Why you need a strategy for your marketing – part two

Chantal Cornelius, Appletree MarketingRecently I wrote a blog about why you need a strategy for your marketing and I explained two out of four possible strategies you can use. Click here to read the first blog about the first two strategies.

Here are the other two strategies you can consider.

3.       Selling Existing Services to New Clients

The third strategy you can consider looks at selling your existing services – the ones that you know work and are loved by your existing clients – to new clients with whom you’ve not worked before.

Your existing services have a proven track record. Hopefully you’ve got some great testimonials from your clients and case studies that show why clients came to you and how you helped them. These recommendations are what new clients will want to hear, before they work with you. Your existing clients know that you’re really good at what you do; your potential clients need to see, hear and read the proof. This strategy is about getting some help from your current clients, to help you sell your services to some new clients.

How can you sell your existing services and products to new clients?

4.       Selling New Services to New Clients

The final strategy is usually hardest – and can be the most expensive to carry out successfully. While it usually involves the most risk, strategy four can also bring you the biggest returns.

Why is it so risky and expensive? Because it’s about selling brand new products and services that have no track record, to potential clients who don’t know you, let alone trust you. You have no proof that your new products and services can do what you say they’ll do, because no one has bought them yet, or used them long enough to be able to see the results. This means that you can rely on existing clients to tell people how great you are.

In addition, this strategy is about finding new clients, with whom you have no reputation. They’ve not worked with you before – they might not even have heard of you – so selling them your expertise is going to be harder and require some really targeted marketing. If you’re up for a challenge and have already done everything you can or want to do with the first three strategies, then this one is for you!

Do you want to be brave and develop new products and services to sell to brand new clients?

How many strategies are you going to use to promote your business? Have you worked out which ones to use? Whichever ones you’re going to use, start at the top of the list and work your way down. Strategy one is the easiest and most cost effective, while strategy four is usually the most expensive and risky – even though it can provide the biggest returns. Even if you’re going to use a combination of strategies, start at the top of the list and work your way down it for the best overall results.

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Why you need a strategy for your marketing – part one

Chantal Cornelius, Appletree MarketingWhy do you need a strategy? For the very same reason that you set goals for your marketing and your business. You could just set off and try lots of different marketing activities, in the hope that they will take you to your goals – a bit like just turning up at a bus stop and hoping that one of the buses that stops there is going your way. Or you could plan the best approach and only spend your valuable time and money on what you know will work. Having a strategy and following it is much cheaper in the long run than the scatter-gun approach to marketing.

There are four strategies you can use and the first two are explained in this blog. I’ll explain the other two another time!

1.       Selling Existing Services to Existing Clients

The first of the four strategies to consider is the simplest and most cost effective for many consultants and coaches. It is about selling more of your existing products and services to your existing clients.

If you provide one day of consultancy to a client each month, can you sell them more of your time and give them two days a month? If you sell coaching programmes of 10 sessions over 10 weeks to your clients, can you provide an additional 10 sessions over the next 10 weeks, to the same clients?

This strategy is the simplest and most cost effective because it involves you doing more of what you’re already doing, with clients you already have. Your clients know and trust you, making them the people who are the most likely to buy more from you. Your services are already established and getting good results, so they are the easiest to promote to your clients, who already know that they work.

Selling more of your existing services to your existing clients doesn’t need a huge investment in marketing or time. It’s about spending time with your clients – outside the time you spend working with them – to tell them how investing in more of your time will benefit them. It’s about keeping in touch with your clients on a regular basis and treating some of them to lunch now and then!

How can you sell more of your existing services to your existing clients?

2.       Selling New Services to Existing Clients

Strategy number two is about selling some new products and services to your existing clients. These people already know and trust you – and hopefully you keep in touch with them on a regular basis. This means that you can talk to your happy clients about the sort of new products and services they’d like you to provide for them. You can create new things to sell them, based on how you’re already helping them and other problems they need help with. Because they know and trust you and know that what you already do for them works, they will be open to hearing about how else you can support them.

What new products and services can you create? If your service is based around your time, think about how you can package your knowledge into products, like books, fact sheets and workshops. If you provide 10 face to face coaching sessions in a package, could you create a ‘quick start’ programme of 4 shorter, more intensive sessions, to help clients get started with a new project?

What new products and services can you create for your existing clients?

This is an excerpt from my new book about Marketing Planning, which will be published on 16 November 2011.  Pre-launch orders now being taken – click here to reserve your copy.

Where is your business?

Chantal Cornelius, Appletree MarketingWhen you first set out on a journey with a map, you need to know where you are. If you don’t know where you’re starting from, you can’t work out the best route to your destination and you can’t determine how long it’s going to take you to get there.

The first thing you need to think about when you’re creating a Marketing Plan for your business is where your business is now. Knowing where you are at the start of this journey will help you plan the best route to your goals. It will also help you set your goals so that you can see the distance you’ve got to travel between where you are now and where you want to be. You might think that you’d like to take on 100 new clients in the next twelve months, charging each one £1000 per day for consulting or coaching. However, if you’ve only got two clients right now and you’re only charging £300 per day, you’ll have a lot of work to do to reach your goal. (Of course, if that’s the goal you really want to aim for, that’s great and knowing your starting point will help you plan the most effective way of getting there.)

So what is your business? What resources do you have at your disposal, to deliver your services to your clients? How long have you been doing what you do and what sort of reputation and experience do you have?

You also need to think about the products and services that you currently provide and be clear on what you offer, to help you decide the best direction to take. Are you delivering what your clients actually want and are you doing what you really want to do? Is there a demand for what you want to offer or are you doing something you only think people might want?

Who are your clients? What sort of people and businesses do you work for? Where are they and why do they need your help?

Finally, what about your competitors? Do you know who your main competitors are and what they do? How much do they charge and what makes you different from them?

Take the time to think about all these questions and the answers as they apply to your business and make sure you know the starting point of your business journey.

This is an excerpt from my new book about Marketing Planning, which will be published on 16 November 2011.  Pre-launch orders now being taken – click here to reserve your copy.

Which is more important, Sales or Marketing?

Chantal

Which is more important, Sales or Marketing? Can you effectively grow your business using one and not the other? If you’re on a tight budget, do you put your resources into just one activity? And if so, which one?

Marketing is more important because …

… without Marketing you can’t generate leads and enquiries into your business. If you don’t generate new leads, you can’t sell to them. Marketing is about telling the world what you can do to help solve other people’s problems. It’s about finding out what issues other people and businesses are struggling with and what they want to achieve. Then it’s about you creating services and products that solve those challenges, which people are prepared to invest in. Selling without Marketing is like phoning someone who lives in a first floor flat and trying to sell them a conservatory!

Marketing is about creating a reputation for your business and getting people to talk about you. Without Marketing, how will anyone know that you exist?

Sales is more important because …

… you can generate all the leads you want, but if you can’t sell and close the deal, how will those prospects become clients? Sales is about helping prospective customers identify a gap in what they have – their turnover or number of clients, for instance. It’s about helping them to see the opportunity to fill that gap and then about you creating a solution that you can provide to fill that gap. If they can’t recognize the opportunity to change, they will never buy what you’re offering. Sales is about presenting the best solution that meets the needs of your prospective client – both their business and their personal needs. It’s about showing why your solution is perfectly aligned to them and why it’s the best solution.

Sales is about gaining the trust of a prospect – without that trust they will never sign the deal.

Sales and Marketing working together

As a Marketing Consultant, I might be tempted to say that Marketing is definitely more important than Sales. However, I’ve helped clients create great marketing materials, raise their business profile and generate lots of leads, only to see all the hard work come to nothing because they’re not comfortable closing the sale.

On the other hand, I can see how important Sales is, because I’ve received many phone calls from complete strangers wanting to sell me something, who make no attempt to help me realize I have a need for what they can sell. They don’t get very far!

I think the real answer is that Marketing and Sales have to work hand in hand. One without the other will cost a lot of money and produce fewer returns. To really maximise your efforts and investment, you need to make sure your Marketing and Sales activity (and people, if you work in a company large enough to have different departments) are working together. Companies who get their Marketing and Sales Strategy to work in unison can create really powerful results.

What do you think? Have you grown your business through Sales alone? Or do you think you can create a successful business just with Marketing? Is one more important than the other, or should they work together in equal measures?