The best small business marketing strategy is to educate your customers...

One of the best small business marketing strategies is simply to educate your customers. That really is the key to marketing a small business. Think of it like this – No matter what the size of company, whether a big or small business, sales can be described as… The successful fulfilment of a customer’s needs However it is often the case that the customer is not always aware of what they need and therefore require some form of education. Putting it simply, if they don’t know then they can’t buy. Or thinking about it from the customer’s perspective, you could even say it is a disservice to the customer if you do not make them aware of all the possibilities and opportunities. So, in simple terms: The more they know, the more likely they will buy For me that is the golden rule of small business marketing. Face it, you are not a Coca-cola or Microsoft… you don’t have the marketing millions to throw around or an existing market presence that makes people go “I’ll buy whatever you’ve got!” So it’s important we stay realistic – We’re not talking big business marketing and strategy, we’re talking small business marketing strategy and that means taking things back to basic principles. You need to make your prospective customers aware of: What you’ve got Why they want it How they can get it …and that’s it, that’s the key to small business growth. First… How to ‘blow it’! All too often small business owners blow this completely by trying to sell the whole thing in one go. In other words they reduce all of their sales potential to one sales pitch… …which means it comes down to one opportunity for that much wanted ‘yes’. And sadly, this often leads to a ‘no’ instead. Ironically, there are those who kind of know this idea but do not apply it continually. For example, in internet marketing many businesses earn additional income via affiliate promotions where they promote a third-party product for a commission. BUT… they that promotion is a single email to their customer list! In other words, they once again reduce the whole promotion to a ‘one off’ option of yes or no. I wonder how many sales are being left on the table simply because the internet marketer is rushing to get onto the next promotion …only again to reduce the chance of success to a single shot! Well, good news, there is another way – I call it the ‘five step marketing strategy’ and when used correctly it is a liquid gold small business marketing strategy which keeps pouring money into your bank account. Why specifically a five step marketing strategy? Well, statistics have shown that a sales and marketing strategy or approach which holds five or six steps is 80% more likely to achieve success than one which does not. For instance, did you realize that a mail-shot campaign is likely to achieve a less than 1% success rate if left without follow-up? More interestingly, just by adding one extra step of a follow-up phone call to that mail-shot you can get four or fives time the success. Now that’s just with one extra step… so imagine what five steps will do for any small business owner… including you! The idea is a simple one, instead of presenting your information as one great epic, you offer your prospective customer a mini-series of sales and marketing episodes that gradually build your overall message. Essentially step one sells step two, step two sells step three, and so on, until the customer buys. Each step can be a different form of information from a letter to a postcard, email to a phone call, or advert to a meeting. You may even wish to kick-start this small business marketing strategy with a spin on the classic phone-mail-phone beginning, whereby you… Phone the company to...

Winning and Losing for Small Business...

Today is the official start of the London 2012 Olympics, so as this is the first post of my newly launched blog focused on all things small business and psychological, I thought it would be good to pick up on the Olympics as a theme… Or more specifically the idea of “winning vs losing” in business. Over the next couple of weeks the focus for the Olympics is going to be on winning. That’s all that matters, the athletes in whatever discipline must simply WIN …because history will remember the winners, not the losers. But what about business? What about your small business? Is it about winning at any cost? Is failure simply “not an option”? What can small business learn from top athletes? Before I answer that question, let’s have a quick look at business… This is something I talk about a lot in my PFM program because many small businesses, or to be more accurate, many small business owners feel continuously pummelled by a sense of stuff ‘failing’. For example… Not as many sales came in, the advert didn’t work as hoped, the new team member is proving a handful, the website is not generating enough hits, nobody loves me on LinkedIn anymore… 😉 With any of the above and in so many other instances, the small business owner often feels a sense of ‘loss’ or ‘failure’. After all, it’s human nature. So is that really any different to an athlete? Well, yes it is, because even though their focus is on winning …it is not their ONLY focus. It is easy to watch the Olympics, admire those few minutes of amazing performance and remember the Gold medal or shattered World Record – but of course, such success didn’t happen overnight! Each...

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