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Does your Marketing Plan Need an Overhaul?

“If you orient your entire business to serving customers, you will be more successful.  This means you don’t sell your services. Rather, you use your skills to help customers meet their needs.”  (Rick Crandall, Ph.D.)

Do you find yourself constantly asking yourself where the clients are and why you’re having so much trouble finding them?

The first step is to assess your marketing plan.  If you don’t have a written action plan, that’s your highest priority.  If you do have one, are you actually using it?  How do you track its effectiveness?  When was the last time you upgraded your strategies?

Before you do anything else, you need to figure out where in the marketing cycle you’re under-performing.

  1. Is your business clearly defined?
    • What problems do you solve?
    • Who are the people you serve? (Hint:  “anybody” is NOT a good answer)
    • What products and/or services do you offer?
    • What sets you apart from your competition?
  2. Do you struggle to have a consistent level of potential clients in the pipeline?
    • Do you have written materials that describe your services?
    • Do you have a website that clearly explains your services?  (Tip:  Ask a few colleagues to look at your home page and ask them to describe what you do.  You might be surprised by the responses you get).
    • Do you have a robust social media profile/page?
    • Do you have a targeted prospect list? (You can buy a list, use association directories, collect business cards at networking events, ask for referrals, do a google or Linkedin search, etc.)
  3. Have you created a robust “keep in touch” program and do you use it daily, week, and monthly? Do you have a stack of business cards on your desk that you’ve forgotten about?  Do you accept Linkedin connections without actually reading the person’s profile and scanning their contacts?  Implementing a simple “keep in touch” program can significantly increase your long-term sales conversion.  
  4. Uncomfortable Having the Dreaded Sales Conversation? Never forget that when you are self-employed, your technical expertise means nothing without clients.  Until you have all the clients you can/want to handle, most days you need to see yourself as Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Sales.
  5. Can’t seem to close the sale?
    • Refer back to your “keep in touch” plan.  Maybe your prospect needs more exposure to you before they decide to work with you.
    • Compile references and testimonials from former clients
    • Depending on your services, you may need to develop more examples of your work:  case studies, white papers, videos, etc.
    • Practice your sales script with a colleague or mastermind partner and ask for feedback.

Each stage in the marketing cycle is important.  For the best results in the shortest amount of time, focus on the one aspect that you find most challenging.

THIS WEEK’S CALL TO ACTION:

Take one action to UPGRADE your marketing process.

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