Marketing tips from Jim Connolly
How valuable do you think it would be for you and your business right now, if you could find out what your clients and prospective clients are interested in, worried about or excited by?
Well, if you work in sales or run a business, this kind of information is gold dust!
For example, armed with this valuable data you can focus your sales messages on what the marketplace really wants – dramatically increasing your response rates and sales figures! It could also help you find additional services that your existing clients want and would be happy to pay for! I’ve seen this double a company’s turnover in 3 months! You could even spot unhappy clients and fix whatever is wrong, before they leave you for a competitor!
How can you get this super-valuable information?
Client surveys and opinion polls!
You start by writing to (or emailing) your existing clients with a simple ‘client survey.’ This should run to no more than 6-8 questions. Each ‘question’ should actually come in the form of a statement, which asks your client what they think, based on a simple 1-5 response.
Please answer the following by marking the appropriate box; from strongly disagree  to strongly agree 
“The service I receive from
Acme Recruitment is excellent”     
Also, leave a space below each answer and ask your client to add additional information if they wish. This is really important! Usually, the only people who add comments are clients to are either extremely happy or extremely unhappy. For those who are in the latter group, it gives you the chance to find out what’s wrong and put it right, before they leave! This can massively improve your client retention.
The value of opinion polls
If you want to find out what your potential clients are interested in or motivated by, one of the best ways is via a simple opinion poll on your website or blog! As you can see from the right hand side of this blog, I use them myself; to make sure that what I write about is directly relevant to my readers!
Think about it. The most valuable marketing information for you and your business, is information that is both powerful AND also directly relevant to you! The opinion polls I use, give me a valuable insight into the opportunities and threats that are of most interest to my readers. For example, as I write this, the current opinion poll on this blog is telling me that since the credit crunch started, almost 90% of my readers (who voted) have seen a drop in sales.
Poll YOUR marketplace
You need to find out what’s important to YOUR potential clients and your marketplace too! Fortunately, it has never been easier or less expensive to gather these opinions. A simple piece of opinion poll software can be installed on your website or blog in minutes. The software I use on this blog is excellent and 100% free (or you can give the software writer a donation) – you can get a copy for your blog here.
As you can see, the value of gathering data from your clients and your potential clients can be enormous. If you do not already poll your marketplace and clients I strongly advise you to start!