It feels great to solve a prospect or client’s problem, but making new relationships and growing your business brings your satisfaction to a whole new level. I’ve always had a passion for marketing and its underlying concepts. So many of them seem like ‘common sense,’ but we all need reminders on connecting with our target clients.
Can you and your team ‘drive’ new business? Think about your business relationships, both in the office, and outside of the office. Who do you see frequently? Can they help your customer base? What do they think of you? Are they good at what they do and good for your business network?
Build a Marketing Culture
To create a marketing culture in your organization every employee must know that marketing is important for your company and know your expectations.
Invest in your personnel, making sure they are well equipped to share your company’s story, as well as its plans on moving forward in the government contracting space. Encourage your project managers to develop relationships with their contracting officers, other officials, and their peer groups at partnering organizations. Provide them opportunities for education on topics related to business development. Encourage their participation in industry-wide meetings within your space.
Make sure your employee review process identifies their goals and supports your company’s short and long-term strategies. Maintaining a customer-first attitude is paramount to building a marketing culture. One of the founding partners of our firm once told me, “Treat every client like they are your only client”.
Be sure to always speak the truth, your credibility with your team is critical to your organization’s success. Demonstrate integrity at all times, even if it means taking a difficult stand with a customer.
As a mentor, encourage your managers to:
- Meet as many people as they can in your industry
- Facilitate professional relationships with their internal and external customers
- Take time to know their customers, their employees, and their families
- Communicate frequently with their customers
- Target the right customers and facilitate relationships.
Focus on five-star quality service, and stay open minded to client inquiries. This is how we get feedback and learn how we are doing in the eyes of our customer. Allocate time to set up your database properly so you can reach them easily, and keep them informed on matters that are important to them.
If your organization is small, and you cannot afford an internal person, consider outsourcing the capture and BD (business development) functions to a reputable group.
Connect with your Customer
If you provide a service, that’s a lot different than offering a new innovative product. A market is when the buyer and seller come together, sellers have something to offer that buyers want to buy.
Remember, it is much easier and more profitable to serve your current customers well, than to seek a new customer or client. Relationships should be a priority for you and your team; they are the foundations for virtually every successful service business.
Once your customer knows you have their best interest in mind, the rest is easy. Trust is paramount to having a good relationship with your customer. Have real and personal discussions with your customers. Create customer loyalty – consider giving extra perks, such as special invites or special meet and greets, to long-standing loyal customers. Acknowledge your customer’s loyalty and use their satisfaction to determine your success. Don’t be afraid to smile and laugh with your customers.
Why do you order the same meal repetitively at your favorite restaurant? Because it is predictable, you KNOW how it is being presented, how it is prepared, and how it will taste. Be professional, consistent, and reliable in delivering on your word.
Your clients need to know who is going to serve them, how they will be served, how much it will cost them, and that their needs will be met. Achieving your goals depends on knowing the needs of your target market, and meeting those needs better than your competition.
There is a lot of literature available to assist you with promoting your business, seek the advice of others who’ve been successful and follow their leads. If you would like to discuss your approach to marketing your professional business, please contact YHB (Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C.) Principal Tom Moler by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-777-7739.