I had a bunch of posts in this thread:http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...ustomer-2.html and scattered throughout different threads that I thought would be worth putting into one place.
How to find High Value clients
It's really not that hard. There are multiple ways to get this information. For me I typically use InfoUsa and just buy a list. I can choose almost anything. For instance a list I pulled yesterday found phone numbers and email addresses of companies in a certain niche that have between 10-19 employees and had sales between 1-5 million, and had been in business over 10 years and found 1,240 of those leads. It costs me $458 for that list. But these are my IDEAL clients. It comes with the following information:
Line of business (SIC Code)
Delivery point bar code
Credit rating score
Number of PCs
Yellow Page ad size
If you don't want to pay for a list, then you can choose to use Reference USA which you can find in any major library. You can find most of this information for free there. It's an awesome resource.
You can also find quite a bit of information on industries by getting the RMA book. The RMA(Risk Management Association) puts out a yearly book called the Annual Statement Studies. You can find out broad strokes about the industry by looking at them by SIC code. You can find out generally speaking how much income each company makes and from that come up with rules of thumb. It's interesting when you talk to a business owner and you ask an innocuous question like how many employees do you have? They give that information quite readily- 12. And you tell them so you probably gross Between $900k and $1.4k and you most likely take home between $50k and $200k. Because you end up with these rules of thumbs of an average employee in these industries bring in between $80-110k of revenue, and the business makes between 5-15% profit.
You can also get these numbers pretty easily by getting on the buyers lists for business brokers. You can call up a business broker and say I want to buy a kitchen remodeling business anywhere in the Northeast, can you send me some listings, and they will send you a ton of information and you can find out about businesses in the industry pretty easily. You will be able to compile your own data of revenue vs employees vs profit.
And finally you can just call businesses in the industry and make a survey. Some will tell you, some won't. You can ballpark it. "John thanks for taking my call we just have a quick survey for the industry if you don't mind. How many employees do you have? 10? Very good. So that means you're probably right around $1M gross revenue, is that about right? Oh really you're doing $1.5M, that's awesome. So for companies in your industry that make around $1.5M they make between $75k and $300k in net profit. Would you classify yourself as less than $100k between $100-150k, $150k-200k or $200k or more?" Now some will answers others won't. But you'll get enough to know what to expect.
One thing I forgot to mention is that InfoUsa lists a general number of advertising spend. You need to target companies that are already spending money on advertising and marketing. Ideally I'd market to companies in the $2-10M revenue range that spend at least $25k a year in marketing/advertising.
Given how easy it is to find this information. There is no chance that I'm going to ever target a company that doesn't meet *MY* criteria.
How to Market to These Companies
I spent a lot of time and effort(and money) developing my own funnel.
Step 1: Identify prospects. Do your research. This company was on the bottom end of the companies I like to work with. I like companies with 10+ employees doing over a million a year in sales.
Then basically once I have the "best" in my vertical. I'm doing everything I can to contact them. Chances are this wasn't their first "touch", nor would it be my last touch if they didn't buy. I might have even had a phone conversation with them before. My approach and attitude is they are going to do business with me eventually, it's just a matter of when that happens.
Part of it is positioning as well. I force them into my funnel. They have to talk to my assistants and schedule time with me. I generally make it fairly difficult to get an appointment with me. I'm in the position of power even if I've been marketing to them. I hold the keys to tens of thousands of dollars a month, and either they will get it, or one of their competitors will.
I'm basically dripping them with case studies. And if the first business owner who calls them doesn't get them to call, will the 15th?
Typically though I found the endorsed mailing and the phone call to be my most effective marketing technique. There was very little resistance. They could talk shop for ever. And when they basically hear from one of their "us'ns" to use a Dan Kennedy term that they made about 5x the cash as they did before, and it was all done for them, they just had to do the "widgeting" and leave the marketing to my team, they were pretty darn compelled to call and give it a "whirl". I wasn't selling SEO or PPC I was selling cash.
So my funnel looked something like this:
1. Identify targets.
2. Send Fed ex package sales letter
3. Telemarketer tries to schedule phone appointment
4. Send endorsed letter.
5. Have endorsed phone call
6. Schedule Phone appointment
7. Drip case studies
8. About once a month have a telemarketer call and schedule phone consultation.
9. Don't stop until they beg you to stop or do business with you.
I found the endorsed connections amazingly effective. It's about the easiest type of sale you can make. But I believe every type of sale is most effective when it's part of a campaign to get your ideal customers.
I've mailed prepaid phones, DVD players with a personalized DVD ready to play. I've done about everything to get my ideal client.
|How to sell them, get them to be interested in your services?|
I'll tell you though, the magic is when in every fiber of your being you focus on your clients, you focus on their happiness, their success, their growth, it's like magic. Now with that said, you always have to demand your own value as well. But it's easier to ask for your own value when you have so massively valued them by listening, and caring. It's classic Jay Abraham and the Strategy of Preeminence. And everyone of us should be embracing it.
Do you see the difference? Try it right now. Go talk to your partner or best friend. And really, really focus on them. Focus on what they are saying. Focus on how you can make them feel fulfilled, loved, appreciated, needed, happy, whatever it is they desire. Don't think about yourself for a moment. You need that level of commitment to your clients. People in general are fantastic BS detectors. They get it when you're not being genuine and when you care more about your agenda than theirs.
I tell you that I typically don't go into a business field blind. I take the time to understand it. I take the time to learn their language. Their worries, their fears, their concerns, how the marketplace works, etc. I'm kind of neurotic about researching any field I'm doing business with. I have some fantastic researchers on oDesk who are constantly doing my work of finding these things out. Because I've done my homework, I know that what I'm offering is going to appeal to 90% of the business owners that I talk to. I know they are in a position to buy because I did my homework first and researched their company before I started marketing to them.
And here is the real key my friend. When I understand them, when I care about them, when I understand them. AND I have built a platform in which they can have an abundance of happiness, wealth and prosperity. With complete integrity I can "sell" them what I have to offer because I care about them, and I know they are hundreds of times better off doing business with me than without me. If they don't do business with me, that's a failure on my part. It's not being pushy it's about having the integrity to only offer what's best for your clients and being willing to do the hard work to help them achieve what they need and want.
So the keys are:
1. Right Market(do your research first)
2. Right Approach(outwardly focused not results focused)
3. Right Product(Only offer what causes them to have massive success)
4. Right Commitment(Commit to always put your clients first, deliver what you promise)
|Yes, that is my question too. My experience with cold calling is you get some underling who has instructions to get rid of sales people. How you get through to a decision maker, I don't know.|
It's all about the campaign. If you're persistent enough, and if you have complete integrity in all that you do and say that what you offer is going to be of more benefit to them than it is to you, you can talk to almost anyone you want to.
How to Service Them
This part is super important, you can't forget this part. As it doesn't matter if you've found the right clients, marketed to them perfectly, if you can't provide the service you've provided then you are nothing more than a scam artist, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
I personally like the hybrid Marketing PR model of Paul Roetzer, and further the whole Inbound marketing philosophy. I would read these books.
Amazon.com: The Marketing Agency Blueprint: The... Amazon.com: The Marketing Performance Blueprint:... Amazon.com: Inbound Marketing, Revised and...
I think the essential skills for a marketing consultant include:
PPC- Facebook, Google, MSN
Responsive Web Design
Let's be honest, that's a ton of stuff to learn. And that's just the servicing of the clients. But you should have at the very minimum funnel creation and conversion optimization, as all of the rest of it is useless without being able to make your campaigns profitable. I used to buy everything that came out back when I was running my business. I had custom bookshelves in our office with over 1,000 books, hundreds of courses on DVD/CD/Tape. We attended workshops everywhere. I like Brian Tracy's concept of waking up half an hour early every day to read good books. It's one to adopt for sure.
You should be hungry, no desperate to learn more so you can help your customers. You should be more motivated to find ways to make them money. The more money you make them, the happier they are, the longer they stay, the more people they refer, and the more money you make. Just a few hundred dollars on Amazon and you can have all the education you need to provide excellent service.
And lastly, please don't experiment on clients websites with gray/black hat SEO. It's better to do nothing than to experiment and cause their business irreparable harm.
How to Make More Money and Systemization
I'm documenting this for a company I own a stake in as I restructure their sales and marketing efforts. I thought it might be interesting for you all to see it. It's the basis of how I got my offline biz really big. It's basically all the different ways I used grids in the business to give virtual representations of processes in the business, and how I used it to make a ton of money. Whether you're doing this solo or you have 5-10 employees this is what it looks like to run a business through a system.
The first thing I did was use some old Barry Farber techniques. We had a huge wall that consisted of a large grid of our sales process. A rough representation is something like this:
Then we took the companies as they went through the funnel, and wrote their information on biz cards. We'd color code the card based upon the expected contract size. Big contracts would be green, smaller would be red, etc. We also color coded referrals in one corner so we know if it was a warm lead. We filled out their information more or less like this:
Basically it's a very easy way to see where prospects are in the pipeline. As a management tool, we could see where people were having trouble. And you could see in advance when someone wasn't going to have enough business this month or if they were going to be swamped. You start to see the metrics. For instance you know that you have to have 23 contacts in the tail end of the marketing funnel, to get 8 phone presentations to get 6 proposal discussions to sign 2 contracts. Or something like that. You define your own stages, and figure out where you need more contacts. It helps you to keep the business pumping when you keep the pipeline full.
As a management tool as well you can find holes. For instance I found that one day proposals and proposals that took over five days to prepare were much less effective than a proposal created in two days. I wouldn't have known that if we weren't tracking it on these small business cards. I found a salesperson who wasn't that good on the phone but was almost twice as good on the final proposal and getting a check. So his funnel became really flat early on, and then stayed flat. We were able to use him where his strength was, in closing the deal, and he never had to deal with clients early on in the process.
As a team it was great to see this activity. We did it during morning scrums. So that they got the benefit of being in front of the entire group when they finished that activity. Everyone who moved a client to the contract closed part of the wall got a standing ovation. It was the highlight of our day.
Even if it's just you, use this on a bulletin board and see if it doesn't transform your business.
This next stuff comes from Peter Thomson, a very good business growth expert. We used grids to increase customer value. First off, how many of you are selling everything you create to every one of your clients? In this field the things we can offer is almost limitless. There are all kinds of things we can offer our clients. So we use a matrix called the told/sold matrix, and it looks something like this:
Basically you take each of your clients and you make sure you offer/tell them about the other solutions you offer. The red is for told, the green is for sold. The goal is to have the entire matrix filled with red, and hopefully doing well with green as well. If you built a website, have you told them about your ability to do video creation? What you'll find is that the more you offer, the more your clients will buy from you. Stop spending so much time looking for new customers, instead spend your time offering services to the clients you already have, even if you have to do a strategic alliance with another company that offers these services. Once I remembered that I should be doing this, we basically doubled our sales in about 3 months of continuously going to past customers and educating them on everything we offer.
It's also really good at finding things that meld well together so you can perhaps put them in a bundle and sell them at closing. If people always buy these two services together, then why not offer them as an upsell at closing, or as part of a bundle. It was good as well once you get the grid full to brainstorm to see what else you can offer through new development or through a strategic alliance.
Next, another Peter Thomson strategy. The referral matrix.
Basically it's again a two part matrix. Our expectation is that we're going to get at a minimum 10 referrals from each client over time. Not just a name and a phone number, but calling them up and introducing us so they are expecting our call. This is a great warm lead. We put down when we close the deal, and we always follow up with the originating client and let them know what happened, while we ask for new referrals. This system of referrals really skyrocketed our sales as well. We were able to keep our funnel fairly full, and close a fair amount of these referrals.
Here's another Peter Thomson idea. The company fit. Basically the premise is the more we know each other as a company, the more loyal as a client you'll be. If it's just me who knows Tommy at ABC company, then if I leave what relationship do we have. We try over the first six months of our relationship to have our company work so closely with their company that they know most of our staff and are comfortable with them. This file goes in the client folder and gets updated fairly regularly. We had metrics in place to enforce a fit of all clients within 90 days. We found that companies that had at least 10 connections to us were much less likely to leave for greener pastures.
That one is more for when you're a little larger. But still something to keep in mind if you take on a handful of staff. Understand what happens when you combine all three things together.
1. You are communicating with them, and telling them about all of your services. Instead of buying one thing from you, they might be using 2-10 different services you offer.
2. They are on the line as a referral source. They've given you 10+ referrals, they've gotten feedback about how happy their referrals are. It's harder to leave when you've put yourself on the line like that.
3. Their entire company is on good terms with your company. It's not just one person turning their back on one person. It's the 10-20 different relationships that your company has with their company.
Combine all three of these and you've got a killer recipe for client retention(and profitability).
I don't remember where I got this from, but it is our monthly task wall. Everyone is responsible for having a Top 3 task list for the day. This should be achievable goals that will advance the business, and is the most profitable thing for the business that day. We review the tasks in the morning scrum. And you get a color coded box when you complete your top 3 tasks the day before. As long as you have 90% green you get a monthly bonus. This is all about making people accountable to their tasks. And made us a lot more productive as a team. You have to have a pretty good handle of how to put tasks on the list that are achievable, but will create the most impact. Sometimes one of the tasks may be as simple as get a hold of Mr. Smith. If getting a hold of Mr. Smith could lead to a $100k a year contract, you can bet that's going on the top of a task list.
And lastly all tasks and projects we worked on had a project management worksheet. Just in excel basically. It looked something like this:
The point is we want to know at all times where the project is, and what the deliverable times are. We sculpted our client engagement for maximum client satisfaction. Take a look at Paddy Lunds material. We didn't have customers, we created raving fans. We were very clear in communicating our expectations for ourselves and our client. We'd have bonuses for number of contracts closed ontime. It all feeds upon itself. More clients, buying more products, more often and referring new clients.
Anyway, we're putting this into place into a small company I bought a stake in. It's all new to them, so I thought I'd share this here in the hopes that it can help you out too. The more what you do is systematized the greater value it will bring to you as an ongoing concern, and the more value it will have when you sell it. I know it's not very high tech, but it has a better effect not being on a website. When anyone can step into the room and in 2 seconds get a feel for how we're doing, I don't know of any computer system that can do that.
This is why I don't understand the prevalence of trying to figure out new models to get clients. There's a ton more money in cultivating the clients you already have. By getting them to buy more, more often, and refer more. You only need a handful of clients to make all of the money you want/need to make.
Here's a recap:
1. Build a wall/bulletin board. Make vertical lines separating your steps in your sales funnel. Track the businesses as they flow through the funnel by writing their information on the back of a business card.
2. Build a told/sold matrix for your customers. Make sure you list out everything you offer and everything you can offer, and tell all your customers you offer these services, and let them buy.
3. Build a referral matrix. Expect that every customer is going to give you at least 10 fantastic referrals. Communicate that to them all the time. Give them feedback on the wins and losses of what you attempted to sell.
4. Build a contact matrix. Make sure as many of the people in your company know the people in their company.
5. Build a Task matrix. Make everyone put down their top 3 tasks, and then note who completes their tasks and who doesn't.
6. Make a system of every process you do in the business. Document the system and try to steamline. Keep track of your deadlines, and the implications of meeting or not meeting them.
Anyway, hope this helps.
Lastly, the most important thing to keeping your clients happy is steady communication. I found that about 10 days is the magic number between personal contacts. As long as I'm communicating within that time frame, giving them meaningful work that has been accomplished, laying out future plans, that clients stay happy. It takes the industry average of 4 months retention and stretches it to years. As long as you stay client focused(ie I am absolutely devoted to their success above anything else), and communicate regularly, you can keep clients happy much longer.