I told Mark, “I can’t make it to the meeting, I’m already scheduled.”
“So,” he said, “What suggestions would you like me to pass along? We’ll have a couple management consultants, an accountant and a CFO as well as a computer consultant at the table. We need your input as the resident marketing guy.”
Here’s what I told him:
“Network. Do it on and offline. That means using what works for you. If you are on Twitter or Facebook and you have real, dollars in the pocket results, use them. For most Business to Business companies Linked In has proven to provide more and better contacts. But the single most powerful way to network is still face to face. Learn how to do it well. Remember, you want to have a conversation not deliver a commercial.
Speak. You can tell your story in person to more people that might buy your product or service by speaking to a group than any other way. Want to extend that? Make an audio or video of the speech and put the best parts on your web site.
Write. Do a story for the local paper. Put together an article or a column for an industry magazine. Blog about your expertise. Become the go to guy or gal in a forum that is mostly folks you would identify as ‘Perfect Clients’ or ‘Perfect Referral Sources.’ Author a book. (I have one coming out on Kindle called Website Words. It is part of a series of Quick &Clear guides).
Teach: The best way I’ve ever found to really understand any subject is to prepare to teach it. That includes your specialty, your expertise and the basis of your career. When we teach, we learn. We come to understand how others think about what we do. We see other viewpoints and more ways to get to clarity. Both you and your students reap rewards.
Use Contact Management: This is the ’no-brainer’ that everyone overlooks. We all know that our memories are less than perfect. We all have great intentions but we overlook the sticky note we put on the desk or in the calendar or wherever and a perfectly good prospect gets lost in the shuffle. There are free ones on line but for under 35 bucks a month you can have a system in the cloud that will keep you on track and will still be there even if your computer crashes.
Ask for the Order: If you don’t ask the prospect to buy either directly or by putting him/her in a position to ask you to provide your product or service you will probably not get the order. Failure to close is the number one reason new business fold. Yes, accounts say it is cash flow but there is no flow if you don’t make a sale. Learn how people in your industry. Then determine if there is a way they would prefer to buy. Either way, you have to ask for the order.”
Jerry Fletcher is a strategic marketing consultant www.JerryFletcher.com
He speaks professionally as well www.NetworkingNinja.com