In the past few months, the closing of several more businesses has been announced. They are businesses that for a while, stood the test of time. As times change, so do the needs of consumers and despite their best efforts, many companies can no longer compete. This week, I want to talk to you about the importance of marketing your business.
It would be difficult to find someone who hasn’t heard of Toys R Us and many of us can sing the jingle that was heard for years over the airways. “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid….” When it was announced that the stores were closing, many sighed in disbelief. Other companies have also closed many of their stores or met their demise including giants like Sears, K-Mart, and L.S. Ayres, to name a few. You may be wondering how your small business will be able to survive if these giant companies with millions to spending in marketing cannot make it.
Developing a good marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do as a small business owner. Creating a plan that puts you ahead of your competition will not only help build your brand awareness, but it will develop loyal customers, increase your sales and in turn, grow your business. Let’s face it, no matter what type of business you own, your competition is knocking on the doors of your clients and it is imperative that you develop strong relationships to promote loyalty with your clients
“No sales, no company.” Mark Cuban
Be Consistent and Persistent
It takes time to build a business. The public needs to know that your company exists. If you plan your marketing campaigns properly, your sales will begin in grow. It is important to remain consistent with your marketing because few purchase the first time they see an ad.
When I started by company seven years ago, I was told that the average person will need to see your marketing or hear from you directly 10-20 times before they actually decide to buy. The problem is that most sales representatives stop reaching out after 3-5 tries, so they miss out on many great opportunities. Developing a business plan that allows you to remain persistent will help develop loyal customers who turn to your company for their needs and no one else.
Get Out From Behind Your Desk
Know your target market and reach out to them on a regular basis. Set a goal of making a certain number of calls per day. A call can be as simple as picking of your phone and speaking to your client, or sending an email. Mailing cards and notes are also a great way to reach your client. I make it a habit of stopping by my clients’ offices regularly with something edible, either cookies, muffins, or candy. I also drop off promotional items that will keep my company name in front of them. When a need arises, if your company has done their marketing properly, your client won’t hesitate to give you a call.
“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.” Colin Powell
Ask For Referrals
A happy client should be more than willing to give you a referral. Word of mouth marketing is a great way to build your business. A referred client has already heard positive things about your company and your customer service and should be willing to work with you because a trust has already been built.
Several times a month, I receive phone calls from companies who have gotten my name from one of my clients. I am always excited to do business with that referral and try to go above and beyond to meet their expectations. Referrals are key to growing your business.
I am known for sending cards. I sent them for many occasions, including thank you notes, birthdays, and holidays. Occasionally, I will send cards for welcoming spring or celebrating the 4th of July.
It is important for your clients to know just how much you truly appreciate them. Of all the companies they could work with, they chose you and that deserves a note of thanks. It’s a simple gesture that is often overlooked but is always appreciated.
“Take time to be kind and to say “thank you.” Zig Ziglar
My challenge to you this week is the following:
Take an honest look at your marketing plan. If you don’t have one, sit down and start working on ways to market your company. Be consistent. Be present. Develop relationships with your clients.
Many times I have gotten business because someone else failed to follow through. Make sure your clients know they can count on you. Meet deadlines. Teach your clients how valuable you are to them. And finally, always say Thank you.
Have a blessed week!