Do You Have Staying Power?

This is the question that your potential clients are asking when deciding if they will work with you or not.

You've heard the saying that actions speak louder than words. What do I mean by that, you ask? I'm glad you ask. Just telling someone that you've been doing what it is you do for years isn't enough, often times. What they really want to know is that if they purchase your product or service will you be around for the duration. If they have a problem or question can they count on you to be there?

How To Get Marketing Results

One way to enhance your marketing results is to stay focused on your niche by narrowing your focus to market only one service at a time. You may have multiple modalities you are offering, but you can't effectively market them all. The more you are clear of what your focus is, the more effective your efforts will be.

When you have to decide about what to do with your marketing, decide first what niche you are offering. If you are a nursing staffing agency, you might decide whether to market your company with Hospitals, nursing homes, or ICU vs. Medsurge. Each one of those might be a good niche to pick, depending on what you are offering.

Honing in your efforts. Example, "This week I will work on getting more clients for medsurge in hospitals within a five mile radius" As soon as you make that decision, you will have a strong focus to reference and make decisions. The path will reveal itself once you focus on your marketing tasks.

Stay focused on the moment:

At this moment what do you need? What is the one thing that you need to accomplish today? What is so important that needs to be addressed quickly? Answering questions like this will help you determine what your main objective should be for your marketing moment.

Example: Get a new client by next month or two new ongoing clients by the end of the year or send out a new marketing mailer to potential clients.

Make sure you include a deadline for your marketing moments. If you want a new client by the end of the month, it is unlikely it will happen by attending networking events or increasing your social media activity. You will need to focus your marketing moment on developing and enhancing relationships.

Narrow down your tasks to do:

Having a huge list of tasks can get difficult and overwhelming to do. This is especially true if those tasks are vague and general. Consider what your niche is and what you need to accomplish immediately. What activity can you do today that will most likely take you in a direction to give you results? Get very specific
when doing this task.

Contact three new potential clients this week and ask them if you can bring donuts in the morning for coffee.

Focus on only listing activities for that week only. Revisit the list next week or revise or add to it. Activities that are not producing results may need to be modified and or enhanced. Each week decide on what is working and what is not working. Don't keep looking at ideas or tasks you aren't currently working on: that is a sure road to overwhelm.

Marketing results are based on focusing on tasks that can and will produce results. All you need is a simple, targeted plan. Follow these ideas above and you'll soon find that your marketing efforts are producing results with less effort.

It is very easy to get completely overwhelmed when trying to market your staffing business. You have marketing plans, tasks and all the same time learning new skills. You can only afford to pay for so much help. Is it possible to get staffing clients with your current marketing plan?

Marketing: It's All About Communication

Most businesses use marketing to attract new customers. However, it's also a great way to engage with you existing customers. It helps build relationships and reminds them who you are and what you do.

Before you read any more, go to your customer database, filing cabinet or diary and just spend a few minutes looking at all the names of your customers. Think about all the customers you've not actually done business with in the last three months or so. Think about all the customers you used to do business with who may now be using your competitors.

You might start wondering what happened to those customers and where they went. Why haven't you heard from them? Where did they go? And why? Business owners often make the costly mistake of selling to a customer once and then assuming they'll remain as a customer without spending time on nurturing a relationship.

So, assuming you've overcome the biggest obstacle of getting them to use you in the first place, how do you go about ensuring they continue to do business with you? Well, the easiest way to engage with your customers is to communicate with them. You need to let customers know you appreciate their business and want them to buy from you again and you need to develop a marketing plan to target your existing customers. Here are our tips on how to go about it.

You've Got Mail

Everyone has customers they don't deal with very often. These are the ones the competition will find the easiest to poach, because businesses don't spend enough time building relationships with them. A monthly or even quarterly mailing helps remind your customers that your there; email versions tend to work best and there are lots of free packages out there to help you get your message into print. Don't make it "salesy"; no-one will want to read about that. Instead offer advice or share some news; in other words, fill it with interesting content. Think about it, no-one would read a magazine full of adverts; they read them for the content.

You've Got More Mail!

Never underestimate the power of something received via "snail mail". It's always uplifting to receive something in the post that isn't a bill, so consider sending cards or postcards to thank your customers for placing an order, paying their invoice on time or just generally enquiring if there's anything you can do for them. It's only a small thing, but as so much business is done on a "right time, right place" basis, you need to make sure that if your customer needs the service you provide, you are the first business they think of. Make sure anything you send is handwritten; the personal touch makes all the difference.

Just Say Hello

Don't be afraid to talk to your customers, if you build a good relationship with them they will become customers of yours for a long time to come.

Think about it. If you didn't speak to your friends for months on end, they wouldn't be your friends very long, would they? Your customers are no different, so it's a good idea to go back and contact those customers you have sold to before and re-acquaint yourself with them. Ask them how they have been doing and how they feel about your product. You might be surprised that not only will you probably get some business, but you might also be able to ask them for a recommendation. There are lots of ways of doing this; you can give them a quick call, you can mention them on Twitter, or include them in a discussion on LinkedIn. It doesn't have to be much, but a little goes a long way, so it's an easy way to keep in touch. Plus, a mention on Social Media raises their profile as well as yours so everyone wins.

Blow their Trumpet

If you regularly speak at networking events or seminars, don't be afraid to draw attention to a customer in the room by including them as a reference point or illustration in your presentation. For example, if you're talking about the importance of LinkedIn and having a great profile shot and one of your clients is a photographer, point them out and let everyone in the room know that are great at what they do. Not only might this help grow their business, but they'll remember your input and hopefully mention what you do to people they meet, thus helping to grow your contact base.

Most businesses have a marketing strategy. Unfortunately, this is often focused on attracting new customers and businesses totally overlook the clients they already have. Shouldn't you develop a marketing strategy for them too? When you think about it, this has to be a better plan, because you're dealing with individuals who already understand what your business is all about.

Do I Have to Use Hype in Marketing My Business?

Many of my clients say to me, marketing just feels so unnatural to me, so much like hype. Do I really have to do that to get people to learn about my products and services?

In the olden days, say a couple of decades ago, marketing was often about hype. It involved overstating your product's benefits, underplaying those of your competitors, and painting a dire picture if you didn't buy that brand of toothpaste.

Those days are gone.

With widespread use of the internet, the consumer has access to so much information, and has become knowledgeable about their options. It's not enough to paint a pretty picture, whether or not it's supported by facts.

You've got to back up your marketing with a solid foundation, or you quickly lose credibility in the eyes of your prospects.

When it comes to marketing hype, it isn't just about these practical considerations of what works and what doesn't work - that's not the whole story. Those practicalities are too limiting.

The bigger picture is how you feel about what you're telling your clients and prospective clients.

It's just as important, and perhaps more so, to consider your own integrity and the energy of what you are making available to others.

So when you're considering how to market your product or service, know that you get to be you.

Your authentic Self is the best place to come from in marketing what you offer. It's what sets you apart and makes you unique. It even eliminates competition, because only you are you. If you can allow yourself to be that, all of who you are, then you've truly distinguished yourself.

A successful business is not just about a unique product or service. Sure, a small percentage of businesses do offer something truly unique. More likely though, you are one of many who offer your product or service.

So what sets you apart? The HOW of your business. How you structure your offering, how you interact with customers and clients, how you present yourself. That's where the unique You comes in.

Identify what's unique about you, and emphasize it, amplify it. Repeat it in your marketing in various ways to make your distinctiveness clear.

Here's a quick exercise for you, to get you started on how you can do this in your own marketing:

1. The first action is a quiet one. Sit. Close your eyes. Think about what makes you and your business unique. What do you think those things are? What have others told you, clients, prospective clients, friends?

2. Write them down. Describe each one, and add examples, to flesh them out and bring them more to life. Add visuals if you have them. The more you can bring them to life in your descriptions, the easier it will be to make the transition to the next step.

3. How can you emphasize those aspects? What can you add to the marketing you are already doing? What can you do that is new to bring out your uniqueness? Be creative! Entertain even far-out ideas, even if only briefly, to stretch the limits of your current thinking and beliefs about what works.

You can even take this a little further.

4. Do a little research. See what others who offer the same product or service are doing. The purpose of this is not to compare, put yourself down, or one-up the 'competition'. Its sole purpose is to give you new ideas about how you can further emphasize your own unique qualities.

No matter what your business, you have an opportunity to be truly unique and distinctive. Do that by getting down to the true You, your authentic Self, and making that a dominant aspect of all your marketing.

There's nothing more powerful than authenticity in reaching out to your clients, customers, and prospects.

Clinical Research In India - Will It Survive

The Indian clinical research industry desperately needs a growth booster.

The Indian clinical research industry since the year 2005 has been a very traditional player driven by purely bioequivalence studies for off patent generic drugs on healthy human volunteers. The business of bioequivalence studies is by and large a "least" risk associated business. The business was also associated with guaranteed returns in its prime growth years post 2005 till 2009.

The business till 2007 was smooth and has been the source of the growth of the markets for CRO's who have been doing bioequivalence studies for Indian Pharmaceutical companies

Bioequivalence studies of US based Pharmaceutical /Pharmaceutical companies outside India have been the growth drivers of the Indian CRO market.

A similar story holds true for patient based clinical trial studies at specified, registered and recognized hospital sites.

However with the Indian government with an aim and effort to streamline laws in the country for clinical research has started applying brakes even on the routine submissions at the CDSCO.

As a result of the same, many existing clinical research units with proven track records are facing setbacks. Many key industry leaders have united together and voiced their concerns to the government bodies.

The government has reassured from its end that it will speed up the process but needs to be seen as to how long the wait will be. The government has said that it has detected "possible flaws" in the clinical research companies' pattern and process of conducting the clinical trials.

The Government has sent circulars to all major Indian CRO's and India Pharmaceutical companies to furnish data on adverse events and deaths in the clinical studies. The same is generally declared on a routine basis by all and has been forwarded to concerned committees of the CDSCO for further action plans. These committees after analyzing the details have suggested certain recommendations for the process. Some of the key recommendations have been:

1. Mandatory Registration of the ethics committee

2. Mandatory registration and filing of all adverse events in all clinical trials

3. Mandatory registration (on a yearly basis)of the facility where the trials are conducted

4. Stringent norms related to investigators and training of all relevant people for emergency activities during the occurrence of adverse events

5. Ensuring compliance to Schedule Y and ICH-GCP guidelines for the conduct of clinical trials

During the time the above norms have been outlined, most of the regulatory clearances/NOC certification processes have been kept slow or on hold for longer time than the stipulated period for approval.

As a result majority of the western clients have withdrawn their outsourcing business and decided that the clinical trials will be conducted in other emerging nations.

The countries which have gained because of the slowness of the Indian regulatory system are China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and are continuously on the gaining spree.