Target your marketing strategies
As a small business owner you need to be careful with your marketing budget and time since you generally have little of each. The first thing you need to do is to analyse where your business comes from, that’s assuming you’ve been trading up to that point.
I analyse where my business comes from each year and gear my marketing spend and time towards generating the same. The last survey revealed:
- 30% from existing client referrals
- 40% from my network referrals
- 15% from Inbound Marketing and my websites and blogs
- 15% from my weekly sales tip emailing to my database
These produced leads which I put into my sales funnel, which directs to a close.
Remember this point – it’s really important. Marketing is fine and effective marketing will produce sales leads. It still requires a salesperson to close the lead into business. Many small business owners forget this but need to have created their sales funnel and their sales process within the funnel.
My friend needs to do this and if he doesn’t have any existing business, then he ought to research how someone like him gains new business. Knowing the sector I suspect it comes from:
- Existing active client referrals at 50%
- Network referrals at 15%
- Buying leads on the internet and other bought data at 25%
- Orphaned clients (old ones where no business has been conducted for a while) at 15%
These are my best guestimates but also prove the point that it’s pointless doing other marketing if it doesn’t actually work.
Be wary of internet marketing
Be very wary of the internet marketing, social media, search engine optimising your website for leads, paying for online advertising. Every day I get emails from so called SEO companies offering to get my website higher up the rankings. I read a blog post today from my friend Graham Jones who reported that it’s very easy to get lured into online marketing for two reasons.
- One, it’s actually quite easy to do, is faceless and you don’t get any rejection from prospective customers.
- Two, it’s dead easy to measure how successful it is but not how much business it produces. It’s simple to add up your Twitter followers, how many Facebook followers you have, how many “likes” your latest article received and how many retweets you had. These stats give people pleasure and the illusion that it works.
So back to my financial adviser friend and how he can get some prospective clients.
Your sales process
Once he’s analysed how he can put people into his sales funnel, he needs a database management tool to act as his CRM, to create his sales process, wrap it into his CRM and stick to it rigidly. CRMs don’t have to be enterprise level and costly. Something like Nimble or Pipeline will do just as well at $10 per month.
My sales process looks like:
- Qualify over the phone or Skype video – are they a fit for my business and are they motivated, have they the budget and is there a business challenge that needs addressing?
- Face to face meeting or Skype video to determine needs/problems and the solution I can recommend.
- Further meeting to run through proposal (I will not email a proposal to a new prospect and hope and pray they accept it – this is not a good strategy)
- Close the business.
- Conduct the business and seek referrals.
Let’s see how we can put some prospective clients into my friend’s new pipeline that he can channel into his sales process.
Where to start
Referrals is where I would start.
Sieve through your client bank and see which have a need for business insurance. Are they self-employed or run their own small business. Easy to judge.
Contact them to offer a complimentary review of their financial circumstances, speak to them on the phone, don’t do email or letters, these get deleted unless they’re a very close client. Phone them on their mobile, contact them outside of office hours – early in the morning is good. Prepare a voice mail message to guarantee they return your call and have a sound bite ready.
Telephone prospecting pattern
Follow this pattern.
- Introduce yourself
- Suggest the challenge they may be experiencing i.e. knowing who’ll take on their business if something tragic happens and they’re no longer around.
- Suggest you have some really tax efficient, low cost and exciting ways of handling this
- Call to action.
Have two calls to action ready. One would be an immediate face to face appointment to discuss further. Two, might be to send them something via email to capture their email address, if you haven’t already got one. A White Paper that you’ve written on the solution to the challenge you mentioned, or a YouTube video link of you describing the problem that small business owners have and the solutions you have available.