Fred runs a computer business systems support firm. He is an engineer that came up through the ranks.
He said he was looking for strategic marketing help. But he couldn’t understand why I was asking about how the company operated.
It took me a while to figure out that he considered Marketing a “bolt on”.
Marketing is an integrated part of your company whether you like it or not.
Here are the top five reasons Business to Business customers buy based on my 25+ years of direct experience:
- 50% Referral/Word of Mouth
- 15%Prior Experience
- 13% Inbound marketing Web searches blogs email marketing*
- 12% Direct Contacts
- 10% Networking
* Significant increases in the last three years.
Strategic marketing demands this approach:
Start by being honest with yourself. What is the vision for this company? What makes it tick? Why does it exist? Do you really have a product or service that somebody wants?
What matters most is not what you know or who you know or even who you trust. What really matters is who trusts you.
Understand the prospect viewpoint. Way too often folks try to start a business or make changes to one that is successful or struggling without ever talking to a real live prospect. (A prospect is someone that has a problem you can solve, the money to pay you and is willing to talk to you.)
Find a profitable Niche. Are there enough of those kind of people to make it profitable for you to start or change your business? Can you keep your costs reasonable in communicating with them? How about the cost to deliver your product or service? Can you afford to keep improving your product or service until you ha
ve “figured out where the money is” and you can “sell what they want to buy”?
Establish a unique position. A company that wants to “take it up a notch” needs market, product or service leverage plus the time and resources to make the shift.
Success depends on determining what makes them unique for a particular kind of prospect.
Success depends on understanding the telling need your product or service solves.
Success depends on knowing how that client or customer uses the product or service.
Each company must understand what triggers the use of their offering. What occasion or event or happening is behind a purchaser mindset to “buy now”.
In many cases you will find that the reasons you developed your product/service have no connection with how it is seen and used by your customers.
Develop a unique trust-based persona. Everything you do has an impact on the people that become your clients or customers. Don’t overlook the basics as you go to market.
Your Persona is a Core of Trust wrapped round by Product, Price and Passage (or distribution) encased in your Name.
Initially, the Core of Trust is you. If you operate solo it will always be. With a partner or an ensemble of partners you all have to ascribe to the same central beliefs about your business. In a corporation everyone needs to feel the same way and be driven by the same values.
Because you can’t fool customers for long.
Customers see your company from the outside in. They rely on how your decisions impact them to make judgments about you.
Every company needs a soul.
It is the core value, the binding force that is your reason for being. It is what drives the organization.
You need to remain true to that vision that got you started.
The heart of any concern is the operational strategies.
Your product may change.
Your pricing can differ over time.
How you get your product or service to the customer may shift.
Even your name may change.
The heart of how you operate must fit with the central belief, the soul of your business.
There is no way to be successful without that congruity.
Can you handle all those marketing decisions alone? Don’t even try. Get professional help. The earlier you get help the less it will cost you.
Spin up Promotion after you have made those marketing decisions.
No, that doesn’t mean advertise.
It means start building trust, trust in you, trust in your product or service and trust in the way your firm does business.
You need to build enough trust that people refer prospects to you without reservations. That means you have to deliver what you promised…or better.
You can’t get to Trust without a relationship. Wade into meetings of all kinds. Teach a class. Write an article. Speak to any trade group where your customers might gather. Network. Show off your expertise and establish short and long term credibility.
Use the Internet to help you build trust in you and your operation. A blog can help increase your credibility by displaying your expertise for the world to see. Your web site can help you close new customers if it is optimized to do so
Keep it as up close and personal as you can for as long as possible.
Learn more about Jerry: www.JerryFletcher.com
Have him speak to your group: www.NetworkingNinja.com