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Marketing / Business marketing

Proactive marketing: I’ve got an idea for you

In one of our weekly polls, 43% of respondents said they would like to increase their flow of new business. To do this, thinking tends to focus on "How and where can I find new customers?" But there is an alternative - proactive marketing.

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Recently whilst making coffee, a marketing idea occurred to me that I thought would be ideal for one of my clients. So for the first time in a long time, I contacted a client unprompted and said “I’ve got an idea for you.”

His response was so enthusiastic that the next minute we were talking timings and budgets. My idea was in no way earth shattering, it was just a simple addition to his website.

Why does this proactive marketing approach get such a strong response?

I think it’s because passionate business people – especially soloists – love nothing better than thinking and talking about their business and exploring ways to make it better. The fact that you’re thinking about it too, without even being paid, is music to their ears.

When you sell to existing clients, you have already built up a level of trust and understanding, so you can approach them with carefully considered, relevant ideas.

"Passionate business people – especially soloists – love nothing better than thinking and talking about their business and exploring ways to make it better."

Selling to new clients, you need to rely on assumptions and can only hope that what you’re offering matches what they need. There are a lot of barriers to break down before they’ll sign up.

Want more articles like this? Check out the  business marketing section.

I recommend you spend some time thinking about your current clients and come up with a simple idea or two, then roll out the powerful phrase “I’ve got an idea for you!” It’s guaranteed to at least get you on the phone for a chat.

Even if your idea doesn’t directly involve your products or services, you’ll get brownie points and fond consideration next time they’re looking to buy.

In my follow up article I look at another proactive marketing technique – generating new business through sampling.

Could proactive marketing work for your business? Tell us how by adding a comment below.

Peter Crocker

looks after content at Flying Solo. As part of Business Copywriter he partners with digital agencies and corporate clients on websites and digital content. He's the co-author of Flying Solo Revisited: How to go it alone in business.

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