I want to talk to…

In the UK there are 689,890 companies[1], 190,978 of them meet the EU definition of an SME and so, theoretically, they could be my target market, bearing in mind my company name.

In reality the vast majority of them I will not be able to help. This is why you will rarely hear the word “anyone” uttered when I’m networking or asking clients for referrals. Why is it, therefore, that so many business owners believe they can sell their services to anyone?

The problem with anyone is that it is simply too wide a scope and what happens is that you end up with no-one being referred to you.

A chiropractor said to me, at a networking event recently, I can help anyone with a spine. Whilst this may be true, it doesn’t help me help them. I’m not going to mention them to everyone I know with a spine.

I need, and so will all your clients and connections, a little more to go on. Have you seen the latest eHarmony advert where they show a man on a couch with a camel? The advert goes on to say they were matched because of two matching criteria, but eHarmony uses more to ensure a good match.

You should use the same approach when asking for referrals. After all if 438 couples get married every day after being matched on eHarmony, they must be getting something right.

Whilst I am not suggesting you have 29 levels of compatibility with your clients, you must make it easier for people to refer you. Give them more information: industry sector, geography, company size, job title and, most definitely, reasons why.

The good thing about getting this pinned down is it also helps you work out what marketing to do, but I’ll talk about that next time!

 

[1] LinkedIn; as of 13/1/15

Take your marketing budget to the casino

Casinos are great places.  You never know how much money you’re going to come out with, no matter how much you take in.  More often than not, you emerge with significantly less, but sometimes it can be an awful lot more.  It’s a bit like your marketing in many ways.

Let me explain.

Let’s start in January and add some more detail to my statement.

You start three different marketing activities in January (spending £2,000 per month), and you can see more website traffic and you’re getting more inbound enquiries. Some of these enquiries then converted into sales and new client sales totalled £16,000.

In February your spend was the same and sales totalled £11,500

March followed a similar pattern and created new client sales of £8,500.

Your first quarter’s marketing budget of £6,000 generated £36,000.  That’s a 6:1 return on investment. Not too bad, but could be better.  As you’re now going into your 2nd quarter, what could be improved so you improve the ROI your marketing is delivering?

If you haven’t measured your marketing, there is no way of knowing how to improve that ROI.  Let’s go to the casino.

£2,000 on the blackjack tables could generate some great results.  Just one hand could turn your £2,000 into £5,000 (assuming the casino pays out 3:2 on a blackjack), but many hands that turn the money over many times could create a lot more.

Roulette gives you a real chance to win a lot of money with a right single number paying 35:1.  That’s £72,000 if you get real lucky.  Even betting just red or black could double your money each time you get it right.

Poker is a different kettle of fish as you’re playing the other players as much as playing the cards. This could easily the table to lose your money on fastest.

Let’s assume you had a good night and came out with the same £36,000.  What games would you play next time you go in?  If you don’t know and simply guess that roulette, with a single number strategy, delivered your winnings, your money could disappear very quickly.

It’s exactly the same with your marketing budget, albeit over an elongated time period. Knowing what marketing delivers new sales, and what doesn’t, allows you to reallocate your resources to maximise your return on investment.