New month… new year… new decade! Pretty exciting! But are you starting 2020 with the same ol’ marketing & sales activities? If so, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit. Below are 20 marketing & sales ideas to help you enhance your business development efforts in 2020. In no particular order…
- 1. If it’s been more than a couple of years, it’s time to spruce up your website. Block off some time and read through it with a critical eye. Think about design, too. In addition, get a couple of your clients to look through it and give you their recommendations.
- 2. Update your LinkedIn profile (and your company’s, too). Complete all the key sections, make sure you’ve got a relatively recent ‘business’ photo (nix the party pics!) and add a benefits-driven description (right under your name).
- 3. Start blogging… and commit to writing at least one per month. Once you hit that consistently, increase your frequency. And don’t write about what you want to write about… write about what will interest your clients and prospects.
- 4. Posting to LinkedIn and Twitter? Great. Now increase your social exposure by publishing that same post multiple times. Try a posting routine something like this… Monday morning, Thursday afternoon and one day next week at lunchtime.
- 5. Sending out a monthly eNewsletter? If not, now’s the time to start. And if you are, start doing some A/B testing of the Subject Line to continually improve your Open Rate. Open Rate is critical… your email has no value if no one reads it.
- 6. Block off a little time every month to reach out to former clients & prospects and see if there’s an opportunity to reconnect and rekindle! Look through your database… you’ve likely got hundreds of ‘old’ contacts.
- 7. Since repeat clients are closely tied to the quality of your work, start a client satisfaction survey program. And my favorite post-project survey question… “If we could have done just one thing that would have improved your experience with us… what would that have been?”
- 8. Start a simple marketing & sales measurement program. At least monthly, monitor and record website activity, social media engagement, email metrics, sales activity, revenue by source and your sales pipeline.
- 9. Stay on top of your business environment… set up Google Alerts for your clients, key prospects, competitors and the industries/markets you service. Hint: This is also a good way to curate content to share on social media.
- 10. Is it difficult finding the time to focus on marketing & sales? Try this… start off every morning over your first cup of coffee working only on those kinds of things… before the craziness of the day sets in. For those 20-30 minutes, don’t allow yourself to do anything else.
- 11. This one is simple, but it isn’t easy… find your firm’s true POD – point of differentiation – and make it the “pointy end of your marketing spear.” Note: “We do good work and we have good people” are not PODs!
- 12. Focus on “lead gen” in 2020. What marketing & sales activities can you employ to capture the contact information from prospective buyers? Then once you capture it… follow-up, follow-up, follow-up!
- 13. If you don’t have a marketing & sales plan (and even if you do), create a single, visual calendar with all activities shown… then post it on your wall. Something like this ensures that nothing will fall through the cracks.
- 14. Your clients are your best prospects (sounds odd… but it’s true!). Always be looking for opportunities to upsell (more/bigger) or cross-sell (complementary) your services.
- 15. Find an accountabil-i-buddy! That is, someone who will hold you accountable for consistent efforts to grow your firm. And they can use your sales pipeline to help do that.
- 16. Never stop learning. There are so many free resources available – blog posts, webinars, newsletter subscriptions, etc. – that there is no reason for your marketing & sales skillset not to continually improve. Start with the 400+ articles on our blog: www.GetTheCompetitiveAdvantage.com
- 17. Start systematically acquiring testimonials from clients. Do it through your client satisfaction surveys (#7 above) and verbally. That is, anytime a client compliments you about your project work, immediately respond with, “Thank you very much. Can I quote you on that?” They’ll almost always say, “yes.”
- 18. Like your website, is it time to update your capabilities presentation deck? To start, get rid of all the “About Us” slides and focus on the problems that you solve for your clients.
- 19. Make a note on your calendar to visit your key competitors’ websites every quarter… keep an eye out for their hiring of new positions, opening new offices or adding new products & services.
- 20. Find a new conference this year and go as an attendee. See if it attracts the kind of firms/contacts that you’d want to do business with. And if so, go back as an exhibitor next year.
I’ve said this before and I’ll continue saying it: “If you keep doin’ what you’re doin’… you’ll keep gettin’ what you’re gettin’!” And that applies perfectly to the results of your marketing & sales efforts. I hope some of the ideas above will help.
Best of luck in 2020!