Market like the Big Dawgs

Posted by seanmccarthy on October 1, 2014

I have to admit, I’m mesmerized by internet marketing.  It isn’t so much the marketing aspect as it is the psychology of it. I don’t have a degree in marketing, so my approach is often a little different than traditional marketing experts. I love to look at what’s working in the online world of marketing and help brick & mortar businesses apply the same strategies.  Today we’ll take a look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole prospects.

Learning from Big DawgsMost successful professionals use a series of information based ads that build emotion, create credibility & trust and a call to action. These are much more effective than a standard company branding advertisements. Simply placing ads or doing one direct marketing campaign is not enough.  An effective campaign uses several strategies to drive traffic and generate leads.  The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results.

Here are some ways to put together and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:

  1. Put together a short report that you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.

  2. Develop value-oriented yellow page ads and online directory ads.

  3. Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered.

  4. Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business, but make sure you make the information pertinent to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry.

  5. Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.

  6. Always split test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.

  7. Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.

  8. Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.

  9. Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.

  10. Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.

  11. Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.

  12. Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.

  13. Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.

  14. Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.

  15. Approach local newspaper by offering to write a weekly column  about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.

  16. Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.

  17. Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.

  18. Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.

  19. Be proactive with your marketing plan.

  20. Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.

  21. Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.

  22. Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them to hit the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset your expenses.

  23. Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.

  24. Offer loaner products to replace equipment that’s be repaired or refurbished.

  25. Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.

  26. Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.

  27. Develop a mail order division of your company.

  28. Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.

  29. Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.

  30. Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you just can’t seem to sell.

So, there are 30 great ways to market to other professional and businesses. Some other great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:

  • Get involved you in your community- volunteer, donate to local events, etc.

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.

  • Join a local, state or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.

  • Become a board member of a local organization.

 

Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.

“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham

If you’re not sure where you start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way, try our FREE test drive to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.

How to Turn Prospects into Customers Overnight!

Posted by seanmccarthy on September 15, 2014

Today I’d like to talk about how to turn prospects into customers and retain them for future marketing to. While, your marketing is doing its job, you need to be working on turning those leads and prospects into customers. There are a few key ways to draw them in and seal the deal. You need to be:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Enjoyable

The biggest fear of most new customers is the dreaded buyer’s remorse. You want to avoid this at all costs and this should be mitigated if you’ve provided a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.

However, this can still occur. Understand that this is really an issue of trust.  The buyer has been burned before and may not trust you enough yet to not be afraid.  Two ways you can deal with this:

  • Offer to refund money-no questions asked

  • Offer a bonus they can keep even if they return the product

These kinds of offers alone will help mitigate buyer’s remorse and help them trust you more, just for offering these things.

Making it easy for prospects to become customers is one of the critical aspects of conversion.  Think about businesses that make it difficult for you to do business with.  Now think of ones that make it easy.  There are number of other ways to convert a prospect into a customer and make it easy for them:

  1. Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.

  2. Offer a lower price with the reason of pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, for your kid’s’ braces, or another tangible reason. Customers love that this makes you feel so much more human.

  3. Offer a referral incentive.

  4. Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust.

  5. Offer package deals.

  6. Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.

  7. Offer extra incentives-longer warranties, free bonuses if ordered by a set date.

  8. Offer financing options, if applicable.

  9. Offer a bonus if they pay in full.

  10. Offer special packaging or delivery.

  11. Offer “name your own price” incentives.

  12. Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.

  13. Offer a trade-up or upgrade to something they already have.

  14. Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.

The options really are as limitless as you make it. You can use these or other ideas to find what works the best for your business, products/service and target market. Remember this…

“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.” Jay Abraham

Need help with figuring out the best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our FREE test drive gives you exclusive access to the mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.

Direct Response Marketing for Local Business Results

Posted by seanmccarthy on June 23, 2014

There are two major types of marketing strategies. The most common is mass marketing or “branding”.

The goal of this type of advertising is to remind customers and prospects about your business (or brand) as well as the products and services you offer.

The idea is that the more times you run ads from your business, the more likely people are to have your “brand” at the top of their minds when they go to make a purchasing decision.  Marketing folks refer to this as TOMA or “top of mind awareness.”  This type of marketing is great for really big corporations and really great for marketers (Newspapers, radio, magazine, advertising agencies, etc.)

This type of mass marketing is usually not effective for small businesses though, because they simply don’t have the budget to run their ads in sufficient volume to make them effective.

 

The second type of marketing strategy is called “direct response”.

Direct response marketing, is designed to create an immediate response and compel prospects to take some specific action, such as opting in to your email list, picking up the phone and calling for more information, placing an order or downloading some information.

Direct response marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding, products and the reason you do what you do. Customers love this, as they are offered the opportunity to respond, whether that be in the way of signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.

Because Direct response marketing is so focused on the specific problems of the prospect and aims to solve these problems with education and specific solutions, it is a very effective way for small businesses to market themselves at a “discount” to the traditional mass marketing.

So, what does direct response marketing look like? Well, it comes in many forms, including:

• Direct mailPrint ads
• Radio and TV ads
• Coupons or other incentives
• Telemarketing

Some of the advantages of direct marketing are:

• A great way to use free time during lulls in business
• Productive way to communicate and empower you to create more relationships
• Great way to up- and cross-sell to current customers
• Low cost way to rustle up new business
• Used as leverage to turn small sales into large sales
• Supplement your current marketing program
• Cost-effective way to reach target markets
• Offers measurable results
• Reach outside your local area for new business
• Increase the effectiveness of your salesforce

These are all great things that can come from just taking a few simple steps to putting together a direct response marketing plan and executing it.

“I honestly don’t think you’ll ever find a safer, lower-risk, higher-profit method of increasing your business or profession than direct-response marketing.”  ~Jay Abraham

When you turn your ads into direct response ads, they become lead generating tools rather than just name recognition tools.

Direct response marketing is one of the best ways to launch your business on a large scale and reach out to everyone in your target market whether they are in your local area or not. Our FREE test drive can help you put together a great direct response marketing plan and get you on your way to heightened success.

Stop Wasting Your Small Business Resources!

Posted by seanmccarthy on May 7, 2014

Most small business owners I talk to can’t explain to me who their target market is.   They believe everybody is their target market, so they waste thousands of dollars on expensive marketing tactics to see very little return.

I recently spoke to a financial planner that told me anybody with money is their target market.  I asked if they were approaching their marketing with that belief?  They said “of course!”

Target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars, brand message and effort on a specific market segment that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.  This saves the small business owner money, and is a more efficient, and effective way to reach potential customers & clients and generate business.  It results in a much higher ROI.

In this article you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing or one-off marketing tactics. So, the questions you have to ask yourself are:

• What do people really want to buy from me?  What do I REALLY offer?

• What related products are they already buying?

Stop wasting small business resources

Stop wasting small business resources

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 current customer base 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.

You’ve experienced this before. You buy something in a mall store and with your receipt, they offer a discount to one of their partnering stores, also located in the mall.  It usually expires in a week or so.

There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success to figure this out.

LV = (P x F) x N – MC

Where

  • 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.

*******This is vitally important information for any small business.  You must know what it costs you to acquire a new customer!  That is used to establish costs and to calculate an accurate operating budget.*******

What are your next steps?  How do you apply this information right now? Here’s your step-by-step process:

 Step #1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.

 Step #2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.

 Step #3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.

 Step #4. Get more 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.

Are You Educating Your Small Business Customers?

Posted by seanmccarthy on April 9, 2014

How well do you educate your customers?

Educate them? Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many small businesses focus solely on attracting new customers and generating new leads, but easiest way to more sales is to look at your current customers and clients. 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 new products and services to your current and previous customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic increase in your sales, customer quality and marketing 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, social media, in person–even by carrier pigeon if you have too!

  2. Post-Purchase Follow-up: This simply means you need to follow up with customers after they bought from you. 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.

  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current small business customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a loyalty 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 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.

As you spend more time delivering value to your current small business customers and clients, building stronger relationships with them and learning more about them, you will find that they send you more referrals and will gladly market your business for you.  This will ultimately save you time and money.

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 insights and opportunities to grow their relationship with you,  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!

 “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.”

~Jay Abraham

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 off manyfold.