I saw this post on Facebook from my friend David Bullock. I felt it was an interesting question that deserved more than a radio button click. The question is what is your primary method for acquiring customers?
- Social Media
- Referrals and Networking
- Offline Contacts
- Search Engines
First we have to look at who this question is being targeted towards and that is the “internet savvy” folks. So naturally the options are geared towards that audience. What if I’m in the roofing business do you think the options would be slightly different? Newspapers, bulletin boards, yellow pages phone books (yes they still do exist). While the question allows us to “add an answer” we can see by the results after about 91 votes there are only 5 categories.
As an internet marketing consultant or a direct response media consultant I would answer the question this way. My primary method for acquiring my clients is first be writing for trade publications, second by e-mail marketing and third word or mouth and referrals. However, it must be noted that all three of these are working together. It is NOT just one primary method of marketing. It is ALL of the above.
So that said, in my first conversations with all new clients I ask them how are you getting your clients today? And they give me a list like the ones above. Then I ask them why do they want to do something new when something they are already doing is working? I usually get an answer like, “I have to quit my current channel because of a conflict,” or I hear “social media is the next big thing.”
The best advice I can give any client is that if something is working to generate income for your business keep doing it but do it better. If something you are doing is not working, stop it and either change it fast or kill it all together. So if referrals are working how are you bringing in those referrals today? Do you have a system set up for bringing in those referrals? Do you have a sales force bringing in those referrals? Are you helping those sales people or people who refer you more business with some sort of a referral system like postcard marketing?
The question is how can you make your referrers provide you with more leads? How can you make their life easier? Can you systemize the process for them? Can you incentivize them? Can you recognize them? Asking these types of questions and asking your referrers these types of questions will get you answers that will bear fruit. If you offer a product or service of value your clients will help you help them in providing them with the answers to their problems.
So once we get the “systems” in place for better customer acquisition we have some additional profit to play around with we can then go off and test new methods for marketing. For example, if you are a recognized expert in your field and you speak on occasion what kind of “bookstore” do you have in the back of the room so that people can order your products and services after you speak? Do you have registration forms ready to take orders or capture names? Do you have people on your team helping you? If you don’t then why don’t you have people helping you? Find a way, hire temp workers. Bring your staff to these meetings…..oh it is expensive to do that? Well, maybe you are not speaking at the right venue if they aren’t buying what you are selling? Maybe your staff needs better training to help you close more business in the back of the room?
If your website has converted a few orders or leads each month how are you doing against your competition? How many back links do you have versus them? What keyphrases are you ranking for? Can you improve on your search engine optimization? (That’s a loaded question because unless you are Google the answer is always YES).
The name of the game is leverage. Speak once distribute many times. For example, speak at a conference and share your info with people in the room, next video record the event distribute many more times on the internet and through e-mail, next transcribe the speaking event and distribute many more times on the internet and e-mail and blogs and social media. So the 1 hour speaking engagement can be distributed some many more times than to just the folks in the room. Does this require work, yes. Do you need help? If you require help call us at SpeechRep Media at 781-990-8844 and we can assist you in a plan customized plan that we can do for you or do partially for you depending on what your resources are.