If you don’t ask, you don’t get

Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
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The most important weapon in your marketing armoury is knowledge. And the truth is you don’t get knowledge if you don’t ask questions.

When you’re planning strategies ask questions of your own business, such as what are your main aims in 2018 and what are the main challenges in order to achieve them.

Then comes the interesting bit. Pitch the same questions, slightly modified, to your clients and potential clients and add a third and vital one – how can we help?

Possibly the most important thing you’ll learn is how to add value. You’ll find out what people really want. You could discover something that they want, and you’ve already got. But they don’t know about it.

Remember, way back, that Yellow Pages commercial that claimed: “We’re not just here for the boring things in life like a leaky pipe”.

You, too, may well have more to offer your clients than they realise.

The first quarter of 2018 will see us, at the Chamber, contact every one of our members, and ask them those questions. I bet we discover that lots of members in West Norfolk, who regularly use our services, don’t realise the myriad of other things we can do for them; the ways in which we can add value to their membership, and their business.

It’s going to be interesting. In fact, we’ll share the results with you.

The world has moved on from Yellow Pages. Now we use search engines. When it comes to help with business services I guess my aim is for people to not search Google but search Chamber.

When it comes to your market area or sector you want them to search ‘you’. That only happens if they know what you’ve got to offer. You don’t get to that point unless you, like us, ask them.

That’s the truth of it.