If There is a Magic Key to Marketing, THIS is it

    September 5, 2003

We’re all looking for a magic key to marketing, something that will finally take the frustration out of failed attempts, unreturned phone calls and prospective clients that don’t seem to “get it”.

I believe we are also looking for more depth, meaning and significance in our lives. Something more than the 10-second sound bites and 30-second commercials that leave us feeling saturated, yet somehow hollow at the same time.

So what does a Magic Key to marketing and more meaningful client relationships have in common?

I’m convinced that a sense of connection, even in the business contacts we make, is what gives us deep, resounding satisfaction about how we spend our time and who we spend it with. And yes, I believe (or rather, I know) that a sense of connection and a sense of relationship with our clients bring us more business.

What I am about to share with you is not wild, exciting, or even amazing – but the results are, and more!

The magic key to flooding your business with as many new customers as you want is consistency. Now please stay with me on this. Remember, I said it wasn’t glamorous, but the results will thrill you every week you are in business.

Consistency simply means cycling through specific ways to create and deepen your relationships with your clients/prospective clients. Sure, you can send out the occasional article, call a prospective client back when you get the time, or hand out business cards at a networking meeting. But that is not consistency. It’s just potshot marketing, and the results you get will be sporadic at best.

Consistency is built on understanding what keeps your client up at night. What is the “rock in their shoe”? What are they trying to accomplish and can’t seem to make much progress on? With that information, you can easily stay in touch, offer something of value and create a real working relationship that pays off for both of you.

Here are some simple, low or no-cost, creative ways to consistently stay in touch with your clients and prospective clients:

* Send an article you found that applies to their business. Include a cover letter telling them why you thought of them when you saw the article.

* Send an article you’ve written about a specific problem they are experiencing. Keep it short (400-600 words is fine), with bold headlines and your contact information at the bottom. Pick a topic that profiles a problem/solution situation that matches your expertise. Include a live client example to make it even more powerful.

* Send a thank you note for any kind of referral, recommendation, tip or new business you receive from a client. Hand written thank you notes are worth a zillion times their weight in gold!

* Produce a newsletter, or purchase a pre-made newsletter for your industry. These are increasingly easy to find on the Internet. You can also purchase articles for as little as $15.00 (IdeaMarketers is a fabulous resource for articles of all subjects).

* Offer to give a free, or low cost, 45-minute “lunch-n-learn” presentation for their employees. Choose a topic that matches their interest and your expertise.

* Call and ask for a resource referral you need for another client’s project. Your request goes something like this, “I’m working on a project for xyz company. I’m helping them reduce/improve/increase blah, blah, blah. I need a resource for abc and immediately thought of you. Is there someone you can recommend?”

* Ask your favorite client if they can recommend a non-profit organization that needs some volunteer help.

* Send a birthday card.

* Send a follow-up survey after your project is complete. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If appropriate, include a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks as a thank you for their time.

* Send a note with a link to a website that offers useful information to your client/prospective client.

Imagine being in the shoes of your client/prospective client. Would you appreciate receiving an article, note, thank you card or phone call? Of course you would! This is just a starter list. Use it, or create your own ways to be consistent.

Remember the saying “Out of sight, out of mind.”? If that is true, then I am offering a new saying – “Consistency keeps you in mind at the right time.”

Love what you do but wish marketing would just go away? Kendall
SummerHawk, creator of Website Wisdom, the Marketing Makeover
Kit, and HorseWise Brilliance Unbridled coaching program,
specializes in creating fresh, innovative, client capturing
programs for your business. Visit
http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com for
more articles and free Weekly Marketing Wisdom.