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A Key Tool To Growing Your Business This Year

If the economic doldrums still have you down, take action with these quick, simple, yet very effective “kick in the pants” steps for a fast turnaround.

It’s no secret that you must have a process for continually bringing qualified leads into your sales funnel. This is the lifeblood of your business.

Some things are out of your control. Businesses close, move, and change ownership. Any of these could lead to the loss of a client you thought would never leave. To prepare for these moments, you must have processes in place to bring in new prospects to replace the ones you lose.

Preparing for client turnover is something you control. Whether you have an existing process, need to dust off an old one, or are creating a brand new procedure from scratch, your client-generation plan must have goals.

Base your goals on the process, not just the outcome. What does this mean? Simply put, you can’t control how many leads will end up hiring you, but you can control how many of these prospects you reach.

Commit to a plan that will help you uncover prospects well-suited for the products and services you sell. Don’t rely on any one single platform or marketing tool to spread your message. Instead, use multiple channels, including print, email, social media, and the Internet, to bolster your communication and lead funnel process. If you commit to the process, the outcomes will take care of themselves.

Be encouraged. Take action. Businesses are waiting for the kinds of solutions you offer. You just need to let them know that yours are the ones they’re after.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics 
Veteran Owned and Operated
www.HeritagePrinting.com

Custom Cut Signs and Banners * Event & Tradeshow Displays & Graphics * Fabric and Textile Printing * Fabric Backdrops, Banners and Displays * Retail POP * Wall, Window & Vehicle Decals & Graphics * Retractable Bannerstands * Backlit Signs * Printed Marketing Materials * Publications * Direct Mail * Branding & Creative Services

5900 Harris Technology Blvd #G, Charlotte, NC 28269 (704) 551-0700
beginning May 1st NEW LOCATION: 2739 Interstate Street, Charlotte NC 28208
22725 Washington St, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (301) 475-1700
2639 Connecticut Ave NW #110B, Washington DC 20008 (202) 609-9761

Encourage the Customer Voice

One of the best ways to promote your business is to get your customers talking about you, whether on the streets, via social media, or in product reviews. Here are a few ways to encourage customers to voice their opinions:

  • Create a message board, chat forum, or guest book where customers can create an online community and share their opinions and feedback.
  • Ask key customers to participate in a “customer spotlight” section of your newsletter. Use this feature to help customers promote their business and elaborate on their relationship with your company.
  • Add product review capabilities to your website that allow customers to rank and review your products or services. Send customers a link to an online opinion survey they can take shortly after making a purchase.
  • Start a blog and encourage feedback, questions, suggestions, and sharing of your posts.
  • Offer valuable incentives (coupon, discount, free gift, etc.) as a reason to fill out a survey, and keep surveys short and sweet. This will encourage customers to complete your entire survey… and to answer future surveys when you ask them to.
  • Encourage customers to contact you any time they have questions, comments, or suggestions — and make it easy for them to do so. Include your contact details in your email signature, post your phone number prominently on      every page of your website, and send a business card with every letter or mailing.
  • Engage with customers every chance you get. Ask them about their experience, seek their opinion on industry-related topics, and garner their feedback and suggestions regarding your business.

Don’t discourage negative customer comments. Negative feedback provides credibility and tells customers the business is confident enough to show a range of customer opinions. Honest feedback and suggestions can also help improve your business.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics
www.HeritagePrinting.com

Custom Cut Signs and Banners * Event & Tradeshow Displays & Graphics * Fabric and Textile Printing * Fabric Backdrops, Banners and Displays * Retail POP * Wall, Window & Vehicle Decals & Graphics * Retractable Bannerstands * Backlit Signs * Printed Marketing Materials * Publications * Direct Mail * Branding & Creative Services

Veteran Owned and Operated
5900 Harris Technology Blvd #G, Charlotte, NC 28269 (704) 551-0700
beginning May 1st NEW LOCATION: 2739 Interstate Street, Charlotte NC 28208

22725 Washington St, Leonardtown, MD 20650 (301) 475-1700
2639 Connecticut Ave NW #110B, Washington DC 20008 (202) 609-9761

Viral videos, QR codes, and late night connections

As business owners, we’re all looking for new and innovative ways to connect with customers. NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” managed to do just that with a well-placed QR code held up during last Friday’s broadcast. On the show, host Jimmy Fallon, guest Stephen Colbert, former “American Idol” Taylor Hicks, and a bevy of others (including house band, The Roots) sang an over-the-top rendition of “Friday,” a song which came to fame recently in a viral video by Rebecca Black. Near the end of the performance, a staffer held up a card containing a QR code.

QR (quick response) codes are special barcodes you can print anywhere that “translate” from a simple block pattern to a predetermined website address when photographed (or scanned) and “read” by QR-code-enabled devices, such as many smartphones. They’re kind of like a graphic version of a bit.ly or tinyurl.com link.

Anyway, observant viewers, who photographed the QR code on their smartphones, were treated to a video in which Fallon thanked fans for helping raise money for the charity DonorsChoice.org. But it didn’t end there.

At the beginning of this “hidden” video, Fallon held up a QR code, which he led fans to believe was the same QR code his staffer had held up during the show. However, it wasn’t the same code, and those who photographed that second QR code were treated to another video, in which Fallon provided a quick “tour” of the contents of his desk.

A third QR code (held up by Fallon in the second bonus video) led to a final video, again featuring Fallon at his desk. In this video, Fallon offered a sneak preview of some upcoming features on the show and thanked viewers for their loyalty.

So, could you or I recreate this kind of elaborate media campaign for our own brands or companies? Probably not to the same extent Fallon was able to. After all, we don’t have the funding of a major media company (NBC) at our disposal. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find equally innovative ways to use technology to our own advantage. All of the basic tools Fallon used — QR codes, video, and social media — are available to us, as well. We just need to find ways to use those tools to reach our own “audience” and grow our brands.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated