Was it 2007 or 2008 that things started to go pear shape?
Either way, we have no choice but to crack on and ignore the economic climate or slowly fade away as so many brokers have sadly done over the last few years.
It is times like these that we need to keep looking at ways to continue to fight the recession and looking at ways to bring in more business with minimum cost.
It is not a time to drastically cut back on marketing activity; it is time to utilise the most cost effective option.
Here are a few ideas that may worth considering:
1) Partner with other businesses
Proactively creating strategic partnerships is a great way to generate new leads and build long-term momentum. The trick is to do it in ways that are win-win and simple for all parties.
The number one rule is: only seek marketing partnerships with organisations that you would have no problem referring your best customer too.
2) Reactivate past customers
“Where did I put that customer anyway? I know they are around here somewhere.” Sad but true; sometimes we don’t communicate with current customers unless they call to say they are moving.
By the time they have decided to go somewhere else, because maybe you haven’t kept in touch, it is too late.
Reach out to lapsed customers with a smoking hot deal, apologise for not keeping in touch regularly and promise to do regular updates from now on, because with this economic environment they need to know what is likely to affect any financial decisions they may be looking at in the future.
3) Get out from behind the computer
It is very tempting to concentrate on social media and rely on emailing to get your messages out there. Whilst this isn’t a bad thing, sometimes you need to go out and shake some hands.
Make it a point to go to several industry conferences every year. Join a local networking group connected to the industry or simply local people in business/chamber groups and go to events where you can make connections with prospects and partners.
Join a referral group such as BNI and participate. Go visit your customers and ask for referrals.
4) Speak at events, hold workshops
Marketing is essentially a trust building game. Few things build trust more efficiently than getting in front of a group of potential customers and sharing your expertise in an educational setting.
Propose to conduct a workshop for your bank, accounting firm, law firm and insurance firm. Check local libraries, chambers, and associations for opportunities.
5) Fix your follow-up
Lead generation and conversion is not a one shot deal. By automating your multiple follow-up messages, scheduling routine marketing touches and sending the occasional hand written thank you note, you can stay top of mind when the buying and referral decisions are made.
The longer the sales cycle the better your follow-up needs to be. Let’s face it – the sales cycle is pretty long right now given the inactivity in the mortgage market.
6) Repackage your products and services with offers to act
Find simple ways to relaunch yourself, your people, your products, your services and your packaging to give yourself a new start in your market.
You don’t need to start from scratch – look for innovative ways to repackage, re-price, re-deliver, re-guarantee and re-communicate what you do. Make them an offer they can’t refuse and make it so bold they must re-hear you.
7) Fix the marketing gaps
In every way, shape, and form that your business comes into contact with your prospects and customers, it is performing a marketing function – good or bad.
You must look at all of your customer touch points and turn them into positive, brand-building opportunities. Tear down the lead generation touches, sales touches, service touches, delivery touches, follow-up touches, transaction touches, and billing touches and make sure that every single one of them is a performing a killer marketing function for your business.
Maybe by now you’ve surmised that all of the items above are good for business, no matter the economy, it is just that sometimes we all need a fix or two to get re-energised.
Sally Laker is managing director at Next Intelligence