It’s a new year with all kinds of new possibilities for your security consulting business. Whether you’ve been consulting for 2 years or 22 years, you probably have business goals for 2018 to build your brand and improve your company’s marketing.
At Circadian Risk, we’re dedicated to helping security consultants to build more successful businesses. Want to take your brand and marketing to the next level in 2018? Here are our top tips for building your security consulting business.
The security consultants that are thriving are the ones that embrace the latest marketing strategies. Traditional marketing—mailers, print ads and cold calls—is dead. Top security consultants are moving to digital marketing to scale their businesses. Here are four must-use marketing tactics to build your brand in 2018.
Invest into a website that doesn’t look like it’s from 2009. Your website is the face of your company. If it’s outdated, ugly, hard to use, or looks unprofessional, then your business itself will come across that way.
Business blogging is the number one marketing tool in use today. It’s cheap, you can share it anywhere, it boosts your search engine ranking, and it shows off your thought leadership. You don’t need to have a blog to be a successful business, but we’ve found it to be a powerful marketing tool.
One caveat, though: when it comes to blogging, either go in all the way, or don’t bother. A blog that adds a post only once a month or so shows that you really don’t care to talk about your business. That’s worse than not having a blog at all.
Email keeps you in contact with your customers. You can personalize the messages and start conversations that lead to new sales. Email is one of the best marketing tools for reconnecting with old customers or re-engaging with prospects that have gone dark.
In my experience, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for becoming known as a thought leader in the industry. Twitter, Facebook, and other channels haven’t been as effective for me, but I have had success with LinkedIn.
Find the social channel that your customers go to and start posting. Share your blog and other articles. Comment on other people’s posts. Ask questions to get conversations started. Just don’t try to sell your services on social—this is the place to be helpful, not to make sales.
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A surprising number of security professionals don’t know what their gross annual attrition is, or how to measure it. Even fewer do anything about it.
Gross annual attrition (GAA) is the number of clients who cancel their account with you each year. It doesn’t take into account the new clients you’ve gained. By reducing the total number of cancellations, you can increase your profits and build your business faster.
Tracking your GAA is easy—what takes some work is reducing it. But it’s probably not as much work as you think. Here are a few simple ways to reduce your gross annual attrition:
- Ask how you can improve. Before you end each conversation with a client, ask them if there’s any way you can improve your service. And follow up on their input. Just knowing that you want them to be happy makes a customer more likely to stay with you.
- Turn a cancellation into an opportunity. Many security consultants just process cancellations when they’re requested. But every cancellation is actually an opportunity to be a hero. Find out why the client wants to cancel—they might be having a problem you can solve. If so, you’ve got the chance to not only save the account, but win a fan. And fans love to tell others about their experiences.
- Be a fan of your clients. Find opportunities to express gratitude to your clients for their business. Drop a handwritten card in the mail. Give them a 10% discount on the anniversary of your contract. Send a small gift at Christmas.
- Share something they can use. Show clients you’re thinking about their wellbeing even when you’re not conducting an assessment. If there’s an important event or news item that they should know about, send them a quick email with a link. Include a quick bullet list of any action steps they should take. Your thoughtfulness will pay dividends.
When you’re looking for new customers, start with your current clients. Your customers can be your most powerful sales team. Here’s why:
- 83% of customers are comfortable making a referral after a positive experience.
- Prospects are 4X more likely to buy when they’re referred by someone they trust.
- Referral customers spend 13.2% more than nonreferred customers.
The best way to get a customer referral is simply to ask. But you should also track how referrable your company is, so that you can increase the likelihood of customer referrals.
You can accomplish both those tasks by using the net promoter score, or NPS. The NPS is a number that your customers give you, based on this question: On a scale of zero to 10, with 10 being highest, what’s the likelihood that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
Simply asking the question does several things:
- It’s a non-salesy, low-pressure way to ask for referrals.
- It shows your customer that you care about their experience with your company.
- It gives you the opportunity to address any problems and help prevent attrition.
Whenever you ask the question, be sure to follow up with two more questions: “Why?” And, “What would it take to raise our score by just one point?”
Offer Business Solutions, Not Products (Or Features)
Your customers aren’t looking for features or products. They’re looking for business solutions. Your clients want to be more successful, avoid unnecessary risks, and continue to build their companies on a firm foundation.
As far as they’re concerned, your job is to help them succeed—not to provide a new product or feature. Don’t ever try to sell a product, sell success. Don’t recommend a feature, recommend a solution.
Think of it this way: Circadian Risk has a revolutionary software product that we sell to security consultants. It does some pretty amazing things that no other mobile app can do. But you’re not going to buy it simply because of a bunch of cool features. That’s what toys are for. Security professionals will purchase the software because it can help their business succeed.
Same goes for your clients.
The corollary to this, of course, is that you have to actually offer solutions. Be proactive. Look for opportunities to offer add-on services to your clients that will help them achieve their business goals. If you’re coming at it from a help-first approach (and not a slimy sales approach), your clients will be glad for your thoughtfulness.
Use Circadian Risk
Circadian Risk’s threat and vulnerability assessment software could be your most powerful tool for building your business in 2018. With our software application, you can reduce your reporting time by as much as 80%. The tool automates your most onerous tasks and generates actionable reports in just seconds. It provides greater value to your clients and creates opportunities to provide add-on services. Circadian Risk is the #1 tool for better reports and greater profits.
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Build a Stronger Brand in 2018
Make 2018 the year you build a stronger brand for your security consulting company. And turn to Circadian Risk to help you get there. We’ll provide expert advice to give your clients more value and build a more profitable business.
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