Friday, February 11, 2011

Market Your Service Business Better by Researching Better

Marketing is everything you do to find, get, and keep clients.

In other words, everything you do is marketing, starting with the first words in your next email, sales letter, phone call.

With that in mind, here's an excellent "research as marketing" tip from an Inc. Magazine article: 10 Ways to Support Your Best Customers.

Know the competition

In Inc.'s series of sales tips from the world's toughest customers, Kathy Homeyer, director of supplier diversity for UPS, gave a helpful tip on what not to do. "The biggest no-no is not knowing our competition. People will say, 'I've got this really exciting proposal I want you to look at.' I'll say, 'Go ahead; send it to me.' Then they send it to me by FedEx. It happens every day. Just be smart. Know the company you are pitching to and know their likes and dislikes. You get such brownie points with me when you come in with a UPS envelope and have an account all set up. It's just the little things like that, the icing on the cake."

So true. And so easy to do -- there's this web site called Google. Have you heard of it?

You can find out almost anything you want to know about a prospective client and their competitors by searching News and Blogs, in addition to standard Google searches.

And don't forget LinkedIn.

Whenever I want a callback from a prospect, I research them on LinkedIn (most people are there), find one tidbit on their profile, then send an email like this: "Joe Blow said something important on your LinkedIn profile -- please give me a call 612-555-1212 when you have 5 minutes to discuss!"

(More ideas like these in the Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Service Business Owners.)

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