By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
Many people think of marketing as a mystery, something that is hard to figure out and even harder to implement. Everyone wants to know what to do when and how to do it for maximum results.
Well, I have good news for you.
Most of the so-called marketing secrets, you already know. Perhaps because they're so obvious, you don't realize how important they are. If you rememberer and practice these secrets, you'll have about 90% of what you need for marketing success.
1. Market unto others as you would have others market unto you.
We know when marketing feels right: When it's honest and educational and respectful of our intelligence. Good marketing simply informs our prospective clients what they will get from us if they work with us, conveyed in a way that's interesting and engaging. Also, nobody wants to buy from an arrogant jerk; they want to buy from a nice person whom they can trust. Emulate the marketing you love, not what you think marketing should be.
2. If you can't explain what you do to your family, how do you expect your prospective clients to understand you?
In other words, keep your marketing simple, making the value, benefits and process clear. Don't muck it up with jargon and complicated concepts. And ultimately, realize that nobody is going to buy what you're offering if they don't clearly understand what's in it for them. Keep your marketing conversational, user-friendly and approachable, and your prospects will understand and be attracted to your services.
3. When talking about your services, use stories.
Stories are so powerful because they not only communicate information, they communicate emotion. Your prospects will see themselves getting the same value as those in your stories. Saying that John Thompson got a big raise because of your coaching, and just bought a new car, tells volumes more than the fact that your clients increase their income on average by 15.7%. I want a new car too; what can I do with 15.7%?
4. The first thing someone wants, after they get interested in your business, is more information.
Wouldn't it be great if people fell in love with your business upon first contact? It doesn't happen that way. People are, by nature, skeptical. Before they buy, they want to check you out and see if your promises are legitimate. So give them information, stories, examples, and case studies that prove you produce the results you say you do. Put this all up on your website along with informative articles that show how you think and where you're coming from. In other words, build credibility and trust first.
5. When you give a presentation, you can't bore people into doing business with you.
Yes, you want to provide useful information in every talk, teleclass or webinar, but you want to make it entertaining as well. Ever find yourself total immersed in an infomercial? It's because they keep things moving and upbeat. No, you don't need to go "over the top" as you explain the principles of leadership teams, but you do need to keep it engaging. Use stories, graphics and humor more than PowerPoints with 10-point lists.
6. Nothing happens without follow-up and friendly persistence.
It's not your prospect's job to follow-up with you. And it's not an interruption to follow through with what you promised. So much business is lost because we are afraid of being judged as pushy. Here's a simple rule-of-thumb: If someone shows some interest, however slight, it's OK to follow-up. We forget that being overly cautious can be just as big a turn-off as being overly aggressive. Friendly persistence takes the attitude: "He or she is probably not getting back to me because they're busy now. I won't assume otherwise until they tell me that they're not interested."
7. Nobody's going to think about you or remember you if you don't keep in touch.
Very few people wake up in the morning with your name on their lips. It's nothing personal; other things, events and people are vying for their attention. So if you "keep a low profile" so as not to annoy anyone, all you'll accomplish is being forgotten. Woody Allen asserted that 80% of success is just showing up. Social media, networking, and a regular email newsletter will remind your prospects that you're around, engaged, and available for them to connect with you. Familiarity does not breed contempt.
8. Over-communicating can be just as bad as under-communicating, especially if every communication is a pitch.
Remember signing up for someone's e-list or teleclass and then getting bombarded every single day with yet another pitch for "the hottest, most amazing marketing breakthrough on planet earth!" It wears thin after a short time. If you want to market to gullible people who can't tell the real McCoy from a get-rich-quick scheme, then this method is for you. But most people are completely turned off by such nonsense. When it comes time to pitch your latest program, do it with some dignity and style.
9. In selling, nobody likes to be pressured, they like to be listened to.
When we think of selling, we think of the manipulative used car salesperson. And we imagine that we need to be like that to sell successfully. But intuitively we know that this just doesn't work and that this approach goes against our conscience. But true selling is more about determining the needs and wants of your prospects and working to see if your service can fulfill those needs. 75% of selling is just listening. You know it feels right when someone listens to you; you don't even think of it as selling. There's no reason you can't do the same.
10. If you don't ask for what you want, you're not likely to get it, in life or in business.
Do you want those in your target market to know about your business? Do want them to read about your services on your website? Do you want them to set up an appointment with you? Do you want to convert them into paying clients? Of course you do! But to get all of these, you must ask. At the end of every single marketing communication and selling conversation, you need to make a call-to-action: "If you want to know more, go here." "To set up an appointment, fill out this form." "To start working with me, I'll need a $10,000 deposit." Yes, sometimes when you ask, you don't get the action you'd prefer, but if you don't ask, you'll NEVER get the action you prefer!
You already knew these marketing secrets, didn't you? But have you consistently applied them to your marketing? Perhaps not, because we often create a divide between everyday common sense and what we think marketing should be. The good news is that the best marketing secrets have been common sense all along.
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