“I hate sales pitches!” You may have felt this way yourself or heard others say it. If it’s such a common response, what’s the best way to organize your small business marketing plan to attract new clients and customers?
While getting all aspects of your marketing right can be complicated, the simple truth is that you can attract many more clients and be far more successful by doing just one thing.
To get the attention of your prospects and gain their trust and their business, base your marketing on the way your prospects make buying decisions. Just as a sweater needs to fit its owner, your small business marketing needs to fit your prospects.
Mirror Your Prospects’ Decision Making Patterns
How do your prospects make purchasing decisions? A research study by Enquiro and Marketing Sherpa found that 86% of Internet users begin a search using Google. Of these, 63% scan the search results, looking for key phrases in order to determine which sites to visit.
If your target market doesn’t find the key phrase they are looking for, they won’t contact you. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business or how happy your clients are; if your small business marketing message doesn’t match the language your prospects use, tens of thousands of people will n/ever find you. This is true even if they need and want your products and services.
If you want people to respond to your search engine listing, billboard ad, radio spot or business card, the handful of words you use need to grab their attention, invest the time and effort to create a brilliant marketing message. Tailor it to your prospects’ problems and concerns and they’ll take notice.
Once you have your prospects’ attention, you may want them to buy your products and services right away, but this is not realistic. While a small percentage of prospects with an urgent need may buy on first contact with you or your web site, the vast majority won’t. The research by Enquiro and Marketing Sherpa found over 80% of people looking to buy research a purchase for a period of time ranging from one week to four months, with 54% taking one to three months.
You may be doing a great job at getting attention, but if you’re not motivating prospects to contact you, your business is leaking leads. You could be missing more than 80% of potential buyers.
Does your company have a web site?
How many visitors stop by your site each month?
How many of these contact you?
If you’re a small business you could easily be attracting 3,000 to 20,000 people a month to your web site. Typically, 10 to 30% of these people can be motivated to contact you, amounting to 300 to 6,000 leads per month.
You may be attracting more leads than you need. Make sure you capture them so you can market to them. One of my coaching clients had a web site that was attracting 40,000 visitors each month. With a site this popular, he should have been able to generate 8,000 leads each month. All he needed was structure his web site to prompt prospects to give him their contact information. Instead he was getting an average of only 10 leads each month.
Motivate prospects to give you their contact information. Give them a reason to contact you. I give away a free marketing guide that prompts almost a thousand people a month to give me their contact information. Once you have your prospects’ contact information, follow up regularly to further establish the credibility of your firm and clarify the value of your products and services.
Moving Prospects to Client or Customer Status
When you provide your services or develop your products you shape them to fit your prospects’ wants and needs. Similarly your marketing needs to be shaped to fit your prospects’ buying patterns. When your small business marketing strategy and materials reflects the information prospects are looking for, you’ll get their attention and their business.