Get Business Now: Winning Marketing Strategies

    September 24, 2003

Not Getting the Clients You Want? There is a good chance it is not the services or products you offer that is the problem. While you may be an expert in most aspects of your business, many service professionals and small business owners don’t do the right things to market their products and services.

You are probably spending time and money on advertising, mailings, sales calls and presentations to prospects. But going through the motions of marketing doesn’t guarantee results. More often than not, potential clients aren’t fully aware of the range of your products and services and don’t think of your company even when they have a genuine need, despite all your efforts. You could pour more time and money into individual marketing tactics and achieve only an incremental amount of growth. Or you could use these proven marketing strategies to attract clients and grow your business.

The approach I help clients apply to build their businesses is based on five strategies of successful marketing and are the key elements of the ValueNet Marketing solution. Apply these strategies to attract the clients you want.

1. Market Solutions
2. Target Your Market
3. Demonstrate Value
4. Build Your Network
5. Stay in Touch

1. Market Solutions Most service professionals focus their marketing on their expertise, their approach and the products and services they offer. While competence is a key to doing the work, most clients’ primary concern is getting problems solved and having their spoken and unspoken needs met. Instead of marketing your credentials, your processes and methodology, market your knowledge and the solutions you offer.

Use every resource available to you, from web research to your network to identify the common problems your clients experience. Use every opportunity, phone call, every contact to deepen this understanding. Instead of focusing on your services and methodology, use questions to understand clients’ specific needs. Lead with an identification of clients’ problems and follow with a focus on the solutions you provide.

Marketing is about making connections, specifically between a client’s unmet need and the solutions you provide. The best way to impress clients is to show them you understand the problems they are experiencing. If you want to leverage your credentials, mention past clients when you provide examples of how you solved similar problems.

2. Target Your Market Are you getting a positive response to your marketing efforts? If not, then you may not have targeted your market and their specific needs and interests precisely enough. Independent professionals or small business owners often try to do the impossible and be everything to everybody. Instead define your niche market and get the attention of this group.

3. Demonstrate Value Actions speak louder than words. If you want clients to be aware of the value of your products or services, you will need to give them a test drive. Open the door with newsletters, workshops, a free session or articles found on your web site. Over time demonstrating the value you provide will convince prospective clients of your ability to solve their problems and help position you as a trusted advisor.

4. Build Your Network The objective is to know who is interested in your products and services. Networking is a good idea because people like to buy products from people they know and trust. If they’ve met you or been referred to you they are more likely to trust you.

Depending on the business you are in, you can build your network of prospects through conventional networking or through your web site and email. Either way the more qualified prospects you have in your network the better.

5. Stay in Touch Memories are short. Once we hit middle age most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner two days ago, much less the host of services various firms provide. In most cases its safe to assume your target market has forgotten about the range of solutions you offer, if they remember you at all.

Stay in touch with your target market on a monthly or, at a minimum quarterly basis. When you contact people be clear about the action you want prospective, existing and past clients to take.

ValueNet Marketing The foundation of the approach I use with clients is The ValueNet Marketing Solution. The focus is on giving value and building a network of clients and prospective clients. Put these together effectively using the five marketing strategies detailed above and you’ll be ahead of the competition.

Questions to Answer

1. What marketing strategy will help you develop a steady stream of clients?

2. What marketing tactics can you use in concert to implement your strategy?

3. Which individual marketing vehicles should you use and when? Where to start?

I’ve been coaching and consulting for over two decades, helping senior managers and independent professionals learn the concepts and skills they need to grow their businesses. To help you market your business I’ve written workbooks and manuals and provide one-on-one coaching. See below for a brief description of each.

2005 C In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals,
small business owners and marketing professionals attract
more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the
F.ree Marketing Plan eBook, ‘7 Steps to get more clients
and grow your business’ at