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Marketing

Don’t Lose Customers in the Final Stretch

By | Marketing, Operations, Sales | No Comments

This week I thought I would share with you a lack-luster customer experience that could have easily been several times better!

Good morning, I hope you have a great Monday morning.
So I’m here in Portland for conference and I’m staying at a hotel – which will remain nameless. It’ been a good hotel but there’s a few small problems that I thought I’d use as situational or great examples for you to help you win your own business.

As you walk in it’s a nice clean room (except for my junk sitting on the bed) Nice, clean room. Not a whole lot, a standard hotel. They’ve added a big screen TV very nice, very flat brand-new but here’s the problem: It doesn’t move. They’ve got a little disclaimer right her. It says that it doesn’t move around and if you break it you’ll pay for it. So, if I wanted to sit on the couch, watching TV might pose a problem. A minor inconvenience, but one that can damper your experience and make it that much less enjoyable.

Also, I like a lot of work in the evening so I have a nice desk here (even though it’s a little crowded with the coffee pot.) If I want to set up my laptop and get some work done maybe I could just move the coffee pot but . . . there’s no Internet to plug into. There’s no cord for me to get some high-speed Internet. This is a phone jack but it is not a high-speed Internet jack. I don’t usually make the habit of bringing an Internet cord with me.

That was just a couple of things. But this is the one that really got to me. I got up this morning ready to use the fitness room that was so avidly advertised. However my key didn’t work. I just thought it was a problem with my key. I go to the front desk and first of all the guy at the front desk wasn’t at the front desk, he was sitting on the sofa in the lobby watching TV. Just saying. But when he did finally recognize that I was standing there, his comment was that the fitness room doesn’t open until 10 o’clock because it might wake up the other guests. That kind of defeats the purpose. Most travelers, (I’m not going to say most because they’re some that do it in the evening) but many are going to want to do it in the morning . And they’re not going to want to do it after breakfast and they’re not going to want to do it an hour before checkout at 11 o’clock. Just some observations.

These are all good examples of ideas and marketing thoughts that they had. Things that they do to enhance the customer experience but they didn’t follow it all the way through, they didn’t think it all the way through.

That’s what I want to challenge you for this week:
What amenities, what little tweaks, what additions are you giving your customers that perhaps aren’t giving them what they asked for? It’s a nice thought, but because it’s not all the way thought through, they’re more angry than they are thrilled. Just think about that this week and implement and follow through on what you’re doing. We’ll see you on the other side.

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The Five Foundations

By | Finance, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Strategic Planning, Systems | No Comments

A business is nothing more than a system of systems that creates value. And every business needs five basic systems, which I call the Five Foundations of Business:

What are the Five Foundations?

Discover the five foundations your organization needs to succeed.

  • Marketing—Finding the quickest path to the sale.
  • Management/Leadership—Identifying the destination, developing the path, and creating a team to accomplish it.
  • Operations—Delivering the service.
  • Finance—Managing the value created through superior marketing and operations.
  • Systems/Controls—The grease and glue that keeps the other four Foundations moving smoothly and holds them together.

Getting these systems to work for you as efficiently as possible is the essence of creating a successful business. Once you have created and fine-tuned the systems, it becomes much easier to sell your product, create viral word-of-mouth, hire employees, lead and manage them, expand into new markets and additional sites, and to franchise. Plus, life is easier and more enjoyable when your business generates income for you and your lifestyle. Finally, the systems make it possible for you to create a business worth selling when you’re ready to retire or move on to your next venture. Of course, within those categories, how the specific systems that create widgets, tools, knick-knacks, food, services, or experiences will work depends entirely on you as the business owner.

If you decide to read Building Your Booming Business, take the time to review your systems. Where is the hand-off from one system to the next? What systems are missing or not performing as well as they could within each of these “Business Foundations?”

Why should you trust me? What makes the material in Building Your Booming Business worth the time to read and implement?

I have always had an entrepreneurial bent. At eleven years old, I used the drawing program on my dad’s IBM 286 to make a half-page flyer advertising that I was available to do a variety of odd jobs. Then I distributed about 100 of them throughout my neighborhood. I had a few calls over the next couple of weeks to mow lawns, babysit kids, and a number of similar tasks. Within a couple of weeks, I was bringing home about $150 a week. A year later, one of my customers, who was the general manager for a local lumberyard, asked me to give him a bid for regularly mowing about two acres of grass around the business. Once I sealed that deal, I was bringing in an additional $120 every ten days. In 1989, that was a lot of money, especially for a twelve-year-old. Don’t worry; I spent most of it irresponsibly.

Since then, I have run business organizations as large as 200 employees, increased revenues by 40 percent in less than three months, and have battled almost every operational obstacle imaginable. I even had to pull a department out of a financial disaster.

More importantly, I have successfully coached scores of other entrepreneurs, managers, and owners on how to be successful doing the same things I have done. Many of them have more than doubled the sizes and profits of their businesses, created more time for themselves, and even sold their businesses for profit.

Why would what I have to share in this book work for you? You’ve probably tried training programs and systems before. You’ve tried seminars, books, coaching, and spent lots of time trying to get your business to break barriers.

The reason I know that what I have to share can help you take your business to the next level is that I have actually implemented, either in my own business or in the businesses of my clients, every concept in this book, and I have seen great successes as a result. Even if you only use one of the strategies I offer, you can move your business forward, or you can apply all of them to make your business boom.

To get a copy of the introduction and the first page, check out http://BuildingYourBoomingBusiness.com

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These four marketing components are the key to your marketing

Getting your marketing all put together

By | Marketing | No Comments

These four marketing components are the key to your marketingAs the world becomes more jaded to marketing, it’s become harder for you to get your message heard. Before you throw your hands up in a state of overwhelm, let’s break your marketing down to four simple thoughts:

Everything You Do is Marketing

From the product you make, to the price you set, to the follow-through service you provide. Everything is meant for that one purpose of making your customer ecstatic about you and your business.

Be Clear About Your Customer

Would you rather take 100 people through 20% of the sales process or 20 people through 100%? It’s much easier to satisfy the demand when you have the need and the person who needs it clearly defined. You can also more clearly communicate to a specific audience than to a broad one. Expand to other niches when you have the first one well established.

Use Direct-Response Marketing

Branding will happen with time. Don’t get bogged down in logos, names and colors for too long. Make them memorable and then start marketing with the intent of developing a relationship. People do business with those who they know, like, and trust. So why not help them develop that trust?

Think “What’s Next?”

Always have a clear direction for your marketing to take. In old sales training this was often called your funnel. With so many methods of communication and technologies, you can begin to systematize and automate your communication.

 

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Marketing Strategy Defined

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Systems | No Comments

Marketing strategy should be thought more of as a system to produce the best results.One of the biggest challenges to most businesses is how to market themselves. There is a reason why many executives have climbed their way up from the Marketing ranks.

Over the years, I have looked at many strategies, methods and systems for marketing. The type of system that brings the most possible clients to you with the least amount of effort or expense always have the following five attributes:

  1. Marketing is a system – just like every other system in your business.
  2. There has to be an over-riding strategy for it. Just making sales is not sufficient.
  3. The system only works if you stay with it.
  4. Test, evaluate, adjust, repeat.
  5. There are only three methods of investment in your marketing: Cash, Time, and Effort. Of which do you have the most?

There is no silver bullet to marketing. If there was, there would not be so many marketing consultants,sales people, etc. We would all use the same bullet.

As you delve into the different types of strategy, remember that there are two kinds. The first is your Method Strategy. The Method Strategy is the step-by-step process that your customer takes from exposure to the sale. On the other hand, your overall strategy is how each method builds and interacts with your other marketing efforts. By having methods that integrate and work together, you create an exponential model for growth.
is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five foundations of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Method Strategy

Method Strategy

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Systems | One Comment

 

Don't lose the sale because of poor follow through.

A few weeks ago, I had in my hand a coupon for a free 30-minute massage and was planning on paying for another 30 minutes. I had also considered trying the chiropractor in the same office since I had never had an adjustment before. Here is how the phone call went:

Me: I have a free 30-minute massage coupon I would like to schedule.

Office Gal: Great! When would you like to schedule it?

Me: Actually, I have some neck pain that has been bothering me for a couple of days because I slept wrong. Is there any chance you can see me this afternoon?

Gal: I don’t see anything available right away, but we are open on Monday, would you like to see what we can do then?

Me: Actually, I am on my Bluetooth and driving right now, so I can’t see my schedule. Is there any way you can squeeze me in today?

Gal: No, I really can’t squeeze you in. Why don’t you call us back when you get to your location and we can set something up next week.

Me: (Disgruntled) Sure.

I didn’t call back.

So what was the problem here? There were several problems, actually. I am a potential customer trying to get an appointment. Did they have “Same-day” slots for people like me? Perhaps even refer me to someone who takes same-day appointments. But the biggest problem of all is that she left it to chance that I might not call back!

By getting my contact information, she could have followed up later that afternoon to get me on the schedule. Even if all she could do was call me back and get me scheduled for Monday, I would at least be more likely to visit them in the future. Since then, I think I lost the coupon.

Dean Jackson with the I Love Marketing Podcast best laid it out in a recent seminar with the following equation:

Use the Method Strategy to help walk your potential clients from attention grabbing to the sale.

 

 

 

Get their Attention + Get their Contact Information + Build a Relationship   =     $ales

 

This process I have dubbed the Method Strategy. A marketing method is a means of promoting your business through a single avenue. A radio commercial campaign is a great example of a method. Many times these radio campaigns have several different messages that build on each other or are targeted to specific markets based on the radio station and the playing time. Even though these ads build on each other, it is only one method. Networking, flyers, TV ads, public relations, referral groups, direct mail, and countless other methods exist and are being invented every day.

Any of the methods are for one purpose: discover who might be interested in learning more. All you really want to accomplish is to find out who might be interested and get their contact information. The method alone will rarely make the sale on its own.

If you have honed in on your target market, have created a great message with an awesome call to action, and are running some amazing content with a strong call to action, you have started getting phone calls, web traffic, people walking into your store, or emails from some great potential customers. As they respond, make sure you get their contact information.

Now its time to start developing a relationship with a measured sequence of contacts you make with them to slowly develop the trust they need to have in you. Here is a quick example of one that I helped a client set-up.

This processes can be simple or complex depending on what you are selling and the decision making process. So if you are selling high-end medical equipment, the process to pull build a relationship will be much longer than if you are selling monthly housekeeping services.

The key to this planned sequence of contacts is asking yourself “What’s next?” until they buy (repeatedly) or ask not to be contacted any longer.

Happy planning!

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Clarity

By | Marketing | No Comments

Have you ever seen an ad and wondered, “what was that about?”

How about a commercial that engaged you but then left you wondering what they were trying to sell?

Usually this is because many marketers are too concerned with being witty or artistic to win an award instead of trying to get their audience respond appropriately. While wit and humor can be very effective, it should always carry the audience (your target market) toward an action you want them to take.

You can’t make that happen without clarity in your message.

Clarity in a marketing message is really an art as much as its a process. A clear message accomplishes several things. It cuts through the advertising and marketing clutter that every one of your potential customers sees and hears every day. It leads them by the heart and mind to the conclusion that you have what they are looking for. Finally, it educates them in how you are different and why you are their best choice.

Each of us has a “reticular activator” in our brain that helps us filter information and only allow into our consciousness what we have subconsciously decided as important. It’s the reticular activator that makes you think there are more pregnant women in the world when you are expecting a child of your own when the birth rate has probably not changed significantly. However, you notice it more because it is something important to your subconscious mind.

Your target market needs you to activate their reticular activator by being part of their thought process. In order to cut through the clutter and enter their conscious mind, you have to know your audience and what they are thinking. The audience, of course, is you target market. The way you cut through is by entering into the conversation that is already happening in your audiences mind.

Once you have their attention, it’s time to help them walk with you towards the logical conclusion you already have set for them: take action on what they read or hear. Here is where you have about 10 seconds to win their trust and convince them that you have the answer they want. Remember, purchasing is not always about what they need – its often about what they want.

If you can gain their confidence and interest that you have the solution, you have earned the right to continue the communication. Whatever method of marketing you are using, whether it’s a 30 second commercial, a business-card-sized ad, or a lengthy presentation, you are asking for their permission to continue leading them down the path to the sale.

Clear content does more than whet their appetite for more information. Clear content educates your customer on more than bells and whistles of your gadget. It communicates who you are, why they should choose you and what makes you a better fit for them.

When talking about a clear message, I want to emphasize the importance of using a great copywriter to help you sculpt your message. Most people think of a copywriter as the person that will keep your work from being plagiarized. But, in marketing circles a copywriter is a professional who has studied the art of selling through words. For a few dollars, they can help you sculpt and create an incredible message that will bring customers right to your door step.

If you are not sure how clear your message is, it might be time to have someone else take a look at it. 

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Most businesses never ask for the business. A good call to action can make all the difference.

Call To Action

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

Most businesses never ask for the business. A good call to action can make all the difference.My youth pastor once shared a story with me about a high school pal he had run into on a business trip. As they discussed where their life paths had taken them, my pastor was surprised to find that not only had his friend become a faithful church-goer, but his friend was now serving as pastor of a congregation.

The high school pal had accompanied my pastor as teenagers to many activities, camps, and services; but had never taken the next step to join – always a visitor. When my pastor asked his friend why he had not joined in high school, the response was simple: “No one ever asked.”

Often we assume the customer will buy when they are ready, but in reality they have never been asked. Just putting your phone number on an ad or letting them know you are available is not a strong call to action. Even if your marketing method is a follow up phone call, letting them know you can help is not enough. Give them something specific to act on. A free estimate only takes you so far.

A strong call to action is based on your customer getting something very specific for taking only one small step. If they call you, what do they get for their phone call besides a sales pitch? If you are calling on them, what advantage do they have in meeting with you?

Take a look at the last credit card offer you got in the mail. They are pointing you to one action. “Guaranteed Acceptance,” “Lowest Interest Rates,” “Bonus Air Miles,” and “No-Fee Balance Transfers” are strong incentives intended to get you to fill out that form at the bottom.

Anther common mistake is asking someone to take too many steps at one time. Remember that sales – especially large dollar sales – are a process. Your initial intention is not to get their money. Your initial intention is to get them to contact you and voice an interest.

Selling is teaching. If you take the student too fast down the path, you will not only create confusion and disinterest, but also resentment. Think of a child who may not be as fast as others in the class to pick up on math. If she has someone to help her along at her own pace, she is much more likely to succeed and even start to enjoy the challenge. However, pushing her to keep up when she is not ready for it will only cause her to decide that “math is not her thing.”

Most importantly: just ask the question. What’s the worst that could happen? Don’t allow someone to opt out of enjoying your product only because you never asked.

 

So here is my ask:

 

I am looking for one business that has a solid track record and good potential for growth. I would like to enter into a form of partnership with you to help you grow your business and your profits.

I have a proven system to help grow your sales and profits.

I am so confident that my system will work with any company that I am willing to provide a money back guarantee if you agree to participate in my growth program.

To find out more, let me know here:

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

The Problem With Your Price

By | Finance, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

chances are you are not pricing yourself correctly.Price is much more than a number that covers your costs and makes a profit. Your price communicates your value.

Take a minute and think back on how you have set or are thinking of setting your price.

Most business owners have two ways to look at what they should be charging for their product or service. Both ways are wrong!

The first method they use is to look at what their competitors are charging and then try to set their price just above, just below, or right at their competitors price. You have no idea if your competitor is actually making a profit! Even if you think he might, how do you know he’s not sinking himself into debt expecting the business to pick up any day?

This pricing method sets you up for a race to the bottom. When your competitor lowers his price, you will too in order to “stay competitive.” You are also not sure if you can even make a profit at that price.

Setting a “competitive price” positions you poorly as well. There is no differentiation between you and your competition. When a customer has no other measure to make a decision, they will base their decision on price. When a customer’s decision is based only on price, it’s a roll of the dice as to who will win.

The second method often used is to total up what it will cost, your time investment, and how much you think you should take home. However, this method does not take into consideration how your customer values your product or service.

Many of the businesses that I have seen determine their costs like this don’t take into consideration hidden costs. Some costs overlooked are their marketing costs, basic overhead like facility costs and utilities, or taxes.

Chances are good that you are undervaluing your own time as well. Most of us don’t value our own time and far undercharge for the time investments we make in the business. You are worth more than you think.

 

 

is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

If you want someone to keep coming back and to tell about how amazing you are, give them something that blows their mind. Even better, people will pay a premium for the experience over the commodity.

Product Before Marketing

By | Follow-through, Marketing, Operations, Systems | No Comments

If you want someone to keep coming back and to tell about how amazing you are, give them something that blows their mind. Even better, people will pay a premium for the experience over the commodity.Time to stop worrying about “satisfied customers:” customers that will pay for what you give them and be content with the transaction. If you are in a market where there is good demand and little competition, that’s all you need. However, add a couple competitors and your service becomes a commodity as customers feel they can get a “better deal.”

To avoid the race to the bottom, you have to create what Ken Blanchard calls “Raving Fans.”

If you want someone to keep coming back and to tell about how amazing you are, give them something that blows their mind. Even better, people will pay a premium for the experience over the commodity.

What additional “wow” are you giving your customer? If you’re a barber, give every client a beer. If you clean houses – leave a $2 flower in a vase with your logo. Realtors can have the clients’ favorite coffee or treat in the car before looking at their list of houses. The most simple way to keep a customer coming back is to treat them as an individual.

While you’re creating your amazing experience, also look at the things customers hate about your service or industry. I hate going to the cheap, quick, drive-up oil change businesses – sitting in a dirty waiting room with uninteresting and out-of-date magazines. Why not be able to listen to my radio and read my favorite newspaper, magazine or open my tablet and get some work done? That is exactly what one particular oil service does with their oil change service. Even though the service is more expensive than the other places – every dock is full when I pull up! I know I will get someone in their flat cap (once it was a woman) and an offer of my favorite newspaper or magazine to read. I don’t even have to leave the car. By the way, the newspaper is for sale if I want to take it with me – they will just add it to the bill.

Many of my clients fist come to me asking for marketing. They don’t realize that they don’t need more promotion. The reason they don’t have enough customers is because their business is a revolving door. Their customers leave as quickly as they come in. With a little effort, they could simply close the back door and keep the customers they worked so hard for in the first place!

You can get more ways to develop word of mouth by downloading the free ebook “3 Easy Ways to Get More Referrals” on the left-hand side of this page.
is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.