Do you ever wonder if you could be doing a better job marketing your small business or professional service firm? Successfully marketing a small business is hard work. There are several key skills required to consistently develop new business that you, as a small business owner, must master in order to succeed.
The first skill you need to have is the ability to regularly generate qualified leads. You must consistently build your list of prospects if you are to grow your business. Your business will not grow if you market to the same, stagnant population over and over again. While there will be a certain percentage of people who choose to buy from you after repeated contact with your marketing material, the amount who buy will always be limited by the size of the list to which you market.
How often do you add to your list of qualified prospects?
Here are five steps you can take to improve your prospect building skills.
Focus On Client Needs
Whether you print a brochure, advertise in industry periodicals or use search engines to generate traffic to your web site the first thing your marketing materials must do is get noticed. One of the best ways to have your future clients notice you is to use words in your marketing materials that focus on their needs. By using such words your clients will immediately associate your ad with their problem or unmet need.
For example, if you are a patent attorney your ads will have a much better chance of being noticed and acted upon by those who need your service if you use the words, “Get paid for your invention” instead of “Patent Attorney”. Getting paid is what an inventor wants. You may be proud of your status as an attorney but your clients are interested in the results you provide that solve their problem.
Be sure you use words in your marketing material that focus on your clients’ needs. They will get noticed more often.
Another step you can take to improve your ability to generate leads is to eliminate unproductive marketing methods. Marketing takes time, money and effort. If your tactics are not generating the results you want stop using them and try something new. Of course, in order to separate the good tactics from the bad you need to measure the effect of individual marketing efforts.
Perhaps you run the same ad in two different newspapers. If you don’t know that the ad in “paper number two” is generating 95% of your prospects you will never know that it would be a smart move to reallocate the money you spend in “paper number one”.
What steps can you take to measure the effect of individual marketing tactics?
Once you know which tactics are lead generators and which are not you can improve your ability to generate new leads simply by reallocating the resources from unproductive tactics to ones you know work.
Use Your Web Site Properly
Another way to maximize your ability to generate leads is to use your web site properly. The purpose of your web site is to generate leads. To maximize the number of leads your web site generates make sure your site has information your prospects want, is easy to navigate and maximizes the opportunity for your prospects to get in touch with you, either by calling you or by providing you with their contact information.
Clearly let your visitors know you’re there for them and they will be much more likely to reach out and get in touch, especially if your site’s content demonstrates that you understand and can solve their problems.
Cross marketing is the process of establishing marketing relationships with companies whose product or service complements what you sell. For example, a company that helps web site owners track the traffic to and through their site would do well to develop relationships with web hosting companies. There is a natural symbiosis here – anyone who has a new web site needs to (or should) measure their site’s traffic so they can make well-informed decisions to guide the evolution of their site and any web hosting company wants their clients’ business to succeed so they can keep them as a customer. Companies don’t need web sites if they’re out of business. It therefore makes sense for web hosting companies to promote web statistics companies and vice versa as each can benefit from the other’s service.
What cross marketing tactics do you use to promote your business?
Regardless of your favorite marketing mechanism the goal is the same: to generate interest in your products or services. Whether you use a web site, a brochure or newspaper ads to generate leads the first thing you must do is get your future prospects thinking about the problem that you solve and they have. A great method for invoking this type of thought is to use questions in your marketing materials.
If you are a dentist, questions like, “Do you have tooth pain?” or “Are your teeth sensitive to heat or cold?” will do a much better job of drawing in your prospects that marketing materials that say, “Do you need a dentist?”
What questions can you ask to get your prospects thinking about the problems that they have that you solve?
Move Your Marketing Forward
Take some time to examine your marketing efforts with respect to the notions outlined in this article. Is there room for you to improve your ability to generate leads? Most likely, there is.
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