You know that expression, “Timing is everything”? It applies to marketing as well. Consider my recent personal experience: I have worked with a certain vendor for years. They get all my business, and I rarely asked for a quote—we just sent the business over. Last week, after placing an order, there was a situation. A new sales rep handled my order, and there was a problem with it. That same week, another company in the same business as my preferred vendor called me. It was not the first time, but this time I decided to give them a chance to bid on my project. Their timing was great.
In marketing and sales, it may seem like you call on people over and over again with no results. Perhaps they have a preferred vendor—a company they have bought from for years. They are polite but clearly not interested. So why do you keep mailing to these prospects? Calling on them? Advertising to them? There are many reasons why you should continue:
- The staff or decision-maker may change at a company. The person with the connection may get promoted or leave the company. Circumstances can change.
- The preferred vendor may screw up. An order is placed, and it never shows up. The prices start to increase. Maybe a fuel surcharge starts to be added to the bill. The favorite vendor’s new sales rep is not measuring up!
- New technology is on the horizon, and that same old sales rep is not keeping current with the information. There are new feet and new technologies, but no one knows about them.
These reasons are the “why” you keep marketing to your prospects because you never know when they will be looking for you. Therefore, it’s important for you to be prepared for the time when they may take your call or take your meeting. Think about what you can do for your customer. If you provide similar services as a competitor, think about how you can differentiate your company. Then market that difference in a variety of ways. Consider this advice:
- Referral sources may have favorite practitioners, but if you have a specialty be sure to highlight that every time you meet with them.
- Stay in touch with doctor’s offices. If the physician has a difficult case, they may need you.
- Maybe the P&O firm that the biggest orthopedic practice in town is sending all their amputees to has not been
in touch or there’s some poor feedback from a patient.
- Consider ways your successes can highlight another firm’s inefficiencies: creating a newsletter with success stories and new products is one medium to consider. You need to be there—in their mail or on their doorstep.
So if you are questioning your sales and marketing, plan remember your next customer could be a mailer or phone call away.
Make your timing matter.