Here are the seven steps of our basic small business marketing plan.

  1. Seeds vs Leads
  2. Opportunity vs Actionable Opportunity 
  3. Trial Close vs Close
  4. Close vs Sale
  5. Sale vs Customer
  6. Customer vs Friend
  7. Friend vs New Seed

Now that you have planted plenty of seeds and have discoverd some good leads,  its time to find an opportunity.  You may also find it puzzling that leads and opportunity are totally different things.   Leads simply means that there is possibility that prospect may have an interest in your product or service.  On the other hand,  opportunity is defined as qualified lead along with interest in your product or service.  In other words,  you can convert a lead into an opportunity when you know for sure that this client has a need for your service,  want to know more about your product and has ability to pay for your product or services.

You may be start with 1000 of cold leads and may be end up with only 100 hot leads and from those 100 leads you may identify only 10 opportunities.   Some times customers may directly call you to inquire about your product or services with an expressed interest to make the purchase.   You can also identify these customers as an opportunity. 

This is where most new sales people waste lots of time.   Converting lead or call into an opportunity should only be done after careful analysis. You will have to invest heavily on opportunity and wrong opportunity can take up lots of your time and investment.  So, lets try again.

  1. Does client have a need for your product or service ?
  2. Have client expressed an interest in your product or service ?
  3. Can the client pay for the product or service ?

Now that opportunity has knocked on your door, we can move on to next step.   We will need to further qualify this opportunity to see  if its worth pursuing.  Basically we are trying to weigh in the cost of closing this deal vs the revenue this deal will bring in.

Look at the total revenue and total cost over the life of your sale.  For example, a dentist will see the patient 4 to 6 times a year.  Average patient may stay with dentist for about five years.   Average revenue per visit may be about $100.   Now you can do the simple math.   Total revenue over the life time of patient will be about $100 x 6 x 5 = $3000.00.     How much should you spend on the deal that will make you $3000 ?  Well,  I am sure you can answer this question.

 If you still feel this opportunity is worth pursuing than you have yourself an actionable opportunity.  This is where you need to compete and prove yourself.   This is where you need to give your best. 

What kind of things you can do with actionable opportunity ?

  • Connect with the client:  Don’t rely on emails.  Call the client, phone call is your best friend.  Don’t give too much information on the phone either.  Ask for in person appointment.
  • Connect with the staff:  People around the decision maker should not be ignored.  They can tell you what decision maker may never tell you.  There might be other people who need to make the decision or there might be competition visiting twice a week.  
  • Use Direct Mail:  Don’t send all information via email. Nice presentation, flyer, brochures mailed directly to actionable opportunity can do magic.  Also, don’t send them all at once.  Send one peace of the pie every week.  Give more reasons to do business with you.
  • Share Past Client References: Volunteer to arrange a phone call with your past client.   Make a video testimonial and send it to client.  Personalized note or letter can also help.

 Once again, idea is to connect with the customer.   Customer will buy product from you or your competition.   And it is your responsibility to make sure your customer has all the reasons to do business with you.   This is where your sales plan should kick in.   Now is the time to dress up and impress. 

 

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