23 Sales & Marketing Ideas for 2013

23 Sales & Marketing Ideas for 2013
Here’s how some NJ business owners will be boosting their sales & marketing in 2013

At a recent Executive Exchange Inc. meeting, business owners talked about how they will boost their sales and marketing efforts in 2013. Here are some ideas that were discussed:

  • Post-Sandy, come up with a special “after the storm” offer – tie it into your business offerings and what your prospects need.
  • If you don’t have a web presence, you don’t exist in the prospect’s eyes. If you want prospects to find you, you need to have your website optimized for search engines. And then you need to have on your website information that the prospect really values and can use. You need to come up with a way to capture the prospect’s information. Your site also needs to be set up so it can be read easily from a mobile device.
  • Consider running Google ads and/or LinkedIn ads, depending on where your prospects are. Ads should be based on keywords that are relevant to what you do.
  • Market smarter: customers want value – give it to them, but don’t give away the store. Stop chasing shiny things (i.e., things that look good, but will have little real impact on your sales efforts). Get input from current clients to help you build value.
  • Consider adding public speaking to your marketing mix. Think about what your call-to-action would be for the speaking engagement.
  • Networking is still a great way to get referrals, especially repeat ones.
  • When you’re hiring a new salesperson, you need them to be good at cold calling, as well as personable. They should also be trainable, and not just “order takers”.
  • Woo your existing customers – they can be sources of new business as well as refer you to new business. Reach out to your current customers on a routine basis.
  • Do something memorable to stick in the mind of the end buyer. A couple examples: parking a Porsche in a great neighborhood; setting up a barbeque for the neighborhood in front of an open house. Participate in trade shows that are relevant to your end customers.
  • Physical cold calling works. For example, when you’re in an office building, plan time around your appointments so that you can knock on other doors.
  • Get in front of the right potential client – not the gatekeeper or junior person.
  • Have a competition for your sales people. Whoever brings in the most new business gets a Starbucks gift card as an award.
  • Expand your own education, so that you can talk knowledgeably about related areas.
  • Offer referral incentives to existing customers.
  • Consider using Patch.com – a local online news source – to advertise, post info about your company, and run ads. Also consider advertising in the local papers. More about hyper-local media.
  • Consider street fairs, email blasts, and coupons as a way to get the word out about your business.
  • Send a bi-monthly newsletter to current and past clients.
  • Build a close relationship with those in related businesses, who can refer business to you.  A limo company, for instance, gets referrals from AAA, catering halls, and travel agents.
  • Consider contributing to online discussion boards to get your name known.
  • Sign up for Google Alerts – a great way to stay current on what customers and prospects are doing, as well as industry trends.
  • Invite all your clients to dinner. They may just end up doing business with each other, and you look like a hero.
  • Use Craig’s List to find a cold caller. Sweet Grandmother-types often make good cold callers – who would hang up on their Grandma?
  • Join professional associations not directly related to your area of expertise. For example, a website technology company owner joined the NJ Builders Association, and was able to connect with builders who needed websites.
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