These days, it seems that small businesses and corporations alike are focusing a lot of their marketing efforts on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Although it’s important to continuously evolve your company’s marketing tactics so that they are in line with today’s trends, don’t forget to continue to incorporate some of the more tried and true marketing techniques in your 2011 advertising plans. Here are five marketing tricks that will never go out of style…
Acknowledging that a potential customer is a person, and not just another potential sale is a crucial marketing technique that many salespeople forget in this technology-driven world. Sure, blasting out generalized tweets can help with branding, but imagine how much more effective a hand-written note with a tailored message would be. In the age of electronic automation, a handwritten thank-you note makes a huge impression on a potential customer because it’s out of the ordinary. Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch to your marketing efforts. When done right, the ROI is always much more worthwhile.
Provide Incentives for Referrals
As a cash flow consultant who undoubtedly participates in various factoring referral programs, I’m sure that you understand how motivating it can be to know that there’s a little something extra in it for you when you refer a deal to a funder. Why not pay it forward? Imagine what kind of business you could obtain if you passed some of those incentives onto people who referred their factoring prospects onto you. Whether it’s a cut of your commissions, a small gift or a free lunch, people are more willing to send referrals when there’s “something in it for them.”
Give Away Something for Free
Plain and simple – When you help someone, it creates a natural desire for them to return the favor. Oddly enough, this ‘old school’ marketing technique will work better for you if you are open to using a ‘new school’ tactic. For example, take the time to set up Google Alerts for your clients so you can help stay on top of pertinent industry news they might find resourceful. Then when news articles and other relevant information comes through your email inbox or RSS feed reader, check them for quality and forward them onto the customer. Passing along credible information to your prospects and current clients will help build trust and keep your cash flow services top of mind.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
If the 80/20 rule is true – that 80% of your cash flow company’s business comes from 20% of your existing client base – then it’s important for you to use this old trick to your advantage. Take the time to talk to you existing clients and look over your year-to-year records to help you identify what’s working and what’s not. After all, your current clients already gave you their business once…What’s to say they won’t pick up the phone and call when they have new business?
Network in Person
Don’t be afraid to tell friends, family and colleagues about your cash flow services. You never know, they may be talking to your next big prospect later that day! Sure, you can accomplish this by posting about your services on Facebook or LinkedIn, but real face-to-face conversations leave a more lasting impression. Think about how much easier it is to connect in-person. When you’re sitting across from someone, you can react to verbal and non-verbal feedback cues Whereas, posting something online could go completely unnoticed.
Although it’s easy to get caught up in the social media craze when it comes to advertising your cash flow expertise and seeking out new prospects, remember that there are still plenty of ‘old school’ marketing techniques that continue to stand the test of time. Make sure that you incorporate a combination of both new tricks and old tricks to ensure that you’re covering all of your advertising bases.
**Reprinted from the February 2011 electronic issue of Cash Flow Exclusive.