What’s the best use of your selling time?
Should marketing and selling activities take equal resources of time and money? That depends on a number of factors. This is a highly individualized process for different products, services, business operations and styles. What mix best fits your situation?
What about more targeted marketing with increased sales efforts to the leads that you do generate? In years past, my total marketing plan consisted of daily cold calling (self-marketing targeted by my own observations) which returned very large closing ratios. Is this possible in your business, today?
Do you have more leads and referrals than you can spend time following up on, OR are you desperate for leads and have plenty of selling time available? It should be evident, where you should be spending more of your time and money. Also, consider that your audience attention is a constantly moving target, so you must be flexible. You should always maintain a minimal consistent marketing program for an unexpected drop in your current lead process.
Marketing is: attracting new customers.
Selling is: closing more sales.
These are two separate activities that produce different results, and require focused attention if you are either running a business or in business as a solopreneur. Keeping a proper daily balance is a constant challenge especially for the small business operator. In order to be effective and more productive, may I suggest that you keep a running total of your marketing and selling metrics to help you determine your priorities at the beginning of each new day or week.
Big Picture: What are your totals from yesterday for your lead, prospect, and customer lists? If you do not know your running totals, how can you evaluate your continuing progress towards your goals and objectives?
Consider defining or classifying every contact in your personal database:
A suspect is simply a name, address, and/or phone number. After you have some kind of contact with a suspect (through some form of marketing), this person may become an associate whom a non transactional business relationship may be created. Associates are great connections that you can refer to or receive referrals from. Sometimes they may become a vendor or a friend, but at this point, they are not a potential customer because of various factors. They may become a lead.
Leads have been put through some form of pre-qualification to determine if they meet the criteria of your ideal customer but they have not yet been further qualified to satisfy the five reasons to buy or not buy your product or service. Your lead pool should be nurtured by your marketing program to remain interested until they are turned over to the sales department.
The sales process begins at the first engagement with the lead. Determine if they qualify as a prospect (an ideal customer that hasn’t committed yet). Now it is the job of the sales person to help the customer satisfy all five of the essential reasons he/she needs to buy.
A customer who gives you money for your product or service is your ultimate goal. Don’t loose sight of it. Do you know your numbers? Are you making progress?