Turbocharge New Sales with a Marketing Database

What is the most valuable asset your company owns? Inventory? Equipment? Employees? If you’ve got customers, your number one asset is your customer list.

You’ve heard the old adage, “It’s 5 times easier to sell an existing customer than to find a new one.” Selling an existing customer is easy because you’ve got the right message at the right time going to the right customer. There are two proven ways to do this. First, you position yourself as the obvious expert and ask for your deserved referrals and for the next sale. Second, you practice solid customer relationship management and mine your database for all that it’s worth. The first way is passive and takes a really long time.

The second way actively places you on your customer’s radar and keeps you top of mind for his next buying decision. But if your customer information resides in 10 different places, like your accounting software, Excel spreadsheets, little Post-It notes on your monitor and a PDA, you’ve greatly diminished or erased your ability to “be there” for your number one asset when he’s ready to buy again.

Take this 12-point true/false quiz to see if you’re prepared to profit from your database. Give yourself 1 point for each “true” answer:

1. I collect complete contact information (name, address, phone numbers and email address) on every customer who buys from me

2. I collect complete contact information (name, address, phone numbers and email address) on everyone who inquires about my services

3. I keep all my contacts in a single database

4. I keep track of how each customer or prospect found me so I can duplicate my successes and thank my referral sources

5. I have an easy-to-use automated response tool to follow up with prospects before, during and after the sale so I never lose an opportunity because it fell through the cracks

6. I have an easy-to-use system to cross sell my customers on my other services because I track what they bought previously

7. I have a system to track opt-outs to my email campaigns so I can stay in CAN-SPAM compliance with my e-marketing

8. I can forecast my sales for the next week, month or quarter based on opportunities in my sales pipeline

9. I have a customer database clean-up plan to update my contact information at least once per year

10. I have an effective system for tracking open and closed customer service issues

11. I can download leads from my website and schedule a call back for myself in 1 hour or less–everyday!

12. It takes me one hour or less to launch an important email campaign to my customers.

What Your Score Means

If you scored a 7 or less, you’re working way too hard for business and leaving money on the table. Most likely, you’re developing one account at a time instead of creating a sales process that can run on auto-pilot until someone is ready to buy from you. While that’s certainly the way most of us were taught to get more business, and it’s been done like that for decades, it’s not a very efficient use of your time, or a very profitable way to spend your day, or much fun.

If you scored an 8 or above, you’re doing a great job of marketing to and reselling your existing customers. You should look for new sales opportunities with a targeted prospect list or try online advertising. Redouble your efforts with existing customers. Customers think of you as a trusted friend and treat your communications as information, not advertising. A good customer contact program includes 12-18 “touches” per year.

Gift Vouchers And How To Use Them For Marketing

Gift vouchers are a way to improve your sales and profits. How you ever tried gift vouchers as a way to get more new customers? If not, then I think it’s something that you should be considered doing. Vouchers can be an excellent marketing strategy if you know how to do it right.

So what is a gift voucher? Well a gift voucher is something that operates somewhat like a gift card. You can redeem them in stores, and as a result, you get to choose items that cost below what your gift card is worth

Implementing vouchers in your business is something that works in the same way too. You can mail out gift vouchers to your select group of customers, and tell them that they can redeem it in your store for a purchase of some sort. If there are a lot of items that you want to get rid of in your store, then running a voucher campaign can be a good thing to do.

When it comes to making your voucher worth something, you may want to take a look at how much the products in your business costs. If the majority of the products in your store costs $40 – consider offering a gift voucher for around $20. This is a half-off deal, but if it’s something you want to get rid of quickly I think it’s something that you will want to look into doing in your business.

Another way to market your gift card is to offer them when selling high priced items. You can offer a $50 give voucher at a restaurant for any one who makes a purchase of $1000 and above. To make this work, make sure the restaurant is something that is well known in your area. Plus, make sure that your $1000 product is perceived as something that is incredibly valued.

Gift vouchers can be done with these tips in mind. All it takes is a little creativity and a good offer, and you can use this technique to your advantage. The bottom line is that gift vouchers are a great way to boost sales, and it’s something that you should be using in your business today. If you’re stuck on ideas on how to offer your vouchers to the world, then review these tips for ideas.

When giving out the voucher, make sure you don’t do it for something this isn’t cheap. Use it to inspire customers to make a large purchase, and tie in your voucher so that you can get a high priced sale, all while redeeming the coupon at the same time. So it’s a win-win situation for both.

Don’t overlook the power of using vouchers in your business. The way that you see gift cards being promoted everywhere online and offline – you want to promote your voucher in the same way. This way you can know if whether or not the venture is working for you.

Use these tips for gift voucher marketing to boost your sales and profits in your business. A gift voucher is something that many people overlook when it comes to marketing their business, but you should know that it can really turn your business around slowly but surely.

Good luck with using gift vouchers in your business today.

How Do I Get Started Advertising and Marketing My New Business?

In this article, we will discuss some methods and techniques that a new entrepreneur can use to get started in marketing and advertising their business. Of course, this information is not meant solely for brand new businesses, anyone can use them, but the article will primarily focus on a startup company.

Before we dive into the meat of this topic, let’s take a brief moment to define exactly what advertising and marketing are. For one, advertising is marketing, but marketing is not advertising. This may seem a bit strange, but let’s explore it further. For advertising, it’s simple, advertising is a direct form of marketing with a very straight forward purpose, to get people in the door, to get the phone to ring, or to get them to click to your website. Where the line becomes blurry is when we speak about marketing. Marketing is a far more ethereal concept. But since this is not the main topic of this article, let’s say in short that marketing is the management of perception. In other words, attempting to influence what people think of you, and therefore, how they feel about using your services or buying your product.

For example, the friendliness of your wait staff, or the cleanliness of your office, or the care you take in the landscaping of your hotel, all these things are marketing. And often, they are the most overlooked, because most people think of marketing only as advertising.

With this in mind, let’s begin in earnest to discuss the topic of this article, how you can advertise and market your new business. Well, as mentioned in the last paragraph, let’s start with the free stuff. What should be the simple stuff, but often is not. And this is the perception that you are giving about yourself and your company. Sit down and make a list of all the things that you can change, if need be, about your company now. Things that don’t cost you any more money or much time. For example, the neatness and atmosphere of your office or facility, if you have one. Spruce it up, put a few plants in, invest in a couple of plug-in air fresheners, and do what you can for the outside appearance, the “curbe appeal” if you will. Focus on your staff, are they well groomed, well dressed as appropriate to your customers, and are they outgoing and personable. Smiling and friendly employees, including you, go a long way in closing sales. Be sure that you and your people are quick to respond to calls, emails and the like. Keep in mind that the number one need of all people is to feel important, so if you can project that to your clients, that they are important to you, you will almost guarantee success.

Now, before we move on to another tip, let’s make it clear that this article is not meant to be an in depth exploration of this topic. That would really take a book. This is just meant to give you a few ideas and get those creative juices flowing.

The next thing to think about, and preferably before you have created any of your printed material, signage or website, is uniformity. To put it another way, your business cards should look like your signs, which should look like your flyer, which should look like your website, which should look like the side of your trucks. This is a key component of branding. And building a solid brand that people identify with quality and also with you is hugely important. So no matter what you do graphically, be sure that everything has a nice, uniform look and feel.

Now, a big area to focus on, and one that is relatively cheap, even with a complex application, is your website. Whether you are selling products online or just want to showcase your company, a quality website presence is an absolute must today. One of important reason is that now, over 97% of people do all there research into new products and services online. Even direct referrals will still want to check you out on the web, be it with their computers or their hand held devices. But equally, if not more, important than this is that the internet offers a huge amount of marketing opportunities that can expose you to new customers like never before. With the use of search engine optimization, blogging, social media, video marketing, article marketing, and link building, just to name a few methods, your website can be put in front of a large number of targeted eyeballs at a fraction of the cost of more traditional marketing and advertising methods.

As for advertising, this is a bit more difficult to pin down. Different businesses have different techniques that work for them. What works for a restaurant may not work for a lawn care company. What draws attention for a furniture store may not be as effective for a bar. The thing to do is to do some research into your particular type of business and see what is working for others like you. Also, if you know your target audience, then you can devise some cost-effective methods for reaching them directly, be it through radio or TV ads, direct mail, street level marketing, shows, billboards and so on.

Keep in mind the old marketing creed of AIDA, Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. This is what any advertising and / or marketing campaign should be built around. So no matter what you do, plan it out before hand with these four steps.

Now, not to be too vague, although it’s hard not to be with such a huge and diverse topic, here are a couple of starter points. First, tweak those elements in your business you can control without spending money. Then create a series of visual pieces, a business card for you and anyone else who may come in contact with customers, a brochure, a flyer, vehicle lettering and of course, a quality logo. Put up a good website. Not a cheap do it yourself thing, but a real, professionally created application and tie all yoru other material to it. Promote that site as much as possible, both on and offline. Invest in some internet marketing, both pay per click and in someone to do the organic work of promoting you. You can get quite a lot on a small budget here.

Do not be afraid to consult a professional. A good advertising and marketing firm can help you with all of these things, and with other more expensive methods, such as creating videos, filming your TV commercials, writing and producing your radio spots, strategizing mailing and other campaigns, and more. Promoting your company is a lot like being lost in a dense forest, and sometimes having a guide who knows the way can be of immense benefit, and is often the best use of your marketing budget.