In part one and part two of this series, we looked at why and how The Expert! model is so important for the success of service firms. To get the increased sales and profits you now need an Action Plan and a Marketing Pack…
Read through the steps below and decide which are appropriate for you. Next, draw up an Action Plan by using a timeline with dates, actions and outputs so that you can start working towards a specific deadline. As we all know, you must make your objectives SMART (Stateable, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Targetable).
An Action Plan
Assess/outline your current expertise. Create your first draft Focus/Niche and One-Minute Intro.
- Revise/agree your first draft Focus/Niche and One-Minute Intro.
- Audit – who is the competition and what is their ‘Point Of View’ (PoV)?
- Build on your own gaps/strengths.
- Create own Point of View.
- Collect evidence to support your Point of View.
- Identify patterns in the industry/market.
- Explain and articulate these patterns.
- Create a Proprietary Point of View (second draft).
- Create and write down your system – the way that you do things.
- Create final One-Minute Intro.
- Create a White Paper.
- Create a Marketing Pack (see later).
- Start to put together a selection of articles: How Tos, 16 Ways To…
- Photos – put together, or book into a studio for, a selection of portraits.
- Biog/brochure/website as appropriate (using One-Minute Intro).
- CD-Rom/showreel/brochure or whatever is appropriate (using One-Minute Intro).
- Testimonials – ask for them, gather them, and create them.
- Branding, website…
- Social Media: set up and start building your social media presence (FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Ecademy, Google+ as appropriate/relevant).
- Look for opportunities to:
- Get in print
The Marketing Pack
Whatever types of promotional activity you are about to engage in, you need to produce a marketing pack. This is what the successful service firm does.
This pack should contain all the bits and pieces you might need to present to:
- A potential client
- A potential joint venture partner
- A new employee
- A web design company
- A journalist
The process of putting the pack together will enable you to put your best foot forward – the pack itself will give the reader all the information that they need to understand what it is that you do and what makes you different from the rest. Interestingly enough, very few businesses actually go to the trouble of putting together such a ‘pack’.
A typical pack
Depending on your type of business and what is available, your pack might include some of the following:
- Testimonial letters from satisfied clients
- Articles in which you’re mentioned
- Published, and unpublished, articles by you, press releases from your office
- A one- or two-page faxable/emailable flyer/printed trifold/pdf
- Audio or video materials (online), cassettes, CDs or DVDs you’ve produced or been involved in
- Published ‘New Service/Product’ announcements and/or press releases
- Copies of display advertisements that you’ve used
- Text from radio or TV advertisements that you’ve run
- A list of your memberships and affiliations
- Product catalogues, brochures, circulars, or data sheets
- Question-and-answer sheets, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) sheets
- Annual report, capability statement, or prospectus
- Newsletters or news-type letters you use
- Your motto, mission statement, or service pledge
- Sample client or customer proposals and bid sheets
- Survey results by you or others
- Presentation notes, slides, or overheads
- Marketing letters you write to clients
- Generic materials developed by your trade association
- Articles on trends affecting your target niche
- White Papers, Research Paper/Findings, How Tos by you
- Photos of your office facilities, equipment, products (with staff, clients, etc.)… or photos of posters, banners, display materials used at trade shows
- Photos of you and your staff
- Contact details, social media details
The process of putting together the Action Plan and the Marketing Pack gets you to review, and in some cases revisit, materials that will help your marketing and sales effort. And many of these materials should be used on your website and in other marketing communications.
In Part Four, Robert will cover how you apply your skills and attitude, and how well you understand the business environment that you work in – in other words how business works - to improve your sales performance.
Robert Craven is a keynote speaker and best-selling business author of ‘Kick-Start Your Business’ (foreword by Sir Richard Branson) and his latest book “Grow Your Service Firm” He also runs The Directors’ Centre, helping growing businesses to grow. Contact Robert on 01225 851044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org