Don’t you hate it when your prospects don’t seem to understand everything your business offers them?
You believe in your business! You know you offer an exceptional product/service, that what you offer provides extraordinary value to your customer/clients and that your relationship with them is far better than anything they could expect from your competitors. Still, it amazes and saddens you when you discover your prospects don’t view you any different than your competitors – in fact they know very little about you and what you offer.
What you are experiencing is the disconnect between your business’ inside reality and its outward perception.
Your inside reality encompasses everything that is true about your business – those components which, combined, make your business great. The outside perception refers to how your prospects perceive your company. Too often, there is a marked difference between the two.
For instance, when you went into business you were determined to pursue excellence in every aspect in order to set yourself apart from your competitors. You developed your skills, hired the best candidates, created a customer service program that is second to none and honed your expertise so you would be the “go-to-person” in your field. All of that is part of your inside reality. In addition, your systems, your operational procedures, your continued commitment to excellence, your passion for what you do and the way you conduct your daily business all add to that inside reality.
If you have never done so, take a half hour or so one day soon and capture what you believe to be your inside reality. What makes you different? What makes you stand head and shoulders above your competition? If you ever hope to communicate this inside reality to your prospects, you must clearly see it yourself first.
Hopefully, your loyal customer/clients see and understand this inside reality. It is why they are loyal customers. Once you have completed the exercise above and have clearly delineated your inside reality, conduct a quick survey with your existing customers to see if they see it as well. Simply ask them why they do business with you. Ideally, the reasons they provide will correlate with the inside reality you believe defines your business.
Now let’s talk a bit about your outside perception. This outside perception is developed through the interactions your prospects and customer/clients experience with your business. Especially for your prospects, most of these interactions will occur through your marketing or through the referrals (good or bad) made by your current customer/client base. If your inside reality is indeed true (and it focuses on excellence), then you can expect the majority of your referrals from existing customers to be positive. That will help immensely in helping to create an outside perception which aligns with your inside reality.
Most of your prospects, however, will develop their perception of your business through your marketing. And here is where many small business owners fail to create the outward perception they desire. They market their business just like their competitors. They use the same platitudes in their advertising, make the same claims and offer the same discounts. When a prospect is seeking to buy whatever it is you offer, they going to compare your ad to your competitors – and if they don’t see obvious differences – they will choose to do business with the one who offers the lowest price or is in the most convenient location.
You need to develop a marketing strategy that accomplishes the following:
• captures the attention of your prospects
• helps them to see that you offer the solution to whatever problem or issue it is they are experiencing
• clearly communicates your inside reality so they perceive you differently from your competitors
• offers them a low/no risk offer so they will follow through and contact you
How do you create such a marketing strategy? Download the free presentation, “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make…And How to Overcome Them All” to gain a clearer understanding how to market your business in such a way that enables your prospect’s outward perception of your business to match your inner reality.
As you develop your marketing plan, realize there are 5 major components to good advertising copy: (The order in which these components appear is essential to success)
* Command Attention
* Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
* Prove the Benefits
* Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
* Call to Action
Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.
Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:
- Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
- Showcase Benefits: Next, you showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. Potential customers need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help them.
- Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
- Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will help motivate your potential customers to feel like they have to act now. Which leads to the last component.
- Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something. Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.
Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. Chris Mahan Consulting can help you with this too. Take a FREE guided tour of my E-Learning marketing System to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.
Chris Mahan is a marketing strategist and business development specialist. Using a five step profit formula, he can help any business discover low/no cost ways to immediately generate more revenue and increase profits. You can take advantage of his 10K Challenge, where he guarantees to find at least 10K in potential income for your business in 45 minutes or less. Visit chris-mahan.com to learn more.
Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing approaches 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.
Peter Drucker, management consultant once remarked, “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
Another well known businessman stated:
“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. Go to chrismahanconsulting.com/guidedtour to see more.