For example, years ago I realized that there was a huge market for telemarketing services for small and mid-sized firms that need appointment setting and lead generation services at an affordable price. As I wrote earlier, most telemarketing firms are extremely expensive and require a large deposit and a long term contract. The reality is that most small companies don’t have that type of marketing budget available. I realized that I could provide my services at a reasonable rate while keeping it a premium (never bastardize your product/service to give it credibility). My rates also had to be less expensive than my so called competitors but high enough for me to earn a decent living.(Remember, a telemarketer’s gotta eat too) And I knew that although I wasn’t nearly as large as the other firms, I could offer my clients a one on one personal service with the convenience of dealing directly with the president. While this meant that I couldn’t take on too many clients at once it also meant that I could be a little selective in which accounts to go after. That was many years ago and I now work with two telemarketing accounts per month generating business while the bulk of my time is spent conducting training seminars on telemarketing and business development. At this writing I am making plans to end my career as a telemarketer in order to focus full time on workshops. The moral of the story is this. In order to find a market for your service/product you may have create it (a market). Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
With all that said here are a few tips to help define your markets
1.0n a sheet of paper write down what your firm does and who your ideal client would be. This will help you keep focus and less likely to continue going after clients you don’t want or desire.
2. Next define who your competitors are and write them down including how their services differ from yours.(including fees, clientele etc,. This will require some research on your part) This again will help you to focus and help you to, visualize what makes your business special.
3. Next make a list of any areas of your business that need improving, including pricing, customer service sales, etc. This will allow you to see any problems either now or in the future. Retooling a concept is essential to a company´s growth.
4. Next make a list of the services/products that you’d like to offer and don’t. Do the same for your competitors´ .Can you offer these services now? How long will it take to implement these services/products’?
5.Lastly, make a note of how long it would take from start to finish to land a new client, based on current clientele base. This will give you a realistic time frame for generating a new customer base. Do you need a new clientele base. You bet? Let’s say you already have a good list of clients and haven’t gone after new prospects for several years. Suddenly, one client decides to go out of business. Another has decided to downsize and views your services/products as a luxury rather than a necessity. And a third competitor that you didn’t even know existed is going after the same markets that you service. If I were you, I would be very nervous about this time. Are you getting the picture now? If you want to stay in business you must be willing to go after new markets. Laziness or remaining content with your business can be deadly.
Now that you have a list of criteria for generating more business, here’s what to do next.
As always, please keep in mind that most of the information shared here, you may already know. The purpose is to keep you focused on what your company can do for the prospect. Developing new markets is very much like starting your clientele base over again form scratch. Each industry you market to, will be different and you may notice certain nuances with each market. For example, in my before mentioned client´s (a photographer) case, ad agencies are their primary customer base. They pay very well and generally have the budget for the services needed but take longer to close and thus take longer to pay. If you´re a small firm, then your budget is at the mercy of the client´s. What´s needed in this case are "filler" clients. These are smaller and generally in a different industry other than your standard clientele base. Be sure to look at all of the clients in your database. What is the common denominator with most of them.If it is the industry, then ask yourself the following questions:
How long is the term for each contract? How often do they pay you? How often do they renew? How large is their budget?
With these questions in mind the solution to my clients problem is simple. Remember that my client is a photographer, and graphic design firms often use photographers for various projects such as newsletters, annual reports etc. They also have budgets for photographers and generally use them on a regular basis. They also tend to be easier to close and faster to pay than ad agencies. Creating new and different markets makes sense from an economical stand point as well. In an economic slow down as is the case in recent months, having business in different markets makes you less vulnerable to a cash slump. For example, I not only have clients in the insurance industry, but I have expanded to photography, graphic design, and web design.
Creating new markets should become a valuable and important element in your sales strategy.
This is an excerpt from my book "Telemarketing Success for Small and mid-sized Firms available at www.amazon.com and bookstores everywhere
Tony Wilkins is the owner of Telemarketing Consulting Services and author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms´ available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success via e: mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column, please contact Tony Wilkins at email@example.com