You would think one of the top business solutions must be throwing spaghetti up against a wall and hoping it sticks or gambling on your marketing and hoping it works. That’s how business owners are going about marketing. They are trying out all sorts of hit and miss tactic and inconsistently marketing.
I was recently doing a key note talk for a large dental organization and giving some advice to dentists sharing my top business tips to grow their dental revenues and profits.
As I was speaking I realized the information I shared was good for all entrepreneurs and decided to share the marketing tips in this article to help all service professionals grow their practices. While some of these marketing ideas might seem obvious I know many readers might not be following the obvious.
5 Business Solutions
1. Marketing is Everything
Every business must have customers, clients or patients in order to succeed. You need to not only attract them the first time you need to have people who continue to purchase your services or products on a regular basis.
No customers – no business. Businesses that maintain a steady stream of customers who continue to invest in their products or services are the ones that have stability and succeed in the long term.
There is no greater asset in your business than your customers and the greatest value you have when you go to sell your business is your client, patient or customer list.
Certainly there is a direct correlation between revenue and profits and your customers, too. When you own a business your focus must be on continuously marketing your business and growing your customer base and making sure you nurture all the customers you have. This is what creates your sales and your profits and what keeps you in business long term.
The goal of any business is to acquire new customers and to provide them with superior products and services and to create a long term relationship with them so they are customers for life who are happy making purchases from you and referring family and friends to you.
To do this you must start by attracting customers through interactive marketing that brings customers to you. This educational content positions you as a top thought leader in your industry – not as a sales person. Guerrilla marketing is one way of effectively getting your potential prospects attention using low and no cost marketing strategies. You create educational content for potential customers about topics or concerns that keep them up at night. When they see that you have the answers they need and you keep educating, educating, educating them, they will seek out your expertise without you having to sell to them.
My definition of marketing is anything you do to get customers and to keep customers. This can include social media, speaking, TV, radio, ads, pay per click, blogging, email campaigns, websites, sales letters, flyers, etc. Anything that represents your company from you business card, letter head, office sign, telephone answering, office staff, etc is also marketing. Anything and anyone that touches a prospect or customer. Either your marketing is attracting people are repelling people. Your marketing is bringing in more money or it’s hurting your growth and profits.
Everything is marketing. And marketing means everything. Marketing determines your success. This point is critical to your overall success
2. The Real Value of Lifetime Customers
Success in your business can be determined by your ability to attract new customers on a regular basis as well as maintaining those customers long term. You must always increase new customers although it’s the most costly sale you will make. You also need to focus efforts on stimulating sales from past customers who already know, like and have a relationship with you. This sale is less costly and a lot less time consuming. And finally you also must increase the number of transactions each customer makes.
I used this example when I was giving my keynote speech for the dentists. Let’s say an average case was $1,000. Also say that a patient only spent $1,000 with you. meaning the revenue from that patient is $1,000. Let’s say that you could have that patient come back for 10 years. So the lifetime value of the patient would be $10,000 vs. $1,000. Let’s say you really WOWed this patient and she sent her husband, brother and son to you. Now the first time patient, instead of being worth $1,000 is worth $4,000 since you have 3 additional patients at $1,000 each. It all begins with just one $1,000 case! Can you see how just one patient can all of the sudden expand and generate so much more value over the course of a lifetime if you treat them as a long-term investment?
Think about this…you might pass by a store that gives something away for almost nothing or wonder how those CD or book clubs get you started for almost nothing. They are willing to lose money on the front end. They understand the lifetime value of a customer and that repeat purchasing will be the winning long-term strategy and wan’t to build these kinds of relationships with people instead of one time purchases.
All successful businesses are built on having repeat customers, clients or patients. Profits are generated from repeat buyers and often a business is willing to lose money on the first sale.
Communicate with them, thank them, send them useful educational content, tell them what is new in your business, send them updates and information, keep them informed of specials or new offerings or services, make them happy, give them a referral rewards program and make it easy for them to refer and listen to any concerns and respond quickly. Once you have a patient, client or customer work just as hard or even harder keeping them as acquiring them.
3. Marketing Systems For Autopilot Success
I mentor entrepreneurs to create a business that is automated and works on autopilot so that you have freedom in your business and in your life. In order to do this you need marketing systems. Systems are needed to generate high quality leads economically and consistently; conversion of those leads into sales; and WOW systems to give customers a great experience so they will refer and remain a long-term customer.
I believe in creating processes and then automating those processes so you save time and money. Once you have put in place a proven marketing formula you will free up your stress and challenges of running a business and being an entrepreneur.
As an example, we have a client who we positioned with a television channel. They are seen in their local market with TV, press releases about their TV show and as a speaker in their local area. They are clearly positioned in social media as the leading expert and the TV show leverages them to number one in the search engines. They are positioned as the credible expert by far above all their competitors. When inquiries come into the dentists office their or website or offered in social media, TV, etc it is to a consumer awareness guide which is the free premium we did for him. This is another educational piece about the 5 Dangerous Mistakes People Make When Choosing A Family Dentist.
Some people who see our client’s education media just call to schedule an appointment! Those who request the consumer awareness guide later get more educational materials. Those follow-up materials result in more buyers over time.
When I was learning Jiu Jitsu I realized I didn’t have to be big and strong. I weighed much less than many fighters and didn’t have muscles like many of them. What was needed was for me to understand the proper positions and when I did I was able to use the right positions and techniques to take down a big strong man while being only a 90 pound female.
I could get better results because I was taught how to conserve my energy and could get the best outcome. I feel the same way about business. Conserve your time, energy and money and create leveraged systems to get the most return on investment.
You can do this with a TV channel, social media, co-op advertising, PR, blogging and more. Engaging in dialogue regularly with your past and present customers is critical, too and will give you leverage to have time to live your life and not become a slave to your business.
Once you establish your systems then put them on autopilot so you have more free time in your life.
The goal is to have a system to bring you ideal prospects consistently and then to convert them into paying patients, clients or customers regularly. Then the system leverages your marketing to continue to embrace and nurture your relationships with your customers so you maintain them for life.
5. Targeting Your Prospects – Niche Marketing
A niche must be easily identifiable and accessible. Look at who is showing up right now in your business. Is your customer base mostly female? Mostly postal workers? Mostly coming from a particular neighborhood? What do most of your customers have in common?
If you are a start-up you won’t have this information, of course. In this case think about people who have a desire for what you are offering. If you are offering a service or product and are unclear who is going to purchase it then it’s very difficult to get your message to those potential customers.
Instead of hoping people will have a desire for what you are providing them be certain their already is a marketing demanding what you are providing. Don’t provide exactly what others in your industry are providing. Come up with a unique spin on what other are doing. Be different.
Be certain you have expertise in the markets you are targeting and you can reach them easily and they have the income to invest in your services or products.
It’s your turn – take your 5 solutions and turn them into profits in your business!