A strong marketing program requires much more than simply picking up the phone and trying to secure a search assignment in one call. Clients are more sophisticated and less trusting of monotonous sales pitches than ever before. Here are three distinct elements for a well-rounded marketing program:
Reach has to do with how big of a net you are able to cast. How many people hear about your service on a regular basis? Let’s say that you offer an excellent service and have a strong follow up plan but only expose your offer to 10 prospects in a year. No matter how good you are, your plan will fail if you don’t have enough exposure.
Here’s an example of expanding reach: Let’s say that you decide to write an article for a niche publication that your target market tends to read. First you interview 10 leaders for information then you write the article. The article gets published and is read by 1,000 people. Your reach for that effort would be 1,000.
If instead you interviewed 100 leaders (potential clients) and got the article published in three publications that would be read by 10,000 people, you would have 10 times the reach as compared to the example above. Keep in mind that writing the article takes the same amount of time either way. But by focusing on expanding your reach you have gotten much more leverage from the effort.
How often are your prospects hearing from you? The lack of repetition may be the number one flaw in the majority of marketing plans. Here are two statistics to be aware of:
- On average, it takes seven exposures to a new service before someone buys that service. That statistic is worth repeating: It takes seven exposures to a new service before someone buys that service.
- The average sales person calls on a prospect two to three times before giving up. The sales person then moves on to “fresh” cold call prospects.
Do you see the potential problem with those two statistics? In the past there was a two-step courting process for gaining new clients. That is, we would help prospects move from a stranger to a client. Today your prospects are oversaturated with billboards, spam, cold calls and bad sales pitches from your competitors. Because of these factors, they are less open to your offer and more skeptical about recruiters than ever before.
Today you need a longer courting process. That is helping your prospect move from a stranger – to a friend – and then to a client. To do this you need a seven step “slow drip system” by which you will expose your services to each prospect at least seven times over the course of six to twelve months.
How relevant is what you have to offer to your prospect? If you reach a large number of prospects and follow up with them regularly but have nothing relevant to offer, your plan will produce mediocre results. Today’s clients want a more sophisticated search partner, someone who can act as a consultant and surprise the client by delivering more than what was expected. Relationship building skills now play a much bigger role in marketing success. We are in the “service age” and clients want problem solvers who can help them save time, save money and increase productivity.
A good way to stay relevant with prospects is to offer complimentary services that are tailored to them. Here are some examples:
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A. You can offer a content rich, narrowly targeted newsletter
B. Offer to conduct salary comparisons
C. Conduct a survey
D. Offer special reports with relevant information
E. Deliver training to managers on effective interview techniques
F. Offer to be your prospects’ “talent scout” in the market place
The “Three R’s” can provide you with a simple compass to make sure that you stay on course when thinking about your marketing strategy. If one of the three is missing your plan will likely produce spotty results. If all three are present, you will be destined for stronger production and an ever-growing client list.