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How Its Done

By Bryan Elliott

How Its Done
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How It’s Done: 4 Key Tips to Finding New Customers


How It’s Done is an inside look at the people in Orange County that are making things happen. From small businesses to the big guys, I write a little about how they go about their business.

Whether you have a product or service to sell or are just trying to get discovered so that you can get hired, do you ever feel like this? …Like no one is listening because they are too busy getting their own message out that they don’t have time to listen to what you’re saying?

If you are doing any type of marketing (and we are all marketers even if your title doesn’t say so…), you’re probably thinking about, planning or executing a strategy to sell something. You want to get the word out (awareness), so you put out ads in magazines, post updates on Facebook and Tweet ’til your fingers bleed. If you’re working your B2B back channel, you might be on LinkedIn drumming up leads..

You hope people like what you have to say or sell (interest), provide some kind of incentive or promotion (desire) and then try and close the sale (action). These 4 steps make up the traditional Sales or Marketing Funnel.

So for everything that you do, where’s the engagement and action? Where’s the “business” part of “business development?’ It can be frustrating or keep you up at night if your customer pool is drying up.

If you’re like me, even at the time of writing this, you are probably being pulled in several different directions. Frankly, I’m surprised you’re reading this far down. You’ve got 200 unopened emails in your In Box and several voice and text messages. You cram down some food at one or more of the 3 times per day allotted for eating–maybe. You scurry from one place to another whether it’s inside an office or not, so you’ll be on time. You’ve got work to do–lots of it and it never ends. You have family commitments, kids who have tons of homework and soccer and lacrosse twice a week. You volunteer at the school or sit on a board of directors somewhere. You’ve got church or temple or that spiritual road biking club that rides 2x per week at 6am before work. You have a side job or passion project. You’re busy. And so is everyone else.

How do you break through the clutter? How do you get people to pay attention to you? After all, you’ve got something really important to say or a product that will solve people’s problems.

There is actually a lot of really good stuff on this including Chris Brogan’s “Grow Bigger Ears” article and Brian Solis’ piece on community management. I really like this part of Brian’s post:

“It was never just about listening, monitoring and responding. No matter how sophisticated these processes become, this is still and always will be about building a community where communities are active and emerging. This is about investing in a community through inspired action and engagement. And, this is about creating an adaptive business to not only compete for the future, but compete for relevance.”

In his book “Flip the Funnel” Joseph Jaffe (@JaffeJuice) suggests that we spend way too much time and money on the acquisition or hunt for new business and that we should flip the Marketing Funnel. Flipping the funnel over on its head means focusing on the customers we already have or just made–first. “Instead of ending with your customers, why not begin with your lifeblood, the single biggest–if not the only–reason you’re in business today? The new flipped funnel is about Acknowledgment, Dialogue, Incentivization and Activation.”

4 Tips to Getting More Business:

1. Acknowledge. What do you do for those who become your new customers?

2. Dialogue. Are you engaging people, listening and taking action?

3. Incentivize. What are you doing to retain customers? Do you treat certain (repeat) customers differently?

4. Activation. Getting your customer involved in the brand and giving them a reason to stay.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter . I’ll be back next week again with another article but you can also catch up with me any time at Linked Orange County…

-Bryan