Highly sought-after trainer and speaker Debbie Mayo-Smith shares strategies on implementing thoughtful marketing to get more business from existing customers.
As you can imagine, as a conference speaker and trainer, I come across a significant amount of financial service business owners. What they tell me is that they and staff are so busy doing ‘the business’ that little, if any, time is left for marketing.
Those that are marketing tell me that the activities they’re doing (through surveys, conversations, training, workshops) are focused on customer acquisition.
Marketing is done through traditional advertising and Facebook and Google ads, with heaps of work on social media getting those new connections and likes and retweets. And, having a website that is optimised for search engine ranking, as well as staff networking, joining associations, and sending out direct mail (and, of course, a combination of the above) are all superb to get new blood.
However, there is a huge hole in small business marketing strategy — minimal effort is going into trying to get more business from existing customers.
Are you one of these businesses? Are you either not marketing or putting all your eggs (time, money, effort) in the hopeful basket? Are you marketing to the people who haven’t heard of your business yet? If so, I think it is imprudent as well as wasteful.
Why? Because you’re neglecting one of your most valuable business assets; your existing customers and the good prospects that know you already.
Most businesses do not have a marketing strategy to keep in touch with these valuable resources, be they clients or prospects. Do you have a marketing newsletter that is content rich? Yes, I know 'content' is the buzzword of today, but your newsletter must have added value or you won’t keep people subscribed or engaged.
How wide is the gulf between what you know you should do and what you actually are doing?
Let me give you an example. I write a monthly newsletter and every time that newsletter goes out, business comes in. With the last issue, I got an email within 45 minutes. Now, I haven't spoken on the phone or in person to business owner Robert in well over seven years (he was one of the delegates at a conference where I was a speaker), but I have been “talking" to him via email at least once a month since the last time we met. He wasn't ready for our services then, and it has taken seven years. But how easy was it to stay in contact with him?
With personalisation software, such as a newsletter that keeps readers interested and thus subscribed, you can be as personal as your database information enables you to be. It doesn’t matter how large your mailing list is. You can turn the people that know you into prospects and then into clients. You’ll move existing clients well up that loyalty ladder.
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