clients at every interaction.
The most profitable consumers are those who buy from you repeatedly, not those who believe in you just once because of a special offer. Keep this in mind every time you plan a campaign to increase your sales. The initial purchase is not the most crucial. The next 10–20 repeat purchases and recommendations are essential. Engage your clientele and use their input to grow your company. My book, Beyond Customer Service, contains over 50 tips for maximizing customer service as a retention and expansion strategy.
Dig up some profit for your company. Most business people are unaware of the wealth of opportunity hidden within their firms and minds. These “hidden assets” are critical to a company’s success at any time, but especially now. Lost customer or prospect lists are examples of hidden assets that can be revisited to assess whether or not the target audience’s requirements have shifted. One more hidden asset is your current clientele. Are you upselling them on other items or services? Do they understand how much you can help them? If not, you should let them know. Collaborate with them to expand their operations, which will benefit both companies.
You can use additional resources that are out of sight to advance your company. Think of a successful marketing strategy you can offer others through a license or outright sale. Consider a recent process enhancement you implemented that you may also offer for sale or clearance. Think of all the information you know that could be written into a book, a special report, or a paid newsletter. These are just a few examples of how you can put your resources to use.
It’s a Buyer’s Market. The third thing you need to do to succeed and expand is to accept that everyone sells, especially in dire economic circumstances. Unless something is sold, nothing will take place. As a result, you and your staff need to hone your sales abilities.
Training gained through actual work experience is invaluable. Take your wares to the market and make some sales. Find out what does (and doesn’t) work and why. Then, enhance both of them.
Enroll in a sales training program. Take some introductory classes if your resume lacks significant experience. The more sales experience you have, the more you will need to study advanced skills, including persuasion, rapport building, questioning strategies, non-verbal selling, and more.
All of these and more are covered in my sales training sessions. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential for a successful sales career. Knowing the standard rebuttal to a given point is no longer adequate. The public is too savvy for that. They need to know they can trust you and that you understand them. These essential and advanced sales abilities would be best to expand your firm.
All of That Is In Your Head Everything you do starts in your thoughts, which is why this may seem like an odd way to end an article on marketing. It would be best if you believed that you would succeed no matter the state of the economy or the actions of your rivals. Just ignore a downturn if it comes around. Even though it may be the holidays, your customers still need to purchase from you. Others are also engaging in this practice, reaping greater financial rewards.
Use internal dialog. Just tell yourself how successful you’ll be at selling your wares. Try visualizing the reaction of your consumers when they receive excellent service from you. Test how you feel when they keep buying from you.
Because of this, I believe success in business and life is essentially a mental game. You have the power to program your success and the success of those around you. Create a marketing strategy, focus on client satisfaction, put your resources to good use, and sell, sell, sell to grow your firm. Winning the Inner Game of Selling and HEADcoaching: Mental Training for Peak Performance, my two most recent books, discuss how to apply the principles of sports psychology to the realms of marketing, sales, and performance. If you use these tried-and-true methods, your company and sales will flourish.
Dr. Richard Gerson leads the management consulting and training firm Gerson Goodson, Inc., which focuses on improving client performance and delivering measurable outcomes. The business aids clients in sales, marketing, customer service, customer relationship management, leadership training, human resources, and performance management.