Archive for the ‘Sales / Biz Development’ Category

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Parting gift for attendees to the 2012 Fifth Third Bank Economic Outlook.

So how do you start? Drip marketing for new accounts involves four steps:

Plan – Developing a good plan is the very first step to ensuring that you have effective drip marketing for the whole year. Not only that. You should also have a plan of action for each month.  As with any good marketing, planning your drip marketing involves a careful and in depth understanding of your target market. Who are your potential clients? Where can you yield the most impact?

This means that your efforts should concentrate on those who have the most potential to switch from just a possible client to a definite buyer of your product or service.  Nevertheless, you should also drip market to the less productive fields as this will also gain you possible clients. You can utilize a lower-cost campaign or less frequent marketing. Just so you cover all possible areas for your drip marketing campaign.

Strategize – The second step is to implement your plan for your new account strategy. Not just to execute, but to do it strategically. Drip marketing works best if you “drip” your message consistently and at the right time. You need to have a plan of action throughout the whole year.  This means drip marketing every month. And sticking to it. For an easier time, you can develop simple yet effective systems that you can implement anytime.

You will not have to put extra effort for the next step every time you begin your campaign for the month. This would also help you re-strategize or fine-tune your plan if a system is not working after a few months.

Diversify – Repeated marketing campaigns over time become boring and unattractive. Make sure that you do not do it to your marketing campaign. Instead, change your approach- your offer and your message- as the season changes. You can also vary your segment or sequence.

Nonetheless, make sure you provide value to your drip marketing, as well as in your message. Your target audience will not even look at it if they do not find any use to your offer, even if you come out that often.

Keep Track – Finally, your drip marketing will not be effective if you do not have a strong and solid tracking system to measure your results. Make sure that you have the right systems in place to report on the outcome of your marketing campaign.

Drip marketing is all about having a plan of action. With the economy limping along, including drip marketing to your best new prospects can help you a great deal in making sure that you have an effective marketing campaign to capture all that you can.

Drip marketing is the process of sending out several promotional pieces consistently over a period of time to a targeted list. This direct marketing idea is aimed at staying in touch with your current and potential customers.  It is essential to have your targeted prospects and best customers think of you when they, or someone they know, need your product/service. It is well understood that it takes at least seven impressions before you and/or your product is recognized.

Plan your drip marketing campaign with 8-10 mailings to go beyond being recognized and move to being top-of-mind in your profession. To do this there are ways to get your promotional pieces seen and read.  Design your campaign so there is constant contact with your customers and prospects. Keep in mind that they want to be kept informed, educated, or understand something about your product or industry.

When it comes to your business you know:

  • How to perform in depth applications. Example: Follow-up a software purchase with advanced user tips and tricks so your customer will get more use from your program.
  • How to use your product that may be a complimentary use your customer hasn’t thought of. Example: “Our anti-static dryer sheets can also be used as drawer liners to keep your clothes smelling fresh.”
  • What your service includes besides what is customary. “As your Real Estate Agent I will show you houses, but also give you a tour of the surrounding community including schools, shopping complexes, restaurants, daycare, or whatever you’d like to see.”

Provide this information in a quick and concise format.  Start with a graphic that will get the recipient to notice your mail piece as they sort through all of the direct mail they receive. Consider sending the mail piece in a unique package that will by-pass those pesky gatekeepers. Personalize the mail piece with the recipient’s name with Variable Data Printing and consider using a Personalized URL micro site.

Draft a headline that will ignite their attention and force them to read on. Back-up your headline with a powerful statement that explains ‘specifically’ how your product/service will assist them, insert your picture so they feel like they know you, and have a strong call-to-action statement.

Segment your audience carefully. You may need to create sub-segments so the message you send to each segment is relevant for them. The campaign you create for your customers will be different than for potential customers. An effective drip marketing campaign requires that you send specific messages to specific audiences.

There are several ways you can deliver your message.

  • Personal delivery by your sales representative. This will provide your representative a personal stake in the campaign and may allow them some face-time with the prospect.
  • Send the package via UPS or FedEX. By requiring a signature and obtaining a tracking number you can be assured the package was delivered and provide easy method to follow-up.

Think of drip marketing as your way to nurture your current and potential customers. This campaign will keep them aware of your products/service and is an effective way to create a steady amount of business coming in the door.

Networking comes naturally for some, but for those business professionals who are shy, it can be torture. One of the biggest deterrents to effective networking is shyness and the lack of confidence to get out there and meet new people. Even if you consider yourself a naturally outgoing person, you’ve probably had moments where the thought of entering a room full of strangers made you nervous.

First, you need to realize that the majority of people are shy – at least in certain situations. You’re not the only one! Once you adopt this realization, it does wonders for you. See that executive standing by himself? Deep beneath all the power and prestige there’s probably a shy man wishing and waiting for someone to strike up a conversation with him.

Next, practice your networking skills with friends and family. Make a list of all the people you see frequently, but maybe haven’t had the chance to talk with recently. As the situation permits, practice the art of small talk with these people who you know are friendly toward you. The same skills you use with your family and friends can be used for friends you haven’t met yet

Another good tactic is to find someone who is naturally extroverted, and get him or her to introduce you to others. This works well for two reasons. First, it will be much easier to meet new people. Your friend will act as the link between you and the person you’re meeting – providing information and getting a conversation started. Second, your talkative friend will help cover any awkward gaps in conversation.

Look for the wallflowers. Wallflowers are other shy people who like to stand by themselves, away from others. People like the shy executive I used as an illustration earlier are just waiting for others to come and talk with them. Be that person and reap the rewards!
If you don’t want to be always seeking others out, position yourself so they come to you. Put yourself in situations that force you to meet new people. Work at a reception desk. Offer to be a greeter for an event. You’ll find it very easy to talk with people when they come to you.

Finally, develop your conversational skills. By reading a couple of good books on the art of talking with others, you’ll develop your ability to effectively communicate with others.