1) You know the old saying “A bird in the hand”… well this really applies in a down economy. As is often the case, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. Put your marketing effort into strategies geared to appeal to the “elite 20”. Go out of your way to ensure customer service and marketing efforts to them is at its best. Reap the rewards – as these elite will be proclaiming your praise to others – sustaining your sales through tough times and beyond.
2) Seek out prospects – Good Research is Vital. Use the extra time you may have in a down economy to uncover the factors that motivate your sales. Who are your elite 20%? What products/services are they most interested in? Your best prospects will always closely resemble your best customers. Your research should produce some answers to who your prospects are, and where, why, when, and how they are converted into active buyers.
3) Tell the Truth / Gain Trust – do not exaggerate. In tough economic times; consumers will often take more time to make buying decisions – carefully weighing all the options. Although enthusiasm is good – slow down on the marketing hype and focus on building solid relationships by presenting trustworthy information that will help them make a decision. Maintain confidence and a passionate attitude but use a softer sell approach.
4) Sell Benefits, not products or services. Purchasing is an emotional decision. A buyer wants to feel good about the purchase – and you can set them up to feel this way by stressing benefits instead of features. Think about how your product or service will make the buyer’s life better (happier, richer, more comfortable, more free time, etc.) and communicate with prospects from that point of view.
5) Customer Testimonials – Keep it Current and Real. When it comes to tough economic times; we’re all in this together. That feeling makes it natural for consumers to rely more heavily on testimonials and ratings in their buying process. People trust people, especially if they feel connected to that person. You can’t buy trust – but you can build it by using customer testimonials that speak to potential customers in an honest and believable way.
6) Develop Deadlines – procrastination kills a lot of sales. Impose a time limit in your call to action (Act now – offer ends XXX) or in B2B it may simply be a discount if the customer acts on a proposal before a certain date. This strategy can help speed up the slow decision maker.
7) Embrace the Web – your website, email marketing, search engines and social gathering spots are here to stay and they are also powerful and extremely effective methods to reach out to prospects. Analyze your website traffic statistics – find out what parts of your website need improvement. Use the power of online marketing to attract more traffic.
8) Get active with it. Start a blog, help write for another blog, hang out on the social sites, plan some company events and do some fund raising. All these things can help you increase your branding and exposure to prospects. And, if some of what you do is newsworthy – send out a press release to the local media – you’ll get a lot of mileage from this free PR.
9) Psychological Triggers. If a customer buys product X and product Y; chances are their future buying patterns will be very similar. When a customer says “yes” to your first offer; follow up with another offer for a similar product or service.
10) Last, but not least… Marketing must be regular, continuing, and an ongoing basis. Consistent efforts will pay off. Even when the economy is booming; marketing efforts today help carry your business far into the future.
An interactive agency focused on marketing, design and technology the G3 Group offers businesses powerful ways to connect with customers and prospects through: Custom and Unique Branding (websites, multi-media and printed materials) Search Engine Marketing (pay per click strategy and search engine optimization) Technology (content management, custom programming)