WHERE TO FOCUS YOUR MARKETING: NEW PROSPECTS OR
By Charlie Cook
Imagine that you ran an ad, mailed a brochure, or sent an
email ad to a new list of people who fit your target market
profile and everyone who saw it responded right away and
made a purchase.
Has this ever happened to you?
Of course not. The first time people hear about your
products or services is the least likely time for them
When you go out for a night on the town, do you go to a new
restaurant you've nev‘r heard of or do you typically go to
one that you know and like? Similarly, who is the most
likely to buy your products and services, someone who
doesn't know you or someone who has experienced the high
quality and the results you provide? Clients who have bought
from you before, are the most likely to buy from you. Think
If long-term prospects and clients are your best source of
revenue, where should you focus your marketing?
I occasionally make a sale the first time someone visits my
web site, but more often it's the people who I have been in
contact with for months, that become my best customers and
clients. Why is this?
The longer you've had a relationship with a prospect or
client, the more they know and trust you. Once they buy or
use your products, they've experienced the quality you
provide and are even more likely to buy again. They are also
more likely to recommend you to others.
Marketing research has shown that people are more likely to
buy after six or seven contacts. Some web businesses use
this as the basis of their marketing and provide a tutorial
series you can sign up for with one sent out each week for
six weeks. While this is an improvement on the one time spot
ad, it misses the boat. The problem with this approach is
that you don't know when your prospects will want to make a
purchase. What happens if they need help on week eight but
have lost your contact information?
What you want to do is build long-term relationships so that
whenever a new prospect or past client has a need, they
think of you as the expert to go to or to refer someone else
to. The longer you are in contact with prospects and clients
the more opportunities you have to demonstrate how helpful
you or your products are and to earn their trust.
Depending on what you're marketing, you may need to
establish a little or a lot of trust. If you sell major
label music CDs for $17, it may not take much work to
convince people you can ship them what they want. If you
provide financial services and want prospects to trust you
with their life's earnings, it can take longer. It may be
six to seven months before your prospects will consider even
having a conversation.
Use the following three steps to build long-term profitable
1. Focus on your prospects' needs and wants and offer
something for fr‘e to motivate people to contact you.
2. Contact your prospects regularly and give them tips and
ideas they can use.
3. Couch your offers in terms of what your prospects are
Which is more important, new prospects or existing clients?
The answer of course is both. To grow your business you need
to constantly grow your network of contacts, of people who
know how you can help them. At the same time, focus your
efforts on building long-term relationships so that
prospects become clients and clients become repeat clients.
Do this and you'll have more people interested in what you
offer and more people buying your products and services.
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and
small business owners attract more clients and be more
successful. Sign up for the Fr‘e Marketing Plan eBook,
'7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business'