Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Four Keys to Unlocking Even Greater Sales and Profit

The Give to Get Marketing concept - is a money magnet. What exactly does Give to Get mean, and how can you profit from the concept?

This Marketing philosophy is based on the fact that people are constantly searching for products and services that will help them solve their problems, or help them live happier, more productive and rewarding lives. Think of the 'Givers Gain® from BNI written by Ivan Misner.

That's a fact -- people love to buy things they want from people they know, like and trust. We all want to feel that we make good purchasing decisions. We want to feel like we get very good deals. We don't want to get ripped off. We want to feel that we can 'trust' the people and companies that we buy from. And we want to feel that the companies we buy from respect us and treat us as though we are important to them.

Doesn't that all make sense?

Who wants to buy things they don't want? Or buy from someone they don't trust? Or pay twice as much for something than it is worth? Or be treated like we are an inconvenience, or an interruption in someone's busy day?

Here's the amazing thing. Most small business marketing 'never' addresses any of those customer feelings and concerns, or any of the hundreds of other equally important ones not mentioned. Most small business marketing is focused on what the business owner wants, not on what the customer wants.

Their ads, flyers, brochures, etc. don't attract the right people and don't do much to get the right people to buy. The typical small business marketing piece is pretty standard. Open any publication and look at the ads for small local businesses and you'll see...

  • the name of the business as the headline
  • a picture of the business owner and/or the product
  • how long they've been in business
  • a short list of the product or service features
  • possibly the price of the product/service
  • hours of operation
  • address
  • phone number
  • there's often a line that says 'Call for More Information'

This is the basic marketing approach used by the majority of small business owners -- and it is one of the least effective marketing approaches available.

This approach is all about the owner and his or her business. There is nothing in such a marketing piece that would help the prospective buyer get to know, like or trust the business or the business owner.

The result is -- they ignore the ad. But someone might say, 'Suppose the prospect is in the market for the product or service being advertised. If they see the ad, won't they be inclined to call?'

The short answer is, 'Sometimes they may, but more often than not, they won't.'

That's because of a little thing called competition. There is usually not just one resource for a product or service -- especially one that is in high demand.

So now a prospect is confronted with 2,3,4 or more ads or marketing pieces for the same product or service. And they are all saying the same thing -- 'Buy My Product.'

How does a prospect choose? Which company can they trust?
If they are really desperate for the product or service, they may choose by the nearest location, or the cheapest price. If you have ever run an ad like the one we described above, chances are you have already experienced the poor response this approach generates.

That's the boat most small business owners are in. But that's not the boat that Give to Get marketers are in.

They understand that they must 'Give' first to their prospects and customers if they ever hope to 'Get' in terms of sales, repeat sales and referral sales.

We're not talking about giving away merchandise or free services, although that sometimes may be part of a good strategy. We're talking about giving what the prospect or customer expects in a good buyer/seller relationship.

That includes but isn't limited to quality products and services, and excellent service. Your customers expect you to stand behind your products and services -- they probably won't do business again with a business that doesn't.

We're also talking about helping the buyer buy, by making the buying process as easy and as convenient as possible. With that in mind here are just three keys to unlocking more profits from your marketing efforts.

1. Make it clear who you're trying to attract
If you try to sell to everyone, you'll attract no one.
People scan newspapers, magazines, etc. looking for things that interest them. Give them what they want. Let them know that you have what they are looking for.

Imagine if you had a product designed especially for people with red hair. A headline like . . .
'Attention: Red Heads - Here's Some Great News' would immediately grab the attention of any red head that saw your ad. Their curiosity would be heightened and they would want to know what kind of great news you were about to share with them. Now imagine a headline that simply named the product. It would get very little attention, especially from your specific target -- red heads.

It always sounds good to try to appeal to as many people as possible. But the fact is, the more broadly you target the weaker your attraction.

Many ad headlines make it difficult to determine exactly who they are trying to attract.

Don't let your marketing pieces be ignored. Make sure you target your very best prospects in your headlines -- then they'll know you have something special for them.

2. Make them an offer they can't refuse
The one offer that most small business marketing pieces make is 'Buy My Product.' Give us the money and then we'll give you the product or service.

But that is a very weak offer, since you need to gain your prospects' trust before they will consider buying from you rather than all the other sources available. Trying to sell your product or service in one quick and easy step, is like walking up to a stranger at a party and saying, 'Will you marry me?'

I think you know what the answer would be. Before you can ask such a question, the other person needs to get to know, like and trust you. If you try to ignore that process and jump immediately to the sale, you will be faced with certain rejection. To make progress in this case, you must make a more 'appropriate offer.' Timing is everything. It's no different in building a relationship with a prospect or customer.

If you don't make any offer, nothing will happen.

If you make the wrong offer at the wrong time, nothing will happen.

So you need to know what the appropriate offer is depending on where your prospects or customers are in the buying/selling relationship.

Once you know that, you'll be in a much better position to move your prospects and customers up to the buying stage.

3. Tell 'em what you want them to do next
Don't assume that your prospects will know what they should do to take advantage of your offer -- chances are, they won't.

If you want them to call and ask for something, then tell them that.

If you want them to write to an address and request something, then tell them.

If you want them to drop your post card in the mail, then tell them.

If you want them to visit a link on your web site, then tell them to 'Click here to receive your...'
Don't brush this key aside by thinking that it sounds too simple to be very important. It is the simplest concepts that are the most powerful and most effective in getting people to take action. It doesn't have to be complicated, and it shouldn't be complicated.

Your prospects and customers want to be clearly led through your buying process. They want to have the steps spelled out for them. If you don't tell people exactly what to do or exactly what to ask for, many of them will not take any action at all. Make it easy for your prospects and customers to buy, tell them what to do next.

4. as a Marketing Tool
You can create a clever Marketing piece taking all the things mentioned above with SendOutCards and send it to your existing customers as well as prospective customers. Remember to focus you piece to address: What's in it for me? (WIIFM).