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lead generation

Lead generation strategies are all around you!

When we meet with a new client, we get them to fill out a questionnaire which asks them what their major concerns are in their business. What is the most common answer, you ask? Not getting enough traffic ‘in the door’. Unfortunately, one of the common reasons that 8/10 small businesses fail is their lack of strong lead generation strategies. Almost every business owner we speak with is looking for more new leads. And there’s a good reason for this: the bigger your list of leads, the more opportunities there are to convert into sales for your business.

So how long does your search party for more leads need to go for? You will be pleased with what I tell you next… you can call it off! Our clients are always left gobsmacked once they realise the simplicity of increasing the number of leads in their business.

Now, there are roughly 84 different lead generation strategies, but if you start with these four you will most definitely be able to generate enough leads to keep your business growing.

Referrals 

Being absolutely free of charge whilst providing amazing results, referrals from existing customers is a strategy not to miss. Every existing customer is a walking, talking testimonial! And considering that in today’s world, one of the major factors that deter or encourage someone to buy from you are the reviews that are shared face to face or written online, having your customers share a positive review of your business is imperative to generate more leads. An easy way to do this is by making a habit of collecting testimonials and reviews and using them on your website and other marketing materials. This is a great investment in the future of your business, because repeat customers mean repeat business – so this lead generation strategy has an exponential effect. 

Strong Online Presence

Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable shift in buyer behaviour with our access to the internet becoming much more efficient and reliable. These days, 60% of the buying decision is made before someone will pick up the phone and speak with a sales person. If you have a strong online presence, you will consistently find new customers at a higher rate than your competitors who don’t.

Understand Target Marketing & Customer Acquisition Costs 

Do you look at your marketing as an expense or an investment? Good marketing which gains new customers is most definitely an investment. With that mindset, you will be able to develop a more targeted marketing plan, allowing you to market specifically to your niche. This brings good customers to any business far more effectively than broad-based marketing. Test and measure different strategies then invest the money to “buy” more customers at an acceptable acquisition cost.

Using Strategic Alliances

Need a new database of your target market? Why not exchange yours with another business?! One of the greatest resources for generating leads for your business is other businesses. A strategic alliance allows you to sell your product/service to your target market, by using a database from another business that sells a different product/service. Make connections, and find new customers!

Start by making small improvements in the 4 lead generating strategies above and you will notice a dramatic difference in your sales funnel.  Keep developing these tools and you are sure to generate enough leads to get your business soaring!

If you want to generate more leads in your business, let us teach you more strategies that are just right for your business. Click here or call us on 9146 4439 to organise a coffee with one of our coaches!

Now that you have a clear idea of where to start with your lead generation, I want to share with you a few helpful strategies on how to convert these leads into clients. But I will leave that for my next blog. For now…

“…You can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is”

marketing plan

Get your marketing plan into shape with these 5 easy strategies!

Have you ever felt like your marketing activities just aren’t generating enough profits for your business, so you just give up on them? Or do you pause your marketing plan in order to save more money? Well consider this…

…If you put an end to your marketing plan, will you really save money? Yes, you will… in the way that stopping your wristwatch saves time. In other words, don’t kid yourself.

A marketing plan needs to be clear, simple, and most of all, consistent. Then you have to actually stick to it and, rather than halting its use, update it and make it better. If you let it go after 3 months of not seeing any results, you are guaranteeing that you’ll never see results.

Most business owners think that you must be a marketing guru to generate and implement a strong and profitable marketing plan. Well this should be music to your ears… there are only 5 key areas of marketing and sales that you need to focus on to build your business!

Over the next few months, I will cover each key area in detail. Here is a summary to start your journey to becoming your own marketing guru:

Number of leads – This area is all about how many potential clients you attract. Unfortunately, being unable to generate leads is one of the main reasons that so many small businesses fail in the first few years. The lead generating strategies we will teach you are both simple and mind-blowingly effective.

Conversion rate – Now that you are generating enough leads, how many of them do you convert into clients? Many business owners ‘wing’ the sales process and hope for the best. If that’s you, how is that going for your business? Having a detailed sales strategy will not only improve your conversion rate, but make it much more reliable.

Number of transactions – How many times a year do your clients buy from you? Increase this frequency by devising the ways you can encourage past clients to buy from your more often. Think about this… your existing customers already like what you do, which makes it about six times easier and cheaper to get a past customer to buy again than to acquire a new one! Get brainstorming!

Average dollar sale – How much do clients spend with you each time they buy? Imagine what would happen if you increased the value of each sale by 10%. That’s not a big jump, but it makes a big difference. By executing only one well-implemented price increase strategy, you could make a big difference to the bottom line.

Margins – What is the gross or net margin your business achieves? Improving your margin is one of the quickest way to improve your cash flow. Our clients are often left shocked when they learn that this, the easiest part of a marketing and sales plan, is the fastest and least costly to implement and will have the most immediate impact.

If you are thinking ‘this is too much to work on right now’, remember that all you need is a slight 15% improvement in each area, and that will be sufficient to double your profit! These 5 areas provide you with more than 350 different strategies to explore. All that’s left for you to do is to select the ones that are right for you, implement them effectively, and watch your business soar.

If you feel like you are investing in expensive marketing; that being, marketing which you do not receive a profit from, and just aren’t seeing the return, join one of our coaches for a coffee to discuss the ways in which we can help you.

Can you afford any more expensive marketing? Register here or call us today on (02) 9146 4439.

In my next blog, I will dive deeper into Lead generation and share with you my favourite strategies which will help you increase the number of quality leads attracted by your business. Till then, here’s a thought to take with you…

“…Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans”

Business value

Are you sitting on a goldmine? What is your business value?

So you’ve decided to sell your business. You may have all sorts of ideas about how easy it’s going to be, after all it’s your “baby”, right? Well, one of the first things you need to work out is are you sitting on a goldmine? What is your business value?

The reality is that selling your business is a complex process. If you’re looking to sell your business right away, you probably won’t get the highest value you deserve.

It typically takes a good year of preparation to sell before you should actually put your company on the market; selling requires planning, patience and panache. And as for sitting on a goldmine, you will achieve the highest value if all the right prep work has been put in place.

Working out your business value depends firstly on determining what kind of sale you ought to proceed with. It is a financial, emotional or synergy sale?

A financial sale is common, yet it generally offers the least amount of value to the seller. This type of sale is often undertaken with little or no planning. No plan means no high return.

An emotional sale involves a nostalgic connection such as someone who loves the brand, the product you sell and so wants to buy it.  It can be good for you, but you won’t be able to plan too much for that type of buyer, so it is very unpredictable.

A synergy sale typically produces higher valuations than a purely financial sale. The reason this type of sale gets a higher value is that it involves selling to another business who can make more out of your business than you can and, as a result, values your business at a higher value.  Best of all, it can be planned for by the vendor.

Now that we’ve established the different types of sales, you need to put several steps in place. They include:

  1. Mastery – moving from chaos to control with an in-depth examination of your goals for the business and understanding where your money’s going. Strong delivery systems and time management are crucial here too.
  2. Niche – ensuring a growing and predictable cash flow by asking some big questions such as Is your data in good shape? Do you have a solid marketing plan? Do you have a system that converts leads into customers? And so forth.
  3. Leverage – creating systems for efficiency, thereby knowing what you have to work with, and what you need to focus on to create the right sales package for prospective buyers. Systemising your business to the point that it doesn’t depend on you is also a necessary pre-requisite to getting a good price when you sell it!

The above are basic steps to start planning the sale of your business.

We have worked with many business owners who are planning to sell their business. If you would like some coaching assistance through this process, speak with one of our business coaches today. You can also check out this eBook called Selling your Business.

3 Ways to Grow Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s the best form of advertising?  Word of Mouth!  Anyone who’s ever received one of those phone calls “Hi, my friend Peter recommended that I call you – I’d really love to engage you to do XYZ” knows the feeling – it’s exciting, it’s efficient and its great business!

 

Word of mouth referrals do sometimes happen with absolutely no effort on your part, other than the continued delivery of great service.  However, there are a number of ways to proactively stimulate increased word-of-mouth business:

 

1. Customer referrals – mandatory!  Be sure to have a program in place through which you actually ask customers for referrals.  It’s as simple as ABC:

  • Do your customers know who you’re looking for?
  • Do they know how to articulate your key messages?
  • Have you offered a reward to them or to the people they refer?

 

2. Referral partners – to increase your referral sources beyond just clients, join a group of like-minded (but non-competing) businesses and start referring business to each other.  The best-established, and probably most effective, is BNI.  Attend breakfast once a week and enjoy the inflow of business!  Apply the same ABC as mentioned above – educate other members of the group so that they can become great referrers to you.

 

3. Strategic Alliances – how many other (again non-competing) businesses are out there targeting and serving the same clients and prospects that you’d love to have?  Identify a few and start building your relationship with them.  Referring business to each other (ongoing or just as a one-off promotion) is a great way of generating word of mouth marketing.  To make it work well, apply the same ABC as listed above.

 

If you implement just two or three such programs and maintain the delivery of real “WOW” service, you’ll have a constant stream of word-of-mouth clients knocking at your door!

5 simple tips for building more “Raving Fans” for your Business

Raving fanDo you have a list of your Best Customers?  Those customers who are not only loyal users of your product and service, not only willing to recommend you, but can’t stop talking about you?  Your Raving Fans?  The kind of customer who leads your Word-of-Mouth marketing, without being asked?

Studies show that, of all the reasons customers stop buying from someone, by far the most common reason is perceived indifference.  On average, 68% of customers who leave, do so because they feel that they’re not recognized nor made to feel special.  This compares with the second most common reason – issues with your product or price, at 14% and the third most common reason – that they’re sold to by a competitor, at just 9%.

Ironically, getting good customers to stay, return and grow should be far easier and cheaper than finding new ones.

Furthermore, raving fans refer other clients to you and, typically, those other clients can be turned into raving fans too.

So what has to happen in your business to have more raving fans?  Here are five simple tips:

  1. Make sure you knowing exactly who your Raving Fans are;
  2. Ensure everyone in your business knows who those customers are;
  3. Deliver services to them in a way that makes them say “WOW!”
  4. Introduce a loyalty program, a VIP program or an awards program; and
  5. Implement a systematized way of recognizing your top customers and delivering ‘little extras’ to them.

Do these five things well and enjoy watching your Raving Fans drive your business forward!