There are always challenges in every industry when it comes to marketing or branding one’s company. Getting your name, product/service out into the public domain is one thing and finding your marketing niche of mavin is another. Keeping your name and brand at the forefront of their minds is the constant push so that you will be the one they call first.
In marketing, think of it like a Ferris Wheel. Good selling is like filling the seats of a Ferris wheel. If you have ever seen a Ferris Wheel, you know how it works. One at a time, the guy in charge fills the seats. People get off, the director fills their seats, and so on until all the people in the seats have left and new ones come on. Good selling is like that too. Only the wheel is always moving ever so slowly so that some people (the ones you have just sold to) can get off for a while and others (the ones you are just starting to work with in selling) can get on. This constant movement of individuals in the pipeline is great, but it needs to be coupled with great customer service, attention to detail and accuracy, and quality service or product. Each individual needs to know they are not a number but truly cared for and whose needs for your product/service are seen as important.
So how do you fill the seats on the Ferris wheel of your business? Well, I am glad you asked! You must bring them in. Selling is like an espionage game. If you want to sell something to someone, you should find out all you can about that person. Write down his name, address, and phone number, along with whatever information you picked up about them in your conversation. Where he works, how many kids they have, his hobbies, and what he drives. Many of us when we started, just put this stuff on a piece of paper or notebook and shoved it into a drawer. Some of us just collected business cards. But if you do not have a system in place to help you organize and keep track of all your contacts, what good are you doing? Could you be missing out on leads for your business? This understanding will be the beginning of your intelligence system which can be known as CRM, Customer Relationship Management. It can help you stay connected to customers, and streamline processes of communication and information, thus improving your effectiveness and your profitability.
Transferring everything on all those scraps of paper or all those business cards and notes in your notebook into a system on the computer, and “bam”, you have the start of a mailing list, an email list, and a telephone call-back system. If you don’t have anything like that, you had better get one because you can’t possibly keep all the leads you develop in your head.
How have you branded yourself? Do you have a tagline or a phrase that sets your company apart? What are your company’s unique selling points? Make a list of what separates you from your competition. Be specific. Does your logo truly reflect your company, or do you need to update it? Where are you putting your company logo so it can be seen by the public and your mavens?
Have you identified your mavens, those people who can give you a constant referral source of business? Do all your friends and relatives know where you are working these days? You’ve got a little address book with their names. That’s a prospect list that I’m sure you already know about. But what have you done lately to be in touch with them? Here’s another good source of prospects: your file of paid bills. What I am saying is that the people you buy things from ought to be good prospects for the things you sell. People you buy from can be on that list. Whenever you give money to a vendor or a doctor or a charity, let them know again what your business is. And work it the other way too. If someone uses our company for an inspection or other service, I know what business he or she is in. When I need some of what he/she sells or the service provided, I will buy from him/her or use his/her service and let him know that I appreciate his/her use of our services. Some of them may not even know what you do for a living, so you ought to make sure everybody knows what your product is and how to get in touch with your business.
That sounds like pretty elementary advice, but I have run into a lot of salespeople who never tell anyone specifics—other than close friends and relatives– about what they do for a living. Be proud of your profession. Let people know every once in a while, that you have something for them, whether it is advice or information that they need to know. Put everybody you can think of on your Ferris wheel.