Not 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”?
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?
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?
Closing your eyes to the financial reality of where you are at and letting your business run itself — without clear key performance indicators from your financials (KPIs) and a business plan — is asking for trouble.
Your financials are the engine that drives your business forward. Your financial statements — and the KPIs you glean from them — serve as the dashboard that lets you know if you are heading in the right direction. Ignoring the gauges and warning lights in your financials is akin to sitting back and simply waiting for the inevitable crash to happen in your business.
See full article: http://mvb.me/s/0b9a58
16 Jul 2013
Snagging more customers 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?
Obviously, most entrepreneurs would favour the fridge. Why is that? Simply put, it’s all about convenience. In today’s modern world of technology, we all live for “the now.” From our smartphones to our iPads, we can chat, shop, message, and search with ease.
Ultimately, it’s time to give ‘cold calling’ (the messy, expensive and hard way to do business) the boot, and adopt an easier, more cost-effective way of captivating, engaging and attracting more customers and qualified leads online. So, let’s take a quick look at eight simple ways you can find more leads and more customers for your business online:
The creative art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves integrating keywords and phrases into your webpages, making them easier to locate for your potential clients who are combing the web right now, looking for products/services to cure their #1 source of pain. It is essential to weave keywords into your web content strategically (without overusing or “keyword stuffing”), in order to optimize your search engine hits and traffic. Google is currently making updates (known as Penguin and Panda) to their search algorithms, to ensure that the websites that rank the highest, contain the most relevant and valuable content to readers.
Reaching more customers is the ultimate goal of advertising. You want to get as much bang for your buck as possible, so research and highly targeted pitches are crucial. It is more important to intimately know your consumer base than it is to stress about which channels to market your message through. The worst thing you can do is try to appeal to everyone – for you will effectively reach no one. In fact, 99% of the people who currently see your ads right now, don’t respond. If you want more customers, you must first create a message that captivates and inspires your ideal prospect.
A webinar can be viewed by thousands of potential customers simultaneously from different locations in real-time and it can be recorded and shared/sold at a later date on your website. This is a great low-risk and low-cost way to share valuable information with your prospects and consumers and build your database up very quickly.
Pay Per Click Ads
Pay per click advertisements are a skilful way to snap up more customers as they search Google (and other portals) for solutions to their pressing problems. These advertisements are easy to spot as they often appear in shaded boxes at the top of search engine results or in display ad slots on high traffic sites, portals, forums and blogs. Using pay per click ads allows you to strategically route targeted traffic direct to a landing page that is designed to convert more customers (who find you) to take up your offer. Since you have to pay for each click on your ad, care must be taken to ensure that your landing page converts a large percentage of the traffic. Bear in mind, that statistics show the average eCommerce site converts only 2.2-4.0% of its pay-per-click traffic.
Blogging and Content Marketing
Blogging and content marketing are both great avenues to deliver insightful and up-to-date information to your prospects and targets via the internet. Blogging is the perfect vehicle to keep visitors coming back on a regular basis and it helps boost your search engine rankings – Google and other search engines give preferential treatment to websites that update their content on a regular basis and have strong social following. It also allows you to post valuable content on other sites, social media platforms and customer forums which can help more customers learn about you, make an informed decision and build backlinks that bring even more traffic to your site.
We live in a technologically mobile world, so it’s time to ensure that your company’s website is “mobile-friendly,” too. In the last 2 years there has literally been an explosion of mobile searches and purchases from smartphones and tablets. It is estimated that nearly 35% of all web traffic originates from a mobile device which means it is imperative that you have a user-friendly mobile version of your web content. Not only will you be rewarded with increased website traffic and retention, you will also reap more enquiries and more customers who pay for your solution.
Connecting with prospects and customers through various social media platforms is a skilful way to cultivate interest while also creating an open 2-way channel of communication with existing customers. Choose a social network that best suits your business model. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Pinterest, posting up-to-date and informative content is sure to boost your brand awareness, feedback, following and…ultimately sales.
Public relations is the ultimately the steering wheel of your informational boat. Your PR department must eloquently regulate the ebb and flow of company content that is passed along to your targeted consumers. It is imperative to keep your public relations positive, current, and professional, utilizing as many different resourceful tools as possible. The likes, shares and comments also allow your posts and website to rank favourably with the major search engines – which is another great reason to start attracting more customers via PR.
Finding more customers online doesn’t have to be messy, expensive or difficult. Take your pick from these eight great methods to create your own practical and powerful strategy to find more customers online and avoid the nasty trap of feeling that you have to cold call to find more customers and sales.
04 Jul 2013
Your business is merely a vehicle to help you achieve your goals, provide freedom to do what you want and secure the wealth you need to support your family.
Your financial statements are the key drivers (such as fuel, engine temperature, tire pressure etc.) that tell you exactly where you are at and what it’s going to take to get you to where you want to be.
So Then, Why Do You Need Business Coaching?
Business coaching is your navigation and dashboard – to help you read the key financial drivers and guide your business safely, predictably and profitably to your goals:
Business coaching is vital to help you achieve:
- Clarity on where you are going and the focus to do only the things that will boost your bottom line,
- Guidance and support to choose the most cost-efficient, best and safest route forward, and
- Accountability and measurement to ensure are on the right path and communicating the best targets to your team.
A large percentage of businesses either go under or fail to provide the owner with a fair and consistent income/return for all the hard work and capital invested. Even though you may think that you need business coaching to attract more customers and close more sales, lack of customers is rarely the reason that businesses underperform. In fact, more businesses go under (or get into trouble) due to lack of cash flow, than any other single reason. And cash flow issues can often be fixed cheaply and easily without spending more and more money on sales or marketing. That is why it is so critical to find the right person who can help you identify the problems quickly. Business coaching is not a cost – it is an investment in your future and it can actually help you avoid wasting money on strategies and tactics that will not impact your bottom line positively this month!
Proper planning and financial acumen are the keys to keeping your business on track towards your desired outcomes. Business coaching can provide you with a solid basis to evaluate what your financial statements are trying to tell you about the health of your business, what questions you need to ask, which decisions need to be made right now to guide you in the right direction and what it is going to take for you to step up as a leader and start making better (more profitable) decisions.
Do You Really Need Business Coaching?
If you are just starting out, business coaching can help you avoid costly errors, free up time so that you can focus on tasks that generate the most value for your business and help you get the results that you want quicker. If you’ve been in business for awhile, business coaching can help you achieve profitable growth this year, challenge you to set/achieve loftier targets, expand your leadership and financial acumen, evaluate new business opportunities and plan your exit strategy. Even if you already consider yourself successful, business coaching can help you to step back and look at your business from a new perspective, put solid systems in place so that your venture runs smoothly without you and is more valuable to a prospective purchaser and ensure you have the right strategic plans in place to guard against a downturn.
No doubt you have heard of the seven cardinal sins of the Christian religion – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony? But did you know that there are also seven lethal sins of selling? And they’re deadly because they’re toxic to your business and your bank account.
Unfortunately, if you commit even one of them, you’ll find that your sales leads will shrivel up and die right before your eyes…
If you want to capture the attention of more prospects and increase sales, you need to stop committing all of these deadly sins.
Are you guilty of:
- A lame approach or introduction?
- Wasting your prospect’s time with stuff that is important to you but not to them?
- Failing to identify and understand your customer’s pain?
- Forgetting to give your audience a clear message why they should choose you?
- Selling products, features or benefits instead of solutions to their pain?
- Neglecting to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can cure their pain?
- Making it easy for them to talk themselves of out of the sale? or
- Giving too many options (or not asking for the sale)?
Thankfully, there is a cure to help you increase sales and it is a whole lot simpler than you might imagine. Which is lucky for you – because right now, you are killing leads and losing sales with each sin that you commit.
Everyone knows that a solid, consistent stream of prospects and sales are vital to the health and success of your business. And right now, you are spending a lot of money each month on activities and communications where 99% of your audience chooses not to buy from you. It’s a lot of money to waste on sales presentations, calls and emails that aren’t working, isn’t it?
Now depending on which deadly sins you are committing (one, two or all seven of them), many of your prospects have gone to one of your competitors to get their pain cured. I would like to show you exactly where you went wrong and what you need to do to fix your message and increase sales. I want to show you how to turn your message into one that your audience is dying to say “YES” to.
- Keep the Lights on – Often presenters switch off the lights in a room so that the slides can be read more easily. Besides encouraging the decision making part of your prospect’s brain to fall asleep, this fatal move also diverts attention to the screen – when you need to do to increase sales is have your audience focus their attention on the conversation you are having with them.
- Capture attention upfront – In order to stand out and be remembered, you need to open with a question, story, myth-busting statement, or picture that is relevant to your audience. The best way to increase sales is to show them you understand (and can solve) their #1 source of pain.
- Stop wasting time on you – Never waste your time telling potential customers about you. 100% of your message should focus on your prospect or customer, and how your solution will cure her pain, keep her safe, or make her life better. If you message is relevant and your customer is engaged, it will increase sales.
- A picture is worth 1000 words – Your brain is hardwired to process visual cues and act before you have time to think things through carefully. If you want to connect with your audience and increase sales, you need to present fewer words, graphs and statistics and start showing them in pictures how their life will be better with your solution.
- Simplify your message – Most slides have far too many words on them to be persuasive. Less is more – if your audience is too busy reading, they cannot possibly engage with you and your key message. The brain can only process and memorize 3 or 4 key points at a time. If your message is more complex than that, it simply will not be remembered.
- Use stories to communicate your key points – messages that cause your customers to reconnect with or rediscover strong emotions from their past and associate those with your solution, are 10x more likely to trigger the part of the brain that decides.
- Crank up the contrast – In order to trigger a decision quickly and increase sales, you must stand out. Your customer needs to feel the difference between your solution, your competitor’s solution, doing it themselves, or doing nothing.
By mastering these 7 steps, you are now ready to go back to the beginning, rework what you say and how you say it in order to influence a speedy decision in your favour and increase sales. These 7 steps will help you to STOP falling prey to the 7 deadly sins of selling that we talked about earlier. They are going to help you increase the effectiveness of your message and also reduce the amount of time and money that you need to spend chasing leads and sales.
When you make it easier for your audience to see and grasp your message, he/she is more likely to decide and will on some level appreciate the fact that you have not wasted his time and energy with stuff that wasn’t important to him.