Monday, March 7, 2011

Marketing Challenges

Despite the competitors in your market you don‘t lack opportunity to enjoy significant growth. Capitalizing on opportunity is your marketing challenge. That is what I’d like to talk about today.

In B2B selling, there are two general marketing approaches for generating additional business. One is asking for volunteers, the other is interviewing prospects and asking the ones that meet your criteria to do business with you. Here’s what I mean by that.

Advertising, trade shows, email campaigns, bill boards, the yellow pages, etc., all ask businesses to volunteer to become customers. In that sense, it’s passive. Each of these methods requires the prospect to initiate the sales process by contacting you.

What’s wrong with that? I can think of two things: if it really worked you wouldn’t have a marketshare problem, and you have no control over how many ideal customers you end up with.

If you are familiar with the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 Rule) you understand that results are not evenly distributed. Certain customers, about 20% of them, are more valuable than others because they provide 80% of your best business. These are your ideal customers. Think about it, the more ideal customers you have the more you make because you are maximizing revenues and minimizing cost of goods sold at the same time.

Now, consider this. If 20% of your existing customersare ideal, what would be the impact on profits, and the new worth of your business, if over the next few years you could grow your ideal customer base to 25% or 30%? You can do that and we can help.

If what you’re doing is working for you and your content, then stop reading. If you’d like more though, then why not read on.

If the 80/20 rule works for you, I’ll bet it works for you competition too. If you are willing to look at the possibility of modifying your marketing approach you can begin gathering up your competition’s ideal customers. Here’s how.

The process begins with defining exactly who your ideal customers are. That description can then be used to generate an ideal prospect list. Use the list to find, contact and prioritize your ideal customers. If it were me, I wouldn’t leave finding my ideal customers to chance. Sending out emails and elaborate sales advertisements will not motivate change. One and one contact does. Exactly how all of that happens can be flexible, but the next step isn’t. You absolutely must build a relationship with your customers and prospects. Why? Because although they may fit your ideal customer profile most will not be ready to buy from you the first time you talk to them. But,

The more contact they have with you,
The more you know about their buying and service needs,
The more you know about why they are dissatisfied with their current supplier,
The more comfortable they are with you,
The more you are in a position to step in when it is time to make the big sale.

The added effort puts you above most of your competition and makes you ideal to the customers you most want to reach.

Good business is built on good business relationships and those are people fueled not advertising fueled. You don’t need to attract all of the competition’s clientele. You only want to pick out the most ideal for your business and entice them to see you as their ideal as well. Give active marketing a try.