Sales is the oldest profession. Yeah, even older than that other oldest profession (which happens to require plenty of selling in itself). And being that sales has been around so long, with so much money to be made, you better believe that people have studied what works and what doesn't.
So it's pretty mind-boggling to me how so many computer professionals still try to figure out on their own what kind of IT marketing techniques they should be using to promote their business, where the most effective methods have already been revealed as proven to work by so many successful business owners that have gone before.
I've spent years studying—and testing—what IT marketing has worked for others and then applied it to my own consulting business with great success, and I'm more than happy to share my results with you.
1. Sales Letters
Yup, a well written sales letter that follows a proven structure of A.I.D.A., and does a proper job of identifying what the reader's desires are and how to satisfy them will bring in more new customers easier than almost any other method of advertising. The trick is to make sure that you get your sales letter into the hands of the right target customer, promise you'll be able to deliver what they want, and then make them an offer they'd be crazy to refuse.
Getting someone to recommend your service to someone else is definitely a form of advertising, and one of the most powerful ones you'll ever find. If you have a satisfied client singing your praises to others, you'll have the easiest job of selling… ever!
3. Business Networking
Referrals are awesome. Business networking gives you the opportunity to meet dozens of like-minded business owners or sales professionals that will go out of their way to find YOU a new customer and refer them your way.
You hate the very idea of cold-calling? You're not alone. It can be scary and very uncomfortable if you don't know how. But there's one indisputable fact about cold-calling that can't be denied. There is absolutely NO FASTER WAY to get new clients if you know how to do it right.
5. Your Website
WITH A SALES MESSAGE! Pretty, flashy websites might win awards, but they won't win you new clients. Your website can be a very useful marketing tool. Use it properly. Start by learning proper SEO techniques and make sure that the companies that are looking for you can actually find you!
6. IT Newsletter
They're not going to sell your services on their own, but there's no better way to keep your message and your presence in the forefront of your prospect's mind... and you'll be the one they turn to when the need finally arises.
7. "Giveaway" Reports
By giving away something of value, like a free report, you create reciprocity... you give them something, they want to give you something in return. Reciprocity isn't just an effective IT marketing technique, it's one of the most effective techniques that can be applied in any business. Ever hear the term "And keep the bonus items as our gift, just for giving us a try."
8. Creative Guarantees
Sorry, but a "Satisfaction Guarantee" doesn't mean jack. Satisfaction is expected. If I'm not satisfied, damn straight I ain't paying until you make things right, whether you "guarantee" it or not. Give your clients a guarantee that means something to them. Find their greatest frustrations and make a promise that they won't ever experience those frustrations with you.
9. Free Trial
Make it as easy as possible to get prospective new clients to get started with you. And what could be easier than "free"? Considering what the lifetime value of a monthly, managed small business client can be for you, isn't it worth it to give them a month of your service on the house so they can see how wonderful you really are?
Just using a few of these techniques in your IT marketing arsenal can be effective enough to generate the new business your company needs to continue to thrive. Put all of these techniques into play simultaneously, and your sales funnel will quickly be overflowing with hot new clients.