I am good at my job but need to improve my business. Know what I mean? As a small business person I am not alone. I am starting a partnership and wanted some reminders about what it takes to succeed in business.
So like any smart dude, I turned to my better half for advice. “Hey, wife. What does it take to succeed at business?” It just so happens that the Mrs. is a professional in sales and marketing, with experience ranging from banking to pharmaceuitcals to a nationwide long term care company. She wrote the following.
Things to remember for sales and marketing:
1. Sell to the need of your customer, not to the needs of your business
* Sales calls with potential and existing clients should have questions regarding the business of your client.
* What is their niche?
* Where is their business goal?
2. Find out how your can help meet your client’s goals
* How can your services enhance their business objectives
* What does the client expect from Investigations services?
3. Ask for business
* Once you realize what the client wants, you can explain how you can help with that need
* Don’t forget to ask for the business, it is not always assumed
* Sometimes that involves asking the client to try you out first
4. Always do some background work on any new clients before your meeting
* You want to be prepared
* Know your competition and what your competition is offering
5. Dress appropriately
* People like doing business with professionals
Who to meet with
1. Many decision makers in a business may not be who you think
* Gatekeeper is the person who may keep you from meeting the decision maker
* Decision maker may not be the attorney but the office manager or paralegal
2. Integrate within your client’s business
* It is more difficult for a client to stop using your services the more integrated you are with that office
* Get to know the decision maker, the attorney, the gatekeeper, etc… everybody.
How people buy
1. People buy not only with emotion but what they think will benefit them
* Given two of the same (two pairs of black shoes), you will choose one that makes you feel better
2. Clients who want to “buy” do not price shop
* Example: people will pay extra for what they percieve is better… paying extra for that name brand TV, etc
3. What you ask is what you get
* If you ask only for difficult cases, that is what you get
* Remember that once you start with one niche, expand your services to meet your client’s various needs
1. Once you establish your niche and what services you may provide, don’t forget to check in regularly
* Meeting should be in addition to case updates
* Checking in let’s you know of any changes on the client’s business
* Checking in let’s the client know what your capabilities are (expanding your niche)
2. Don’t assume that they know what a good job you have done
* A client deals with many vendors and do not always track results
3. In person meetings are always better over phone calls or emails
* As often as possible, drop off reports or updates in person, 2nd choice would be by phone
4. Clients wants to do business with people who make their life / business easier
* Find ways to make thing easier for your clients; this includes easy access and knowing you consider them high priority (they don’t know this unless you tell them)
* Don’t let your client find out your reports are delayed due to situations, let them in know in advance so their expectations are adjusted due to reasonable occurences
The biggest client you want will not be easy to get… remember to be patient but persistent… it takes an average of 7 sales calls to land a client.