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Gear Up Your Marketing for Fourth Quarter

The fourth quarter of each year presents a huge opportunity for many businesses. Consumers often spend more as they prepare for the holidays, and many businesses increase their spending in the fourth quarter as they prepare for the new year.

All of this can mean increased sales for you and me... but only if your marketing is effective.

So how do you get your marketing in shape? Simple. Set some goals for quarter and create a plan to take you there. The following is a list of some activities that you might want to include as part of your fourth quarter marketing efforts.

1. Plan

Create a detailed plan for the next 90 days that includes a huge push for increased sales. Set a sales target for the quarter, look at the work that you have already booked, and then plan where the extra sales you need to reach your target will come from.

What marketing activities can you do that will help get you there? What existing clients can you approach for additional work or referrals? How can you increase the size of your network so that more people know about your business and what you do? Make the plan as detailed as possible and then take daily action in executing it.

2. Review Your Website

Review your website and ensure that it is doing a good job of interesting and educating your prospects about your services. Be sure to stress the benefits of your services and give prospects plenty of reasons why they should do business with you rather than your competitors.

Your site should request that visitors leave their contact information. This can be done by having them sign up for a newsletter, request more information, or arrange a free consultation. You can increase response by offering an incentive, such as a free report or a discount. If your website doesn't ask for this vital information, then make some changes to it so that it does.

3. Write Articles

Write several articles on topics related to your product or service. The articles should contain tips or advice that your target market will find useful and that will help them solve their problems. Post the articles on your website and get them published on other websites and in journals that your prospects read.

4. Publish a Newsletter

Start sending out an ezine or newsletter to your clients and contacts. Include a signup form on your website and offer an incentive for visitors to subscribe, such as the articles you wrote in step 3. Use the ezine to provide more help, education, and how-to advice to your prospects.

5. Speak

Get a speaking engagement at an event that your prospects are likely to attend. Make the talk informative and pack it with as much valuable information as you can. Do not make it an extended sales pitch! Mention the services your company provides by all means, but make sure that you also provide plenty of relevant and useful information to the audience.

During the talk, be sure to promote your newsletter and the articles that are available on your website. Be sure to get the contact information of as many of the attendees' as possible.

If you don't already have their contact information, a good way of getting it is to offer a bonus item that can be mailed out to attendees afterwards, such as a recording or transcript of the presentation, or another article or in-depth report. In order for the attendees to get the bonus item, have them leave you their contact information on a signup form or have them give you their business card. It's important to solicit this information immediately after the talk. If you refer them to your website to signup, the response rate will drop significantly.

6. Advertise

You should review your advertising and ensure that is cost-effectively driving a steady stream of prospects to your door. If you don't already advertise regularly, now would be a great time to start.

Begin with some small advertisements in publications that your prospects read, and test what works. If the response to your ad is encouraging you can increase its size. If the response is poor, make some changes to it and try again.

Conduct a direct mail campaign that educates your prospects on the services you provide. Provide as much information as possible and don't make the material overly "salesy" or it will be ignored. You might consider promoting your newsletter in this way as an easy, low-risk way for prospects to get to know your business. The bottom line with direct mail is to be informative and focused on the benefits that your prospects receive. Follow up the direct mail campaign with phone calls or even a visit to the prospect.

7. Utilize Your Current Clients

Study your current clients and look for ways that you can provide additional services to them. Look specifically for ways that you can really help them develop their business. Ask them for referrals.

8. Network

Meet with people in your network and exchange referrals. Generate some business for them and educate them on the types of prospects you're looking for. You'll be amazed at how quickly they'll be able to come up with names of people you should speak to, especially after you've helped them.

9. Offer Additional Payment Options

Offer flexible payment options such as payment by credit card or payment by installment. Sales can often increase by as much a 30% simply by being a little bit more flexible in the way you get paid for your services. If it's appropriate to your business, try offering free samples of your products, free trials of services, or a no-risk "test-drive" period.

10. Community Involvement

Get involved in your community by volunteering to help in local events. You could serve on the board of a charity, help organize a special event, or donate your business' services to a worthy cause. If time is in short supply (and what business owner has an abundance of time?) then be highly selective in the ways you get involved and choose only those activities that get you in front of influential people and decision makers.

Gear Up Today! There you have it: ten ways to ramp up sales for the fourth quarter!

Get started on this immediately. At the very least, complete a plan for your marketing within the next week. You don't have to do everything outlined above, but you should pick at least a couple of activities and take action this week.

The fourth quarter can be a great time for sales, but you have to be prepared. That means getting started now.

About the Author: Andrew Pritchard is the owner of Inspire Consulting, a marketing company in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. When he's not helping small businesses make more money, he can be found snowboarding in Colorado, surfing in California, or playing golf wherever he can find a game.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Pritchard

Read other articles in this issue:

Are You Maximizing Your Sales From Longer-Term Sales Leads?
8 Proven B2B Sales Lead Generation Methods
Gear Up Your Marketing for Fourth Quarter


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December 11, 2019

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