March 5, 2013
A VAR business owner recently asked for my advice regarding a somewhat tricky situation he’d found himself in. Local mergers and acquisitions of previously small, non-threatening competitors found him realizing that he suddenly had a number of potential threats to his company. While he knew that shotgun advertising techniques were not likely to be effective, he wanted to know what he could do to quickly increase his visibility and protect his position.
The right messaging can have a huge impact on your business, and is especially important in the tech industry. There are two areas in which you should focus on staying visible–customers and your market. Here are six strategies to help you stay visible in the face of competitive pressure.
1. Create an E-Newsletter
First, you need to be sure you’re remaining visible with your customers. If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to start an e-newsletter, sent every three or four weeks with an informative, IT-focused article. Your customers are the ones that you really want to protect and be visible with, and you can do this very quickly by writing one article, designing a quick e-newsletter banner and sending it via email.
2. Don’t Neglect the Telephone
If you have top customers that you haven’t spoken to recently, reach out with a quick phone call just to check in and say “hi.” It might be too much to expect full-blown review meetings on short notice, but you can definitely hold a mini review just to touch base and ensure your customers will remain true to you.
3. Start an Email Lead Generation Campaign
Implement an email lead-generation campaign to target your B and C customers that you won’t be able to call. Remind them about your company and your expertise. Then, begin a nurturing email campaign to your top target markets. Focus on educating them about the business issues you suspect they have. Start getting more social while you’re at it.
4. Take Advantage of Local Publications
While it’s true that many people don’t read the paper any longer, business journals and local publications still can be effective tools for keeping the local market well-informed. In the face of new competitive threats, use these resources to help boost your visibility in the market immediately while you expand your presence through longer-term nurturing campaigns.
5. Look Into Radio Spots
When properly planned, radio spots can be great for gaining market visibility. The trick is to find the right station or two to publicize on. While expensive, spots scheduled during the morning commute tend to be the most effective.
6. Get Spotlighted
Sometimes the best way to gain visibility is to get spotlighted in a local publication. If you know anyone who writes for a business journal, ask them to do a profile on your business. These articles are widely read by subscribers, increasing your visibility to prospects you may not have reached otherwise.
The ideal scenario is for you to be visible in your area while highlighting your business’ expertise and strong references. You can do just that by employing some or all of the above suggestions.
Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the newly released book, “The Sales Magnet,” and the award winning book, “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.
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