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What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?
3

What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

(OP)
I am curious to know, what have you found to be the best marketing method.
(Direct advirtising, tangential activities like writing papers, word of mouth? etc)

witchpumpkinvampirePSHappy Holloween!

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Word of mouth has worked best for me, but next best has been eng-tips.com!  I've never gotten any work from my yellow pages add; my entry in Don's Directory; membership (and an officer postion) in SPE, ASME, NACE, etc., but the time I spend in eng-tips.com has resulted in three different relationships that have more than paid for my time here.

I have gotten work from papers I've published, but not nearly as much.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering
www.muleshoe-eng.com
Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

The harder I work, the luckier I seem

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Word of Mouth for me as well.

My last few contracts were all due to the fact that people I have worked with/for in the past though enough of my work that they introduced me to owners/managers of company looking for specialised skills, short term contract workers, etc.

As a single person contractor, I don't have the resources to pay for advertising/marketing. Also, I think that companies that "respond" to advertisement and marketing are probably in need of more "horse power" than my one man shop.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Why is it that as engineers, we forget everything we learned in school about process, systems, and methodology, when it comes to selling our services?

The best advice for marketing is find a sales process and stick to it.


Rick Beauregard
www.thebeauregardgroupe.com

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

I think the OP is asking so that he/she can find a process.

Ed

www.engineerboards.com

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Create a good website.

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

OK, since you asked...

If I were to ask "how do you design a water treatment system?" some of you could describe this in great detail. But how do you sell (i.e."market") your water treatment engineering services? There is not one answer to this question. It is a process... (As quality Guru, Deming, said, "If you can't explain what you do as a process, you really don't understand what you're doing.")

Like the water plant, it starts with collecting a "reservoir" of contacts, opportunities, leads, "suspects." How you go about doing this depends on your business: are you a solo operator or a $100M engineering firm? Regardless, you need a constant stream of potential opportunities. There are many strategies for filling your bucket with leads--word of mouth, writing papers, referrals, direct contact.... You need to pick a few strategies that what work for you and leverage your strengths and do them CONSISTENTLY. We need to be prospecting all the time. Create a system that tracks your activity and effetiveness in this area. (One strategy is to participate in online discussions, like this...)

The next step is qualifying, a step which many service firms forget. We tend to have the "1 to 2 to... 10" syndrome...1. I have a lead, 2. I can do that!....10. We write an expensive proposal. I don't mean qualifying you or your firm, but qualifying the opportunity. It is a target rich environment, and you want to spend your time on the best business, not just any business. Create an "ideal client profile" and stick to it. I can show you how.

The next stage is to cover the bases on those opportunities you decide are in your ideal mix. Dig to learn about the requirements, develop relationships with all the key buying influences (users, technicality deciders, "buyers", final decisionmaker, gatekeepers, etc.), develop a coach...This is probably my best advice...Seek out or develop a coach, someone who can help you develop a winning strategy. You need a capture plan and strategy to capture each complex sales opportunity. Then you need to execute that strategy--leverage your strengths and eliminte your red flags. Sales (unlike marketing) is a contact sport. It is done between individual human beings. Writing the proposal is a necessary, but not sufficient step for consistent success.

Evaluate at many stages in the process if you should stop investing. Once you have executed your strategy, if you still decide to pursue the opportunity, it enters the "best few" category. Now we need to do the actions needed to close the deal: proposal, presentation, best & final offer, negotiate, and close. At this point it becomes a "must win". Too often we are doing these activities on leads that are not qualified and with clients who don't know us. We find ourselves just another "qualified bidder" and as a result, the client picks the low bidded, since we have provided her no other way to differentiate.

Improving in sales requires 1. good relationship building skills, 2. skills in managing opportunities through this capture process, and 3. effective focus and investment in "key sustaining clients", those 10% of your clients that give you 80% of your business or more. These are skills that can be learned, just like calculus. But we didn't take these courses in engineering school, because we didn't sign up to be sales people, right?

If you'd like some additional advice about "reengineering your selling machine" see my website. I have many articles and book recomendations.

Rick Beauregard
www.thebeauregardgroupe.com

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Great Stuff Rick,
I'm looking at your website today.

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

I have tried marketing letters and trade magazine articles to promote my engineering services.  Typically in a fairly well targeted mailing campaign if you send 500 to 1000 letters you may grab one prospect that results in a project.  Similar for magazine articles, one trade article may get you one prospect.  Usually these people contact you if they are in a pinch, disatisifed with their current engineer or you advertise a highly unusual and useful skill or capability. So its a lot of work to pick up a couple of clients.  If you find a cheap-fast way to automate such mailings or periodicals it might pay off in time.  

I am told about the wonders of word of mouth marketing all the time as well.  Thats really default marketing that occurs when you already have clients though.  Without clients or people that know what you do, there  are no mouths to spread the word.  Upshot is that word of mouth is a result of marketing and contacts you make while working on projects for existing clients, its not an active marketing tool that will get your business started.

Phil

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

The most important part of marketing is to stay focused on the work and clients you have already and to be sure they feel as though they each feel they are your most important clients.

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

My experiences with marketing companies were dismal.
They are usually better in self-marketing then marketing
your product.

Best proof is that marketing companies have to be paid
in advance-- if they knew what the result of their effort
will be they would accept a contingency fee...
 

Plesae read FAQ240-1032
My WEB: <http://geocities.com/nbucska/>

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Quote (DRC1):

The most important part of marketing is to stay focused on the work and clients you have already and to be sure they feel as though they each feel they are your most important clients.

I have found this to be very sound advice.

Over the last few years, with manufacturing being up and down, I've seen a lot of my client contacts change jobs, or start their own companies.  Those are always a guaranteed referral, if you do good work for them.

I spent 2 solid years wondering how I was going to grow my business.  Then, all of a sudden, it just started happening.  I started getting calls from familiar names in strange new places.  Or, I got a name drop.

That gives me hope and confidence, and makes it easy to keep doing what I do.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Catia Design|Catia Design News|Catia V5 blog

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Market the people, not the company.  Build personal contacts.

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

It's unwavering commitment to your customer. Give weight to  Delivery, Quality and Support! and they'll keep coming back to you or even refer you to a new client.
 Other way, hire employees that would somehow boost your business just like others do.

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

For me the best advertising was having my company name and contact information on my drawings.  They went out with a bid package and now I get calls from people who would like the same type of work done for them.

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

The thing about marketing, is that is encompasses your entire company, not just your advertising or sales.

There are many aspects, but only a few core constants.

Such as your position in the industry; Where exactly do you stand, and where is it you are perceived by your customers? Do they come to you for a specific problem all the time, and not know any thing else about you? How many times do you hear this, “wow, I didn’t know you guys did that.” So one thing you need to do is make sure your existing customers know your full set of competencies.

Then there is the customer base; You can always advertise and hope your customer comes to you. But maybe you should look for your customer. Target them, and make sure they know what you do. Make them realize that you are an opportunity for them.

Understand your threats. Too many times people underestimate the competition. In fact, when doing marketing activities, the vast majority of us never even consider the competition. Always ask yourself whet the competition might be doing. I ever you hire a marketing firm or sales people, listen carefully. Have they ever mentioned the competition? Tell me, where exactly does the business go if not to you? Stop that.

Are you reading the business section to understand what might be happening in the market? Will you be prepared? How will your customer respond to market news? How will you competitor respond? How can you best used this information?

Identify your weakness. How can you improve you services? Do you have to buy equipment? Do you need more People? If you fix this weakness, will it strengthen my position in the industry?

Marketing is not just advertising and sales.

When someone sees my logo, I want them to say…. “Yeah, those guys are good.”  Now, how can I make them say that?

Charlie
www.facsco.com

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

The internet

Alfredo - Mech
Structural steel design and detailing
http://www.mechstudio.com

RE: What is the most effective marketing technique in your business?

Word of mouth is the only thing that has generated any significant work for me.

Treat your present clients well and they will speak well of you.

Then network a lot!

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

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