It’s that time of year when we look back at what we’ve accomplished and look forward at what is to come. It’s also that time of year to start planning to reach new customers and prospects for the 2013 selling season.
What Kind Of Marketing Do You Want?
So…what is your plan? Are you going to go with the “I’ll take what I can get” approach? Or are you going to target customers strategically so you can win as many sales as possible?
Take What You Can Get?
The “take what I can get approach” is essentially marketing with a blindfold. You send your message out via mailers, phone calls etc. and hope someone responds to it. It doesn’t hit a specific target. And it often results in creating low profit customers. The time and cost of serving these customers produces a profit drain for your company.
Or, Target Who You Want…
On the other hand, the “strategic target customer acquisition” approach is like marketing with a magnifying glass. You target the prospects that will provide maximum profit for your company. You can provide them with a better offer and sales proposition because you are serving them with greater effectiveness and efficiency. Plus, they are more profitable because you can serve more customers with less time and fuel.
If you answered yes to approach number two (the strategic target customer acquisition approach) then read on for a few easy steps you can follow to start strategically acquiring your customers and begin loading your 2013 sales pipeline.
How To Strategically Target And Acquire Customers
Over the past few years, I have gotten the chance to work with companies of all sizes across the country to help them implement Go iLawn and Go iPave. I have found that the companies that have the most success and hit their goals for reaching more customers and growing their businesses are the companies that strategically acquire customers in one of two ways: clustering their customers, or choosing a ‘category’ of customer.
Clustering your customers results in dominating a geographic area. It begins with choosing a customer you want to grow your business around and ends with winning as much business around that customer as possible. By clustering customers, you can service more properties in less time. Plus, you can provide a higher level of customer service; since your crews will spend a lot of time in the area, you can quickly send someone to visit another customer to address issues. On top of these benefits, you will have brand recognition in your cluster, making it all the more difficult for your competitors to overcome your dominance.
Choosing a category means you choose one property type that you want to be the preeminent service provider for. Your goal is to dominate this category by acquiring all of the customers within it. If you can do this, you will have not only positioned yourself as the go-to provider for that property type, but you have also positioned yourself to command a higher
price-point for this very reason.
Sometimes these strategies will intertwine. For example, if you choose to target the category of ‘office buildings’, you are probably going to find office buildings that are located around other office buildings. This would give you the opportunity to service the category that is located in a cluster- a win-win!
So, what do you think will work for your business? The cluster or the category approach? Tell us in the comments section of this post. AND, stay tuned because the next post in this series will tell give you a step-by-step process of how to start targeting your customers with both of these approaches.