New business, what to do right now!
You’re busy, your team are busy, but at the back of your mind is the constant pressure to keep inventing the wheel to bring in new business.
Perhaps it’s a quantity game – if you target a lot of people at a time with a message then someone will pick up the phone to you? Or perhaps you need to invest in creative technology or services in order to be perceived as a quality company that’s “on trend”. All valid responses, and as part of a bigger marketing plan can be impactful. But what can you do right now to drive actual growth?
Take a look at the groups of people involved in your business. There’s more than just a pot of “new customers” where growth will come from.
These are the most important part of your business! Don’t forget them or take them for granted, they are your biggest referrers. Create a plan where you talk regularly to them to get feedback on what’s working, what isn’t and would could work better. If you’re a product business and you’ve made a sale, devise a plan to get reviews and feedback and keep them up to date with new products, accessories or services that you are launching that may benefit them or their contacts.
You may have a database of old customers who no longer buy from you. Spend time getting back in touch with them via the phone or email, or ideally in person, and have a conversation about what their situation is, what product or service they use now. Even if they’re committed to a competitor, or have no need for your product anymore, a positive relationship will help keep your business in mind for them or their contacts in the future.
These are people that supplement what you do. If you’re a product business, it may be the web design team that built your site. Keep in touch with these people, share updates, meet for a coffee regularly – you never know when Tony will be asked for a recommendation for a business like yours.
Friends and family
You may or may not be able to work directly with them, everyone’s different, but in most cases they are your biggest advocates. They want you to succeed! Plus Uncle George knowing someone at the company that you want to reach out to is always handy! Ask them to follow your company on social media, don’t be afraid to talk about your business to them when you see them, but don’t make it all business.
Your staff make it happen. They know your business inside out, so there’s no better person to talk about your company than them. An engaged employee is going to be your biggest champion. You could invest in incentivising programmes for referrals, or just ask for their opinions on what potential customers would be interested in. Then turn it around and show your team off. Personalise your company by showing what everyone does through video, photos, newsletter updates and possible press attention.
Totally fresh customers
These are people you know would massively benefit from your services but you have no contact to help smooth the entry in. Have a plan for how you’re going to warm them up. Follow them on social media, see what they’re interested in, see what events they go to where you could share your services. Most of all have a good think about how your business can really support them and offer interesting content before going in with a hard sell. Then have a plan for producing content that will really resonate over time.
Put together a plan of how you talk to these groups, and then put it into action. You’ll find that you’ll get a lot more benefits than business growth. Firstly your business growth won’t be dependent on one group only. But you’ll also see that company morale will improve with positive feedback from customers, you’ll identify areas for change and will get new opportunities at the same time.