Put another way, I’ll often ask business owners, how do you attract clients?
7 common methods to attract business.
Looking attractive may work if you’re a brightly coloured fish, but in business there is more to it. There are seven common ways that businesses use to attract clients.
Normally the main focus on in one or two main ways. For example, I was talking with a managing partner of a strong regional accountancy practice recently, and they found they got 95% of their new clients via referrals. If you find that you are utilising three or more of these ways, take a look at the efficiency of your marketing mix. It is extremely likely that one of these ways is not yielding a good rate of return:
- Referrals: This is where your customers and advocates ‘sell’ your services to others. This is a great way to get warm or hot leads. The problem normally is that most business owners don’t have a referral marketing strategy in place to help make this happen? Giving good customer service is NOT the way to get referrals.
- Formal networks, trade shows: This is where contacts sell your service. This is often used very successfully by the large alliances and formal networks of small professional practices.
- Sales calls: This is where a team of business development professionals or telemarketers sell your product. This is a favourite of accountants, and can work well. When did you last try it?
- Advertising: Normally this is local paper, magazine or leaflet ads. This is where you are using advertising to sell your service, this can work very well…. or not. Your industry but also the production of the ad make a huge difference.
- Product demonstrations, free sessions: Your services sell themselves – e.g. free teleseminar. This can work exceptionally effectively for professional practices. However the time and effort in making this happen in a practice and getting the right bums on seats can often be a barrier to making this happen.
- Websites and newsletters: Internet information sells your services. Look at how successful Cheap Accounting is at using their website to generate nearly 100% of their leads.
- Placement and appearance of buildings: Your location (or even your car/ van) sells your service. This can work if you are in the right place.
Each business will have its own optimal mix of marketing to attract customers. For maximum marketing efficiency, your business will need to work out what of these methods yields the greatest return on your investment. That’s not the same as going on gut feel, do you track the results?
Which methods are you focusing on? Are they working for you?
Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees. Click here for your copy.