Dee Blick, retained Chartered Marketer for K-Seal distributor Kalimex, explains how to create a simple and powerful marketing plan.
If you’re keen to grow your business you have to do more than deliver a great service to customers. Undoubtedly this is the key to notching up sales on a consistent basis, but alone it won’t take your business to the next stage.
What’s required is elbow grease in creating a simple and powerful marketing plan to attract new customers. Look upon it as the engine that fuels sales and saves money. And be reassured it’s far removed from theory. Without one, there is the chance you’ll make some questionable marketing decisions. The phone rings and it’s a salesperson promising you an army of new customers, provided you part with a tidy sum that is.
So set an hour or two aside, find a quiet space, put up the ‘do not disturb’ signs, switch your mobile off and prepare to commit your thoughts to a document you can refer to.
1. Who do you want to sell too, in other words, who is your target audience, and what will you promote to each group?
Are you targeting key influencers – people that can recommend you to new customers? This includes non-competing trades. Make a list of the groups that would benefit from knowing about your services including your lapsed customers and even existing customers, if you only talk to them when they order. Then think about your opening gambit to them – the message that will make them sit up and listen.
2. How will each group benefit from using you or recommending you?
Perform a benefit stock take of your business, listing all the good stuff you offer. Tease out all the elements of your great customer service (not forgetting all the small ‘wow’ touches you provide at zero cost). There is a good chance when you’ve finished this list, that you’ll realise you’re guilty of serious underselling.
3. Audit your sales literature and website.
Do they need a radical overhaul because they’re out of date and look tired? When you compare what you’re promoting now against your newly composed list of benefits can you see the gap? Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals – a good designer and copywriter can work wonders provided you give them a clear brief on the services you want to promote, the benefits you offer and the groups you’re planning on targeting.
4. Set realistic and attainable sales goals.
As the philosopher Seneca once said: ‘If one does not know to which port one is sailing, then no wind is favourable.’ How many new customers would you like in the next 12 months and why? How many existing customers would you like to buy more from you?
5. Set a weekly target for the number of prospects and customers you’re going to contact, how you’re going to contact them and when.
For example phone, email and post are tried and trusted channels. If you can create a simple plan, whereby every person that you or a member of your team gets in touch with is contacted three times in a planned time frame, you’re more likely to get a positive response. If you can reach 15 people in this way every week, then that’s good going. Committing to prospecting time is crucial in building momentum. And momentum equals sales!