People respond to good leadership! Period! It is in all aspects of our lives, not just business. A mother is a leader in her home; a son may be leader of a team sport or a daughter the leader of the debate team. A group relies on the person in charge to actually lead them to success. A true leader is highly ethical, honest, trustworthy and respected.
In our society we have leaders and followers. Are we born to one or the other? No! Can you hone your leadership skills? Absolutely! Can you learn to be an excellent follower? Absolutely!
The leaders that I admire seem to have all of these in place:
Direct response marketing is a marketing that demands a direct response from your potential customers. This type of marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding, products and the reason you do what you do. Customers love this, as they are offered the opportunity to response, whether that be in the way of signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.
So, what does direct response marketing look like?
Many people assume that if someone is successful it is because they have good leadership skills. Some people assume that if a business is successful it is because it has good leaders. Leadership isn’t something that is particularly easy to pass on to other people. Sometimes a company is successful because a past leader was very skilled as a leader and the current leader simply has kept things running the same as before.
Great leadership is a rare skill. For most people it doesn’t come naturally. It is amazing how many organizations are successful even though they have only marginally competent people leading them. Many times this is because the structure of the organization helps make up for a leaders short comings.
As many today are indicating, we are moving into a time of the collaborative economy. Few large organizations can provide all raw materials, services or product knowledge to be a single dominant market leader. More and more companies are relying on development of solid partnerships to become a sum that is larger than the component parts. Whether the collaboration is between firms, individuals or individuals working with firms, all collaborative partnerships are built on a foundation of honesty, trust, and attraction, but why do some, not all, last, endure and actually prosper over time?
Today we’d like to discuss the three most important start-up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.
In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow-up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow-up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.
None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!
Recently, we have changed my title from Executive Coach to Disruptive Executive Coach since so much of what we have been discussing with people seems to disrupt their comfort levels. The key is that it seems to be in a positive manner. Unfortunately, the word is over used. It has been grossly expanded by all of the uses that seem to be tied to it in literature and brochures.
As you undoubtedly know, the term “disruptive innovation” comes to us from Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen and his excellent 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Christensen observes that many successful companies spend most of their time working on what he calls “sustaining innovations.” By spending this time on maintaining and incrementally improving existing products or services, they become susceptible to a “disruptive innovation” from competitors or start-ups that no one even heard of in the current period. Examples range from technology leaders in computers to the impact of iPhone and iPads on society to non-technical ideas such as crowd sourcing and ecollaboration. The primary applications were in the technology arena but then it began to expand to business processes and other non-technical fields, hence the over use.
Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
What do people really want to buy from me?
What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.
“The future belongs to a different kind of person,” says Daniel Pink, in his book, A Whole New Mind.
It belongs to “…creative and empathetic right-brain thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.”
Pink claims we are living in a different age. A different time that demands different thinking.
According to Pink, right-brain creative thinking coupled with left-brain logistical reasoning is the great differentiation that separates the wheat from the chaff. I concur and expand it to incorporate a move to the next level:
From The Information Age to the Conceptual Age to the Collaborative Age
Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.
Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers: