Category: Small Business

Kick Start Your Marketing

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start-up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever reasonably possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them. Of course if meeting in person does not make good sense (such as in a raging pandemic), respect their safety and offer a virtual meeting instead.
  2. Follow-up letter: Always take a moment to send a letter to follow up about what you discussed, new agreements or partnerships made, and your thanks to 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.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about 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:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your three-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for follow through with contacts, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up systems to keep lines of communication open with 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

What you have here are 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.

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you will learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. Two questions 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 predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then you can find other businesses with the same customer base which which you can share customers. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your businesses.

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, both businesses get a targeted audience to market to and generate added value from their current base.

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 lifetime value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year (their frequency)
  • 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 can see how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers.

This is your step-by-step process:

  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.

If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.

Educate Your Customers

Educate customers 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 offer good sales potential… They’ve already bought from you!

Take time to market and sell new products to your old customers. Spend less time trying to sell old products to new customers. 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:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person, even by pigeon if you have to!
  2. 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 a long way toward retaining a great customer.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 junk out there. 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 information 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.

Avoid 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, we 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 off many-fold.

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

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! They’re into self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know.

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. You should have dignity, integrity, class and 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 have three major traits to use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. Do this frequently. 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.

Also consider:

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. Reach outside your comfort zone to find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. 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, in some fields it wouldn’t hurt). ☺ 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! It also 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
  • Your hair style

I’m not joking about your hair. Once upon a time I won a squeaker of an election to a position on the board of directors of a national non-profit. Unfortunately, knowing it was a squeaker, I realized nearly half my constituents hadn’t wanted me in that role. From conversations, I learned they thought I was too set in my ways and wouldn’t hear new ideas from them. I changed my hair. For a year, I wore what I called my political permanent, curly and completely unlike my usual hair. It worked. It shook people into believing I was openminded after all, so they brought ideas to me and I became one of the leaders on the board.

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-second elevator speech. What impression are you making? What impression do you want to make? What can you tweak to accomplish that?

  1. 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 needed 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 have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is directly connected with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.