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Is your business being run by default, or are you “flying by the seat of your pants”. A few thoughts are submitted for consideration as you assess where you are and where you want to be. Great plans, ideas or dreams will still be just what they are now – immaterial – unless definitive steps are taken, and action on your part gives them a framework of reality. So whether business this year has been up, down, or about the same – it’s not so much a matter of where you are now, but what you do from here that will impact where you’ll be a year from now.
$ Confusing quantity with quality. Do you want 20% of 100 quality oriented prospects calling or 2% of 1,000 coupon clipping price shoppers?
$ Listening to the advice of people in shirts and ties making their living money SELLING advertising rather than some not so formal (or perhaps with too strong a personality) individual making lots of money WITH their marketing strategies. Advertising and marketing aren’t synonyms. Buying thousands of dollars in local phone book ads may ruin your bottom line.
"One of the interesting facts about the residential carpet cleaning industry is that although more than 90 percent of the technicians in the field cleaning are men, more than 90 percent of the residential clients they are dealing with directly are women.” Just as that statement is true in the carpet cleaning business, it is also true in the blind and drapery cleaning business. So what are important things to remember?
Here’s a smattering of tips from a few different sources. Nothing this is particularly fancy, expensive or revolutionary, however if IMPLIMENTED they will make a positive difference in your business.
Revive Old Leads: Go through that stack of prospect cards and old contacts that didn’t result in business earlier. There may be some potential business in the pile as situations and needs change. It takes patience and multiple contacts to reach the right person in some commercial accounts. Doing a small $153 estimate for the CEO of an organization whose business you've tried to get for years could potentially have you one job away from opening a relationship worth literally thousands of dollars. Drop a postcard or special offer letter to the people that have a certain product and have contacted you for prices or estimates.
Cultivate Your Clients: Treat your clients well. Nourish the relationship with them with special promotions or in ways that let them know you value their business. If you don’t maintain contact with them, you may loose them to someone who shows interest in them. Even if you did business with them recently, they have neighbors, friends or family to whom they may refer you. As Spring Cleaning season gets started, your firm needs to be the one with “top of the mind” awareness.
Focus on Recession Proof Clients: Coupon clipping price shoppers will run for the next deal and become more reticent to do business with you when pennies are tight. The affluent client is not transacting business with you because of low price point (in fact they may avoid you if you use low price advertising) and they are still spending money to take care of what they have.
Cultivate Your Network: While belonging to a referral group can be good for your business, it’s only good if it generates leads for your business. Develop your own referral network of businesses with whom your services are a good fit. Painters, janitorial companies, carpet cleaners, property maintenance firms, insurance claims agents and independent decorators are all companies that may refer blind cleaning services. Give them a reason to do so with either a direct referral program, referring clients to them or doing joint ventures to promote your services. People are more likely to do business with a company recommended to them by a vendor they already trust.