Marketing Versus Prospecting: How To Increase New Clients

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One of the most crucial parts of business growth, particularly that of sales revenue, is increasing new clients. However, many businesses only see marketing as the only way to attract instead of prospecting, of actually engaging with them. As a result, too few get to the door and stay. In this episode, Doug C. Brown shares some advice on how you can effectively increase new clients and get them to engage with your business and not just pass by. He then talks about marketing methods versus prospecting and walks you through a four-step process to start seeing high results.

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Marketing Versus Prospecting: How To Increase New Clients

We’re going to talk about one of the facets of sales revenue growth, which most people focus on as their primary, which is getting new clients. When they think about getting new clients, most of them are thinking about, “What are the ways I can use to get new clients?” In other words, “I have to come up with some methods, i.e., maybe I can put an ad out or I think about referrals, or I think about building a network of something to help me get incoming.” Some people even think about PR and different types of branding-type of strategies. What I’d like you to think about is getting new clients in the term of getting a direct response. It means, you put an action out, you expect an action back.

If you take something like PR, you may occasionally get a response back, but most of the time, this is all for branding purposes. Branding purposes is to build credibility. Hopefully, you’ll get responses out of that. When you think about new clients, let’s think about going after them directly. What do we want to do? Maybe it’s making a cold call, or in the old days it was cold calls and door knocks. You didn’t really even have email. You didn’t have cell phones to work with way back when. You use the phone and you show up in person, or sometimes you use direct mail.

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Most people are thinking about ways to get new clients. You’ve got to have that, but that’s not the primary right out of the gate. The first question is, “Why do you even need new clients? Why do you need them?” There are two reasons that you need them. The primary is you’ll need them to stay in business and constantly grow. You want to be able to optimize the sales methodologies, and you want to be able to optimize the things that actually increase your revenues with those new clients. When you get a new client, for example, increasing transactional value. How are you supposed to increase the buying frequency for example if you don’t have a new client? You need a certain amount of new clients and you need to be able to retain those clients. You can’t do that without continuous new clients. Why? Because a certain natural percentage of clients will attrite every single period of time, whether that’s annual or monthly or whatever it might be. Depending on what type of business you’re in, you will get an attrition.

I’ve read statistics that show across the board about 62% of people who come in will stay, but that means about 38% will not, unless you’re focused on some of the other revenue generation components and facets, which we’ll talk about in future episodes. Let’s talk about marketing methods. A lot of times, people are confusing marketing and prospecting. Marketing, i.e., creating all this material and prospecting, meaning I’m getting that material out in front of someone else. Think about a business card, which is great marketing piece, but if you don’t put it in someone’s hand or have a discussion on around that, it’s basically a great marketing piece. You want to be able to put that in someone’s hand. I look at generating new clients as prospecting because the marketing component has to be part of that. You have to take something from marketing and put it into play, so somebody else can engage with you. That is prospecting.

Increase New Clients: A certain natural percentage of clients will attrite every single period of time.

There are about four different things I want you to think through on this process. The first is you’ve got to create a prospecting plan. Some people call this a marketing plan, I don’t care what you call it. The reality is you’ve got to get down as to why you’re doing this. What’s the end goal? What are we trying to achieve? What’s the ideal persona that we’re going after? You can’t go after everybody. A lot of people think you can, but maybe as part of your marketing plan or part of your prospecting plan, you’re going after large accounts, for example. That’s got to be part of the plan. Why are you doing it? Why are you here? Why are you existing? All of this has to be part of the plan. If you don’t have that, then what you’re going to find is it’s easy to get pulled off your next few steps here. The second one is you must create what is called a marketing calendar. I call it a prospecting calendar. You’ve got to put it in play. You’ll find that the third step is populating that calendar. The fourth step is implementing it, which is putting it into play.

Let’s go back to the creation of the actual calendar. When you’re creating a calendar, what I want you to understand is you’re going to populate that, so you create it and populate that, but you want to think through this a lot more strategically. A lot of times people will start throwing things in there like, “I’ll take A, B, C, D, whatever.” We’ll launch that, and sometimes that works. Be a little bit more strategic about this process. I want you to think of short, medium and long range. Short being something that you could do that you get a response, let’s say 0 to 30 days. Medium being 30 days to 5 months. Long being 5-plus months. For example, making a cold call, 0 to 30 days, medium range, getting something that is 30 days to 5 months. What could that be? That might be doing a podcast for example. You start getting traction in a couple of months. Long range, going after branding or PR or building an agency, or something like that. It’s going to take time to do that. In fact, with most agencies, it takes 12 to 24 months to start seeing high results come back from that.

Don't get bogged down in paralysis because there are going to be things you're going to learn along the way. Click To Tweet

One of the mistakes that people make when they’re putting together their calendar is they’re putting together a lot of long-term things, thinking they can accomplish all these. They’re putting in 20 things in their calendar, thinking that they can implement these 20 things. The reality is they can’t. They end up drowning in this process, so they end up spending a lot of unnecessary money out the door because they are not focused on the things that are bringing return immediately. What I want you to think of is short, short, medium, long. That’s the path. When you’re populating whatever you’re populating, put that into the calendar, short-term things. “What’s a short-term thing?” Cold-calling can be one of them. “I don’t like cold-calling.” You don’t have to do cold-calling. Going back to clientele, asking for referrals, using someone else’s warm network, that could be considered maybe a short to medium process as well. If you’re building an agency, it’s going to be a long-term one.

The reality is you want to think short, short, short, medium, short, short, medium, long, something like that. The reason you want to do this first is because if you don’t get returns coming in quickly, then what you’re going to find out is you’re going to be spending a lot of time, money and energy on the outbound, but getting a little bit back on the inbound. Remember the formula, money out plus money in, equals something. You don’t want money, time and energy going out without having money coming in to exceed that, so you have a positive return. With short-term, you condense the sales cycle down into a smaller timeframe and you can reach people quickly. Think direct response. You want to go out, you want to have something come right back into you. You want to make sure that you’re monetizing that as quickly as possible. Short, short, short, medium, start that way in the beginning, then go short, short, short, medium, run it again.

Increase New Clients: Prospecting is taking something from marketing and putting it into play, so somebody else can engage with you.

The longs can be sprinkled in. If you are going after extremely large accounts, complex sales, multi-person accounts, they’re usually a long-term play. Not always, but for most parts in prospecting, they will be a long-term play. You might have short, short, short, medium, short, short, medium, long, and put that into play. If you have a lot of money behind you, you could probably extend that out. You could probably say, “I got carrying cost, I’ll be happy to carry this whole process,” and you could put more long-term plays in. In the beginning especially, and if you’re an entrepreneur that has business on you, solo-entrepreneurs, salespeople or whatever, go short and direct response.

Don’t think of branding and branding capacity as a return. The first time I did PR, it took me approximately three months to get published somewhere. You might say, “Doug, you’re not really that good at it. I can do it in 30 days.” That’s great, get ahold of me. Let me know how you’re doing. I can tell you on the 3rd month, 4th month, 5th month, 6th month, I started getting a heck of a lot more traction. All of a sudden, someone calls me from that PR, but it took about six months before I got a phone call. If I hadn’t been focused on short-term durations, then I would have had tons of phone calls coming in and I would have tons of conversations going on and I would be selling stuff quicker. I hope this makes sense.

When you’re doing this, please understand one other component. Everything that you put into the calendar, everything that you’re going to implement is going to require some of your time, your energy and most likely some of your money. You want to have a great system around this, that system where you have follow-up involved in that. If they respond, you’re going to have something that’s already created that you can go out. Maybe it’s just verbally and that’s fine. Maybe it’s something on email, text or social media, or whatever it might be, you want to get prepared ahead of time with as much as possible. Don’t get bogged down in paralysis because there are going to be things you’re going to learn along the way. You want to have follow-up and you want to have systems around this, “If this happens, then that.” Make them strategic, “If this happens, then that or this or something else.” You want to have a few outcomes for everything that’s going on now.

How do you populate the calendar? You can put down what you think that you want to do. Remember short, short, short, medium, short, short, medium, long. You want to do that way or whatever you want to do. Once you are going to have to populate that calendar, you’re going to then implement that calendar. That’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. You must make sure that you’re able to handle the return side of it. What will happen is you’ll start to get overwhelmed quite frankly. What will happen is you won’t get certain methods working for you optimally, or maybe not even at all.

I recommend if you’re starting this out new, you’re reading this and you’re like, “We’ve got some stuff,” we’ve got to start a new one that you put one new method into play every month or every other month. That will get you between 6 and 12 new methods in a year, depending on how many you can handle. I can tell you this, if you do the short, short, short, medium, and you stay in that place, what’s going to end up happening is you’re going to create so much business over the next year, that you’re going to have to make some decisions, “This one’s not working as well as that one.”

Keep a running log and grade them. Are they an A? Are they an F? Are they a C? What you’re looking for over time is six-plus ways to get A’s and B’s coming into your life. If you do this, you will be a master prospector, and that master prospector will always outsell the master closer. Here’s the deal. It’s a great focus. You must have a constant focus on getting new clients. It’s impossible to continue to grow your business with just existing clients. You’ve got to expand the sale even from existing clients, which means you need to get new clients. Once you get new clients, you can apply optimization strategies and revenue expansion strategies to that, and that will help you get exponential growth in your revenue.

You do this because you have a certain amount of clients who are going to stay, and a certain amount of clients who are going to leave or become dormant, or for whatever reason, not even your own fault, sometimes it is just going to happen. It’s part of the business. That’s a law that governs all of us in that regard as far as Law of Averages. You’re going to put together the four steps, the plan, you’re going to put together the calendar. You’re going to put together and populate that calendar, then you’re going to implement that. You’re going to use short, short, short, medium, long type strategies, but in the beginning go more shorts. It’s the stuff that gives you 0 to 30 days response time. You’re going to be focusing on that. You’re going to put in one of these per month or one of these per every other month, and watch your revenues grow. That’s what will happen.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Make sure that you have systems and processes, and follow up for every single thing that you’re doing, and you will fare well. This is Doug Brown from the CEO Sales Strategies show. If you like what you read, please subscribe. Please let someone else know about this. I would be very grateful if you do so, and it’s going to help someone else. If you find value in this, they’ll find value in this as well. Until next time. If you have comments or questions, send them in. I love reading these things. I’ll respond or one of my team members will respond to you. Go out there and be brilliant, and grow your revenues to your success.

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Doug C. Brown is the CEO of Business Success Factors and creator of Sales Revenue Growth University, where he teaches the best sales revenue growth strategies for companies who are serious about their sales growth. These are the same strategies and methodologies that he used to increase a company’s close rate by 862% and their revenue growth by 116% - all within four months.

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