Marketing Solutions

by admin / 22 May 2013 / No Comments

This is easier said than done of course, but do what you know well, do it well and with gusto! Start with a good hard look at your client base. Client relationships need to be rock solid in any economy, but in uncertain times you should realize that every one of your clients is on your competitor's hit list of "prospects."

Make a list of clients and and critically and honestly categorize them as A) Unshakable; B) Persuadable (for the right price) and C) Flighty.

If you have clients in column A, you should pat your team on the back and keep doing the same hard work you've done to get those customers into that column. However, don't let up on giving them the best relationship-based service you can. A show of appreciation can go a long way to enlighten them to how much you've appreciated past business and your renewed dedication to helping them achieve their goals.

Now look at the clients in your B column. You've laid good groundwork here but need to look at what it will take to move them up to the A list. Begin by positioning yourself as an outside  consultant looking to bring fresh ieas and added value to their company.

  • Set aside time for a client needs assessment to examine what is new, changing or troublesome in the client's current operation.
  • Look to see how you can internally change your service to better suit them individually. Team up corresponding personalities to work directly with the client showing them they've got your full attention.
  • Understand your client's goals and identify strategies that find added value. Involve them in your brainstorming process to allow for buy-in and a strong cohesive plan.
  • Work to create proactive services and a way to educate the firm and its employees on how best to implement them and offer your services to help reach them.
  • Look at your current contacts and make needed introductions to THEIR potential clients or create mingling opportunities via a golf outing, happy hour or holiday social. Be the key that helps them unlock the door to their next big project.
  • Help get a client published by submitting an article or newsworthy piece about one of their recently completed projects.

Whatever your strategy, do the legwork and brainstorm ways to improve their bottom line. Helping them to succeed will make them an appreciative client.

Clients in the C category need extra inspection to cut the wheat from the chaff. Determine which ar the "problem clients" that (although you may have done work with them for years) have consistently taken more time and energy than is profitable to the company. It is better to keep a C client that has been lost in the shuffle due to overage of work, but represents a good potential revenue generator than to try to maintain a client that will hinder you from spending required time on keeping the clients you really need.

Most of all, don't panic and start running around in 20 different directions trying to cover every marketing meeting, group function, seminar and cocktail hour. Make a structured strategic plan that, when followed, will give you and your team specific attainable goals. And get all your key staff and production members of the company involved. Have employees claim a client and dedicate themselves to ensuring that client's happiness. And don't forget to tap into your employee's contacts. Imagine the possibilities if each employee were to identify one new opportunity this year.

Let's face it, the facts are that the world around us is under-going changes that we can't control. There is talk of recession, on-going war and mostly fear.

Don't be afraid of what you can't control, but control what you can and make the best of every situation that presents itself to you. You can control how you treat your clients, your contacts, your fellow peers and you can control how much of yourself you are going to put into the process. If you put 100 percent of yourself into the things that you can control, you, your clients and your company will see successful results.

By Jenifer Johnson. Jenifer is Senior Associate with Thornton Tomasetti, and a past president of the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professionals Services (SMPS).

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