15 Great marketing ideas that you can apply right now...
I love articles like this. They really get you thinking - and if you're smart, they make you money.
We know from consulting with thousands of clients that almost every business has an 'untapped Gold Mine'.
Opportunities just sitting there waiting to be acted on.
It will take you just 3 minutes to read this article - and I defy you not to find at least 3 things that you can apply to your business right now that will significantly improve results.
We sometimes use this 'strap line' - Know What Works, Do What Works - Get Results.
Read on to "know what works", pick 3 ideas to act on right now and enjoy the results.
15 Ways to Take Your Marketing to the Leading Edge...
By Chris Newton
1. The 3 letter word that increases your business.
Are you sure you're getting all the business possible from your clients? Or are you and your people maybe assuming they'll come to you with their needs?
On a micro level, an accountant misses out on profitable payroll, management accounts and consultancy work from hundreds of clients. Why?
Simply because neither they nor their team asks for the business.
An IT Services company misses out on valuable new hardware (and highly profitable support contract) sales, because they forgot to keep on reminding their clients what they sell and asking what they are interested in buying.
Ask ... a three letter word that can turn your business around.
2. Your purpose should be to get "advances".
The best sales people don't simply "collect information".
They set purposes to get "advances" ... by advances, we mean a particular action that will move the sale forward. And by predetermining this direction, it has a significant influence on their overall sales results.
If your sales team doesn't work to get "advances", more often than not they'll only get "continuations" ... which actually prolong the sale and frustrate the client.
3. Are you charging too little?
We were convinced that a particular financial adviser was undervaluing his time ... setting his fees too low. We urged him to increase them. Sceptical as he was, he lifted them by nearly 30%. The result? No one batted an eyelid. But he added 30% to his annual income!
4. What about the people who nearly bought from you?
Obviously, you can't get every sale. But you can still profit from the prospects who didn't buy.
Maybe the timing wasn't right. Maybe your product wasn't quite right. But whatever you do, don't just forget about them. Maintain your relationship with them, nurture them and keep open the opportunity of doing business with them at a later date.
But it doesn't end there. If your product or service really isn't right for them ... why not swap the leads or sell them to your competitors who do have a suitable solution? We know of one marketer who did this and made more from the on-selling of leads than from the original campaign!
5. People perform to expectations.
The most succinct example of setting expectations we've ever come across was in an article in "Inc" Magazine. It was citing General "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf and his experience when taking command of a helicopter maintenance unit.
He'd asked how much of the fleet was able to fly on any given day, taking into account maintenance schedules. 75% was the reply.
Wondering why it wasn't 73% or 74%, he decided to set a new standard. "85%" was his pronouncement. Sure enough, in very quick time, 85% operability became the norm.
Interesting isn't it? People perform to expectations. Set them low, and that's what you'll get. Set them high and watch the new level become reality!
6. Bouncing back to even greater profits.
The MFR rule. Monetary. Frequency. Recency. Now this may go against the grain. It seems crazy, but when you understand the power of it, it can revolutionise your profitability.
The MFR rule states that the most likely prospect to buy your product is one who has bought before.
The customers who have spent money (in the same monetary price bracket), who have purchased frequently and most recently are the most likely to buy again.
How can you profitably use this rule?
When you have just delivered a purchase to a client, let them know of something else that you have that'd be just terrific for them. Invite them to make another purchase. They've flagged the fact that they're "in need" ... so you mustn't deny them the service of purchasing more.
Seriously, you can do a customer a disservice by not offering something else. Ever been to a hardware store to buy paint ... only to get home and find they didn't suggest brushes, and yours are caked hard? Simple example ... but the point is valid.
7. Balancing the Solution.
Obviously, your prospects won't always say "yes". But likewise, they'll very rarely say "no". They generally touch their "no" with "put off" phrases like "I'll come back later" or "I'll think about it".
Your job at this point is to reassure them that the solution you've identified is the best one for them. How?
Isolate their concerns about your product and then balance these with the benefits. Once they can see the benefits "outweigh" their concerns, they become far more likely to buy.
8. Make it easy for your prospects to become customers.
When you go to a business ready to buy a product, there's nothing worse than being subjected to a long, drawn out sales pitch. Your customers probably feel the same way.
An effective sales team must be able to identify the "buying signals" that indicate when a prospect is ready to become a customer. And when they do, they must be able to make the buying process as easy as possible.
9. The sales letter of the "future".
Have you ever had a real hard nut of a prospect?
Write them a letter that begins:
"You haven't received a note like this. Yet. But some day I hope I can write it to you ..."
The body of the letter then goes one year into the future. You begin another letter (inside the first, using the prospect's first name now) as if you are already an established supplier and friend of the prospect, talking in glowing terms about the fantastic sales he or she has enjoyed as a result of your relationship in the last 12 months!
The letter ends back in the present by asking them to help make it a reality. Use a different typeface for the "future letter".
10. What did you really say?
Here's a tip from a millionaire salesman: In negotiations, state in writing up front that everything you say will be confirmed in writing. It protects you from misinterpretation and gives you an upper hand in the process.
11. The psychology of the 2nd interest.
It may be hard to get people excited enough about your product to put their hand up and identify themselves. They may not be ready to buy. But offering something else that they really would love, perhaps free, you can have them coming out the woodwork.
For example, a brassware shop offered an opportunity to win 2 "superb full colour books on restoration and renovation". Press ads promoted not the product, but the many hours of sheer pleasure and hundreds of ideas that the 2 books would bring the winner.
115 people entered. One person won. But the resulting sales from the other 114 make this an extraordinary success story. They were written to and invited into the shop with a little £2 gift voucher. Initial sales amounted to £6,000. And that's just initial sales!
12. It's all about being Relevant.
Clients often ask us if you can mail your customers too often?
Most people would give a resounding yes to that. To be honest, we too are very protective of the frequency of mailings we do to our clients. It's interesting to note though that one of America's most successful stationery mail order companies, "Quill", mails its customers 50 times a year.
The guiding rule is this. Only mail someone when you genuinely believe you're offering something they'll appreciate receiving. It's relevance that matters, not frequency.
We now have a policy of surveying clients on their needs and priorities so that when we do communicate, it is relevant and welcomed.
13. Referrals ... a great way to focus your business.
Research shows that it's at least 4 times easier to gain business from someone to whom you have been referred! The reason is quite simple.
By obtaining referrals from your existing clients, you're able to identify and focus your attention on people who are genuinely interested in your product or service. And because 9 times out of 10 they're friends of the client, they'll share similar sets of values and expectations ... which further increases their likelihood to buy.
14. The "five card" trick.
A subscriber proffered this idea. "Our customers are always delighted when they've experienced our terrific service. And they're always receptive to giving referrals while they're "hot". So rather than give them just one business card, we give them five. It's amazing how much extra business that generates for us!"
A highly powerful ... yet incredibly simple ... idea.
We incidentally have specialised in the area of creating referral programmes that generate tens of thousands of pounds in sales. After all, in many cases, 76% to 90% of someone's business can come from referral. Why would you leave that to chance?
15. The power of presentation.
Mel Shapiro is a super-successful dry-cleaner in Las Vegas. His "secret" takes the form of 4 golden rules:
(i) Keep A Smile On Your Face. Happy people work better and convey that feeling to your customers.
(ii) Keep Your Promise. Do what you promised you would do ... or better.
(iii) Make A Good Presentation. Clean up your workplace, develop a distinctive look. Pay for quality.
(iv) Do Good Quality Work … Sell Good Quality Products.
Now if you're saying this is all damn simple ... and why even include Shapiro's painfully obvious basic formula here ... it's relevant to point out that in his marketplace, he has 126 competitors, and only 8% of the outlets ... and yet, he gets 40% of the business!
These ideas open up some exciting opportunities for your business and give you proven ways to improve the effectiveness of your marketing.
Marketing is an incredibly exciting "leverage point" in a business.
If you would like to find out how Results Corporation can help you get more from your business, you can apply for a FREE Revenue Opportunites Analysis valued at £275.00.
Alternatively, phone us now in the UK on 01933 373000.
To read more articles click here