Kick start your marketing
When it comes down to marketing there are some important start up steps you need to take to get and keep new customers.
1. Meet them in person: People like people who they get on with that is why It’s essential you meet with your customers / clients face to face whenever possible. This shows you respect them and want to take the time to get to know them and not just working with them but giving them your personal attention as much as possible.
2. Follow up communication: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter or e mail about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and also to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Show them how professional and thorough you are. Likewise, you should always send a thank you note or small gift to people who have referred you to a potential customer.
3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you discussed at the meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.
Obviously none of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!
Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing plan:
- Always research your potential customers and their buying habits but don’t forget your competitors establishing their strengths and weaknesses and what will give you the all important competitive advantage.
- Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product / service from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to do to be successful. Experience your product / service through their eyes – then ask yourself would you do business with your company?
- Improve communications – Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
- Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service and make sure your employees follow through – always!
- Invest in a quality CRM system to ensure all customer data and communications are recorded – there are some excellent cloud based systems such as One Page or Salesforce
- Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open with customers and build on your current relationship which in turn increases future purchases. It is a lot less expensive to increase business with existing customers than developing a new one.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
Your marketing plan does not have to be a manuscript written for the purpose of raising funds as part of your business plan – it should be a simple plan that will be referenced over and over again to guide you and to grow your business in a manageable way.
Leaving the last word to Peter Drucker: “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs”