What are Your Summer Marketing Plans?

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During the summer is an excellent time to start planting your seeds and watch them grow for the Fall and holiday season. Many of us will be attending various social networking events throughout the summer.  Today, we will live in a social society of building relationships and developing trust which takes time and effort. It is essential to continue with your marketing strategies throughout the summer months.  Keep in mind ” Out of Sight Out of Find“. You don’t want your current clients or customers and prospects to forget who you are or taken by your competitors. Even know it is summer time business still needs to march on and continue moving forward.

 Email Marketing Strategies 

  • Are you currently using a professional online email marketing company for your business or nonprofit organization?
  • Why use a professional email marketing company? Gives your company accreditation as a professional business or nonprofit organization.
  • Creates brand awareness with reinforcement.  Generates revenue and profit. Drives repeat business.
  • Consistent communication with current clients/customers and prospects.
  • Educate consumers on the values of your products and services.
  • Offer a special summer promotion on a Tuesday or Wednesday during the week to help increase foot traffic.
  • Define your target audience.
  • Communicate customer expectations by setting the tones of how many emails per month will be sent out to them.
  • Coordinate a strategy meeting with your employees and create a marketing calendar for the third and fourth quarter.
  • Write weekly blogs by educating consumers.
  • Share newsletters, announcements and events across social media platforms.

Steps in Building a Healthy Email List Efficiently

  • Review your database and reach out to clients/customers you have not touched base with in a while. This is an excellent project for a college summer intern project. Ask the client/customer join your email list.
  • Exchange business cards and asking the person for permission in signing up for your email list.
  • Train your employees by asking for email addresses when someone calls on the phone or in person. This can be a difficult task at times.
  • Provide a sign-up sheet with a traditional pen and paper at local events or on store or restaurant counters.
  • Create direct mail marketing campaign with postcards utilizing the “Every Day Direct Mail” program. Include a QR code with ” Join My Email List” link.
  • Be sure to create a button on your website ” Sign up for Our Email List” have the link embedded behind the scenes.

 Social Media Tips

  • All social media profiles should be updated across all platforms.
  • Be sure to keep a clean and concise LinkedIn profile.
  • A profile picture should have a ” happy smiling face”. Let’s face it who wants to build a business relationship with a sourpuss profile picture.
  • Join LinkedIn and Facebook groups. An excellent way to build business relationships and demonstrate your expertise.
  • Share business articles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. A great way to build business relationships.
  • Do you currently have a ” Business Facebook page”?
  • A Business Facebook page should have a business logo and a background picture.
  • Post only current information to create engagement with people.
  • Monitor all social media postings and respond back to people with professional comments.
  • How do you handle negative comments? My best advice is turning a negative situation into a positive experience.  Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and try our best each day.  Maybe offer some type of compensation for example $10.00 off your next order, a 15 minute complimentary consultation or complimentary shipping on a future product.

Do not forget to take some personal time off to relax and rejuvenate your body. We all need a mental break from conducting business and give our brain a chance to process everything and recharge it to be refreshed and crisp.

Cheryl Henchar, is the founder of Cheryl’s Creative Services.  Cheryl’s Creative Services mission is to Educate * Network * Grow. Cheryl is an educational speaker on educating small to medium size business and nonprofit organizations the values of email marketing and integrated online marketing tools.  Cheryl is an Authorized Local Expert speaker and certified with Constant Contact. Cheryl hosts a variety of educational seminars and webinars for various organizations such as local chambers, Rotary Clubs, libraries and private organizations. If your organization would like to schedule a complimentary seminar. Please contact Cheryl at (203) 249-0487 or by email.

Click on the button below if you would like to sign up for Cheryl’s Creative Services monthly newsletter.

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The Importance of a Sales Funnel for a Business

How often does your organization review the sales funnel? 

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I just recently attended the Constant Contact National Solutions Provider Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was an excellent conference with a wealth of information. I enjoyed seeing alumni’s and meeting new faces globally. This conference was all about ” Learn, Share, Inspire” from each other.  One of the key highlights for me was the importance of a sales funnel for a business of any industry and size. Building healthy business relationships and engaging with people generates inquires, qualified leads, opportunities, revenue. 

Let’s review the funnel process. 

Inquires

  •  Online-presence  with the prospect calling on the phone or sending an email 
  •  A referral from a client/customer 
  •  Direct mail response 
  •  Received a response from a brochure or a flyer

Qualified Leads

  • Ask the prospects specific questions 
  • What is your current marketing budget?
  • How long has the organization been in business?
  • What are your goals?

Opportunities

  • Networking at Chamber events and Business Groups
  • Meet up organizations
  • Educational seminars
  • SCORE events
  • Local community events 

Revenue

  • Monthly, quarterly yearly goals
  • Service layering
  • Partnerships 
  • Resale programs 

The benefits of reviewing the sales funnel on a quarterly basis

  • Keeps focus on inquires 
  • Review the revenue to see where adjustments can be made on pricing for goods and services 
  • Nurturing qualified leads
  • Reviewing new business opportunities
  • Helps to project reasonable goals and obtain them for the internal and external sales team 

Staying Connected with your Clients and Prospects

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It’s essential to stay connected with your clients and prospects for many reasons. If you have a disconnect with them, one of your friendly competitors will take them away from you. Once you lose a customer. It’s very difficult to win them back to your business. September is a busy month for various networking events. Most businesses start planning their holiday season during the summer months. Now is an excellent time to start reviewing your database. Which prospects or clients the sales team hasn’t touched base with recently. Reviewing and updating your business database is a great job for a college intern or high school person to help keep the database organized.

Why is it essential to stay in touch with clients and prospects?

  1. Generate business and increase income
  2. Creates engagement (out of sight out of mind)
  3. A great referral source

Who should the sales team keep in touch with?

  1. Current prospects and clients
  2. Previous clients
  3. Vendors and resellers
  4. Prospects from various networking events and meetings
  5. Referrals

Ask your prospects or clients which is the best way to communicate with them?

  1. Do they prefer to text message?
  2. A phone call
  3. Communicate by email

What are your business and team goals?

  1. Generate new business from current clients (such as offering a new service or product to them)
  2. Convert prospects into new clients
  3. Revisit previous clients to rejuvenate business
  4. Increase referral sources (set up a referral program)
  5. Introduce new products and services

Organize your database

  1. Various groups and organizations
  2. What type of lead “Hot, Medium, Warm, Cold”
  3. Create lists for email marketing
  4. Keep active notes regarding cold calls, meetings, follow-up after an introduction

Business Strategies

  1. Schedule and conduct meetings with prospects and clients
  2. Coordinate convenient times for a follow-up process
  3. Create introductions for referrals
  4. Review clients wants and needs
  5. Show your expertise and knowledge
  6. Create a “wow experience”

Email Marketing Strategies 

  1. Create various list by clients, prospects, industries, networking groups
  2. Generate a short concise newsletter utilizing a Mobile friendly template
  3. Create buttons for people to click on
  4. Provide value and educational tips for the readers
  5. Be consistent in communicating bi-monthly or monthly
  6. Post newsletter, events, coupons all on social media vehicles
  7. Text to join
  8. Great communication to a large audience all at once (especially during inclement weather closings)

Sharing Valuable Content with Everyone

  1. Share industry news by clicking the social share button
  2. Post and share articles on social media vehicles
  3. Subscribe to Google Alerts for various daily industry articles

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The Benefits of Networking at Various Events For Your Business

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Marketing has changed dramatically over the years.  Business owners have a variety of  options how to Market their business effectively.   Networking has become such a vital tool for everyone.  Become a strong net-worker by joining various groups and organizations within your area.  Networking helps business owners to develop a la pour with prospects which can turn into a paying customer. I have learned in the past fifteen months building a warm friendly relationship with a prospect can lead to a hot customer for your business. Sometimes it may take 4 or 5 months by the time a prospect becomes a paying customer. Networking is not always an easy task and can be very challenging at times for everyone.  It takes a strong effort and diligence in reaching out to people.  The more business exposure as a business owner you can get the stronger you will be able to build your business. Out of sight and out of mind. If people don’t see you at any networking events. Here are two schools of thoughts. First, they may determine you are too busy for any more business. Second, you have shut the doors permanently. Also remember to carry plenty of business cards with you. You never know where your next prospect or paying customer might be.

Do you belong to a local Chamber?  I am very active in the Stamford Chamber of Commerce. I have built some wonderful and meaningful business colleague relationships. I found it helpful to join the Ambassador’s committee. It’s a core committee and an excellent way in meeting other business owners.

I am also a member of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. It’s a smaller chamber than Stamford and offers different events through out the year.  It’s another avenue of networking in a local community.

Do you belong to a neighborhood association?  Joining a local neighborhood association is another avenue to network with your neighbors and other business owners.  Normally these groups only meet monthly or quarterly.

Do you belong to a specialized group? I joined the Females Over 40 Group. It’s not only a women’s group. Men can also have the opportunity to join or attend an invite.  I have built some solid business relationships within this organization.  I attend educational networking seminars or casual networking events at a local restaurant.

After attending and investing money in various groups, it’s time to put an action plan together.  It is very important after meeting people at any type of networking event to follow up with them immediately with a quick phone call or an email.  For example, ask when is a good time to have a cup of coffee or a lite lunch.  We all live a very busy schedule.  People will forget who they had met very easily after an event if you don’t follow up with them immediately.

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