Many small business owners, remember small is defined as companies with under 500 employees, fail to market themselves and consequently continue to lose market share. The inability to increase sales revenue goes beyond the expertise of your sales staff and is directly tied into your marketing plan.
First, do you have a marketing plan to deliver your marketing message? How are you marketing yourself and your business? Even if you are a Single Office Home Office Business (SOHO) or a home based business, you need a marketing plan. Obviously if you are a larger organization, you understand the value of having such a plan. HINT: If you don’t have a plan or have been procrastinating about writing a plan, STOP right now. Find; hire someone to help you write that plan. These plans should be directly tied to your strategic plan of Who Does What By When within your business plan. Read about where to begin at www.processspecialist.com/articles/DoYouKnowandPlanforthe3RsforBusiness.pdf
Second, does your marketing message interrupt your prospect or suspect? What makes your message stop your prospects’ behaviors to want to further listen to what you have to say? Look to those now infamous Super Bowl commercials or even the ever-changing ones on television. Why does one commercial literally STOP YOU? Is it the graphics? Is it the music? Is it the content within the message? HINT: Use some measurable term such as double your results, triple your business, increase profits by 100% to interrupt your prospect.
Third, does your marketing message engage your prospect or suspect? OK, now that you have your prospect’s attention, how do you keep it? This engagement may be just for a few moments as in those 30-second sound bites we hear every day. Engaging your prospect is critical to the success of your marketing strategies. HINT: At this point, you should be providing some benefits that create the What’s In It For Me?
Fourth, does your marketing message educate your intended audience? Can you provide some solid education in your message? Citing proven, documented data or statistics helps to solidify your message.
For example, within our business services, we provide a student leadership development and interpersonal skills program (America’s Rising Stars). We let parents know that: “According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average national timeframe to earn a 4 year degree is 5.3 years. Many universities report that it will take 6 years to earn a 4 year degree.” If you are a parent with a college bound student, would this not be a valuable piece of education? Just, imagine how much more money the parents are envisioning that they will be spending. If they have more than one college bound student, the numbers are incredibly high and that vision becomes very, very expensive. Can you see the parents needs as well as their pain? HINT: Connect the education to the needs of your prospect.
Fifth and final question, does your marketing message provide an immediate offer? How many times do you hear? “If you call right now, we will reduce the price by $50? or “Call right now and you will receive 2 for the price of one.” The offer is clearly stated. Why, because the seller, that being you, wants the buyer, that being your prospect, to take action right now, not later, but right now. HINT: Be creative with your message by offering a substantial discount if one buyer secures 10 other buyers.
Remember, you absolutely need a marketing plan where your marketing message interrupts, engages, educates and offers. If your current message is not delivering these 4 objectives, then take some time to rework your plan. You will be simply amazed by how quickly your results double.
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