The other day I was chatting with a business owner about his marketing campaign. He began to tell me how blessed he was as many new prospects were showing up at his business. It had been a long road to develop compelling marketing messages that were actually targeted to his ideal prospect. I celebrated with him and encouraged him to continue to measure the marketing dollars he was spending to correlate with actual new customers he had gained.
As I shared this valuable tip for his business his face began to change. I could see what I had said did not really register with him. I then shared more about what having metrics in place could do for him as a business owner. His eyes lit up as he realized he had done the hard work of clarifying his marketing message but had never really measured the ROI (return on investment).
We dove into each of his marketing channels. He is currently gaining new prospects by using FaceBook paid ads, the newspaper, a networking group, client referrals, and a direct mail piece. Then we added up the cost of each of these channels. I then asked him to tell me how many new clients had came from each of these channels. He told me he really did not know where each new customer came from.
As we wrapped up our conversation he shared with me that he really did want to know which marketing channel was producing the greatest ROI for his business. My heart sank as I realized that yes his business was growing, but it could be growing faster and his marketing dollars could be spent more intentionally if he had some key pieces of information about each prospect.
How about your business? Do you know exactly where your customers are finding you? Do you know for certain which marketing messages are attracting your ideal customer? If you had these metrics in place for your business would it help you spend your marketing dollars?
If you knew for certain that Facebook was produced your greatest ROI, would you change gears and allocate more dollars to that channel? If you found out that your print marketing was nice, but really was not bringing you qualified prospects, would you continue to spend there?
Having metrics in place where you can measure your marketing activities versus your returns is a powerful tool that helps you drive your business to the success you desire.
Let’s go back to the conversation I had with my friend. First I discovered that when a new prospect contacted him, he was failing to ask a key question. HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT MY BUSINESS?
It sounds silly to not ask that question, but so many business owners I work with are simply not doing this. They are so happy to have a new prospect and so hungry for the new sale that they simply do not ask.
I certainly understand the excitement of having a new opportunity, but that opportunity could be multiplied to many more if you take the time to quantify some basic information about your prospect. That information will over time provide you with facts about the effectiveness and reach of your marketing dollars.
To begin creating your metrics simply list out in a spread sheet or CRM each of your marketing channels. Next you will want to incorporate a few questions that you will ask your new prospects.
How did you hear about us?
What stood out in our marketing message that connected with you?
If it is a referral, ask whom referred them, but don’t stop there. Then ask them what their friend shared with them, what their experience was with your company. Be sure to listen and be appropriately inquisitive. You may learn something that will shorten your sales process and help you gain a new customer faster than usual.
Once you have gained that information, proceed with your sales process. Some of you just went, huh? Sales process, what is that exactly?
Your sales process is a series of activities you take your prospect through to ensure they are your ideal customer. Remember our blog on creating your ideal client profile?
If not, you can download our free Ebook that will walk you through that process.
Once you have gone through your sales process you will either have a new customer or you will have determined that they are not a good fit for your product or service. Next you will want to add that prospect to your metric spreadsheet or CRM. Be sure to have a column for each step you take the prospect through. This may seem unimportant at the time, but in reality the facts you are gathering will help you tweak your business and achieve greater levels of success.
At the end of each week you will have gathered enough information to pause and review what is working and what is not working. As you analyze your data you will quickly begin to see your actual return on investment from your marketing dollars.
If you are spending $200 to make $200, your metrics will show you that is not a good marketing spend. On the other hand if you spend $200 and make $1000, you will smile as you confirm that marketing channel has a great ROI for your business. I bet that you may even make the decision to stop using the channel that is not bringing you a great return.
That is the power of having metrics in place.
So you have a choice, you can continue to spend dollars on channels you hope will work. Or you can create the metrics that will help you only spend where you know it is working. The great part about this tool is that when things are slow, you can simply increase your spend on the channel that is working. If you are slammed and cannot keep up with the new business coming in, you can simply decrease the dollars spent on that channel and then focus more of your time on creating more capacity or growing your team so you can serve more customers.
You went into business for a reason. I challenge you to embrace the power of creating metrics for your business. This tool will change how you think, act, and feel about your business.
If reading this excites you but you are still struggling with some of the details, I would love to help you.
Go to ArmfieldGroup.com and take our free Business Assessment. This will empower you and help you see which areas of your business need the most work. Even better than gaining the “aha” you need, once you complete this assessment we will schedule a complimentary coaching session where we will dive into your most pressing business issue.
Our next blog will help you solidify every detail of your sales process. I will teach you how to build that so that becomes a “best practice” for your business. Then you will be ready to hire your next sales person and you will have the tools to ensure they succeed while maintaining your brand and level of excellence.