Developing Business During the Holiday Season

Marketing is all about relationships.  What better time to focus on your marketing and business development than around the holidays, when people are focused on their closest personal and business relationships? 

Office Desk Computer, Coffee Paper Christmas Holidays Decoration

 

Below are some five tips on how you can be strategic and thoughtful with your clients during the holiday season. 

 

1.) Know Your Contacts – If you have not taken the time throughout the year to organize your contact list, this a good time to tackle this important task.  You should be aware of where your contacts fit on your list of priorities.  For example, knowing if a contact is a prospect, current great client, a client with potential for growth (more work), or a client that is slipping away, or a referral, etc.  Once you know where your contact stands on your list of priorities, you are better equipped with a plan to reach out to them during the holidays (and the new year).  Some contacts may receive a card, other contacts may receive an invitation to dinner or a party, others may receive a company gift.  Get organized and know your clients.

 

2.) Brief Client Interviews –  Although the holiday season is not the time to do aggressive selling  to your clients, it is the time to lay the ground work and gather important information for the new year.  As you are visiting clients, don’t be afraid to conduct a quick assessment on how the year has gone for their business or your work for them this year.  As you are gathering this information, you should also plan on how to address their issues in the new year. 

 

3.) Plan Your Visits – This is a great time of the year to visit clients, referrals and prospects bearing goodies for the office or business.  A box of donuts or cupcakes can go along way and also opens up an opportunity to find out what they are working on or may need assistance with for next year.  On-site visits are an excellent way to glean more information and work from your clients.   

 

4.) Create a Holiday Message:  Consider tweaking a tagline or key brand message for your company.  It is completely appropriate at this time of year as long as you maintain an authentic brand voice for your company. 

 

5.) Don’t forget about the New Year: We often focus on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, however, don’t forget to celebrate the New Year with your clients and prospects. Again, this is an excellent time to celebrate and quietly bring up their goals and plans of the New Year. 

 

Don’t let the holiday season slip by you without doing something strategic and thoughtful for your key contacts.  The most important point is to know who your key contacts are and where you want the relationship to go.  This will help determine how to approach them for the holidays and as you go into the New Year. 

 

Finally, remember…. it is all about building the relationship.  You should never think its a waste of time toasting with your client or stopping by with cookies. Relationships are the key to great business development. 

The Key Factor for Any Marketing Plan: Are You Adding Value?

Developing and implementing a strategic marketing plan can be difficult. There are so many variable and challenges with developing a clear strategy and consistently implementing the marketing strategy.  Also, marketing encompasses so many different areas and platforms, it can be hard to keep up.  However, if you focus on one major question while developing your marketing strategy – “how can I add value?”

This is not the same type of value that is discussed in accounting or on spreadsheets.  Added value in marketing is something your business or organization can offer to your customers that is of high value to them, but of low cost to you.  What are some things that you can easily do or produce that is of great value to others not in your field?

Don’t overthink this or make it too complicated. A few examples: if you are a hairstylist, it could be your top 5 recommended hair products.  If you are a trainer, it could be a video on the proper way to do a sit-up. An accountant may offer a free audit or proper way to maintain your records throughout the year.  There are a myriad of things that you could offer your clients, depending on your business. The key is to develop the list and add new value-adds often.

When you develop a list of value-adds for your skill, profession, service or product this adds an extra level of value to your business.  It also makes you competitive with the next business in your industry.

Another key reason to develop value-adds: Loyalty. You want loyal customers that trust you immensely.  This creates repeated business and new referrals.  However, the key to this is to really know your audience and what they want.  Too often this is a fundamental flaw in marketing and business plans – knowing your audience.  Join me for my next podcast as I discuss the importance of targeting your audience.

Below are just 3 basics in developing your value-add list:

  1. Know your audience and what they want or are curious about.
  2. Make a list of things that you know or have that won’t take much energy or money for you to share or create.
  3. Develop a fast and easy way to distribute or give your value-add.  If its complicated to get it, this will turn your customers away.

Finally, don’t be afraid that you are giving too much knowledge or your secrets away.  Of course you want to remain competitive and gain new customers, so there needs to be a balance.  However, trust in the law of reciprocity – you will reap what you sow.  When you sow into people and your profession, the harvest will return to you.  Don’t lead out of fear or greed.

If you need assistance with your marketing and business development strategy, or simply need help connecting the dots with your current plans, feel free to contact me!