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February 6, 2013

6 Simple Marketing & Sales Ideas that almost Never get implemented

In trying to build our businesses, we often get so wrapped up in working on the bigger marketing & sales initiatives (e.g. social media strategy, advertising campaigns, etc.) that sometimes, the simple little things just pass us by.  So, to help with that, here are six simple marketing & sales ideas to get you thinking in that direction:

Email signature: First of all, I’m sure yours includes your name and title… and probably your email address and telephone.  But what about links to your website, blog, LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and so on?  And finally, what about a “marketing message of the month” – linking them to a new service, maybe some promotional offer or to download your latest white paper?  And everyone’s email signature in your firm should be alike… consistency is key.

Business cards: You know you should spend a few extra bucks for good design, good paper and good printing… but don’t stop there.  I just went through my Rolodex and at least 80% of the cards in it have no message on the back of the card.  Why not – the incremental cost is minimal?  Take advantage of that “little billboard” to display additional information or a promotional offer of some kind.

Invoices and statements: Most accounting platforms allow you to include a message on the bottom of your invoices and statements.  Are you taking advantage of that?  And if you’re going to put a promotional message in your email signature (see above), why not put that same message on your invoices and statements (that’s called ‘integrated marketing’)?

Trade show exhibits: If you’re like most firms, your trade show booth sits in a closet for most of the year.  If you’ve got the space, why not occasionally set it up for all to see… both employees and and visiting customers?  Of course, this suggestion assumes you have a “pop up” type display with great graphics and a compelling message.

Social media for sales reps:  Most sales reps have a LinkedIn page – a great way to connect.  Beyond that, they then rely on their marketing team to provide support that will help them sell.  But why shouldn’t each sales rep have his or her own Twitter account and blog, for example.  They are easy ways to communicate, to make connections and to help the sales rep position themselves as an expert in a particular area.

People announcements: When you hire a new employee, make sure to send out a “people in the news” announcement.  Not only should you send it to key industry publications and websites, but don’t forget about local publications, as well.  You never know who will be reading the local pubs… and besides, it makes your new employee feel great to see their name in print!  And don’t forget to include a photo.

Handwritten thank-you notes: Sending handwritten notes after a meeting, presentation, referral or just out of gratitude for a client’s business will help to differentiate your firm more than almost anything else you can do… because no one does it these days. Yes, it requires a little extra work – but things that are worth the effort generally do.

As you craft your marketing & sales plan, remember to include the “little things” in that process.  Building top-of-mind awareness among your target audience is an additive process… and every little step gets you that much closer.  And once you’re top-of-mind with your clients, you have a competitive advantage that’s difficult to displace.

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