How can I get a steady flow of clients for my business?
I own an accounting software consulting business and, no matter what I do, I cannot seem to get a steady flow of clients. I advertise with Google, Adwords, network, belong to the local chamber, and partner with other companies. Everyone says it's a much needed service, but where are the clients? No matter what I seem to do, my business barely seems to get by. The problem is, once we solve the clients problem, there is no longer a need for our services. I am thinking of closing the business down and starting another one. Any ideas?
Join us at Entrepreneur magazine's Growth Conference, Dec. 15 in Long Beach, Calif. for a day of fresh ideas, business mentoring and networking. Register here for exclusive pricing, available only for a limited time.It looks like you would benefit from a more comprehensive ongoing marketing campaign. Three tactics that I suggest are incorporating direct mail, one-to-one prospecting, and e-mail.
Let's start with direct mail. Begin by identifying your best prospects by business type and any other important criteria. Then contact a list broker to rent direct mail lists of individuals by title in the business categories that fit your criteria and are within your geographic market area. Rent your lists for a minimum of two or possibly three mailings, then create a direct mail campaign with a benefit-oriented theme to send to this group.
The typical contact sequence in business-to-business marketing is call-mail-call. That means you need to develop your own in-house prospect list (in addition to your larger direct-mail lists that you will rent) that includes at least several dozen prospects. Contact them first by telephone, then follow up by mail, in person or via e-mail. Construct a database of these prospects and the leads that are generated by direct mail and gain permission to e-mail to this in-house list. On average, it takes eight or more contacts with prospects before sales are closed, so if you're not touching your prospects at least once a month, you're missing out on opportunities to grow your business. E-mail is a fast and a virtually free way of maintaining contact with your in-house database. Combine that with additional direct mail, phone calls, meetings and other sales tactics for a winning combination.
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