by Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
This past Saturday I got on Email from Duane Colette that said: I'm going through your Fast Track program in the Marketing Club and I'm sensing an underlying theme: losing the old self and creating a new one."
That's right Duane, we cannot approach marketing from the old self that resists marketing. We won't find time for it, or we'll find ways to creatively avoid it. This is why I've stated many times that Marketing Mindset is the most important part of my work.
How does your Marketing Mindset impact your Marketing Plans?
It impacts it totally. If you don't take your Marketing Mindset into account it will undermine and sabotage your Marketing Plans. But only every time.
A good way to illustrate this is through creating a Marketing Action Plan for the next year. So let's work on three of the most important marketing principles and activities - Marketing Message, Marketing Strategies and the Selling Process - and integrate Marketing Mindset into them.
Your Marketing Messages, both verbal and written, are the foundation of your marketing. Since marketing is 100% communication, if you're not communicating clearly about the value of what you have to offer, you weaken everything else in your marketing.
There's nothing overly complicated here. You simply answer these questions: Who are my ideal clients? What are their biggest challenges? What do my clients get if they work with me? How are my services structured?
If you can answer these four questions clearly, you can get the attention and interest of just about any qualified prospect. You can expand on these answers through articles, web copy, and presentations, but at their core they all communicate the same thing: "This the value I offer to my clients."
But in practice, this can be challenging, not because the formula is complicated, but because of mindset issues. Simply put, our limited thinking and beliefs get in the way:
- They won't be interested
- What if I say the wrong thing?
- Who am I to promise these results?
- My message needs more impact
- What if I have the wrong service"
Then we put more focus on these thoughts and beliefs than our marketing message and find ourselves caught in confusion, doubt, worry, uncertainty and lack of confidence.
And your marketing efforts go down the drain.
The solution is not to try harder but to question those thoughts and beliefs. You need to undermine them by asking if they are true, what it's costing you to think them and literally strip them bare for the nonsense they really are.
More on working on your mindset in the next two sections.
One you have a marketing message, you need a vehicle or vehicles for these messages. Networking, Speaking, Teleclasses/Webinars, Keep-in-Touch Marketing (including eZines and Social Media), Email Marketing, etc.
None of these are particularly difficult; they are all step-by-step processes. They are something you can learn with a little study and patience by starting small and working towards bigger things, such as with networking.
But guess what? Implementing these marketing activities are often hijacked, not by circumstances or lack of time, but by the same kind of constrictive thinking and beliefs. We often defeat ourself before we start.
- I can't find places to network
- I don't know what to say to people (see above)
- Everybody's selling, nobody's buying
- I'll only get rejected (again)
- This is a waste of my time and energy
I promise you that effective networking will be impossible if you cloud your mind with this kind of thinking.
I was talking to a participant in my Mastery Program (a building contractor) a week ago and he was telling me similar things about networking. Then he made a confessions. "A couple years ago I followed your advice and did some networking and met two architects. Ultimately they sent business my way worth $1.2 Million!"
When we explored why he hadn't continued, it became clear that he had got caught up into those old beliefs again, and stopped, despite the absolute evidence that it worked.
Once you've really questioned your limiting beliefs, and revealed them for what they really are: ploys to avoid rejection, you need to look in the other direction:
If it was impossible to believe those thoughts anymore, who would you be and what would you do? Isn't it obvious that you'd move into action with less fear and hesitation?
Your Selling Process
This is one of your most high-leverage marketing activities ever. If you've used your marketing messages while implementing your marketing activities, ultimately you'll connect with qualified prospects.
When this happens, invite them to meet with you in a "Strategy Session" to explore how you might help them.
A Strategy Session consists of four main parts, the first three are in question format: learning about the current situation of your prospect, learning about their goals and vision, learning about their challenges. Then the fourth part is telling them how you can help them, the value of your services, how you structure your services, etc. Oh yes, and you need to ask them if they'd like to work with you!
Sounds simple, and it is, however, there are many subtle skills to the selling process and it takes time to study and practice them. If you do, you'll find your close rate goes way up and that the majority of prospective clients will agree to work with you.
But of course, your old Marketing Mindset can be just as destructive here as anywhere else in the marketing process. Here are a few limiting thoughts and beliefs you may be familiar with:
- They won't want to meet with me
- I don't want to be pushy
- Those questions seem too intrusive
- I'd rather just explain my services and have them decide
- I feel too awkward closing
Seeing a pattern here? All of these limiting thoughts and beliefs have a similar tone and taste. They are fear-based. They are about avoidance of any possibility of rejection. And if you believe them, they stop you cold.
If you are ever going to be successful at marketing and selling your services, you can't just learn the basic strategies and tactics of marketing. You'll keep bumping into these limiting thoughts and beliefs without even realizing it and then make up reasons why your marketing isn't producing results.
Instead, you need to take your Marketing Mindsets into account and confront them directly. Before long you'll discover: They aren't really true, believing them is costing you a lot, their payoff is staying in your comfort zone, and if you are willing to look what might be possible without attachments to these beliefs, you'll discover a world that was invisible to you before.
Opposing Marketing MindsetS are just a part of marketing. Take them into account and work with them just as you work at developing your messages, your marketing strategies and your selling process.
It's the New Year and great time to get moving on your marketing. Let us know what you're going to make happen in your marketing in 2013. I invite you to share them on the blog by clicking on the Comments link below.