Decrease Your Stress, Increase Your Profits
Welcome to the new economy! An economy where uncertainty is the new normal, competition is fierce, and customers are less loyal and more cautious about where, when, and with whom they spend their money. Face it, this economy has changed, and if you want to stay in the game let alone grow, you and your company need to change with it.
Overhauling (or even just starting) your strategies for business growth needs to be top of your list for 2016. This is no longer a job that can be outsourced or delegated. In today’s economy, marketing needs to be much more than the traditional radio spot and newspaper ads you have used for years. To succeed today you have to get above the white noise, create a buzz about your business, and get your team and your customers engaged in the process.
Marketing needs to be a full-team effort, because the old strategies for business growth are no longer effective. You see, far more than this economy has changed, your customers have changed, and how they choose who to do business with has changed. Your customers are no longer interested in what you are saying about your business and your products, no instead they are turning to their friends, their families and even Google reviews. Business growth today has become far more reliant on the customer experience, and what your customers are saying about your business, then what you or any full page ad or television spot have to say.
Now before you start worrying about how you are going to get this all done, or start feeling overwhelmed by another thing you need to learn to do or add to your long list of strategies for success, let me assure you, these business growth strategies will actually decrease your stress while increasing your profits.
The changes in our economy, while challenging, are actually really good for a professional who loves what he does, loves his customers, and understands the importance of prioritizing the customer experience.
4 Must-Have Strategies for Business Growth
1 – Market Inside Out – as Steven Covey says, begin with the end in mind. You need to start by looking at your business from the inside out, and getting a solid understanding of what the current customer experience is like. Take an hour or two, with your staff, and walk through your business as a customer. How are you greeted on the phone? What is it like to walk in your business, review your website, or meet with a sales rep? Once you understand that, do everything you can to make the customer experience better. Remember your best sales people are your current customers, and you need to make sure right now that they are “wow’d” by their experience. Give them something to talk about, and make them jump at the chance when you ask for referrals. Do this on a quarterly basis, engage your team in the process, and you will consistently give your customers something to talk about.
2 – Engage With Video – video is your friend, and ensures you stand out from your competition. Our smart phones and inexpensive tripods have made shooting a video easy. Instead of sending newsletters or ezines, try sending a video out to your customers giving them an update about you, your business or your products. Get your staff to send video happy birthday cards, and get your customers to put those wonderful testimonials on a video. The more you can engage with video, the more potential customers will engage with your site. We use a lot video in my husband’s business and on his site. New patients always comment that they feel like they know him, and are comfortable with him before they ever meet him. The other wonderful thing about video, is the huge power of the marketing, the little to no cost, and the strong return on investment.
3 – Manage Your Reputation – remember that what you say about your company in traditional advertising pales in comparison to what others are saying. New customers listen to what existing customers are saying, and existing customers are making their experiences known via Google reviews and other online channels. While there is not much you can do about those few customers that may leave a negative comment here and there, there is quite a bit you can do to increase your positive comments. You need to get active this year, and manage your online reputation. Understand that people are searching online more than ever. Even if they’ve been given a strong referral, they are likely to look you up online before they ever give you a call. What they see online, the reviews you have (or do not have) will make all the difference.
4 – Harvest The Low Hanging Fruit – your existing customers are your best resource for more potential work, referrals, and increased services. If you want business growth in 2016, make it easy on yourself, and take every opportunity to talk to your existing customers about doing more with you. The top two reasons that your existing customers do not do more with you, is because they do not know what you have to offer, and you never asked. Challenge your staff to review old accounts, reach out and talk to a customer to just say thank you, and proactively talk to customers about new procedures that could benefit them. Your customers want to do more with you, you just need to help them understand how.
Yes, this is a challenging economy, and so much has changed! However, with these 4 must-have strategies for business growth it is possible to decrease your stress and increase your profits. Apply these strategies, get your team engaged, and I promise you will put yourself in a position to make this economy start working for you.
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Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, Winning In The Trust & Value Economy: a professional’s guide to business and sales success. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail. http://meridithelliottpowell.com