For the avoidance of doubt, by seller in the topic above, I am referring to the company, your firm as an SME and not to the salesperson who is simply your representative. As businesses today we are at the mercy of the buyer and we have to recognise this if we are to dominate in the marketplace.
As Jayne Reardon, the executive director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism says, “Over the years, the tone has changed. Ads have become more sensationalized, and….”
Over the past several weeks, we’ve been discussing the fundamentals of marketing…
• have something good to say
• say it well
• say it often
I told you that most businesses load up their marketing with “platitudes”… such as largest selection, #1 Specialist, lowest prices, highest quality, faster service.
These simply take up your valuable (and expensive) ad space, and they do NOTHING to help sell your product or service.
But I did say there is a “magic formula” that will enable you to write powerhouse marketing, and I promised I would reveal it to you this week.
The magic formula is called the “Conversion Equation,” and here it is…
Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer.
The Interrupt refers to an attention-grabbing headline – EVERY ad and website MUST have one.
It MUST be problem-based and focused on a major hot button for the prospects you’re targeting.
The Engage is a subheadline that promises a solution to the problem referenced in the headline.
Note that it only PROMISES a solution… it does not GIVE the solution.
That’s the job of the Educate – it provides the solution and backs it up with evidence and proof.
Think of Educate as an attorney standing in front of a jury.
And finally, the Offer – this must be compelling and provide VALUE to the prospects you target.
BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT!
A compelling offer is NOT your phone number.
Remember, it must offer your prospects value.
Example, let’s assume you’re thinking about remodeling your bathroom or kitchen.
Do you even know what’s available these days in the way of new, innovative designs for baths and kitchens?
Do you think most prospects thinking about re-modeling might like to see what types of designs are in style these days… to see new ideas, suggestions and various models that they can use to begin to select what they themselves would most like to have?
So, what do most bathroom and kitchen re-modelers put in their ads as their offer?
Their phone number – but prospects aren’t ready to call anyone yet. They typically only call when they’re ready to buy.
Here’s why – prior to 1980, the sellers had all the power in the buying relationship.
For example, in the 70’s, if you wanted to buy a new car, you had to go see the dealer and speak with a salesperson.
You HAD to… you had NO other way to get information on the car you were interested in buying.
So back then, the only offer sellers had to put in their ad was their phone number, since calling them was the prospects ONLY option.
In short, the SELLER had all the power back then!
Nowadays, we have the internet. In fact, over 90% of automobile buyers today have already performed extensive research and due diligence on the car or truck of their choice, and even know the exact amount of money they will pay for it.
They don’t need the salesperson whatsoever, and actually prefer NOT to deal with them.
Perhaps for Law firms, it would help revisiting a 2012 article by Doug Jasinski who in his article, ‘5 Reasons Law Firm Advertising Fails’, quotes Jordan Furlong who noted the lack of client focus in most legal advertising, and suggested that marketing is one area where they have to watch the coming wave of competition. In this article Jasonski notes among the 5 reasons why advertising fails as, ‘It’s made by lawyers, It’s made for lawyers, It’s About Lawyers, and It tells me instead of showing me.’
Today, the BUYER has the power, and the seller is at their mercy. In the same article, he quotes William Bernbachand ‘…they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”
It’s absolutely critical that you know and understand how to use this “Conversion Equation” of Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer… so till next time,
See you then.
Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.
- In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
- Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
- Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.
None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!
Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:
- Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
- Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
- Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
- Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
- Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.
“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant
Here’s another one I love from an icon:
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way. The tools offered in our FREE test drive offer these very same things.
Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
- What do people really want to buy from me?
- What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.
The basic concept is this:
You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to.
Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses.
As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base.
So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success.
LV = (P x F) x N – MC
Here’s what it all means:
- LV is the life time value of a customer
- P is the average profit margin from each sale
- F is the number of times a customer buys each year
- N is the number of years customers stay with you
- MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers.
So, here’s your step-by-step process:
- Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
- Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
- Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, check out our FREE test drive for the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.
Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.
Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:
- Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
- Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
- Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
- Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.
There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:
- Quality product/service
- Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
- Offer subjects your customers find interesting
Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.
Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!
As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”
So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.
Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.
It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.
We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.
Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.
- The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.
Who can help me meet my goals?
Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?
Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.
- Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) J What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?
If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.
There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:
- Business cards
- Company message
- Your picture
- Your wording
Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)
You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.
- The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.
You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.