Last week I was talking to one of my old colleagues who has started a panel company. The topic drifted to a current problem he is facing – despite his sincere efforts he is not getting enough panel business, where as some of his competitors seems to be having a flourishing business. After a due diligence I realized he was overlooking some important aspect of panel business. The following article illustrates top 5 reasons why your panel company isn’t getting enough business.
SOLUTION 1: Online business requires online presence!!!
I was astonished by the fact that most of the panel companies are totally missing the cue – you are into online panel business you are supposed to have a good online presence. After looking at the websites of some Indian panel companies I was shocked to see that they were a big letdown.
As most of the business comes from USA/Europe probably the first time a potential client knows about you is through your website.
Your website is the BIGGEST SOURCE of getting potential leads – therefore make it as interactive as possible.
The navigation through your website should put users completely at ease.
Do not just put a standard contact form out there – customization is the name of the game.
SOLUTION 2: Build credibility in the market!!!
For newbie this is all the more important as the panel business has become very crowded with new players popping in – RIGHT, LEFT & CENTER!
– You can create a LinkedIn group specific to your service area – like I have created Online MR group. With roughly 3000+ people in my LinkedIn group it gives me immense opportunities to generate leads.
– Participate in online forums with relevant articles – this will help create a positive business image for you. You can also contribute as Guest Blogger on www.onlinemr.com – this will project you as a subject matter expert in the online research domain.
SOLUTION 3: HARNESS THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA!!!
Think hard – how many panel companies you have come across with awesome Facebook page – VERY FEW! – A good one that I came across was of Pulse Group.
Social media is one of the most effective means of connecting not only with your clients but also with your panel members.
Not only it gives a positive image to your business but also helps in harnessing potential leads for your business.
If you cannot afford a social media expert – you don’t need to worry, it isn’t that difficult to create a Facebook fan page or a twitter account.
STAY CONNECTED with your audience!
SOLUTION 4: BE TRANSPARENT WITH YOUR CLIENTS!!!
Some of you might not agree to this but trust me being transparent with your clients will always help you in the long run. For e.g. if you are using a vendor please let your clients know it at the project costing stage itself.
Shortcuts will never ever help you reach your goals.
Being transparent will also help you not take disastrous projects.
There were many times in my early professional life as a PM that I had refused the project due to its feasibility and conveyed the same to the clients.
It is better to say NO than to say SORRY!
SOLUTION 5: ALWAYS SHOW GRATITUDE!!!
Some of us don’t do it, some of us overdo it!
Always take feedback from the client in terms of how you can better your services.
It is good to show your appreciation to the client but don’t overdo it that it looks fake.
Right a simple short thank you mail after every project closure or when you have received the payment for your services.
Now you have a choice. You can comment, share, or implement. I prefer if you implement, but I’ll appreciate all three – Akshay Kanyal