You may think your biggest business assets are your equipment or your inventory. But, you have two assets even more important than these. One of these is your expertise. . . your brainpower and the specific manner in which you help your clients.
And, the other is your list of satisfied, loyal customers, as well as your pool of warm prospects with whom you are building a relationship of credibility and trust. Building this list of warm prospects and satisfied customers is your ticket to a steady stream of income.
Here are some tips to build your list:
1. If you have a website, make sure you have some kind of name capture mechanism. In exchange for people's contact information, offer a subscription to an ezine, a free report, an e-course, a free forum, or some other perk.
Make sure you have an effective online system to collect the names of your customers and prospects. It should be able to manage your lead generation and follow-up activities with the ability to create a name capture form for your website, as well as auto responders to automate the process of communicating with your list on a regular basis. Set it up and let it work for you as your online salesperson - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
2. If you have a physical location, place a sign-up form in an obvious place for your visitors so you can stay in touch with them on an ongoing basis. You can offer an incentive to sign up such as special coupons, discounts, or a print newsletter with tips.
3. When you give speeches, presentations, and attend trade shows, collect the names of people you interact with! Offer a prize like a free product or a discount. You can do the same thing if you offer telephone seminars or online courses to your clients.
4. Grow your list by conducting a joint venture with a like-minded business. For example, a mortgage broker and realtor can offer a free seminar on home buying. Both businesses can collect the names of the attendees.
5. Submit articles to various websites and ezines. Make sure each article has a resource box with information about your business and a link to your name capture page.
6. Of course, anyone and everyone who has ever purchased from you should go on your list. It is much easier and cost effective to cross-sell and up-sell to past, satisfied customers than it is to convert a prospect into a customer. Regularly keep in touch to ensure your company stays in the forefront of their awareness.
Be sure to track your marketing activities with your customers and prospects. This includes direct mail, phone calls, estimates sent, and meetings. You can use something as simple as Microsoft Outlook, which has client relationship management (CRM) functions. You can also use software with more robust CRM capabilities such as ACT! Or Goldmine. If you don't need to have the latest version of these, look on the Ebay for great deals on an earlier release of the software.
Action Item: Take a look at your current system for collecting names and following up with prospects and customers? How do you store your contact data? What actions will you take in the next three months to improve these aspects of your marketing?
Copyright 2006 Marketing Maven
Wendy Maynard, your friendly Marketing Maven, publishes REMARKABLE MARKETING, a weekly marketing ezine for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more fun, subscribe at http://www.gomarketingmaven.com/ezine.html