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Strategic Marketing & Planning
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my Intro & Query !!Views: 661
Jul 20, 2006 2:14 pmmy Intro & Query !!#

Aalok Sthapak
Dear Fellow Marketers,

After serving 13 years I finally started my own venture which takes care of marketing & Business Development needs of any company. Currently I am providing my services to 2-3 companies in India.

Hope it will grow in due course of time.

A simple query to you all:

When I meet with prospects they are more interested in knowing answer to a simple question- " How much lead/sales I can generate" i know It varies from product to product and service to service but, unless I don't give them a satisfactory answer i know I will not be converting that prospect.

Can you tell me based on your expereince and expertise that without even going in the market and even before signing any contract What Should be my answer. Is there any technique/tool or formula to calculate it? Also, Is there any Formula for Word of Mouth Publicity?

Do share your thoughts on the possible alternatives.

Regards,

Aalok Sthapak
www.urconnect.com

Private Reply to Aalok Sthapak

Jul 20, 2006 5:59 pmre: my Intro & Query !!#

S C
I would suggest you research thoroughly on your potential client before pitching. Get to know their business. That way, when asked that particular question, you can have an alternative answer without really giving a figure.

For instance, you can say "Given the industry you're in and the product/service you offer, acquiring the services of my company can increase your ability to compete by x%". Or, maybe you can say something like "Your competitors are currently enjoying a market share of x%. By acquiring the services of my company, you can increase your own market share by x% or take away x% of your competitors' market share." All they're asking for is you state the benefit they will get in quantifiable terms that they can relate to if they acquire your services.

If they really want a number, you have to tell them that you will need some figures coming from them to make a rough estimate. After which, you can give them a ballpark figure. Just make sure you can deliver on that promise or, at least, close to it.

As for word of mouth, you can gauge the effect by asking your potential clients how and where did they know of your company. I'm not much of a market researcher or statistician so I'm not sure if there's a formula or what that formula is. Usually, you can get this in relation to your own company by conducting a market research that would answer the effect of word of mouth on your company.

Hope that helps.

Best,
Sunny
http://www.marketingaddict.blogspot.com

Private Reply to S C

Jul 21, 2006 8:44 amre: re: my Intro & Query !!#

Aalok Sthapak
Dear Sunny,

Thanks for your valuable suggestions but the problem still remains the same. Even after doing all the necessary Homework suggesting any x% is never a problem but to find the the facts and figures to support this x% is the pain.

If I commit some figure without any supportive/relevant facts and figures I will be hold responsible. The biggest challange is How anyone can take the responsibility of third party (first which is unknown and second he is not under my control).

Also, it becomes very difficult when the product/service the prospect is planning to offer are new and unique in nature. The acceptance and rejection of such services completely depends on the the market, being the Marketing activity partner you will be hold responsible in either case ( Big RISK in case of rejection).

To safeguard my business Interest and converting prospect to valuable client I am thinking of providing my Clients with hypothitical minimum figures on per quarter basis. Besides the figures I am putting details of various Obstacles(Real scenario and limitations) PLUS a test Marketing for a limited and short duration.

Do you think this approach is Right?

Any Suggestions/Comments....

Private Reply to Aalok Sthapak

Jul 21, 2006 10:07 amre: re: re: my Intro & Query !!#

Ketanbhai Pandit
Hi Aalok, Sunny,

Sunny U are right in saying that Aalok shud first do his homework on potential clients before approaching them, and Aalok u are also correct in not giving any commitment on numbers. hemarkets can be as slippery to grasp as a wet snake.

:)

My suggestion to Aalok would be to guide the potential clients with Historical data. That ways, u can cover the Market , Segment, Product/ Service and Regulation.

To quote how much sales would be generated and calculating x% is no piece of cake. A test marketing tool works well only in case of a product/ service which is already in the market. For a new offering, a sample of the entire population willhave to be very large to approximate the nature of the entire population.

My 2 cents.

:)

Private Reply to Ketanbhai Pandit

Jul 21, 2006 5:33 pmre: re: re: re: my Intro & Query !!#

Steffen Nielsen
In my industry (tradeshows) I am not able to provide any numbers either. Like Ketan said, I use last years numbers, and this years exspectations. Kind of like the stock market.When I provide someone with a new tradeshow booth, it is impossible to messure, how many new leads are generated, because of the new look or branding, or if the client would have gotten them anyway. I have to establish a relationship, so the client trust that what I say is right. I am far from the cheapest in the market, and numbers doesn't mean anything! I believe that my product or service has great value, and so will my client. You have to find out what values you bring to the table. If it is only numbers, and you can't find them, you are in trouble.

Good luck!
Steffen

Private Reply to Steffen Nielsen

Jul 23, 2006 1:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: my Intro & Query !!#

S C
Couldn't agree more. Forecasting for potential sales, potential market share can cause a migraine. In fact, forecasting is a migraine. But, that's me talking - the marketing consultant without any close and personal relationship with her calculator. LOL.

As a consultant, potential clients always ask me by how much will their income, market share or whatever increase if they hire me. I always tell them that i cannot give them a definite answer to that. I can't even quote a ballpark figure for it. However, I assure them that hiring me will put some form and focus on their marketing efforts which, in turn, will give them the business results they are aiming for. That puts expectations in perspective.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Sunny
http://www.marketingaddict.blogspot.com

Private Reply to S C

Jul 24, 2006 7:08 amre: re: re: re: re: my Intro & Query !!#

Aalok Sthapak
Dear Steffen & Sunny,

Thanks for your inputs.

I do agree that the client have to understand what you are brining on the table besides number and giving numbers is pain (where it should't..:)).

I am also of the same thought process as most of the marketing consultants but, The only new thing I have adopted is I have started looking from the clients prospective too.

Its very Simple, if the client is paying you and in worst case scenario you are not able to give him the results as per his expactations...He is the looser..we as a consultant will collect our fees and will walk out..or again try to persue him that because of the this & that ..Very good reasons supporting your defeat ( we are anyways known and hated for giving very convincing reasons) but, in Clinets mind a doubt will sprout. Which is not at all healthy.

Anyways, if the client is hiring your services means increase in his market share or specific interest for which he has hired you. but, for people like us it is very clear that the bottom line will remain FIGURES/Revenue. We can not bluff ourselves..though we can have list of clients but here the point is satisfied cients.

I look all my clients from long term prospective and try to win his confidence by giving him results ( I Know you also do that) but, providing figures makes the client comfortable.Even if we are not able to give him the tentative quoted figures anyways it is based on Hypotheciation which you have already described to him at the time of signing contract But, If you are able to give business more than the quoted figures...Trust me...The clients will remain yours..in both the cases You as a consultant will benefit.

What you suggest?

Regards,

Private Reply to Aalok Sthapak

Jul 25, 2006 8:40 amre: re: re: re: re: re: my Intro & Query !!#

S C
Well, of course, we all want satisfied clients because that would mean more business for us. And, definitely, it would be nice to quantify the value our services will bring to them versus the expense they incur when hiring us. It would also be infinitely better if we can surpass or exceed the expectations originally set before the partnership began.

As a consultant, I always want to make my clients feel that they made the right choice in hiring me because I bring not only focus and achievement of business goals to the table but also a sense of partnership - where I'm not just a mere consultant but someone they can come to for other needs that does not always have to be covered by the contract or paid for. Sometimes, they need a little something that was not originally part of our agreement and I do it for free as long as it's not anything major. Like another campaign.

There are things that you can do for your clients as value-added services that may not always be quantifiable in terms of currency but is valued just as well for the benefit it brings to clients and their businesses.

Ultimately, everything is about the bottomline. There is no sense in conducting a marketing campaign that will not have a positive impact on your bottomline because isn't that why everyone's in business? All marketing efforts when planned and done strategically can have a positive impact on the bottomline. It would be nice to have this impact set as a goal prior to signing contracts. I think the key here is to set expectations both parties can deliver and live with while, at the same time, setting their goals on exceeding those expectations. In that way, it's a win-win situation.

Best,
Sunny
http://www.marketingaddict.blogspot.com

Private Reply to S C

Sep 25, 2006 12:25 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: my Intro & Query !!#

Devendra Singh

Hi Aalok i was going through your query and definitely there are some good suggestions by people.

I think we are focusing too much on the stated problem and we can't see outside of it. What any customer is looking is value for money. If you are confident of your services why can't you go ahead and say that you will only charge say x% for every y% of gain by your client.

But you must realize that by doing this you are taking more risk than your client. If you fail to deliver you might land up getting nothing and if you succeed you will get more than you ever imagined.

Private Reply to Devendra Singh

Oct 03, 2006 2:07 amHow much leads/sales? - AALOK#

Cijaye DePradine
Hello Aalok,

I would ask prospects one simple question first -
"How much are you generating now?"

Then answer with: "Then you need to aim for 1-5% higher increase ONE CHANGE (to website, marketing message, email etc). AT A TIME.

*If this doesn't make sense to them...and it does to you..then you should have their attention and an open opportunity to offer your services to tell them HOW to acheive these increases.

Industry standards vary too much to be any more specific than this.

Best regards..

Private Reply to Cijaye DePradine

Oct 10, 2006 12:20 amre: my Intro & Query !!#

Pablo Cabrera
Hello all,

I just joined this network, no because I am a marketer but because I like to think SM (sometimes), reading thru the msgs, I saw your question and I will like to give you my non marketing opinion.

As I see it, if the prospect is waiting for such specific answer, I will tell him that in that especific moment my crystal ball is not operating properly but, based on experience (not mine) the number of leads/sales that will be generated by the marketing services you will provide, will be directly proportional to the public awareness and quality of his product and/or service and the available marketing resources contracted by the firm.

By introducing the words "public awareness" you will make him think about it .... if the public is not aware of his product/service then he really needs your marketing services but in the other hand if he has sales and he will like to have more (he is not the only one) and still he wants a number, no problem give him the number, because that number will be as solid as the performance contingencies you will have on the contract.


Good luck

Pablo

Private Reply to Pablo Cabrera

Oct 18, 2006 3:28 pmre: re: my Intro & Query !!#

Pranjal R. Daniel - Unaufhaltsam
hi all,
if i was to be asked the same question i would have suggested the client the field i am in since in the case of mlm companies it is easy to define the expense in % for the turnover .
since we in direct selling have already calculated the overheads in advance and in direct selling we do pay the distributors on results and not assumptions .
this way the client would know that if X was the turnover he wants to achieve he would need to shell out a particular % .
this way he would be comfortable in dealing with you.

Private Reply to Pranjal R. Daniel - Unaufhaltsam

Nov 01, 2006 5:14 pmre: re: re: my Intro & Query !!ROI ..ROI#

Sanjay


Hi All,

very Interesting thread indeed ! Let me put my views both as a client & as a marketing consultant :

Part A )

As Client :What's the ROI , you as asociate(consultant) have certain cost you are projecting as investment to me , hmm..n what do i get at the end of It ???valid point

Part B )

As Consultant : I know business lil better than you ( the client ) and i will help you achieve a turnaround then be it revenue/share or strategic position in the industry/market/employee's mindset whatever ..be it quantitative or qualitative transformation ...if i am seeking certain compensation i have to project certain returns to the client ..and we are back to the same music ( ROI).Anything and everything can be quantified therefore i guess answer is ROI ........



Sanjay

Private Reply to Sanjay

Nov 01, 2006 5:25 pmre: re: re: re: my Intro & Query !!ROI ..ROI#

Sanjay


I wish to add here "the simplest and easiest answer "

"Start from the end ..."

"start with end in mind .."Key point is ... "if you are not sure about what you are trying accomplish ,how and in what timeline " your efforts may not be successful even if your pitch enrolled the client .

in my view client doesn't have much of control on the xformation process provided you have done your homework right , you have already accomodated various factors/constraints/roles & responsibilities and elbow rooms are well defined

Private Reply to Sanjay

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