One of the key themes of the E-Myth book is that you must make the mind shift of being a computer guy that owns a business to that of a business owner who runs a computer business. The key distinction is how you look at your role within the business. The business owner is responsible for all aspects of the business, not just the technical work.
Enter the salesperson…one of the hats you must wear as the business owner is marketing manager and salesperson. Ok, now I know some of you introverted technical types are starting to hyperventilate but it really is not that bad. In fact, there is a science and process to marketing that can be followed by anyone to generate leads and cultivate them into customers. In simple terms you need a process to get new contacts. Mailing lists, networking events and traditional advertising mediums can all serve this function. The problem is that most non-business owners stop here. What most of us fail to see when we first start out is that marketing also includes cultivating those contacts, now called leads. Now that your leads are in your system you must do some type of regular touches to them by email, phone call, newsletter and any other means that combined create a consistent drip marketing system that will eventually move a good number of leads from lead to customer. The job doesn’t stop there either. Once you convert leads into customers, you must continue to market to your existing customers. How many of your existing customers subscribe to all your services? Are you tracking the age of their critical equipment like servers? These things represent your greatest opportunities because you already have a relationship with these customers.
This process of generating contacts, converting the to leads and then cultivating them into customers is called a sales funnel. The most important thing is keeping the funnel filled and keeping it percolating. The one thing that kept marketing on the top of my mind was a one-page chart of my funnel that I kept hanging next to my desk. Leave a comment with your email address below for a free copy of my sales funnel.
One final note, there are many ways to touch your contacts, leads and customers but the most important thing is to keep the process going. Do something daily to keep some part of the funnel moving.