What were your sales goal for last year? Did you make them, exceed them or miss them by a mile? How much did you spend on marketing? What was the return on your investment? Can you calculate the cost of new clients, broken down into the different types of marketing you utilised? This information will help you determine where you should re-allocate your expenditures — not just in dollars, but in time as well.
Whether you market your business in print, the Internet, via newsletters, or face-to-face going to networking events, you’ll want to make sure that you also follow-up on the leads and referrals you receive. This is where most business owners very often fail.
Do you have follow-up systems in place as part of your client acquisition plan? Perhaps you call prospective clients, email them, send a note, or maybe those business cards you collect simply pile up on your desk, only to get pushed into a drawer, never to be seen or thought of again. Or perhaps you online have email address and names of your existing clients if your run a retail storefront or another type of online business and never saw the need for actually obtaining addresses. Whatever the situation a proper customer relationship management (CRM) system should be put in place.
People don’t usually buy the first time. They want to make sure you and your company are legit, trustworthy, and that you will deliver on your goods or services. So, even if you reach out that first time, do you continue to stay in touch? I recommend a combination of different avenues for communication to ensure you keep your name and business in mind. Your competition will do this too, so how do you set yourself apart from the others? Do something different and unexpected to develop client relationships and start building your customer relationship management skills.
SendOutCards has affordable, easy-to-use business Greeting Cards of all types that will make a lasting impression and give them something physical to hold onto that can’t be deleted. Social etiquette has fallen to the wayside in this high tech world, but when someone receives a card with a box of brownies for their referral to you for a client or gives you a good tip for business they’ll most likely even tell their friends, family, and co-workers about you! What an easy way to get referrals without even asking for them!
Some companies go as far as spending hundreds of dollars on referrals and gift cards when sometimes a thoughtful and meaningful card with a nice gift can be more personal and memorable for the referee. These are things to consider, and these are things that will set you apart from your competitors. Add these individuals who referred you to your Christmas and Birthday lists so that you can always keep that connection to them and hopefully get more referrals in the future.
No matter how you go about reaching your marketing and sales goals for 2011-2012, make sure you have follow-up systems in place so that your customer relationship management system will be used more effectively and your clientele will grow quickly. Writing is far more powerful than just thinking it (hey, that’s another good reason why cards work!).