Is Your Phone Part of Your Marketing Plan?

Attracting new clients in this economy can be a challenge. You need to get creative and adapt the way you promote yourself. Here are a few simple strategies that you can implement and integrate in your marketing plan today. There is a tool that lots of small business neglect. It is just right there on your desk, but you may not think about it or and you may even be afraid of it.

What is this tool, I am talking about? Your phone. Yes, your phone is a powerful tool that you could use effectively to attract new clients.

In 1998 I started a telemarketing company in France and I was spending 6 to 7 hours on the phone, selling my clients products or setting up appointments for them. I know that calling prospects is not very fun, but I am not speaking of cold calling here. I don’t want you to buy lists of potentials clients and speak to total strangers. I am talking of integrating your phone as part of your follow-up system. You will contact only people that you already met at networking events or online via social media.

Let’s say that you attend networking events on a regular basis, you probably have tons of business cards on your selves or on a shoes box, and are just not doing anything with them. Go back to this pile of business cards, send an email to reintroduce yourself. Use your normal introduction about your services and ask those people what you can do for them or how you can help them.

If you get a response, instead of emailing the person back, pick up the phone and call them. You already spoke with the person or met them online. It impresses people that you take the time to actually connect one on one. Make sure you are not trying to sell them anything, that is the tricky part, give them free and valuable information that could help their business. Networking is not about you, it is about them. Networking is not about selling but building a relationship.

If people don’t reply to your first email, don’t be mad, it doesn’t means they are not interested right this minute or they haven’t read your email yet, or maybe it went to spam, or they maybe too busy at the moment. There is no reason to fret. There are a thousand reasons people don’t get back to you right away. Wait for few days or a couple of weeks and send another email or send them some information by mail.

You remember the old way to do business – using the post office, well it still works, but only if you actually use it! Combining email and mail doubles your chance to reach people and double your rate of answers. When you pick up the phone after a couple of exchanges, you will see that you will get a lot more chance to attract clients.

After all this online and print information they have received from you they already know about you and your business. They know you care about their problems and can provide them valuable information, so they will either take the time to speak with you on a spot or if you call at a bad time you will get a chance to schedule a phone appointment to speak with them at a later date.

What about calling your previous clients, they already know and like working with you? Do you have a new product or service that you would like to tell them about? Always remember to list the benefits and describe how your new product will help them. Too many small business owners are too busy selling and marketing that they neglect their current clients. It is much easier to have a client become a repeat client than to get a new client. So check your database, who could you call right now?

I don’t have my telemarketing company anymore but, I still use the same techniques. I contact each and every person who contacted me for a free consultation. I give my clients a call within 3 months of the consultation to make sure they are getting somewhere in their process. Then I give them a call at least every 3 months to get updates on their project. If they are still not ready for my help I may call them every 6 months.

In the meantime I keep sending my newsletter, stay on top of their mind and check up via email to keep them interested. When I call they are not surprised; they do not reject my call. They are actually glad to see that I still follow their cases and I am still there to help them; I am still building the relationship.

So pick up your phone NOW.

Call your previous clients; reconnect with the people you met since the beginning of the year. Find out how you can help them. Create a follow-up system to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Don’t just call once and forget about it. Use software like Act or Outlook Express to set reminders of when to call. Schedule a few hours a week to call your contacts and clients. Try it for the next 30 days, track your results, and then check how many new clients come rolling in. You will be surprised by the results. Integrate the process into your daily marketing plan.

Your own phone can change your business, it is as simple as that.