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Attractive and Repellent At The Same Time

Your marketing message needs to be attractive and repellent at the same time.

Yes you heard right.

But surely you want to attract as many people as possible?

That’s true you do but at the same time there are some people you’re better off without and your marketing message should tell those people that you’re really not the right supplier for them.

If this is sounding a bit left field for you, let’s start somewhere easy.

Your marketing messages should be written specifically to attract your ideal customer 

I’m sure you know who your ideal customer is. The more detail you have about your him or her, the better. Something I always do with my clients is to create an avatar for their deal customer.

Are they male or female, how old are they, where do they live, how much do they earn, what do they do, what publications do they read, do they have children, what do they do in their spare time etc etc.  I even give them a name.

Only when you’ve created this detailed picture can you identify what their issues are and therefore what you can do to solve their issues and therefore become their supplier of choice

But what about the second part?

Have you identified the customers you really don’t want?

Who are the customers who you want to avoid? Those that complain endlessly? Those that continually try to beat you up on price? Those you wish you didn’t have, but continue to keep  because you don’t have anyone to replace them?

The interesting thing about your marketing message is that it can be used to BOTH, attract the type of customers you want, AND, repel those who don’t want.

This isn’t hard. Let me give you an example.

For most of us, we need to communicate with our prospects before they actually become customers. Your marketing materials therefore have to contain compelling reasons why the prospect should talk to you.

Now whether that’s your website, email marketing, sales letters, brochures or whatever, the text will be full of the benefits that you deliver and how you can solve their problems. The more you can provide real tangible benefits during the conversation, the greater the likelihood is that they’ll actually become a customer.

Repelling those you don’t want.

Which brings us to the second part of the equation.

Now I’m not suggesting you should be rude in any way. Everyone should be treated with equal respect but you can detail the characteristics of those you don’t want to have contact with..

You might do it as follows: “I’m happy to offer this service, I think it will be very helpful and valuable to you, BUT the reality is that unfortunately I can’t talk to everyone. So in order to take me up on this offer you need to…”

…and that’s where you start to list the criteria that will eliminate those you don’t want to do business with.

I’ll show you what I mean.

In my world, I can’t really help people who have an idea for a business, but haven’t actually started trading. At this stage they’re looking for free advice. Nothing inherently wrong with that, we’ve all been there, but they’re not really the people I want to invest my time in. So, I put in language saying, “You need to be up and running already. You don’t have to be huge, but you do need to have some momentum.”

That’s an easy one. It’s a rather obvious group I don’t want to attract more of and I’m sure you’ve got a similar one.

But to make this really work, you want to dig down and think about what frustrates you about certain types of customers, so you avoid getting more of them.

For me, I get a lot of people who are very sceptical about marketing. They’ve never really done any marketing. Their business comes from word of mouth and referrals.

These people tend to need a lot of convincing that marketing will work for them.  They’re also very likely to bail out if the marketing doesn’t immediately generate spectacular results, reassuring themselves that, as they already knew, marketing doesn’t work.

Whereas, people who have already done some marketing and now want to do more are ideal for me. They understand what marketing can do and they’re committed to working with me to get the best possible results.

So, how do I repel the group I don’t want, and attract the one I do? It’s not hard. Following on from the wording above I will say “Ideally you are doing some marketing already, but recognise that you need some help”

This will therefore resonate with people who know that marketing is the way to build their business and are going to get on board with the activities I put in place.

One of the great things about good marketing is that it just doesn’t get you new business-if you do it right, it gets you precisely the type of business you want

 

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How Social Are You On Social Media?

So are you using social media to market your business?

How social are you?

We all know how much furore there’s been over the last few years about social media and the truly amazing stats about the number of Facebook and Twitter users there are. If you admit to not using these platforms you’re likely to be viewed as a dinosaur. There is a perception that we all ought to be on all the platforms.

But why?

If you think about the phrase “Social Media Marketing” the most important word to remember of the three is marketing. The other two really just describe the medium you’re using. And marketing doesn’t change just because the medium changes.

Marketing is always about the 3Ms Market Message Medium. You have to give the right messages to the right people in the right way and allow them to respond and let you know that they’re interested in what you’ve got.

Now the fact is that social media and especially Twitter is not the right medium for communicating your message as it’s not about selling. Additionally you can’t select the audience you communicate with it selects you.

Your objective therefore has to be to move your audience from the social media channels to your own website. Of course you can do this by posting the right links but tracking and measuring how effective your efforts are is virtually impossible.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t make contacts, build relationships and maybe gain business from social media. What I am saying is that it will probably take a lot of effort and time and that you could probably have greater success with other marketing channels.

The next question to ask is whether social media is right for all businesses.

The answer to that will depend on who you target audience is. If your target audience hang out on social media then fantastic. If they don’t, you’re wasting your time. If you’re a driving instructor and your audience is teenagers then yes social media is 100% right for you. But if you operate B to B and your audience is 40 60 year old men, then I suggest you’re probably wasting your time.

The final part of the jigsaw is you.

Do you enjoy the social interaction? Are you the kind of person who’s comfortable going to a networking event and working the room with the clear objective of making contacts and connecting other people together.

If you are then you probably love social media and doing it won’t seem like working at all. If you’re not, the chances are that you won’t engage with social media enough to make a success of it.

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Transform Your Small Business Sales and Marketing Success

If I were to tell you that there is one ingredient which we all have access to which can dramatically change the success of all your sales and marketing activities, how would you respond?

  • Would you think I was one of these slimy snake oil salesmen, who promise the world if you buy my new “get rich quick” scam?
  • Would you embrace me as the messiah and say you’ve been searching for this one elusive secret that will change your business and personal fortunes?
  • Or perhaps you’d look at me with an interested expression and ask me to share my secret.

Whatever your response, I’m very happy to share this magical new idea – it’s called enthusiasm.

Now before you start looking disappointed, I’m serious that enthusiasm can and will have a dramatic impact on your marketing and your sales success.

Imagine for a moment that you have two sales people in front of you.

One presents with passion and flair, using evocative language and engaging you fully in the presentation.

The other says basically the same but in a monotone, avoiding eye contact and with a demeanour that says he’d rather be somewhere else.

We all know who we’d buy from.

It’s the same with the written word.

Which of these two lines are you most likely to respond to?

“I have some information about our new product which you might find interesting” or “ I’ve got some great new information which I think will have real benefits for you and your business”.

Enthusiasm is infectious. If you’re enthusiastic about something, it tells me that you think it is good and have confidence in it. Your confidence and enthusiasm are transmitted to me with the likelihood that I take whatever action you want me to take.

One word of caution.

While enthusiasm is great and without it your sales and marketing efforts will struggle, over enthusiasm can be annoying.

If you are gushing and behaving like an excitable puppy, you are likely to put off and irritate your audience and come over as hard selling and pushy.

So review your website and marketing materials and check that you can hear an enthusiastic, confident and persuasive voice coming through.

Remember – enthusiasm sweeps people along with you and persuades them to do what you want them to do.

Business Development Advisors can help you grow  your business and take it on to the next level. If you’d like to find out more simply contact us through the contact page  www.bda.me.uk/contact

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How To Use Your Small Business Marketing To Attract More High Quality Clients

Would you like to generate more high quality leads which convert to full fee paying clients?

To be honest I think all business owners, large or small are looking for this.

When I first start working with a new client I go through a process I call the “Marketing Fundamentals” in which we develop all the key building blocks of their customer proposition.

Target Audience

Part of this process entails defining as closely as possible their target audience. Who do they want to talk to?

The more precise we can be at this stage the better. If possible, in order to build up as accurate a picture of the ideal target as possible, we will create an avatar. What age is the ideal prospect, what sex, what does she do, where does she live, is she married, does she have children, what are her interests etc.

The benefit of this is that if you have a precise image of your prospect, you can create totally relevant communications to talk directly and relevantly to her.

The Benefits That You Offer

Your prospects have to be completely clear on the benefits of doing business with you. Therefore we identify and define the benefits that you offer which will make you the right option to do business with. These are the points that must be highlighted in your small business marketing communications.

What Makes You Stand Out?

Unfortunately we all have masses of competitors so for prospects to choose to do business with you, you must stand out. Now everyone talks about USPs. If you can find something which actually makes you unique that is fantastic.

However for many businesses that is not possible. To stand out therefore you will need a number of attributes which lift you above your competitors.

This could include:

  • A Guarantee – a money back guarantee or perhaps a Total Satisfaction Guarantee – something which removes the risk for your customers.
  • A Free Offer – a way that customers can dip their toe in the water with you at no cost.
  • A Wow factor – some element of customer service that your customers aren’t expecting that really knocks their socks off and demonstrates your level of care and service.

Clear Thinking

You don’t have to have special training to develop these elements of your proposition but you do need some clear and focussed thinking.

Doing this on your own or with colleagues from your business is often difficult. Stepping outside your business and thinking about it differently can be a challenge so I advise you to involve an outsider who can add a dispassionate external view point.

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Successful Small Business Marketing Is All About Clarity

Whether we’re talking about websites, emails, advertisements or flyers, we have to grab our readers attention instantly.

For this reason your words have to communicate absolutely clearly precisely what you do, what benefits you deliver, who will benefit from your service and what they should do next.

Alongside the need for clarity is also the need for brevity. Actually not so much brevity but conciseness. A message communicated in 10 words will be more powerful than in 20. The more concise and succinct your message,  the more likely it is to be read and therefore the more likely it is to be acted upon.

How clear is your home page?

Website home pages are a classic example of where clarity is so important. Statistics tell us we only have a few seconds to grab visitors attention (anywhere between 3 – 9 seconds, depending on who you listen to.)

A message that starts with Welcome to our website. We have been trading since………… is unlikely to grab your attention. Instead of clicking to another page for further information or sharing your contact details in exchange for a report of some kind, you are likely to leave the site altogether, even if the company could potentially have solved your problem.

However a concise sentence that describes exactly what the company does and the real underlying benefit they deliver to you would have let you know exactly whether the company could solve your problems and whether you’re on the right site or not. Your next step – either to another part of the site or to leave the site would have been taken from a position of knowledge.

The same point holds good for any other marketing medium. The clarity of your headline and opening paragraph will tell a prospective reader immediately whether  whatever you’re selling is relevant to them and whether it will benefit them.

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How Vulnerable Is Your Business?

Today’s market is ultra competitive.

We’ve all got lots of competitors. There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s a fact.

So what would the impact on your business be if one of your competitors managed to steal your most important customer?

For some companies the impact would be serious but manageable while for others it might be disasterous.

How would you respond?

So given this grim scenario, which incidentally is likely to happen at some stage. Very few businesses manage to retain their key customers for ever, how would you respond?

Your first imperative would be to replace that customer. To claw back the revenue you’ve lost. So you would ramp up your marketing. One of the benefits of small business marketing is that it can usually be turned on quite quickly. Not only would you increase your marketing activity but you would probably look at all elements of your customer service to identify where you could improve.  You might also look at your customer communications to ensure that you are regularly talking to your customers, ensuring that they are less likely to defect when your competitors start whispering in their ear.

Why wait?

My question to you is why wait?

Why wait until the problem has arisen and your business has taken a massive hit?

Why not up your game right now?  Step up and improve your small business marketing so that you are generating  a  regular stream of qualified leads so that instead of having to replace lost business you are growing your business on a solid base.

Review every part of your customer service. Are there any areas where you’re making it difficult for customers to do business with you? Does your service regularly remind customers why they chose you in the first place?

Look again at your customer communications. Remember that most customers leave their supplier, not because the supplier has done anything particularly wrong but because they don’t make their customers feel special, they don’t demonstrate how much they value them. Are you regularly telling your customers how important they are to you and supporting that with your actions?

So don’t wait until disaster has struck, get your retaliation in first and continue to build your business instead of running like crazy just to stand still.

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The Importance Of A Clear Marketing Proposition

Is your marketing proposition totally clear?

Do prospective customers have a precise understanding of what you can do for them and why they should select you as opposed to any other supplier in your line of business?

Many small business owners are  vague and imprecise when it comes to explaining exactly what they do and why prospects should buy from them.

Of course you know what you do and I’m sure you’re very good at it but unless you can communicate that clearly and in terms that express the benefits that you deliver, you will not persuade your prospects that you are the best option for them

Your Key Messages

Before you can persuade prospects to spend their money with you, you must be able to explain the following three questions clearly and precisely:

  1. What do you do and what service do you provide?
    You need to be able to describe what you do in clear, jargon free terms and in as few words as possible.  You also need to do this both from your point of view and from your clients’ point of view. You might think these two view points would be almost identical. Once you’ve done it you’ll see that the same service can sound very different depending on which side of the fence you’re standing.
  2. What is the true value of your service to a client?
    You need to be able to articulate exactly what benefit your customers will get as a direct result of working with you. Remember customers buy benefits not features.
  3. Why should they purchase that product or service from you in particular?
    What gives you stand out? What makes you better than your competitors? There are probably thousands of other people who deliver virtually the same service as you.  So, why should a prospective client hire you?
    What is uniquely valuable about what you provide – what is your USP?

I virtually never come across companies who have worked out the answers to these three points and yet they are the single most important elements  of your whole marketing proposition.

This is always the first piece of work I do with clients because until this is done they are not ready to start marketing. These are the elements which will make you attractive propositions to your prospective customers and until these are sorted out any marketing you do will not have the impact and success that it should.

Have a look at the full Marketing Fundamentals workshop which covers these three and several other issues http://bit.ly/y8oiCA

Give Your Prospects Every Opportunity To Say Yes

Clarity is extremely important.

If you leave any element of doubt in your prospects mind about the benefit of working with you, that will be enough to make sure that they decide not to take the risk. It’s not that they don’t want to work with you, it’s because you haven’t spelled out clearly enough why they should.

So:

  • Get specific about precisely what you do.
  • Tell  prospective clients  about all the benefits they’ll get from working with you.
  • Convince them of your value.

Then watch the results!