In marketing professional services, entrepreneurs rarely fail due to lack of information about effective sales and marketing techniques. They fail because they don’t use the information that is right at their fingertips. If any or all of these obstacles have stopped you in your tracks, you are not alone – How do I put it all together? What should I do and in what order? Where should I begin? How can you stay motivated? Unless you have a system in place, you will be spinning your wheels.
Any business can be broken down into two parts – Vision (what do you want) & Systems (how will you get it). Entrepreneurs are usually challenged by the “How will you get it” part and skip this crucial step. Dr. Edwards Deming, a statistician who revolutionized American business practices, tells us that 97% of all failure is due to the SYSTEM and not the person.
Having a system that enables you to choose a set of simple, effective things to do consistently is the magic formula for professional services. A system will provide you with both structure and the tools you need to turn your marketing goals and ideas in to productive action to achieve marketing success.
According to CJ Hayden, a Business Coach, marketing and sales operates on a predictable cycle, “The Universal Marketing Cycle”. This cycle has four separate stages: filling the pipeline (prospects, contacts, leads, referrals), following up, getting presentations and closing sales. The activities that take place within each stage of the cycle will vary depending on your business, but the cycle is the same for everyone. Knowing how this cycle works will enable you to determine exactly where to focus more time and energy in your marketing to achieve marketing success.
There’s an old saying in sales and marketing of professional services: “People do business with people they know, like, and trust”. Without having at least one of these factors in place, getting and keeping business will be an almost impossible task. So the key to your marketing success is to implement marketing strategies that will build and nurture your relationships with prospects and clients.
A crucial strategy to implement is following up with prospects. According to the market research firm Yankelovich Inc., the average American sees or hears up to 5,000 marketing messages a day. How will you get others to remember you? Statistics say that you have to contact a prospect approx 7-9 times before they will remember you! This is an area that many entrepreneurs don’t like to do or just don’t do at all! Having an effective follow up system is a must for all entrepreneurs.
Do you have a system in place to achieve your marketing goals and to increase your marketing success? If not here 3 steps to get you started:
Step 1: Is there something in your way? Determine any resistance you might have so that you can stop letting it stop you. Are you a procrastinator? Do you struggle with managing your time? What are you afraid of? Be aware of any negative self-talk – it is one of the biggest obstacles you must overcome to achieve marketing success.
Step 2 : Commitment – It takes 21 days to form a habit. Commit to creating your system within a specific time frame. Get the support of a business buddy, action group or a business coach ( a professional who is trained in assisting people to set and achieve goals) to get perspective, and accountability that will increase your marketing success.
Step 3: Action – Get started! Determine which area of the marketing cycle you are stuck at – filling the pipeline (prospects, contacts, leads, referrals), following up, getting presentations or closing sales? Then decide which marketing strategies you will use and how you will implement them.