Call today for a 3 month no obligation trial 01323 345000

Is Your Business Ready for the Next ‘Window of Opportunity?’

web design eastbourne

Throughout the year there are a few optimum months that are just right for cultivating new business opportunities and in order to maximise these ‘windows of opportunity’, it’s important to be primed and ready!

January is obviously a great time to start a new business campaign, however, between September and the beginning of December is also a perfect time to secure new business. Therefore, the intention of this post is to take you through the various stages involved in preparing for a new business campaign, so that you can ensure your business is ‘campaign ready’ in time for a September new business campaign launch.

Strategic Business Development – Be Aware of Seasonal Impact

We will soon be entering the holiday season and, given the rules around not being permitted to take children out of school during term time, ‘every man and his dog’ tends to now take their summer holiday between the end of July and the beginning of September. With many people on annual leave during July and August, we as business owners and/or sales representatives need to use this time wisely, to ensure that we are in an ideal position to hit the ground running when ‘every man and his dog’ returns to work in September!

Use the Summer Months Wisely

With so many people away over the summer, it is obviously harder to catch people at-their-desks. Therefore, if you haven’t already begun to cultivate your sales pipeline in advance of July and August, it can be a tough time to start cultivating one. If you’ve already made a start and begun to gain momentum, it’s easier to maintain a steady flow of opportunities however, if you’re yet to start or even if you have but you’re struggling to gain any traction, my advice is to use July and August to get organised, ready to hit the prospecting hard when September arrives!

Autumn is a Great Time for New Business

Autumn is a great time to cultivate and secure new business. People are back from their holidays and are again focused on their work. That’s why there’s a prime ‘window of opportunity’ between September and the first week of December that’s just perfect for securing new business. However, there’s a lot of preparatory work to be done during the summer months to get your business into an ideal position to generate new business from September onward and to ensure that you maximise the opportunities the Autumn months have to offer.

December is a Great Time for CRM

Once December comes along, if you’ve cultivated your sales pipeline well in the months leading up to December, you should sail through to January without much of a dry spell. Plus there are also lots of great client relationship building initiatives that you can carry out leading up to Christmas and during the beginning of January – but I will save these for another post. Click this link and follow our Company Page for more of these posts.

Anyway, back to maximising the summer months and preparing your business for a September new business campaign. Here are a series of activities that you should be doing during July and August to ensure that you are ‘campaign ready’ by September.

How to Prepare for a Successful New Business Campaign

1.   Recognise your Key Selling Points

Take time out to review your business. Write down all the positive attributes that make your company a great company to work with. Write bullet points rather than long sentences, this will help to avoid ‘marketing waffle’ and you’ll be left with a list of genuine key selling points. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why should a company want to use my services or buy my products?
  • What makes us better or different?
  • What is it about my product or service that people should know about?
  • What are our strengths? (It is also worth noting your weaknesses so you are aware of these).

2.   Clearly Articulate Your Proposition

Many business owners we work with are often so close to their work that they can’t see the wood for the trees. They find articulating their proposition and promoting themselves extremely challenging. This is very common so don’t worry if this is how you feel about your business. Try to take a step back and ask yourself, if I didn’t know what our business did, would I know once I landed on my website or if I had received an introductory email? If the answer is no then you really need to go back to the drawing board and write your marketing communications and website content – starting with your findings in Q1. I know this might sound like hard work but trust me, if you get this bit right it will pay dividends in the end!

3.   Carefully Review your Sales and Marketing Materials

Review all your sales and marketing literature including new business introductory letters and emails, case studies, sales and marketing communications materials. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they capturing the key selling points identified in Q1?
  • Is your messaging clear and concise?
  • Are your marketing messages consistent or are there inconsistencies, or worse still, are there contradictions?
  • Can prospects see the work we do? Case studies and images are a great way to share work and are often far more effective than lots of words.

4. Does Your Website Professionally and Effectively Support Your Business?

  • In reviewing your marketing messages, you must also include your website and again, ask the questions above.
  • Does it communicate your key selling points as identified in Q1?
  • Are your messages clear and concise and crucially, ensure that it isn’t just ‘waffle’.

Consumers, don’t have time to try to figure out why they should choose your business over your competitors, they need to instantly be made aware of the benefits and the needs your company and your products or services deliver.

5. Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

As more than 80% of website visitors are now viewing a website from a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet, all websites must now be mobile responsive. If visitors to your site need a magnifying glass or have to zoom in and out just to read it, this will almost certainly turn customers away.

6. Is Your Website Optimised for Search Engines (SEO)?

So that your website can be found on Google and other search engines your website also needs to be optimised from the outset. It is a good idea to also put in place an on-going search engine optimisation campaign to obtain and maintain a top-ranking, page one Google position. This activity shouldn’t cost the earth and some companies certainly do it better than others, so do ‘shop around’ and be sure to obtain client references before parting with any hard-earned cash!

7. Know Your Competitors

Write down your top 5 competitors and take time to review their websites. Look at how they are selling themselves and see if there is anything they might have missed or an angle that resonates with you. I’m not saying copy your competitors but if they are doing something that feels right, why not maximise your opportunities and take something good from each of them. Equally if any of them are doing anything badly, also take note and avoid doing this yourself.

8. Know and Understand Your Ideal Target Audience?

Do you know who is buying your product or service or who is likely to want to invest in your product or service? To do this, it helps to write down all their characteristics and to create a clear profile of your ideal target consumer.

  • What industry sector do they operate in?
  • What is their turnover or company size?
  • What job title do the people who ‘buy’ your products and services usually have?
  • What geographical area do they come from?

9. Draw Up Your Target List

Next you need to draw up a wish list of target companies – a dream list of companies you would like to work with. I call it a dream or wish list but do be realistic! Ask yourself:

  • Will they really want to buy our products or services?
  • Are we realistically able to support a company like that?
  • Do we have what they would look for in a B2B partner or supplier?
  • Will they pay the prices we have set?

If any of the answers are no, don’t put them on your list – better still, also create a list of companies who not to target. On this list you could add companies who you perhaps know to be slow or bad payers and companies who you would prefer not to work with. This will help you to build a profile of who you should be focusing your time and efforts on.

10. Research Your Targets

Once you have your list, spend some time gathering names, phone numbers and if possible email addresses. If you’re busy managing other aspects of your business and don’t have time to do this crucial bit yourself, perhaps look to delegate it to someone else. It is always recommended to know as much as possible about your prospects before making contact with them, so do take time to research them, perhaps look them up on LinkedIn and at the very least, take a look around their website.

11. How and When Can You Contact Them?

Once you know who your target or prospect is, you then need to consider the best method for reaching them.

  • What time are they likely to be at their desk?
  • Are there any seasonal influences that will mean they might not be around – such as schools closing during the holidays etc?
  • What communications channels will be best to reach them with your sales messages?
  • Do they have a mobile or direct number?

12. Write a Concise and Effective Introductory Email

Now armed with these findings, write a concise introductory email that reflects all of the positive attributes of your business. Again, be concise and avoid marketing waffle! It is also a good idea to write 2-3 follow up emails that will help to cultivate your relationships. I will look to cover ‘Writing Effective Introductory Communications’ in another post. Again these will be posted on our Company Page

13. Write an Effective Telephone Script that Captures Q1

Write a telephone script that captures the key points recognised in Q1. Ensure that your script doesn’t sound like a script when it is read on the phone – and be sure not to deliver it like it’s a script.

14. Go For It! You’re now ready to start your campaign head on in September – Good Luck!

If you require support with any of the stages mentioned above or if you’re planning a new business campaign or perhaps considering taking on an in-house sales person, why not give Magnetic Business Development a call to discuss your business objectives. Established in 2005, Magnetic Business Development provide effective, proven outsourced business development solutions which on average costs 2-3 times less per year than a full-time employed salesperson, particularly when you factor in the many hidden costs such as benefits, commissions, paid sick days and holidays.

All our charismatic BDM’s are highly skilled at generating leads and cultivating relationships that lead to meetings and opportunities for new business. Whenever we take on a new client we go through many of the steps detailed above to ensure that the meetings generated on behalf of our clients are on target, with key decision makers and of exceptional quality. We offer a 3 month no obligation trial and will soon be planning our schedule for September so contact us to discuss your business objectives and to be included in our September schedule.

01323 345000 info@magneticbd.co.uk www.magneticbd.co.uk

Background:

Established in 2005 by Managing Director, Ebony Varney.

Ebony has a proven track record of success and is experienced in targeting and cultivating global, national and multi-site companies, having represented companies from a range of industry sectors including Construction, Facilities Management, Cleaning, Construction Consultancy, IT, Finance, Telecommunications, Charities, Publishing, Insurance, Travel and Marketing and Advertising. Ebony even supported the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Switzerland, helping them to secure high profile blue chip consumer brand relationships for their ‘Red’ Aids awareness initiative.

Ebony holds a First Class Honours Marketing Communications Degree obtained from The University of Greenwich, London and has a unique combination of ‘a lifetime’ in sales and a comprehensive understanding of marketing and the power of intelligent marketing communications.