What many Londoners love is a success story, and especially one that develops slowly over time, rather than the ‘overnight success’ stories that always seem to have a long gestation period. But how can your business achieve it?
In this article, we focus on different methods to explore in order to drive business growth. Some are simple, and others either require that you (or your team) develop additional expertise, or for you to be willing to outsource the marketing to specialists.
Use outsourced telemarketing to get warm leads
Telemarketing is a great way to extend your business’s reach beyond your current group of customers. Making calls and introducing your business to companies (or consumers) who would be interested in what’s on offer raises brand awareness.
The difficult aspects of telemarketing include learning to have confidence when prospecting over the phone, to rapidly improve when turned down, and to develop scripts that perform. Few employees are effective on the phone in the above areas unless they’ve had training or are a natural at it.
One way to get around these difficulties is to use outsourced telemarketing services like those provided by Prospect Research. They can do the prospecting for your business, secure a qualified lead, and provide a recording of the phone call so that your team know what to expect when they follow-up directly with the warm lead.
Proceeding this way works very effectively because it gets over the hump of developing strong new prospects, but leaves it up to your team to talk with them about the services your company offers – something they know all about.
Ask for the lead from existing customers
Businesses tend to do a poor to average job of talking with existing customers and asking for a referral. Most companies know other operators that are either in the same or similar line of work. There’s nothing better than getting approval with positive word of mouth leading to the company getting referred on.
Especially in the UK, we are often hesitant to go after new business, even during a recession. We prefer to cut back on marketing efforts, reduce labour costs, and go inwards. Whilst some cost-cutting is often a good idea, it still makes good sense to look for inexpensive ways to find new businesses who can become customers with some gentle nudging or persuasion.
What’s interesting about referrals is that in the course of the discussion with your current customer, you learn more about their business too. By just talking with them about it and what needs they have, it often creates new opportunities. Just giving them some of the company’s time often results in them formulating a plan about how your company can assist them.
Talk less and listen more for better results
Once your staff are on the phone with potential customers, they must learn to close the sale. However, there are different approaches to doing this.
Being an effective communicator means talking less often and listening more. This is particularly true when speaking with a prospect over the phone or even by email too. In order to get a clear picture of their business and what needs they have for it; it requires listening to what is being communicated and then asking informed questions to gather more specific information.
By approaching conversations in this manner, the person feels like they’re being listened to. As a result, they indirectly develop a greater belief that your company is a good fit for their business. They do this simply because, rather than other companies they’ve spoken to who either didn’t give them the time or were too pushy to get the sale, they felt your company’s staff took the time to understand them better.
Focus on a new type of businesses and find ways to target them
Rather than taking the viewpoint that any business that isn’t your customer yet is fair game, narrow the focus to target a particular type of company or industry. By doing this, the marketing team can learn about this type of business, hone their offering to suit that market, and then use innovative methods to start making inroads into it.
For instance, some web studios have avoided trying to market their web design services to anyone and everyone. Instead, they’ve homed in on a group of potential customers and gone after them. Several have made inroads into producing websites for authors, eventually developing an extensive roster of household names. Another web studio focused on marketers and eventually produced flashy attention-grabbing websites similar to how their prospective clients hope they’ll do on their behalf.
It’s a very effective strategy because it creates a laser-like focus when identifying a market, devising a strategy for marketing in their industry, and then coming up with how to develop useful contacts to get the ball rolling. Once the first few people or businesses come on-board, it gets much easier from there.
Establish brand recognition by speaking at business conferences
Becoming someone who actively speaks to the media and books speaking engagements at business events puts the brand in front of businesspeople who are willing to listen. While what you talk about will be related to how to help other companies, the quality of the presentation speaks volumes about how professional and knowledgeable your company can be expected to act on behalf of their clients.
If you have trouble having the confidence to speak in public, take a public speaking course to learn effective techniques to calm your nerves, stay organised and speak confidently. These types of short courses are invaluable in making public speaking far less intimidating. Once you’ve done this, take speaking engagements with intimate audiences where there’s less pressure to be impressive, which will help you build the confidence necessary to speak at larger industry conferences later on.
There are no magical marketing techniques that make it easier. Yet by improving every aspect of how marketing is conducted in your business, incremental improvements can be made that deliver much better closure rates on conversations with potential clients. The good news is that this can also be done on a modest marketing budget.