A Model for Marketing Professional Services
When we look at the big picture of how a prospect actually becomes a client, we see two categories of folks; strangers and people you know to some degree. When approaching a stranger there can be a struggle and often a higher rejection rate. How often have you sat by the phone just waiting for someone you didn't know to call with an offer you couldn't resist? This is called Push Marketing in my GPS Marketing model. It works, but requires more effort and time.
That is why I believe your first marketing solution should be to form affiliations with those who are currently strangers. You create affiliations or connections with prospects by joining organizations, associations and groups. These affiliations can be online or physical. Through this simple association, you're no longer a complete stranger. Joining a group or organization is the fastest way to build affiliations with prospects and is amazingly easy. Just by showing up and writing a check you can almost immediately become affiliated with, sometimes, hundreds of people.
After joining a group, you will want to gain the attention of the individual. In other words, communication either written or verbal, which sets a stage of interest in what you have to offer. What is communicated must offer a solution to a problem they are having. But people don't usually buy something just because it is presented as a solution. They buy because the solution is coming from someone they know, like and trust. To build these you must provide non-threatning actionable information to the group. Take-away information that they can use
Most folks would rather do business with someone they have met face-to-face or have heard about from another friend as in a referral. So let them know about the many ways you can help them. Make presentations and give talks, do an article or a blog and do not forget social media as a "mini blog". Have a brochure in both the physical and digital format to provide information to the prospect. The key here is VALUE! If you provide information of VALUE, people will come back for more and you become their resource person. Now they are in a position to know, like and trust you.
With this trust and credibility built, you can then complete the marketing process by initiating an appointment to explore working together. You have already build a favorable experience fror them about you and your services. So this step should be comfortable for both of you to explore how your services can help them with their problem. This is usally a face to face meeting but can be otherwise. Indeed, I have customers that have only seen my image on Facebook or on my website. The key is, all of them feel as if we are partnered together to resolve their problem(s).
You probably will not often get an appointment with the "decision maker" with a stranger to stranger marketing step. Set the foundation, seek out groups that can be your resource either as customers or referral partners. Check out business announcements in the newspaper or search online for groups in your area. Find out about meeting times and go visit. The keyword here is VISIT. Not all groups are equal and you must assess if you and the members are a good fit for each other and your business goals. If it feels good, then look at the economics. Can you afford the group? Affordability is not all about money, there may be a time committment as well and you need to be sure you can before you join.
Need New Customers?
Marketing is the process of communicating the VALUE of a product or service to customers. The objective of marketing is attracting new and repeat customers.The final stage of marketing is NOT the sale. It is a continous process with customers as partners.