October 31 is quickly approaching. And as your company prepares for "Halloween Central" at your office, your mind is thinking about the end of the 3rd Fiscal Quarter...isn't it?
If you're like most companies, your final 3 months of the year are insanely busy. Like a lot of our professional service clients, you are busy with the bulk of your accounts having 1/1 renewals, the last quarter is a flurry of underwriting, renewal meetings, presentations, proposals and fingers-crossed the "other guy" doesn't come in with a lower quote.
But pause, take a minute to breathe, and plan out your marketing strategy for this quarter. Just because the service activity level picks up doesn't mean your marketing and prospecting fall off. Here's how to make a final push for a strong 4th quarter that can add more revenue to your bottom line not just this year, but into 2017 as well.
Many of your prospects are entering into their 4th quarters as well, and typically this is the time when we see fewer first appointments with new prospects. Use this time to plan your client retention and prospect marketing strategies for 2017. Take some time with your sales team to review top prospects and your marketing strategy for each, as well as your opportunities to close an account. There are lots of tools available, but we recommend a one-on-one strategy with your sales management and producers to identify those step-by-steps for a thorough marketing plan.
Always a fun time of year, the fourth quarter gives us plenty of opportunities to get in front of our clients and prospects and just "be". A couple of ideas that always yield good intrinisic results:
- Thanksgiving Lunch: Show your appreciation for your staff and top clients by hosting a Thanksgiving luncheon at your office (pot lucks are always fun!). By inviting your top clients, you help solidify relationships and let people put names with faces.
- Delivery of Holiday Gifts: Cards, flowers, calendars etc are some popular ways to acknowledge the season with your clients. An impromptu visit to deliver the goods is always appreciated. For prospect touches, end of year cards, candy-cane pop-ins, etc are a fun way to get your name and face in front of prospects you've been trying to get in to see. Make sure to follow up with a phone call if you had to leave your gift with someone other than the person you're intending.
- Holiday parties: The annual Christmas Party is always fun for your staff, but this year, invite your top clients. Again, build relationships with your top accounts and maybe next year you won't be "keeping the other guy" out.
Be the "go-to" guy or gal for end of year planning. Email your clients and prospects with some tips to make their renewals go smoothly. Offer some helpful tips for risk management or personal protection in 2017. Use an email service that provides you with "open rate data" so that you can see who opens your emails and what they click on. You can use this information to make some follow up phone calls early next year if a prospect was interested in a particular subject.
You're already reviewing your top accounts for proper coverage...right? Well in case you missed it, use this time to recommend additional coverages to your clients. Do a quick coverage check and see who needs an umbrella policy this year - and call them with the premium amount. Does everyone who needs it have cyber liability coverage? Make a personal call to suggest this important topic and remind your clients why they need to buy it. Remember, it's your job to make sure your clients are always properly covered. Any missing holes in their protection plan could be distastrous for them and you. And always always always follow up everything with an email.
Be creative! Amongst the busy-ness of this 4th quarter, don't let your marketing efforts fall by the wayside. If your plate is full, delegate some of your ideas to someone in your office that you know can carry them out.
The "Next Level"
As mentioned above, the way to really win is to be purposeful in your pursuits. Even if you are "doing marketing", are you doing it the right way or are you just guessing?
If you answered 'just guessing' you are in the majority and when you are trying to attract new customers and delight your current ones, who wants to be in the majority? Planning and executing your inbound campaign correctly helps you stand out from your competition.