Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marketing for Busy People

Yesterday, I wrote about marketing as a systematic process.

If I had had more time, I would have included this quote:

"If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process then you don’t know what you’re doing." – W. Edwards Deming

To recap, I suggested that your marketing system is everything you do with a person who comes into contact with your business, from their first email or phone call until the day exit the marketplace forever.

The essential elements of any marketing system include the following:

1) Lead capture. You record the name, email address, and other needed information from prospects in a database -- with your prospects' permission, of course.

2) Follow-up. You contact prospects who do not buy the first time, answering their questions and offering them information to move them along in the buying process.

3) Sales scripts. You deliver the same sales pitch to every prospect, tailored to their unique questions and objections, but as uniform as possible, to eliminate variation from tested "selling words" that have worked before.

4) Customer care. You have policies and procedures in place to maximize client satisfaction while minimizing frustration.

5) Referrals. You take the same steps with every customer to encourage and reward referrals.

Now. Here's the problem you probably face, in the words of one of my readers who owns a computer repair service:
I want VERY much to try and do something with these other resources of yours ... but I have to try and find the time.

I've had your earlier email flagged and on my "to-do" list for what seems months now (I'm sure it's only been a month, but it's been too long all the same) and there are just too many other things that are taking priority.
And there it is. We know that we need to work on our marketing. But we don't have the time. Other things "take priority."

What's the marketing solution for busy people? Here's one possibility: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." - Mark Twain

And here's another way to attack a big problem like your marketing:
When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate. - John Steinbeck
That's the business solution to being too busy to market: Just get started.

Don't worry about overhauling your entire marketing system or trying to make 21 improvements this week.

Just ask yourself small, non-threatening questions, like: What one thing could I do to improve my marketing in the next 30 minutes?

You'd be surprised at how much good you can do today, in only 30 minutes. You can:
  • add a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or a special "coupon code" to your voicemail greeting
  • write and mail one thank-you note to a recent client
  • add one email to your follow-up autoresponder series (I use and recommend Aweber)
  • pick up the phone and call one potential joint-venture partner
  • email one happy client and ask if you can use their comments as a testimonial on your web site
Do these steps seem trivial? Too small to make a difference?

Heh. Keep reading ...

Let's pick just one item from the list above. Let's say that, by mailing one thank-you note per day to 30 clients this month, it produces just $1 per day in new profit -- $365 more profit per year.

Yes, that's trivial.

But what if, tomorrow, you add just one email to the follow-up emails that go out to prospects who opt into your autoresponder series. That one email produces another "trivial" $1/day in profit -- $365 more per year.

What if you keep finding one more way to add $1 a day in profit to your business. And you do it for just 30 working days. What is the cumulative result?

It's $10,950 over 12 months.

Again, that figure may seem trivial. But $10,950 is enough to:
  • fully fund your IRA;
  • take your family to the ocean for 5 days; and
  • buy a Stratocaster on Ebay
You can make big leaps in small steps, in only 30 minutes a day for 30 days.

Try it and see.

Note: Here's a resource I created on the power of systematic follow-up marketing.

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