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Sales and Marketing go hand in hand. Marketing educates, informs and gets the prospects to the door. Sales figures out what is needed and closes the sale.
Depending on the study that is done it takes anywhere from 8 to 27 contact points before a new prospect either will meet with you or buy something.
UNFORTUNATELY THE VAST MAJORITY OF SALES PEOPLE GIVE UP AFTER 4-6 ATTEMPTS ! !
I know you’re going to say that your sales people are special and they keep at it, but we both know that’s not true. So you need a tool that continually makes these contacts automatically and doesn’t rely on a sales persons efforts to make new contacts or stay in touch with old customers.
Yes a newsletter. A monthly publication that does a lot of useful things, such as:
This all sounds wonderful so why aren’t you using this BEST MARKETING TOOL?
Time and resources are the two most popular excuses. You don’t have the time, your staff doesn’t have the time, experience or resources to accomplish this.
But you need it, now more than ever.
BGP was founded to handle the marketing effort of a small mid-western office furniture dealer. We didn’t have the time to pursue all that we wanted so we made a decision to farm it out. As a result, the newsletter gets done regularly. Our clients get a new, professional looking and interesting read every 4 weeks. That’s 12 times a year, whether they have any orders to process or not. It’s also used to contact prospects on monthly basis. So these potential customers are getting something new every 4 weeks.
CAN YOU SAY THIS ABOUT YOUR PROSPECTS? OR CLIENTS?
Most companies can’t.
CHECK IT OUT
We’ve created a link to the recent issue of this newsletter here.
And here is a page that breaks the whole program down with pricing options.
As a special incentive, if you connect with us NOW you can get a trial issue published for the small fee of $95.00, just to try us out. But don’t wait, we have a limited number of these available each month, so it’s first come first serve.
Should you bother to market your company?
The real question is do you want to control the conversation about your company or do you want to leave that up to others. There will be a conversation whether you take part in it or not.
If you are not controlling it then others will and they most likely, strike that, they won’t care about what your visions or goals are. They will care about their business vision and goals. So, yes you should bother to market your company.
But you have a sales force to carry this on. Again, your sales force cannot possibly express what you really feel about where you are going. Try as hard as you will your sales people do have their own agenda, make new contacts and close new sales. You put a lot of emphasis on new clients right, it a big part of your growth. So the sales people concentrate on new clients. They hunt they kill and they move on. If the prospect isn’t in a buying mood now they move on. Their income depends on it.
Just because someone doesn’t buy now does not mean they are not going to in the near future. This is where marketing comes in. Marketing is the process to educate and inform prospects about what you do, how you do it and why they should be working with you when they need the services. And, if you don’t go through the marketing process a competitor will. When the prospect is ready who will they most likey buy from? The company that is talking to them and working to develop a relationship, they will be in a superior position to everyone else. So yes, you need to bother marketing your company.
What about your past customers? Who’s carrying on the conversation with them? It’s not your sales force remember they are out looking for “new” prospects. Your project management teams are busy with, well projects, right? So again, these very valuable prospects (cause they aren’t buying right now) are being ignored. Even thought they were satisfied with the work performed we humans still crave attention. We want to be catered to and cared for. We want to be paid attention to, even if we don’t need anything right at this time. So yes, once again, you need to bother marketing your company.
All of these contacts and companies can have an impact on helping to find and keep new business. And if they all know your message then everyone can be singing the same song and that will push your vision and goals into reality that much faster.
So, yes, if you value your company its future, its growth then you need to market your company.
Next post we will discuss some of the easy ways to market your company for continued growth.
Well not really.
Let me explain. Let’s say you put your blog on your site, which of course you should or you have a word press blog and links back to your site – this is still good.
But the only people that are going to find you in this one particular place are your current subscribers and maybe some searchers. So you are relying on people finding you in this one location. It’s kind of like building your business on a street in town and relying solely on people that drive by to discover that you exist, maybe come in and hopefully buy something or engage in your services. This is certainly a strategy, probably – no – definitely not a good strategy.
A better strategy is to put up a billboard on the edge of town, buy some radio and tv ads, advertise in your local paper, send out some fliers and put the word out to all your friends, neighbors and people that you meet everyday.
So in the same context of this example but applied to the web we need to a lot of the same things. We need to:
These are a few of the things that we need to do in the age of the internet.
Sounds Overwhelming Right? Especially since this is something that needs to be done every single time that you post something new – WHICH SHOULD BE AT LEAST WEEKLY!
We feel your pain. It’s a lot of work and with all marketing its something you need to do on a consistent and constant basis. In the world of internet as soon as you stop you start to fall and others who keep up the effort rise above you – which is not a good thing (just so you know).
At BGP we understand the frustration that goes with the internet and most business owners and managers have too much to do with running their business. Our services include the development and publishing of content along with the distribution so that we make sure you are getting the biggest bang on your marketing effort.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 636-386-5300 for a FREE 30 Minute Evaluation to discuss what your pains and frustrations are to see if we can help.
This refrain has been sung a lot lately, especially since the infamous Google updates. Many website owners got hit because they relied more on keyword stuffing than on solid content.
The web has been and will continue to be an information medium. Yes, there’s a lot of money changing hands in ecommerce and that continues to grow – but the bottom line is that information on products, services and companies is the most important part of any website. So how’s your site doing?
Are you treating visitors like an information gatherers or as “now” buyers?
I read a post by someone recently that likened most web sites to handing a prospective customer a copy of a brochure when they walked in the door and saying “are you ready to buy?” If you did that what is the likelyhood you’re going to get a sale? I would venture a guess the odds would be somewhere between slim and none.
Information is critical and that’s where your content and your blog come into play. Google and other search engines are looking for:
No, that isn’t a misprint. New content is the critical component to a successful site. One that maintains it’s rank or moves up in ranks is being refreshed on a consistent basis. This is where your blog comes into play. It’s a great medium for producing new, interesting, unique content where your prospects and customers can get to know you better. Since it needs to be done regularly it feeds the criteria for New Content.
Unless your industry is winding down and nothing new is being developed you should have lots of stuff to blog about. Here are some ideas on content that may be relevant to your prospects.
This should help you get some ideas flowing.
One of the major services that we offer is Content Development. We develop content related to:
We offer a free 30 minute consultation on your company and provide some ideas on what you can blog about. To set up a consultation contact us at email@example.com or 636-386-5300.
To your successful blogging.
Ok, sorry for the rant this morning, but I just received a phone call from a firm that had built a sample website for one of our other companies. The pitch is that they wanted to send it by email so we could see it and of course there was no obligation to buy it – REALLY????
Ok, just to be open and honest – we provide the service of building and rebuilding websites – who doesn’t.
But, building a sample without even having a single 5 minute discussion and you think that I will be sooooo impressed with your ability to decipher what my company is about, who our client’s are and what the site should look like, you must be clairvoyant, that’s all I can say.
I know, they are just trying to make an honest living. But I truly believe it is a disservice to companies and business owners. Business is not getting any easier with the explosion of the internet based marketing, social media, all of the connection points that you think you need to be in, be on and hang out at.
Not sure about your inbox, but mine is continually filled with people telling me about the 500 million users this site has or the 1 trillion this one has and if I can get just .0001% of those users to buy from me I could retire tomorrow. Sounds like a plan – like that’s going to happen.
No, the disservice comes in the form of not developing a plan for your marketing first. Figuring out:
This is not simply throwing up words and pictures on a computer screen, this takes times, energy, patience and planning.
So, if you don’t have a website, if you don’t have a marketing plan, if you are looking to develop more business and profits – you have worked to do and NO ONE else can do it for you. So let’s get started.
by, Matthew Brooks
Reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
An oldie but still a goodie.
Here is a reprint of an article from the Master – Dan Kennedy back in 2007
In the discussion of a frequent contact program to communicate with customers in order to gain a larger share of their business.
When doing so, here are some simple ideas to carefully consider:
In 2007 this type of contact would have to be done by fax, email, mail or phone calls. And each one would have to manually taken care of.
In this new age it is Automated and can begin as soon as the prospect shows interest, through the purchase and long after the first purchase.
Check out the Instant Customer tab on the home page for more information.
In a column titled “The 6 Key Differences Between Business-To-Business And Consumer Marketing,” I describe the key factors that set Business-to-Business marketing apart from Business-to-Consumer marketing. The first six principles I outline are:
There are two parts to this seventh principle. Let’s take them one at a time.
The Business Buyer Buys For His Company’s Benefit
The business buyer must acquire products and services that benefit his company. This means the product or service saves the company time or money, makes money, improves productivity, increases efficiency, or solves problems.
Let’s say, for example, that you sell a telecommunications network and your primary advantage over the competition is that your system reduces monthly operating expenses by 50 percent. If a prospect is spending $40,000 a month for your competitor’s network, you can replace it and provide his company with the same level of service for only $20,000 a month.
The company benefits because it saves $240,000 a year in communications costs — more than $1 million in a five-year period.
Yet, despite this tremendous benefit, you find that prospects are not buying. They seem interested, and you get a lot of inquiries. But few sales are closed.
Why? Because in addition to buying for his company’s benefit, the prospect also buys for himself.
The Business Buyer Buys For His Own Benefit
The second part of Principle #7 is that, while the buyer is looking to do right by his company, he has an equal (if not greater) concern for his own well-being and selfish interests.
Although the idea of saving $240,000 a year with your telecommunications system is appealing to your prospect, his thought process is as follows:
“Right now, I have an AT&T system. Your system sounds good but I don’t know you or your company. If I switch and something goes wrong, I will be blamed. I may even get fired. My boss will say, ‘You shouldn’t have gambled on an unproven product from an unknown vendor — why didn’t you stick with good ole reliable AT&T?’ He will say this even though he approved my decision. So to be safe, I will stick with my current system … even though it costs my company an extra $240,000 a year. After all, I’d rather see them spend an extra $240,000 a year than me lose my $60,000-a-year job!”
This play-it-safe mentality is only natural, and it affects buying decisions daily in corporations throughout the country. Data processing professionals are fond of saying, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” Buying IBM ensures the prospect that no one can criticize his decision, even if Brand X is the better choice from a business and technical point of view.
A corporate pension fund manager, writing in Money magazine, noted that no money manager ever got fired for losing money invested in a blue-chip stock. A different example, but the principle remains the same.
The Business Buyer Is For Himself
Concern for making the safe, acceptable decision is a primary motivation of business buyers, but it is not the only reason why business buyers choose products, services, and suppliers that are not necessarily the best business solution to their company’s problem.
Avoiding stress or hardship is a big concern among prospects. For example, a consultant might offer a new system for increasing productivity, but it means more paperwork for the shipping department … and especially for the head of the shipping department. If he has anything to say about it, and thinks no one will criticize him for it, the head of shipping will, in this case, work to sway the committee against engaging the consultant or using his system … even though the current procedures are not efficient. The department head, already overworked, wants to avoid something he perceives as a hassle and a headache, despite its contribution to the greater good of the organization.
Fear of the unknown is also a powerful motivator. A middle manager, for example, might vote against acquiring desktop publishing and putting a terminal on every manager’s desk because he himself has computer phobia. Even though he recognizes the benefit such technology can bring to his department, he wants to avoid the pain of learning something he perceives to be difficult and frightening. Again, personal benefit outweighs corporate benefit in this situation.
Fear of loss is another powerful motivator. An advertising manager in a company that has handled its advertising in-house for the past decade may resist his president’s suggestion that they retain an outside advertising agency to handle the company’s rapidly-expanding marketing campaign. Even if he respects the ad agency and believes they will do a good job, the ad manager may campaign against them, fearing that bringing in outside experts will diminish his own status within the company.
In these and many other instances, the business buyer is for himself first; and his company, second. To be successful, your copy must not only promise the benefits the prospect desires for his company; it should also speak to the prospect’s personal agenda, as well.
Our blog today is a reprint from a recent newsletter we receive from the great folks at AWAI – American Writers and Artists Inc. This is the premier training organization for copy writing and graphic artists that want to create products that actually move people to purchase products.
This one in particular is from Will Newman – Editor for one of the AWAI newsletters
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to see how people not trained as copywriters view marketing.
Here’s what happened. My wife Linda and I were in a group of 32 people taking part in a leadership training program in our rural county. The group represents some of the best-educated, most socially aware, and deeply committed people in the county. So I can safely say these were sharp, intelligent people.
Saturday afternoon was a mini-session on marketing. The trainers started the session with a fun activity where I got a good look into how other people view marketing and what really works.
We were asked to share examples of what we thought represented effective advertising. Almost everybody had similar comments that went something like this …
“I loved this one commercial. It was really funny. It had a mouse that climbed a clock and then (so on) … But I don’t remember what the product was.”
Great, funny, memorable ads and commercials. Except the most important element wasn’t memorable at all: the product. Funny, clever, and cute may catch attention and raise a smile. But it will never sell your product.
I’m a word man. I love words and wordplay. So, when I apprenticed myself with a Master Copywriter, I would sprinkle cleverness throughout the copy he had me write.
He’d return the copy with comments on my cleverness in red ink that said: “Very clever. Clever never works.” I resented those comments. I was sure my fondness for wordplay would grab the reader’s attention, make him smile, and persuade him to buy.
I’d tell Linda, “If only he’d give me a chance …”
It wasn’t until several years later when I was critiquing other copywriters’ copy that I fully understood what my mentor had been saying. Anytime I came across a pun, a joke, or a bit of wordplay, it slowed me down.
And often, I didn’t “get it” — at least at first. I had to take time away from the main message of the letter to figure out what the copywriter was trying to say.
Not a good thing when you have a shaky hold on your prospect’s time and attention in the first place.
First, and most important, humor and cleverness in copywriting derail your prospect’s attention. If it’s a really good joke or clever wordplay, you’ve diverted his attention away from your core message.
If it isn’t that clever (and it seldom is), your prospect’s going to waste time figuring it out. Waste time! You cannot afford that.
Second, humor is culturally-bound. As a copywriter, you often write for a broad range of cultures. And I’m not just talking about cultures from different countries. The culture of California is different from that of New York is different from that of Tupelo, Mississippi.
What’s funny for one culture isn’t necessarily funny for another. That brings us to our third reason to avoid cleverness.
Someone tells a joke to a large group. Typically, not everybody laughs at first. Laughter may spread, but often someone stands stony-faced. The humor has offended him. Because humor and cleverness affect different cultures and people in varied ways, you risk offending someone when you use them in your copy.
That might be okay if you’re onstage at a comedy club. It’s never good to offend your prospect!
Finally, being clever wastes valuable space in your promotion. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a half-page space ad or a 24-page magalog. The space that wordplay, cleverness, or humor takes up in your copy can be better used getting your core message across.
If you want to capture your prospect’s imagination, do it by understanding his needs, his hopes, his desires, and his fears.
Understand what keeps him awake at night and what puts a smile on his face. Talk to him personally about those key parts of his life. Tell how you’re going to improve his life.
Give him hope … not humor.
Yours for a successful copywriting career,
This is a typical refrain that we often hear. The conversation goes something like this:
Prospect – Marketing doesn’t work!
BGP – Ok, what have you tried in the past?
Prospect – We sent out a postcard and didn’t get a single sale!
BGP – How many times did you mail the post card to your list?
Prospect – Just once, it was such a waste of money I decided not to do it again.
BGP – What did the post card have on it?
Prospect – My picture was on the back and it said something like,
– now accepting new patients
– our office is open
– stop in and buy from us
– we’ve been in business since before time began
– we have the lowest price in town for . . . . .
– we are great and you will like us
– we sells the same crap as everyone else, but you should buy from us
I hope that you are getting a picture of how this conversation goes. And you should also be looking at your own business by now and seeing what you are doing in it.
We have all been mislead by the big humongous ad agencies and the fancy dancy stuff they put up on the tv, magazines, radio and every other medium that is out there. Ok, to be fair, if you have a $billion$ then you could pay them to put some of that up there for them to win some awards and you will probably get some sales from it. Even the worst crap that is put out there will make impressions to the point that it will entice people to stop by your shop or site and buy stuff.
By I am guessing that you don’t have an extra $billion$ or even a few $1,000 to throw out on cute, creative stuff . . . If you do then go for it. If you don’t keep reading for some other ideas that you might find useful.
When we talk about marketing directly to people or companies that are potential prospects or customers, we refer to this as Direct Response Marketing. This type of marketing is measurable. We know how many people the ad or piece went to and how many responded. If the client’s systems are robust enough the we can also track who bought for the ad. This allows us to track the ROI (return on investment) for the ad. Without tracking the ROI we can not determine if the effort worked, how well it worked and wether we should continue it, tweak it, replace it or drop it.
You think for a minute that Coke or Pepsi can determine if a specific ad brought in more sales after it was run? No, they can’t. The best that they can do is determine, by statistical extrapolation of surveys whether the ad was seen, that is how many impressions it had.
We don’t care about impressions. We only care about profits and whether the ad has or will lead to greater profits after running it than without running it.
More on this in a future post, after all we want you coming back.
Now, to the other major issue, frequency. You’ve done it, we use to do it, everyone has said this at one time or another, “I ran it once and it didn’t work.”
If you take away nothing else from this, remember this – marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you cannot budget for a long run, don’t waste your time and money to begin with, you will be disappointed. The likelihood of hitting a home run the first time out is unrealistic, although it does happen. So you need to plan for a longer duration.
The long duration will include efforts to test the successful pieces to determine:
– elements that worked
– offers that worked
– changes to determine improvements to be made
Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. A world class athlete does not just appear on the racetrack and kill the competition. They hone their skills over many days, weeks, months and mile of track or water or tons of weight. Each day their coach is tweaking their form, giving encouragement and pushing them to achieve more.
This is the perfect analogy for your marketing efforts, whether you are the coach and athlete or you hire the coaching out, it all comes down to the bottom line, it will take time, consistent effort and patience to make your marketing program world class.
To your growth and profitability.
Your marketing sucks. Let’s get that out in the open. At times we all have marketing that sucks or just doesn’t work. Although, if you don’t track the results of your efforts then you will never know if it is working. As our slogan says “Results Are All That Matters”. So how do you create good effective marketing? How do you track the results? Step inside and let us show… you. the answers to these and many other questions.
So, what are some of the reasons that your marketing is ineffective, performing poorly, just plain sucks! Here are some of the basic reasons:
So let’s first agree on something . . . your marketing and sales strategies are critical to the success of your company. As has been quoted many times, “nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
Let’s also agree on a couple of facts, statistics, guesses (your choice).
So unless you have a consistent marketing message or you have hired only kick-ass-never-say-die-never-give-up-pig-headed-disciplined salespeople, then you will struggle to reach your real potential. The cards are stacked against you. Unless you have a product everyone wants. And really, how often does that happen?
Business Growth Partners was started to consolidate the marketing efforts of the companies that we operate. All are business to business and they are a mixture of hard goods and internet services. Bottom line is that they only thrive through the consistent and continuous marketing efforts.
What doe this mean for you? We do what we preach . . . Whether it’s direct mail, web sites, automated follow up systems. We are working to figure out what works in our businesses just as we will help you figure out what works in yours. We’ve made the mistakes, we taken the courses, studied the masters and tried a lot of stuff. All this helps us help you.
So what you are going to find here is a compilation of stuff from other people, some original stuff and a whole lot of ideas that you can use to improve what you’re doing to make it better.
And if you come to the conclusion that we can help you, drop us a line, give us a call, send us a text.