I wrote these steps several years ago. In Monday’s post, I will update these 7 steps to my current thinking. I wonder how much has to be changed. Any suggestions?
- Develop a Customer Persona. Remember, though the commonality does have to be centered around your product/service, you may find out drawing a stick person and labeling their features will help you in defining your market. Why is this step so important? When you develop a target message, referral system, advertising products and lead generation tactics it will help you be more concise and directed in your efforts. The better picture you paint, the better the demographics.
- Develop a brand: If you have been in business or your business has been developed because of your expertise, guess what, you have a brand. Simply ask three customers
to find out who you are. Ask several non-customers why they do not buy from you. You will find out what you are not! If you want to be somebody different, changing that perception will cost you marketing dollars and time. It might be easier to buy a company that has the brand you
want. However, before you write the check, go ask three of their customers.
- What have you done for me today? You must become part of your customer’s life. The more you interact on a regular basis the more value you will be able to provide. If you do anything less than this, you run the risk of being commoditized and competing day in and day out on
- Planning: Jim Rohn said, "Never begin the day until it is finished on paper." We have all heard it before but why do few of us do it? It is difficult, but the rewards are tremendous. Develop a 90-day marketing plan to start. Touch your referral network as often as you touch your customers, If you do not touch them at least monthly, they probably are not customers.
- The Sales Process: If you develop this effectively, you will never run out of material or customers. However , if you are like most , your sales process will not self generate good material or the type of customers you are looking for. Use an outline that is adaptable and centers on developing better diagnostics skills. If you do, your PR, testimonials and case studies become abundant and simply stated, you sell more.
- Don’t Sell: Efforts should be in creating prospects, not selling. I am not sure anyone "sells" anymore. We create interest through the information we supply and the questions we ask. We interact with our customers to build trust and cooperation. As a result, when there is opportunity, we can involve the right people with the right questions at the right time.
- Getting Referrals: Do you think cold calling works? Does asking for referrals work, it certainly does. If you continue to use Step 4 and 5 as building blocks, you will eventually receive enormous amount of referrals. The referrals are just not from customers but vendors, network partners and so on. The development of a referral system is essential.
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