Plan (and act) today to ensure you hit your 2018 goals.

No, that’s not a typo.

Although it’s really just the beginning of 2018, what you do now will have a big impact on the results you’ll be reviewing at year-end. As you review 2017 results, I bet there’s at least one area where you would have liked to see more progress or success. If you had only started, (or started earlier), doing something, results would have been better.

There are very few marketing or business development activities you can start in the 4th quarter and expect to have an impact by the end of the year. So the activities get delayed, or just dropped. The best time to start those activities is now. Then you’ll look back during your 2018 year-end review and be impressed with your accomplishments.

Let’s look at five client acquisition goals that may generate big returns if you can plan and execute activities against them for a full year. I want to….

  • Build new business relationships. I’m not a business development coach, but I can do the math. if you set a goal of only one new lunch, office visit, or business discussion each week, you’ll smile as you think about your 52 new relationships at the end of 2018.
  • Generate more client referrals. First, you need confidence clients are satisfied with your service. Implement a client survey or Net Promoter Score® to measure satisfaction and propensity to refer others. Then remind clients how important those referrals are to your business.
  • Improve your image or reputation. As needed, make plans now to improve website quality, deliver compelling business communications, add glowing testimonials, and solicit 5-star online reviews. All of these activities take time, and when combined, will dramatically improve the first impression of your firm.
  • Make the phones ring more often. Despite what advertising sales reps tell you, there’s no magic bullet and nothing you can just turn on. It takes months to test the right mix of marketing activities that generate real prospective client calls at the most effective return on investment. You also need the infrastructure to be able to measure those results so you understand the ROI.
  • Turn more prospects into clients. Whether you market to businesses or consumers, a person makes the decision to use your service. Make sure you understand “buyer” behavior, and adjust your communication process. That may include faster responses, better handling (as in scripting) of those contacts, and accelerated rate of communication. When in doubt, ask your new clients.

What are your 2018 marketing goals?

There are no tricks to having a solid marketing program that generates measurable results. It takes an investment in time, effort, (sometimes) money, and patience. If your marketing program isn’t delivering, I bet you’re short on at least one of those attributes. Want some help? Please contact us and we’ll be glad to share some ideas.

Note: Net Promoter Score is a registered trademark of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.

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