How Well Do You Know and Understand What You Have to Offer?

In the next 10 days I challenge you to clearly write down the answers to these seven questions from a business perspective. Feel free to send me your answers for my feedback.

1.Who are you?

2.What do you do?

3.Why do you do what you do?

4.How do you do it ?

5.Why do you do what you do?

6.What makes you different in your industry

7.Why should people do business with you?

Good luck with your challenge.

Referrals are probably the most powerful, cost effective and enjoyable way to build your business. Leads generated by referrals will result in sales about 40-50 percent of the time and tend to be larger in dollar amount. Referred clients are more loyal and usually become long-term clients or customers.

A referral by a trusted friend, family member or business associate is the number one way most people want to get connected with you. This is the main reason referral marketing should be a primary method of prospecting and lead generation.

Despite all the great benefits of referral marketing, few sales professionals or small business owners have a strategy or plan to generate a consistent stream of referrals. There are two basic broad approaches to getting referrals: 1) Passive and 2) Pro-active.

The Passive approach is basically a hit or miss activity. It’s not predictable and your success in generating referrals comes down to chance or luck. This is more of a wish and hope approach. Unfortunately this is the most common approach that small business owners and sales professionals use.

On the other hand a Pro-active approach is a planned, organized process designed to generate a steady, consistent flow of referrals. Central to this approach is a mind-set that is committed to building your business around long-term mutually beneficial relationships. It’s a mind-set that focuses on always looking for ways to provide remarkable service so you can wow your clients or customers.

If you are truly committed to adopting a pro-active referral marketing approach you need to evaluate whether or not you or your company is worthy of receiving referrals. How referable are you?

Seven questions to ask yourself – rate yourself on a scale of 1-5, five being ABSOLUTELY!

1. Do I serve my clients consistently well and always work to strengthen client relationships?

2. Does my service/product or sales process wow my client with memorable unexpected experiences and value?

3. How much do my clients like and trust me?

4. Do I know what my clients expect from me? (asking is a good idea)

5. How well do I anticipate the needs of my clients/prospects?

6. Do I look for opportunities to give referrals to my customers or clients?

7. Do I try to become friends with my customers/clients?

These questions are some of the things we should be doing on a daily basis as sales professionals and business owners. And we should be doing them without expectations because it’s the right thing to do if you have a client centered approach to building your business.

The steady stream of referrals you receive will be the by product of your pro-active approach. Which approach are you going to focus on in the next six months?

>When designing marketing materials many small business owners believe that they have to go out and spend thousands of dollars on “glossy, fancy professional looking” materials.

The fact is marketing materials don’t have to be glossy or slick looking to generate high response rates. My own experience and research by other marketers has taught me simple and personal is usually more effective than trying to create some kind of glossy, fancy corporate look.

Here’s the secret, people want to do business with “real people”, not with some faceless institution. They want simple not sophisticated; folksy and personal. So why waste your money trying to look like you’re running a big corporate business? Your response rate to your marketing efforts will go up if you keep things simple and to the point.

If you have an effective headline, an irresistible offer and a clear, specific call to action you will be much happier with the results of your marketing efforts.
Write like you’re talking one-on-one across a table from your audience. Stay away from insider, industry jargon and language. You should remember that not everyone knows the meaning of many of your industry abbreviations.
Also remember that you are not writing an english term paper or essay. It’s marketing so you can give yourself more leeway when writing.
Focus your content on the needs, wants and desires of your target audience. Your marketing materials SHOULD NOT be all about you.
Stay away from “corporate speak.” Keep your writing simple, personal and relevant to your target audience. That’s all you need to look and be professional.

Mass marketing of products and services is becoming less and less effective.

Most small business owners and sales professionals have heard of the concept of target marketing or niche marketing. Yet few take the time to find and develop a niche.

Why? Because they probably don’t know how.

A simple and easy way to find a niche is to look for groups of people who have a common problem or issue that’s causing frustration, challenges and fear. Then create a product or service to help them solve their problem and provide solutions to their issues.

If you have been in business for a while do a survey with your current clients or customer to find out what their biggest frustration, worry or concern is. Then use their answers to develop products and services that will help resolve their issues. It’s that easy!

The bottom line is you want to sell products that people want to buy. Don’t market products or services unless they are going to solve problems that groups of people are desperately searching for a solution to. Sure, every now and then a pet rock might come along, but that was an exception not the rule.

——————————————————————————————————————————-Published by: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. http://www.howtoincreaseyoursales.ca

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Are you sabotaging your own success with mental barriers and holding on to outdated beliefs? 

Previous to 1951 the scientific and athletic communities believed that it was not humanly possible to run a mile under four minutes. But one man did not believe in this “common knowledge”. He did not put up any mental barriers to his success.

When Roger Banister ran the first mile in less than four minutes in 1954, he single handedly removed a mental barrier that many of his fellow runners had. After his achievement many other runners began to run four minute miles.

What changed, did everyone get stronger and faster? Did they all start eating Wheaties and Spinach? Of course not, they simply removed the mental barrier or belief that it was impossible to run a four minute mile because Banister showed everyone it was possible.

What mental barriers or belief are you still caring around that’s preventing you from achieving your goals?

From a marketing perspective there are many long held beliefs that may be limiting your success.

For example:

  • Marketing is simply advertising and selling
  • All you have to do is “get your name out there”
  • It’s better to do mass marketing instead of target marketing
  • Your marketing has to be clever and funny
  • You have to be creative to be a good marketer
  • Marketing means I have to be pushy
  • Marketing is phony
  • Marketing will turn of customers and prospects
  • Marketing is a chore and takes too much time

Do a mental checkup and ask yourself what mental barriers or old beliefs
are you holding on to that might be preventing you from achieving your

full sales potential. You have it in you to be the next Roger Bannister

in your industry.



FYI: Believe it not, woman were not allowed to run in marathons until 1972 because
medical science believed that their uterus will fall out. This is not an early April fool’s joke.

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Published by: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. http://www.howtoincreaseyoursales.ca/

What marketing activities are you doing this year that you didn’t do last year?

The traditional forms of marketing that most small business owners engage in are not as effective as they once were. Just placing an ad in the newspaper or a magazine isn’t sufficient anymore. Direct mail via postcards and flyers has also lost some of it’s punch. Cold calling is pretty much dead, hello…do not call list and call display

If you’re marketing your products and services the exact same way you did last year you will probably get the same sales results. I’m sure you want to make more money this year than you did last year. So what are you going to do improve your situation?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should stop using traditional forms of marketing and advertising. What I am strongly recommending is an integration of traditional marketing with the many free and low cost online marketing opportunities.

The public wants everything at their finger tips and the internet is the ideal way to give it to them. 21st century marketing MUST include a strong internet component. You have to be seen on the Internet by your prospective customers or clients.

So here are four 21st century marketing tools you should include in your marketing mix:

1. Lead generation website
Not just an online brochure or business card website. You need a site that will address the needs and interests of your target market and encourage them to “opt-in” to your marketing system.

2. Implement an e-mail marketing strategy
The first step to doing this is to start building an e-mail database. Don’t use Outlook, you need a commercial e-mail marketing program to do it right. Like the one I’m using to send this newsletter out. Examples of e-mail marketing tactics includes: e-newsletter, e-flyers, e-postcards, auto responders, e-coupons and e-direct sales letters

3. Facebook – the king of social media networking
Facebook is the number two most popular site on the internet behind Google. It’s not for kids any more. It has over 400 million members and growing by thousands everyday. The operators of Facebook are encouraging business owners to use Facebook by allowing you to create your own business page or fan page, for free. The marketing opportunities here are numerous. Get a Facebook account RIGHT NOW!

4. YouTube
Coming on the scene only five years ago, YouTube currently ranks in the number three spot of most popular website. Do you know you can create your own YouTube channel for free? www.BusinessCoachingTv.com) . You can create your very own channel to promote your products and services.

Facebook and YouTube fall in the category of “Social Media” marketing. Others
include sites like Linked-in, My space, WikiHow, Blogs and too many more to discuss
here.

A key fact to remember when using these marketing tools is that marketing is mostly about building relationships with real, live people. It’s still about getting people to know, like and trust you. These marketing tools are just that – tools to help you build long-term relationships with your clients and prospects.
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Published by: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call for a FREE Over the phone Coaching Session:
(204) 783-6342
e-mail: theMarketingCoach@Primetimepromotions.ca
www.HowToIncreaseYourSales.ca