The latest buzz and trend on business acquisition today is what is known as inbound marketing. The theories are simple – develop and extend your brand so that people want to seek you out. It’s a kind of reverse marketing technique that really works well when it is done right.
However, inbound marketing does require using marketing strategies that mirror public relations efforts. One of the best ways that I have found to use inbound marketing is by offering something of value to the client. Rather than just offer to provide a service – I offer information. Most everyone finds some form of information useful, and therefore, valuable. The trick is to find the stuff that your clients want to know about. Then present it to them in exchange for something as simple as an email address.
When I want to really impress a client, I dress well, put on a smile and listen – really listen to what the client has to say. That’s how you find out what they need. Maybe they have a recurring issue that needs a solution. Perhaps they need a referral of some kind.
One of the main aspects of business etiquette – which may come as a surprise – actually has to do with visual appeal. For me, the best way to attract a client is through a nice environment. It needs to feel secure and safe. While that may seem a bit extreme, it really isn’t. By safe and secure I mean easy to relax in. This is where the meeting space comes in. It has to have a balance of professionalism, yet still feel comfortable.
Once you get a client’s contact information – this gives you an opportunity to send them all kinds of things they may find useful – like help with certain business situations you know they face or even offer discounts on things you offer in your line of business. It has been astounding to me how many of my clients contact me after reading a blog somewhere or responding to an email.
As President Kennedy said so many years ago “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” The same holds true for clients. Focusing on the sale is like constantly asking for something from a client. Offering something of value is what will bring them in and give you the opportunity to wow them!