In a recent brain storming meeting with a group of small business owners, one of the owners asked me to explain why traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore. As the marketing guru in the group, I gave them 3 simple reasons why and how to overcome their marketing problem. I am George Ishee, Founder and President of PlumTree Marketing and I had a group of frustrated business owners sitting on the edge of their seat to hear the answers, the pressure was on.
I began by telling them the first reason traditional marketing doesn’t work is the small business owner doesn’t really know much about marketing and relies on the salesman of the marketing media’s to tell them what they need. The problem is they use the “trust me” method which is give me your money, I’ll run your ad and trust me; the leads will come rolling in. They strong arm you to spend your whole budget with them and you guessed it, it doesn’t work. I advise that instead of spending all your money upfront, ask for 20 recent advertisers and contacts. Call them and ask them how their ad did. Ask them what worked and what didn’t. Understand the market that you are playing in. Then run an ad with that media company but only for a short period and test it. The rule is test, test and test.
The second thing I told the group of business owners was that it takes five times as much money to get a new client as it is to get another order from an existing customer. Who is more likely to give you another order than your existing clients who already know and love you? You can sell them another product you have or cross sell up-sell or resell them again. I told them to take 80% of their planned budget and use it to make a 3 contact (letter or email) follow campaign and make the first contact simply a thank you for being a customer. The second contact is to offer another product or resale, and the last contact is to ask for 3 referrals. I told them this should go out to every customer who has purchased from you in the past 5 years.
Finally I said that they need to implement an automated system that will nurture there suspects, prospects, and customers and then they could watch their lead generation grow. Finally I said they needed to get out of the lead generation mode and let a system do it for them so they can do the things they like best in their business like delivering their products and helping customers. Now these same business owners can use these simple ideas to bring in more leads, customers and referrals.