crocodileIf there’s one difficult experience that every sales or marketing professional has been through at least once, it’s that sinking sensation that comes when a campaign you really poured your heart and soul into just doesn’t hit the mark, for reasons you don’t completely understand. Naturally, you wonder if it was something obvious that you missed – like a spelling error or a grammatical snafu? Maybe you didn’t include enough information?  Or your call to action just wasn’t compelling enough?

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online prospectingDo you like it when people you don’t know call you up and try to sell you stuff? I thought not.

Cold calling is one of the most costly and difficult ways to find customers. Not only is it time consuming, but it can actually turn customers off to your business. And why would you do it when there are numerous, more effective, online options available to find customers and drive thousands of qualified leads to your business today?

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buying votesWith a hotly contested election just around the corner, The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has come up with a proposal to allow small businesses to defer lodgement of their Business Activity Statement (BAS) from quarterly to annually.  He suggests GST could easily be estimated and paid in instalments throughout the year based on the previous year’s performance.

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business growthImagine you’re the CEO of an established private healthcare business when the economy plunges into the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Up to then, your team has delivered extraordinary results; your bottom line is growing steadily each year and your services are recognized as world class by the hospitals, city councils and large public health facilities that refer work to you.

Imagine choosing that time to tell your Board and senior management team that, in essence, you want to walk away from about half of that business and pursue a very narrow niche market.

No doubt, you may at this point be imagining yourself out of a job. But hear me out…

As you may have guessed, this story is not a fictional one and the “you” in the story is actually a business coaching client of mine. I’m happy to report that the discussion with the Board went quite well, the business has nearly doubled since that day, and my client is still the CEO.

And along the way we both learned some valuable lessons about how to increase sales and become the dominant player in the marketplace. In fact, there is a big difference between being just a good company and being one that your customers can’t live without.

Solve Your Customer’s #1 Source of Pain
Consumer sentiment and spending have decreased dramatically in the past few years and those changes are being felt across every industry. Everything you thought you knew about your customer and why he/she was buying from you has probably changed. And if you do not take the time now to re-discover your prospect’s main source of pain and the reason why she needs your product or service now, you will never increase sales. In fact, you risk losing more sales and more ground to your competition.
Now some of you may think – but my industry is different

sleepNot that long ago, I received a 15-page sales letter from a self-proclaimed  small business marketing expert trying to convince me to attend his latest seminar. I was  actually blown away at how bad the letter was… and how mind numbing.

Part of what struck me as both humorous and shocking was that he claimed to  be an expert in neuromarketing (and small business marketing). Ironically, there is a vast amount of  neuroscientific research that proves the average human attention span is  incredibly short and that all decisions are dominated by the oldest and most  primitive part of the brain – the old or reptilian brain.

So if the decision-making part of your brain is incredibly hasty and  primarily driven by survival instincts, what are the chances that either you or  I would wade through 15 pages of self-indulgent copy to decide whether or not we  want to attend a seminar? Odds are slim, aren’t they?

What Do Successful Small Business Marketing Professionals Do to Compel Prospects to Say  “Yes”?

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If you are interested in more articles to help you boost the effectiveness of your small business marketing today, then you will definitely want to read the following blog posts:

Is There a Better Way to Find More Customers?

Snagging more customers with a good small business marketing message doesn’t have to be tedious, expensive and stressful. Amen, right? So, let’s break it down. When you’re hungry, which would you prefer: (1) to run to the fridge and grab a tasty snack; or (2) grab your fishing pole, and head out back to catch your next meal?

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How to Know Which Half of Your Advertising Budget is Wasted

John Wannamaker may not be a household name but he opened the first department store in Philadelphia in the late 1800’s and is believed to be the inventor of the price tag and the seasonal sale. He was the first retailer to place a half-page newspaper ad, and also the first full-page ad five years later. He is widely considered to be one of the fore-fathers of advertising and credited with the famous phrase: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

Why with all we’ve accomplished in the last one hundred and twenty years, is this quote still relevant and significant to you (and to all small business marketing professinals) today?

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