Do You Target What Sticks or What’s Sticky?

business goals

One topic of endless interest to business owners is the need for business development. What they’re always asking themselves is “How do we increase sales?”Every Owner and Executive I speak to tells me that increasing sales consumes a lot of their energy and attention. They would like to unlock the secrets to generating a steady stream of revenue, preferably profitable revenue. They want to know what sticks.

Among the top 3 efforts are: networking (business owners on average belong to two chambers of commerce and at least one industry-focused group); content marketing; and a steady social media presence. Other activities include volunteering in community organizations, non-fee speaking for exposure, and a mix of social and civic clubs.

I think of these various tactics of business development as a kind of “let’s throw it all on the wall and see “what sticks” approach. There are an array of targets and they’ll be happy to get a little bit of interest from each one.

Rarely does an owner tell me about an extreme focus on the company’s current buyers.

What Sticks vs What’s Sticky

Instead of seeing what sticks, I urge owners to ask, “What’s Sticky”?

What’s sticky are communiques and outreach that resonate with your buyers (clients and customers). Everyone “knows” that it’s easier to increase the number of purchases from an existing buyer, but they don’t actually do it often enough. For many reasons, a mystique has been built about relentlessly attracting new buyers.

Let’s build a powerful movement around increasing sales and profit from current buyers.

Top 5 Tactics to be Sticky

1) 4 types of marketing content. Every company—EVERY company—can use these to increase the “sticky” factor with their current buyers: Appreciation, Why Stay?, Top of Mind, Create Demand. Set up a 12-month schedule to ensure that these go out regularly.

2) Client or customer conversations. How often do you and your executive, sales and marketing teams have face-to-face (or phone) conversations with your buyers? Write down 3 questions to ask them: what do your buyers like about being your buyer?; which was their favorite purchase?; what else would help them achieve their own goals?

3) Continuous development of new offerings. When you listen to what else your buyers would like to buy from your company, and you make the time to develop those offerings, you have immediate buyers. “New” can be improvements or innovations to existing offerings. Sometimes “new” may be an entirely different offering. Don’t get hung up on the definition of “new.” Just create and develop continuously and then tell your buyers!

4) Recognition of buyers. Your buyers are the heroes of your company. They had a problem to solve, an issue to address, or a goal to reach, and they chose your company to help them. Write short lively posts about your successful buyers (with permission) and distribute them widely. Every client or customer who is featured gets bragging rights and will share the news.

5) Get to know the people your buyers care about. Every buyer has a circle within which they work and live. Invite some of the people in your buyers’ circles to join them in client appreciation events, get on your mailing list so they see the client brags, and help them be among the first to know what’s new.

Ready to Get Sticky?

You know that I am a big proponent of setting aside, on purpose, time for cultivating and nurturing your current buyers. It doesn’t happen by accident and you never will “have the time.” You must make time.

Right now, while you’re motivated to Get Sticky, open your calendar and set aside one 2-hour block of time in the next 5 days, for thinking about how to get sticky. Just thinking.

Think about how you can implement at least one of the 5 tactics to get sticky. For example, think about the 4 types of content. How would an appreciation message read? What are the reasons for current buyers to stay? What content would help keep your company top of mind? What story will prompt a reader to feel the need for your products or services?

If you’re inspired to get sticky and would like to take the first step with me, or you’d like guidance for a period of time, I’d love to hear from you. All of our client work is customized to your wants and needs. 703-801-0345.

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