One of the biggest challenges faced by all business owners is balancing the Money Now with Money Later. Money Now is the revenue being earned right now; it is the money used to pay today’s expenses. Money Later is the revenue that will be earned in the future; as time passes it turns into Money Now. The challenge comes about because we are so busy delivering to our customers we have no time or resources left to work on Money Later. The result is obvious and painful; Money Now dries up.
How can we stop this rollercoaster ride of abundance followed by scarcity? By understanding the cause. Business development is made up of marketing and sales. Marketing is what you do to get in front to of your potential clients. Sales are what you do when you get there. Marketing is the Money Later. Sales is the Money Now. The scarcity is caused by inconsistent marketing. By fitting marketing into the small windows of time that occasionally surfaces. To get off the rollercoaster you must ensure that consistent marketing gets the priority to deserve. Here are some ideas.
Let’s first look at the most powerful marketing tool of all – follow ups. If you don’t follow up you will not get the business; guaranteed. Studies have shown that 80% of people buy on or after the 5th contact. However, these same studies have shown that very few companies (only 10%) continue to follow up 5 or more times.
Networking is still a popular and effective marketing initiative. But to be successful networking must follow 4 rules:
1. Network strategically. That is, network where your ideal clients and/or connectors hang out.
2. Network consistently. Don’t go to one event once and expect results. Networking is about building trust and credibility; that doesn’t happen in one meeting.
3. Don’t network to make sales; network to build relationships.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Stay in front of people. As Judi Hughes of Your Planning Partners keeps repeating: “They are just not ready to buy YET!”Write articles; give presentations; blog regularly; hold events; phone people; volunteer your time; have a newsletter.
Develop campaigns. For example, have a campaign to reconnect with past clients; remind them you are still here.
To make sure all your marketing initiatives happen create a Marketing Calendar for the whole year. Buy one of those large plastic Year At A Glance calendars and hang it on your office wall. You can write on it and erase from it. You can use different colours to represent different things. It should have everything on it; your networking events; schedules for newsletters; campaigns; events; blog schedule; the works!
And a final idea to help avoid the scarcity caused by inconsistent marketing; become a marketing oriented company. But now we are out of time so we will cover that topic in the next blog!