To market to market to buy a fat sales lead
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith March 11, 2012 12:38PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Years ago there was a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that went:
“To market to market to buy a fat pig;
Home again, home again, dancing a jig.
To market to market to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.”
For many small business owners and crazy busy sales people when it comes to marketing, this childhood favorite sums it up fairly well.
People go to market with the intent of purchasing fat pigs or sales leads. And in many cases they are wasting their time because those fat pigs at not the markets being visited by these small business owners to sales professionals. Of course, since these business professionals haven’t really tracked both their direct and indirect marketing costs, they are probably not buying fat pigs, but skinny ones.
Knowing the following is critical to business viability:
• Your ideal customer (think fat sales leads) including both demographics and psychographics
• Total potential market for each ideal customer
• Your portion of that potential market or market share
At a recent early morning business-to-business networking event hosted by A.J. Specialties for the ROI Networking Group of Merrillville, I was speaking with Nick Leep, of Leep’s Garage in Schererville. He understands that 99 percent of his target market is within 10 miles of his facility on Indianapolis Boulevard.
Having a great location helps, but Leep must continually market to existing customers and look for new ones by providing extra value through his vehicle repair services. He knows the demographics as well as psychographics of his customers probably better than many other small business owners. This knowledge does present him with one competitive advantage.
Yet Leep along with other small business owners have limited time that creates other competitive disadvantage of staying ahead of the flow. Business trends are happening far quicker than ever before and returning to the nursery rhyme analogy, today’s market may move in the blink of an eye and take the fat pig with it.
Discussion at this business to business networking event quickly turned to social media. The time challenge specific to writing the marketing content and distributing that content through various channels raised its ugly head. This is why automation according to social media expert, Fred McMurray (with 3 daughters no sons) of Mediavine Marketing is essential. Using sites such as Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite or If Then Then That supports time-strapped business professionals who are seeking sales leads in the social media market.
Business-to-business networking including social media does generate sales leads. However, this may not happen with the first trip to the market. Numerous trips may be required.
One of my colleagues said once upon a time “We drive buy more business (sales leads) than we will ever realize.” Yet the question is what happens to all those sales leads or fat pigs?
Sales research suggest that up to 50 percent of all new sales leads are left in the pigpen never to be brought to the table. Additional research has consistently revealed that very few sales leads are closed on the first meeting. The super majority, 80 percent, are earned between the fourth and 12th contacts. And what is really interesting is according to this same research 80 percent of all sales people stop after the third contact. In other words, there are a lot of pigs and hogs roaming the market place just waiting to be bought or captured by a few dedicated sales professionals.
If you want a fat pig or sales lead, make sure you are visiting the right market and be aware you may need to make numerous visits. Also, keep following on those sales leads and accept the fact you may need to make numerous contacts. By understanding these two simple marketing actions, you will increase sales and even more importantly be dancing a lot more jigs.
P.S. Shout Out to Alkon Consulting of Schererville, which provides new websites along with Internet support services. The Grossbaurer Group of Chesterton unites Internet and traditional marketing efforts for that integrated marketing plan.