You may have heard it before, but there are only four ways to organically grow a business:
- Get more (good) clients.
- Get your clients to buy more. (More frequent or larger purchases)
- Charge more for your services.
- Cut the cost of operations.
In the next series of four blogs, I’ll look at how marketing is an essential part of each of those ways to grow.
The first way to grow your business: Get more [good] clients.
When revenue growth is a goal, the expectation is typically “more sales”. But if they aren’t the right kind of sale, “more sales” can actually work against your bottom line. The key is to find client prospects that both fit your business model and are profitable.
How to find the good ones.
Analyze your existing customer database. What makes your BEST customers so good? How would you recognize another one like them? Use those qualities to search for prospects that meet the profile and go after them specifically. It’s not about talking to thousands of prospects, its about talking to a hundred great ones.
Look at what you’re selling. Has it changed? Which customers are embracing the new offerings? Even if they aren’t currently your largest or most profitable customers, they may point to your best customers in the future.
Is your business evolving? Does your customer profile need to change to meet the anticipated new you? Envision your ideal future customer and look for ways to recognize them. Dive deeper than the obvious indicators like industry, size and geography to search for more subtle (and telling) markers such as corporate structure, industry involvement, community engagement, and brand reputation.
How marketing can help
Once you’ve identified the ideal client prospect, use direct marketing to reach out to them. Targeted marketing techniques exist in all media—print, web, email and even social media—so don’t limit yourself to one method. Customize and personalize the content as much as possible, using the language and syntax your prospect relates to.
Remember to build a number of touch points into your marketing program. It can take several attempts (research shows a minimum of nine!) to gain the attention of a new prospect. And don’t forget to follow up personally. Marketing can open doors, but the salesperson will need to walk through it.
We’ve all had clients that either suck the life out of us or cost way more than we make. The key to growth is to identify and acquire the clients that fit your business and your revenue model.