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What Should You Do? Business Development and Marketing Blueprint Purpose of this Blueprint: 1. To help the business owner understand where new business really comes from 2. To help the business owner understand the key elements needed to create a well executed business development plan for each source of new business 3. To suggest specific business development and marketing activities and actions items Most business owners get into business for one of three reasons: 1. They want to work for themselves 2. They have recently been laid off or have retired and want to start or buy a business that is related to something they have always had an interest in. 3. They have identified a problem and they think they have the solution and want to start a business that solves that problem 4. Some combination of the above Problem Most businesses fail, not through lack of expertise or ability to deliver on their product or service, but because they are not able to bring in enough profitable business Solution Understanding where new business really comes from. The majority of new, profitable business comes from referrals through existing relationships. (see attached diagram) If a company honestly looks at where their most profitable business comes from they will almost always conclude that if comes from referrals and recommendations. Here is the breakdown - 90% of new business comes from one of the three following sources: (every business is different and the percentages will vary but the reality of where new business comes from will still be very accurate):

1. People that know you directly 2. People that know someone who knows you directly 3. People that have found your company by searching the internet For most small or new businesses referrals and recommendations from #1 and #2 can account for more than 50% of new business. It is useful to understand that there are three main types of buyers (see attached diagram): 1. The 10%’r - this type of buyer will shop for the lowest price they can find even if someone they trust highly makes a recommendation. Avoid these type of buyers at all cost 2. 25% of the people want to be referred by someone they trust and they will pay a premium because of this. This is what is called the “trust premium” and if possible your product/service pricing strategies should be based on this amount. This group should also be your primary business development and marketing target. 3. 65% of the people want to be referred by someone they trust but they will still do their due diligence as to the recommended parties’ ability to perform and that the price/value relationship is fair. A major change in buying habits is that the vast majority of these buyers go directly to the internet (i.e. Google) to research the company being recommended. Please note - the reality is that a very large percentage of buyers “want” to be referred or recommended and that if they do research it is almost always on the internet using Google. So how do you go about generating new business? It is not easy but the following plan will give you a great chance at succeeding: Business Development Process 1. Defining your prospect’s and customer’s experience objectives a. You need to define what you want your prospect’s and customer’s experience to be. The best way to do this is to use emotion driven adjectives and descriptive phrases on how you want your prospects and customers to feel as they interact with you. The number one emotion that you want to achieve is that you can solve their problem or fill their need. Additional adjective or descriptive phrase examples might be - most knowledgeable in their field, trustworthy, experienced, immediate response, expert etc. Really think about how you want that prospect or customer to feel as they interactive with your company. A great blog site to read about this is by Jay Ehert at

b. Business Specific Comments 2. Create a “yea that is interesting” story with appropriate visuals a. You need to be able “tell a story” as to why you are doing what you do. Why did you get in business in the fist place and what is your passion. Your story needs to be interesting and the person you are telling it to does not necessarily have to agree with you but it absolutely needs to grab their attention. A great resource to learn more about creating a story is Mark Satterfield at b. Visual Criteria - the visuals that you create and use to help describe your story and to market and advertise your products and services need to be consistent with the adjectives and descriptive phrases that were decided upon in step 1 and they need to be: i. Neat ii. Clean iii. Professional iv. Well Organized v. Aesthetically Appropriate vi. How a little “wow” factor c. The visual criteria should be benchmarked against all internet and printed materials that are created. Very important – simple, elegant visuals can often be the most effective. Sometimes the simpler the better and many times much less expensive. It is also much easier and less expensive to change as you get prospect and customer feedback the simpler you have kept your visuals. d. Business Specific Comments 3. Business Development Activities There are four main areas to focus on to create an effective business development strategy • • • •

Doing a good job Creating a highly effective internet presence Creating a highly effective existing customer loyalty and referral program Creating a highly effective third party referral program

a. Doing a good job. If you do not do a great job executing on the delivery of your product or service you will not succeed. One of the main reasons for this, besides the obvious, is that more than 50% of new business, and your most profitable business, comes from existing customers buying more or from existing customers referring someone to you. So the number one best business development activity is to “doing a good job” You should already have a definition of a good job if you did step 1, defining your customer’s experience adjectives and descriptive phrases.

1. Business Specific Comments b. Internet Presence i. Web site- the primary purpose of a web site is to validate your ability to perform and to build trust. Remember that your web site is a visual and needs to be benchmarked against the visual criteria that have already been established. Typically more than 50% of the individuals that are visiting your web site have been referred. This means that they are already predisposed to do business with you so your web site’s number 1 objective needs to be validating “your ability to perform and build trust” The top three ways to do this are: 1. It needs to meet the visual criteria 2. It needs to have video testimonials from satisfied customers or next best is written testimonials from satisfied customers 3. Some personal communication (video and/or picture and/or personal statement) from the owner of the company related to the story. This allows prospects to connect emotionally with the story and the owner. ii. Web site – it is secondarily a communication tool that can serve the following purposes: 1. It can be an information source for prospects and customers much like a brochure or catalogue. How sophisticated this needs to be is totally dependent on the type of business. Again remember that it needs to meet the visual criteria 2. Your web site will naturally build your brand and image if it is consistent with your descriptive phrases and adjectives and visual criteria 3. Your web site can also be a business development tool if it properly coded to be Search engine friendly and it is properly promoted on the internet. Please remember that your web site should not be your only internet advertising or company business development tool. Its purpose is not to be an advertisement and trying to turn your web site into an advertisement is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and often winds up being very expensive with minimal results. There are other, much more appropriate and cost effective ways to advertise your company and its products and services on the internet. 4. Please remember your web site is vital as a business development support tool by validating your ability to perform, building trust and communicating well organized and valuable information to your prospects and customers 5. Business Specific Comments iii. Internet Advertising – There are three key elements of your business that need to be effectively advertised on the internet you, your company and your products and services:

1. You and your company. If you agree that the majority of new profitably business comes from referrals or recommendations then it is imperative that if someone does refer or recommend you that that person being referred be able to immediately find you on the internet towards the top of page one on Google. The facts are that 60-80 percent of consumers use Google to start their search. If you or your company has been referred and they do a search and cannot immediately find you towards the top of page one on Google, that is a very big problem. You will be missing out on a very valuable source of new profitable business. The solution is that a specific internet based ad campaign needs to be created that has the following features: a. attention grabbing headline b. great visuals c. a benefits statement d. compelling free offer e. powerful calls to actions. f. It is important to take the very best of print based advertising and marry it with the very best of internet based advertising. This type of ad really has only two objectives: i. get the prospect to call you ii. get the prospect to give you permission to communicate with them g. remember your web site is multi purposed and not an advertisement, advertisements need to be single purposed, get the prospect to take action h. Business Specific Comments 2. Your products and services – if you agree that the majority of people have changed their habits and now use the internet to search out information regarding products or services that they are thinking about buying then you need to create a product or service specific internet advertising program. If someone in your market area is searching the internet for one of your most profitable products or services it is imperative that they immediately find you towards the top of page one of Google offering that specific product of service. If you do not do this then that means you are not getting in front of more that 50% of the buyers that are looking for your most profitable products and services. The solution is the same as above. An internet based ad needs to be created and then properly promoted so that it does make it to the top of page 1 of Google when someone in you market area searches for that specific product or service. The internet ad then needs to get the prospect to

take action and either call you or give you permission to communicate with them. 3. A great site to visit and learn from is Josh Nelson’s videos are an outstanding example of what a well executed internet marketing program supported by social media and prospect follow up consist of a. Business Specific Comments iv. Existing Customer Loyalty and Referral Program 1. Out of site out of mind has never been more appropriate for this segment of potential new business. If you have done a good job your existing customers already know you have the ability to perform and they trust you. If you systematically communicate with them by providing them valuable information you will continue to build trust and, when appropriate, you can remind them of specials, new products, time to renew etc. The key here is to be 80% valuable information and 20% asking for sales or referrals 2. Solution: i. Upsell or Cross Sell. Set up a procedure to capture all existing customer contact information including mobile phone and email address ii. Establish a program to communicate with them via: 1. email announcements, text messaging and/or periodic newsletters 2. set up a basic social media presence for those customers that like to communicate in this manner iii. Loyalty Program. Set up a procedure to track and reward your top clients by offering them something of value. The more unique and talkable about the reward the better iv. Referral Program. Set up a procedure to track and reward those customers who refer prospects. The more unique and talkable about the reward the better v. Third party referral program 1. If you agree that the majority of new profitable business comes from referrals and recommendation then this business development activity is potentially one of the most productive tools that you can utilize. 2. Solutions

a. If you are going to get a steady stream of new business from third party referral sources you need to do three things i. You must stay in front of them ii. You must make it easy for them to refer you business iii. You must appropriately compensate them for referring you the business. This is no different that paying a staff salesperson a commission to generate new business. What is nice about third party referral sources is that many times they are less expensive than an internal sales team or traditional advertising and you do not pay for it until the transaction has actually generated revenue b. Process for setting up a third party referral program. i. Identify existing relationships that could become third party referral sources and develop a plan of action for each individual source for staying in font of, making it easy and compensating those referral sources. Prime examples of this are existing vendors and supplier relationships. ii. Identify new potential third party referral sources and develop an individualized action plan to stay in font of, make it easy and compensate those referral sources. A prime example of this is companies that sell to the same market you do but do not offer competing products. You can them team sell recommending each other’s products and services. Another example is the refer up or down by companies that serve the same type of market you do but your customer base is either too big or too small for them so they refer this business to you. In return you compensate them by referring those prospects that are either too small or large for your company. iii. Once you understand the principles of third party referral sources and analyze the appropriate level of compensation that you can afford this can be one of the most creative and profitable activities that you can do generate new business.

iv. One of the unique aspects of this approach is that very few small businesses know how to do this. If you can master this activity you will have created a key competitive advantage over your competition. c. Business Specific Comments vi. Social Media 1. Like the company’s web site, Social Media’s primary purpose is to support the business development, marketing and advertising activities. Social media programs should facilitate the following: a. Social media is a great way to stay in front of existing customers and referral sources. Facebook and Twitter are very good tools for this activity b. Social Media is a great way to make it easy for referral sources to recommend or refer someone and Facebook and Twitter are good tools for this activity c. Social Media is a great way to distribute meaningful information or make announcements. YouTube is especially good for this as more and more people are viewing videos as a credible source to get information regarding products and services. Again any videos should meet the visual criteria and also set as their objective evidencing your ability to perform and building trust. Many of the internet ads will include video that can also support strong calls to action d. For B2B companies LinkedIn is a great tool to develop relationships that can be mutually beneficial and is one of the best ways to expand you third party referral network e. Properly researched, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be a great source of leads. f. I highly recommend you read Eve Orsburn’s book Social Media for the CEO and visit her web site at Social Media is often misunderstood and there a many ways to waste time, money and effort. Eve’s book will help you avoid making those mistakes. g. Business Specific Comments vii. Prospect Follow Up 1. It is great to put in the effort to create a meaningful business development program that is generating high quality leads but if you have not also created an effective

prospect follow up system all that effort will have gone to waste. 2. A well executed prospect follow up system has the following elements: a. Easy to use b. Immediately responds via email or text to internet based inquires and sends a message to the appropriate party that will personally respond via email of phone call c. Accommodates a drip campaign to stay in front of prospects. Many times is takes five of more contacts before the buying decision is made. Automatically driven email programs are the only way to cost effectively implement this type of program d. If someone calls in from an ad or the web site they need to be immediately logged into the prospect follow up system and then treated just like an internet inquiry. The objective should be to always get back to the prospect in as personal a manner as possible as quickly as possible e. Business Specific Comments viii. Other Marketing and Advertising Activities 1. As you can probably tell if the activity is not either referral based or internet advertising based I am generally not a fan of traditional marketing and advertising activities (unless it has a proven and measurable ROI) for the following reasons: a. People’s habits are changing. With the advent of Smart Phones in conjunction with Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube the ability to research, refer and recommend has never been easier and is getting more so everyday. Referral and Recommendations have never been more important and the business owner must have a well executed program that addresses this source of new business b. The simple fact is that 60+% of the people use Google to search for information before they buy. Of those more than 70+% do not search below the top half of page 1. This means that 1 out of 2 people searching the internet wind up on Google on the top half of page 1. There is also the perception that Google’s organic rankings are providing the prospect unbiased search results. This means that

people “trust” Google thus making Google a defacto “trusted” Business Referral Source. Bandwagon’s core belief is that the vast majority of new business comes from referrals and recommendations that people trust, including Google. c. If a small to mid sized businesses is to survive it must transition from traditional print and media based advertising to internet based advertising. Internet based advertising, done correctly, is less costly, more targeted and produces a much higher ROI than traditional print and media based advertising. 2. Lastly, I am strongly in favor of activities that are low cost and involve the personal interaction of the owner with highly targeted groups of prospects or highly targeted groups of potential business referral sources. Summary Observations

Please Contact Us John Lewis Founder/CEO Advantage Business Solutions Bandwagon Marketing Group 281-743-3815

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Where Does New Business Really Come From  

What Should You Do Business Development and Marketing Blueprint White Paper

Where Does New Business Really Come From  

What Should You Do Business Development and Marketing Blueprint White Paper