This is the second installment in a four-part series on using marketing to power your sales engine. In this post, we’ll cover what exactly successful companies do to thrive during times of chaos. Next, we’ll cover staying relevant and creating awareness through consistent engagement. In our final installment, we’ll explain how to actively engage your clients and prospects to increase sales!.
A Simple Truth
What we all want is more sales. The simple truth is… If you can make it easier for your sales team to be successful, you and your business will thrive!
What became crystal clear throughout all of the recent chaos was that human interaction and relationships can be fragile, and have become more important than ever before.
It only solidified the truth that, “Relationships are the currency of business!”
I had a conversation with a big data expert named Tom Agin. I asked him what he found that kept companies alive and thriving throughout the pandemic disruption that we just faced. He told me that the most successful companies spent 45% of their time focusing on current customers, 25% on past customers, and 30% on prospects (not raw leads.)
Successful companies spent 70% of their time
focusing on purchasers and 30% on prospects.
What Is Relationship Marketing?
Have you heard that it costs five times more to create a new customer than it does to retain a current one?
According to multiple studies, closing a deal with a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Simply increasing customer retention by 5% can increase your business profits from 25 ‒ 95%. (SmalBizTrends.com)
- The success rate of selling to a current customer is around 60 ‒ 70%. (Forbes.com)
- Reclaiming a past customer (who has left a job and now works at another company) is between 30 ‒ 50%.
- Meanwhile, the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5 ‒ 20%.
Relationship Marketing builds upon the long-term success of your business. By maintaining connections and having conversations with your current and past customers, you easily create more opportunities for your sales team. It’s simply more profitable than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and one-time sales.
The purpose of Relationship Marketing is to create strong, and often emotional connections between your clients and prospects, and your staff and salespeople (and ultimately with your company and brand.)
Relationships Are The Currency Of Business
Marketing is the Spark for Your Sales Engine
Marketing should have one goal and only one focus – to foster conversations between your clients or your prospects, and your sales team. It takes time and effort to build the know, like, and trust needed to create new sales.
How do you know when it’s working? When your customers are singing your praises to others!
Your Sales Engine is Fueled by YOUR Story!
Each of us, and our businesses, are unique. Sure, we are categorized (marketing is my niche), but your past and present have a different history from anyone who has done or does what you do, and how you do it.
Anyone can sell a widget, a service, or a… (fill in the blank.)
You have something unique, different, and special that your clients value. All too often we fall back on what we think our prospects and clients want to hear.
To fix that, it starts with understanding your perfect avatars (yes… plural.) This is your array of customers. It’s your buyer persona, marketing persona, or customer profile. It’s a representation and visualization of your ideal customers.
The better you can identify and segment your current and past customers, the better you can target messaging that initiates conversations.
The key to making this work is understanding what is important to them. Then, you have to continue to make them aware that you are ready to help them, and that they can rely on you when they need it.
Trade & Show!
Your marketing should always create a pathway to those sales conversations. This is why you have to consistently provide value in exchange for attention.
Imagine attracting your perfect avatar to stop by your trade show booth (digitally speaking, your website) and trading their time for a nick-knack (digitally speaking, information.) Next, you have to show them how much you appreciate their time and attention by reaching out and saying “Thank You” ASAP!
What’s in it for you? You earn their awareness and can capture data. Over time, you can use that data to nurture their interest with soft touches and additional information. Keep in mind that not everyone is ready to buy from you when they make that trade.
People may take action to engage and then often get busy and forget. Adding them to your email list provides a way to softly remind them why they were interested in the first place. You may even be able to connect and reach out to them via social media platforms (like LinkedIn.)
That’s where targeted weekly emails, social media, videos, and more, can help you and your business stay top of mind without beating them over the head with annoying sales pitches.
This will give you permission to stay Relevant and create Awareness, through Consistent Engagement. (R.A.C.E.)
What’s Next? In the next installment of this blog series, we are going to take a break and go fishing.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you can do to make sales easier for your team. Are you focusing enough time and energy on relationship marketing? Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about relationships being the currency of business.