Marketing a Start Up to Prospects & Customers

For a start up to have any success in generating sales, you have to know four things:

1 Who can buy your product or service?

2 Who are the decision makers?

3 Where are these decision makers going to make buying decisions?

4 How do these people make buying decisions?

I covered the first two questions in a previous post. Let’s focus on questions three and four. To find out where the decision makers go to make buying decisions you need to do following:

Ask them, how did you decide on buying product XYZ? This will be easier to with your existing customers but prospects will respect you for asking questions that other people don’t. Another place to see where decision makers go to buy your products is trade shows. You could attend as either an exhibitor or an attendee. Try to get a booth at the show. Exhibitors are provided with demographics of who attends the show and have a chance to interact with buyers directly. Does your customer base have a specific incentive to make purchases at a certain time period? For example, when I was a sales rep in the Dental industry, the IRS allowed dentists to write off capital equipment purchases they made up to a certain amount. If you cannot afford to go as an exhibitor then go as an attendee. This way you can see what goes on first hand.

Now on how these people make buying decisions. This information could be obtained by asking them or it could be obtained by looking for published research. If none exists, conduct a survey and offer a free gift to fill it out. You could even include questions on how they came to a decision to make a purchase. SurveyMonkey is a good way to do this.

Social Media Marketing

Marketing your business using social media is a great way to build your business and reach potential buyers. Before I discuss more about this, I want to ask you some questions?

Do you have a website? If not, why not? Websites are easy to put together. I put mine together rather quickly. Having a site helps your business come up in searches. When I Google you and your business what comes up? Go ahead and try it now. If nothing comes up, that’s not good!

Now you’re asking what do I put on my website? I would put basic information that sells who you are and what you do. I would also upload information on your products and services. You should include a resume, testimonials and a blog. A website is like fashion, it is never finished. You can look at my site as an example. I also write a blog and publish online newspapers. I use my blog to give my followers a value massage. This blog is published on WordPress and Tumblr. I share the content throughout my social networks. I will cover how to build a website and a blog in future posts.

The Social Networks that I would have a presence on are the following: LinkedIn,Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I also have social sharing buttons on my site and blog. Pinterest is also a good network; however I have focused on the first four.

I would try to build a following on each these networks. Your best bet on how to do this is to share good content with people. When I started, I shared other people’s articles, and then I wrote my own. However, I still share others content that I find interesting. You can market your business with these updates. Search for people who are have an interest to what you have to offer. I have provided links to articles I have written on how to do this on these networks.

These are the basics on how to market a start up to prospects and customers.

Additional Resources

http://www.slideshare.net/Dgalantenyc/small-business-marketing-101-56503388

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 17,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 13,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

How to use Market Research to Drive Product Sales

competitive_analysis_-_matrix_l

Before businesses can sell anything, they need to determine if there is a market for their products and services.

Most businesses will not necessarily be creating new product categories. As a result, they will be entering into a market place that already exists. This is true if you are a re-seller or distributor of products and services. Once you decide that there is a market for your products and services; you need to study your competitors.

You can see who your competitors are by doing internet research, reading trade publications and attending industry trade shows. On the internet, you can view your competitors websites. Once you have all of this information you need to determine the sales, and marketing channels that you will use to sell your product. Are you going to sell products via a website, direct mail, social media marketing, retail space, trade shows or a direct sales force. There are many options available to you.

Knowing who could use your product is also something important to consider. If you do not have any existing customers you will need to be the Sales rep for your business to get yourself set up in the marketplace.

To be able to make an effectiveness Sales Presentation to a customer, you will need to compile your Marketing research in a competitive analysis chart as seen below.

competitive_analysis_-_matrix_limage via smartdraw.com

You will need to perform a SWOT analysis by assessing your strengths and weaknesses compared to your competitors on the products you offer, the price, quality, the service, reliability, stability, expertise, company reputation, location and appearance of your business along with how important it is to the customer.

This a must do even if you do not hire sales reps. But if you, do it should be part of their training. This competitive analysis should be done on a regular basis.

This is how you can use Market research to drive product sales.