1. Listen to (and write down!) the questions your clients ask. They’re clues to the problems you can help them solve. They’re also topics for your next article, talk and e-newsletter. Don’t invent this stuff – just listen!
2. Plan and write out your next sales conversation. Got a meeting next week with a hot prospect? Write down the words you will use to find out who the decision makers are, what the budget is, the scope of their problem, and how you’ll ask them to take next steps. If you have no idea how to do this, send me an email and I’ll help you think through it.
3. Read a marketing article. Most non-marketers don’t go out of their way to read about marketing. A painless way to stay motivated, though, is to read one new article every week. Start here: YOUR BLOG HERE
4. Pay attention to the marketing messages all around you. See if you can pick out the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) and call-to-action (what they want you to do). Practice thinking like a marketer.
5. If you manage others who perform your client work, visit a client with your employee to show interest. This keeps you fresh and demonstrates your commitment to the client. It also shows the client that there’s more to your organization than their sole point of contact.
6. Give a copy of this article to your staff and ask them to come to the next staff meeting prepared to talk about the ideas that this generates. Ask people to commit to one new task. Have them give a progress report at the next meeting. Rinse, repeat.
7. Draft a 3 or 4-question survey to do short, conversational telephone interviews with your target audience to find out what they struggle with…what’s on their wish list…what they want from you.
Do NOT ask them if they want to buy anything from you. This is a relationship-building task, NOT a sales call. That comes much later. Ask others you work with to pick two clients or prospects and call them. Compare notes and discuss your findings.
8. Think of small solutions that you can offer to important problems. Or small solutions to little problems. The key is to think small. It’s less intimidating for your customer to “sample” you and makes it easy for them to take a first step.
9. Practice saying your Positioning Statement out loud. To the mirror. In the car. In the elevator. If you don’t know what your Positioning Statement is, that’s a problem. Email me and I’ll give you a hand.
10. Visualize doing any one of these things successfully. Really – it’s what professional athletes, speakers, performers, and successful people do all the time. Visualize it, and it will be so.
The next time a scientist tells me they can’t market, I’ll know better. These ideas clearly prove that theory wrong!