Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing tips & ideas to help you grow your business, by Jim Connolly

Month: August 2008 (page 1 of 2)

Increase sales & profits quickly

Here’s a powerful marketing tip, which will show you how to massively increase your sales very quickly.  It’s also a super-fast way to boost your cash flow and sky-rocket your profits!

In order for us to begin, I need to ask you something:

“What additional, valuable products or services ‘could’ you offer to your existing clients, which they would be happy to pay you for?”

This is a key marketing question; because selling additional services to an existing client is easily, the single fastest way to MASSIVELY increase your sales and profits! It’s an exceptionally high leverage marketing activity, because the return you get is totally disproportionate to the amount of time and effort required.

The reason the results are so amazing, is that you already provide a GREAT service to your clients and they already trust you.  This means that buying an additional product or service from you is a VERY easy decision for them to make. There’s no risk attached because they already know how brilliant you are!

Selling additional services to existing clients

Here’s a recent example, based on a client of my marketing program. This particular client came to me because he needed to quickly and dramatically increase his cash flow and profitability.

His company provides IT maintenance services to around 120 local, small businesses.  I suggested he find another service to offer his existing clients - before thinking about winning new clients.  He said that a few of his clients had asked if he provided an online data back-up service; which he did not.  So, he looked for prices, to see how much it would cost to provide the service and found that he could make an average profit of around £500 a year, per client, by offering this service.

I sent out a well crafted marketing email to his clients and in just 48 hours, we generated £21,000 of pure profit for him! Because this is an annual service, payable in advance, the end result was an immediate, MASSIVE cash flow boost!

Leverage the potential of your existing clients before looking elsewhere

Before you spend a penny seeking to win new business from new clients – make sure you are not missing out on a windfall profit opportunity from within your existing client base!

Selling additional services helps retain clients too

Not only does offering a wider spread of services to your clients make them more profitable to you, they are also far, far less likely to leave you for another provider.  To replace the provider of one service is relatively simple, but to replace a service provider who looks after 3 or 6 or more of your needs is a very different matter.

When you provide more services to a client, you also provide more value and the marketplace ALWAYS rewards value!

Selling additional services to existing clients is easy and extremely profitable, so what’s stopping you?

Premium rate phone numbers KILL sales!

If you run a business and you want people to call you to enquire about your services or buy from you – NEVER use premium rate numbers for your sales phone line or main phone line!

Here in the UK there are some misguided small businesses who (unbelievably) only offer a premium rate number for people to call them on!

NUMBERS THAT BEGIN WITH EITHER 087* OR 084* are a VERY bad idea for your business – as they place a hurdle between your potential clients / customers and your products or services.

Why are premium rate numbers such a bad idea?

Because, no one wants to pay a premium rate to call YOUR business to enquire about your services!  Why should they have to pay you, to be sold something – come on, get real!

I have variously heard it estimated that using any premium rate number for your main phone line or your sales / enquiries line, can lose you between 60% and 80% of ALL enquiries and sales.

Not only will people like myself refuse to use these rip-off numbers, many companies have these numbers barred from their phone system – so their employees can not actually dial these numbers, even if they wanted to spend money with you.

Also, if you call these numbers from a UK mobile phone, it can cost a fortune (hardly likely to encourage people to enquire about your services!  Everything your business does should make it as EASY and attractive as possible for people to call you.  The message you send out by using a premium rate number is 100% negative – it’s a money-grabbing scam.

Some people REALLY HATE premium rate numbers – Look!

There is so much resistance to businesses screwing people with these rip-off numbers that a wonderful website has come to the consumer’s rescue; www.SayNoTo0870.com If you need to dial a company hiding behind one of these awful numbers, check out www.SayNoTo0870.com and see if there is a regular price alternative.

If you are serious about winning business – drop the use of premium rate numbers for your sales line or your main phone number.

Clear marketing sells

In marketing, clarity is extremely important!  Your marketing messages need to clearly state what you do, what the benefits of your services are and why a potential client should do business with you or buy from you!

Clear marketing

Clear marketing messages command a potential client’s attention with laser-like precision!

Sadly, most small businesses use a foggy, conversational approach to their marketing and as a result, they lose stacks of business unnecessarily!

Most small business websites lack clarity

When you read the wording (or the copy) on the homepage of a typical small business website, it rarely gives you the core information you need!  Instead, you usually find a welcome message and some general ‘blurb’ about the company.  There’s nothing there to motivate the visitor / reader to click anything or do anything. As a result, most people quickly leave these sites and stacks of potential sales and enquiries are lost. This vague, generalised approach to marketing is a complete waste of time and money!

For example

I recently saw a website for a company that had the following headline across its homepage…

“Providing integrated business solutions to SME’s.”

Apart from mentioning that they work with SME’s (Small to medium-sized Enterprises), I have no idea whether they are; business advisers, software developers, accountants, recruitment specialists, hr consultants or anything else!

To make your marketing message stronger- try this!

Take a look at your existing marketing.  Read your website, your sales letters, marketing emails and brochures or flyers etc.  Make sure that each of your marketing messages explains clearly:
1. What you do.
2. How it will directly benefit the reader.
3. Why they absolutely need it (right now if possible).
4. Why they should buy ‘it’ from you (and not someone else).

This simple exercise can produce immediate, measurable results!

Beating the credit crunch!

Whenever times are hard and the economy heads south, people (and businesses) have to think a lot harder before they spend their money.  This is something we have seen time and time again during past recessions.

However, the ‘credit crunch’ has given us a MUCH BIGGER problem, because our potential clients not only have less money than before – they are finding it hard or impossible to access credit too!  As a direct result, generating sales or winning business is set to become increasingly harder, with potential clients understandably extremely cautious about spending their money.  Perhaps more cautious than ever before!

One thing we know with total certainty, is that the marketplace for YOUR services is about to become more and more competitive.

This means your marketing has never been more important!

You must be able to get the attention of your prospective clients and then totally convince them that you offer the best possible option for them.  Any business today, whose marketing is ‘average’, is going to find the coming two years (some say three) increasingly painful. The only solution is to improve the way they sell and market their services.

Why is marketing so much more important now?

During a normal or strong economy, people don’t have to think too hard about making a purchase and are measurably less choosy.  As a result, until recently, even poorly marketed companies were able to generate a level of sales; just by ‘being there’ or contacting prospects at the right time.

However, during a bad economic climate, people think far harder before they buy anything!  As a result, we are seeing people and businesses now shopping around for the best offer before they spend a penny.  Thus, they end up buying from the best marketed businesses, because these are the businesses who know how to grab their attention and make their offer sound the most attractive or compelling!

Today, good timing and hard work is no longer enough. You must learn how to out-market your competitors if you want to survive – let alone thrive!

Marketing provides an answer – Thankfully!

Amid the doom and gloom, there’s always a ray of light.  You see, as well as receiving a massive number of emails from readers who are really struggling right now – I have also received a small number of emails from readers who are experiencing their best year EVER!

When you understand why some businesses are doing so well right now, you will have an opportunity to do the same!  But first, you need to know what ‘the average’ business does when faced with an economic slump.  This is really important.

Most businesses do nothing

The ‘average’ business today will continue to sell and market their services as if nothing was happening!  Sure, they will moan about the economy and their lack of trade; but they will just keep on doing the same ineffective marketing they always did.

They pin their hopes on things ‘just getting better’ before they run out of money!

In essence, they will stay inside their comfort zone and refuse to move, as if they were a 60 foot oak tree!

But some businesses take action!

Some businesses realise that there is a real opportunity here!  They know that when times are tough, prospective clients always look for value – and making your services look more valuable is all about GREAT marketing.  So, they decide to get serious about their marketing and thus they reap the rewards!  The rewards are far greater than you might imagine!

Marketing lessons from recessions

We know that during past economic recessions, the businesses that improved their marketing and marketed their services the most successfully, managed to gain a disproportionately large share of their marketplace!

Also, when the economy improved, they were in the perfect position to continue growing at a super-accelerated rate!  If you choose, you can turn the credit crunch into a springboard for your business!  You can grow at the same time as your competitors shrink.  You can use the coming months to transform the future of your business and your life – but only if you take action and do the right things in the right way!

So – what next?

First of all – STOP!

If your business is currently finding it a struggle to generate the volume and quality of sales it needs – Stop whatever marketing you are doing immediately!

Because…

If you keep using the same kind of marketing, you will keep getting the same results.  Your sales, profits and turnover will not ‘just get better!’  In fact, as the credit crunch continues, your sales, turnover and profits will drop unless you improve things.

Five steps to beat the credit crunch

Step one

OK – as I mentioned above, the first step is to stop all marketing activities that are not making you money!  No matter how ‘comfortable’ you are with whatever you are doing, if it’s not working STOP doing it.  Either find a way to leverage better results from it or discontinue it completely.

Here are two guides on how to use leverage in your marketing:

Guide One
Guide Two

Step two

Start getting tons of business through your website! It’s a fact; a fully-optimised website is both the most effective and the least expensive way to generate sales, leads and enquiries! Your website can (and should) generate leads and enquiries for you all day every day.

I know people in just about every industry who now get the vast majority of their leads and enquiries via their website.

You can reduce your annual marketing costs by 90% and increase your sales by 100’s% (or more) at the same time!  Almost all of all MY marketing is now done online.  However, before you start enjoying all those leads and enquiries from red-hot prospective clients, your website needs to tick two important boxes:

  • Firstly, it needs to look professional and have all the functions you need in order to collect enquiries, collect email addresses and make sales etc.  If you want to know why some businesses get leads from their websites on an hourly basis (or better), whilst most websites generate almost nothing, you need the second and most important element…
    .
  • Secondly, your website MUST MUST MUST be Search Engine Optimised!   The reason most small and medium sized business websites fail, is because no one can find them!  So, you will need to get an SEO expert to make your site the one that people find when looking for whatever type of services you offer!

This is the most important step, yet hardly any small business websites are professionally optimised.  Interestingly, 100% of all large company websites are optimised.

Getting a website optimised, is like picking up a shop, that’s located down an old dusty road with no passing trade – and placing it BANG in the centre of Oxford Street or 5th Avenue!

Step three

Read the sales and marketing posts and articles here on the blog.  Everything is written by me, based on what’s proven to work.  I put the blog together because most small and medium-sized businesses rely heavily on free marketing advice – and as a marketing professional, the marketing advice I found online was often pretty awful.  I found that much of it was either shockingly poor , or very out of date. Look at this.

Step four

Download and listen to this FREE audio program.  It will tell you how to get regular referrals, recommendations & leads.

Step five

There are some superb ideas waiting for you right now at TheIdeasBlog.com.  It has often been said that you are never more than one good idea away from achieving a massive breakthrough – so take a look!

The credit crunch is really hurting a lot of businesses right now.  If you have found this credit crunch marketing report useful, please forward it to as many people as possible!

The power of attraction marketing

I am going to show you how to use attraction marketing to attract leads and sales!  Please do not confuse this with the so-called ‘law of attraction!’

In fact, if you use the ideas I am about to share with you, you will never have to chase; business, income, sales, clients or leads ever again.

The power of attraction on people

Have you ever noticed what happens when a beautiful woman or a handsome man walks into a bar? That’s right – people look at them. In fact, people will often walk over and offer them a drink or simply strike up a conversation with them. The reason we call these people ‘attractive’ is because they (literally) ‘attract’ the attention and interest of other people.

What does this have to do with you and your business?

The most effective businesses use the power of attraction in order to attract sales, clients, readers and customers! Just like the attractive person who walks into a room and gets everyone’s attention, these businesses gain the attention and interest of potential clients by being attractive.

If you decide to use attraction marketing, you can quickly sky-rocket your results without having to make cold calls or ‘sell’ anything to anyone. It’s a wonderful, zero-stress way to grow your business.

Attraction marketing in action

For example, I use the power of attraction for 100% of my marketing! People find my blog and my marketing newsletter ‘attractive’, so they forward them to their contacts, colleagues and friends – helping me attract more people. These new people then do the same etc, etc…

Without me spending a penny on ANY form of advertising, (pay-per-click, affiliates or anything else), there are now millions of people who know all about my ability to help them produce great sales results. So, when my readers decide they want someone to look after their marketing, they give me a call.

Clients should be attracted NOT pursued!

Most businesses get it the wrong way around. They choose to ‘pursue’ new clients and customers; unaware of just how much they are damaging their chances of success and their reputation. Even though people are not responding to their mail shots, email marketing or calls; they just keep on grinding away regardless.

This approach costs a fortune and the results are dire!

That’s because people universally HATE being; pursued, pestered, hassled or chased.

  • This is why people are so rude when you cold call them!
  • It’s also why people hate being sent spam email!
  • AND why we all avoid over-eager salespeople!

Using attraction marketing in your business

Here’s an example, from one of the most competitive industries on the planet; the recruitment business. A client of mine used to call people and was often the 4th or 5th recruitment company to call that same person that same day!  He knew something needed to change, and quickly, because it was getting harder and harder to reach potential clients.

I suggested he set up a simple, low-cost website, aimed at candidates (people looking for work). The website was then packed with hints, tips and ideas that were designed to help people find the perfect job. He then wrote to the top 100 HR people in his target market – Not asking for business, but asking if he could interview them for his new website.

Guess what?

Not only did he manage to meet with stacks of powerful decision makers, many of them went on to become clients! The interview was an attractive proposition, which attracted a great deal of interest.  These powerful people actually CALLED HIM to arrange a time for their interview! It totally changed the way they positioned him and his company in their mind, compared to his competitors, who were hounding them for business in desperation.

A low cost website and the marketing power of attraction was all he needed, in order to achieve stunning sales results.

So, stop chasing new business

If people are not replying to your mail shots, marketing emails or returning your calls, they are telling you something.  They are telling you that your offer or marketing is NOT attractive to them!

Like my example of the recruitment company earlier, you must find a way to market your services so that you become irresistible.  You see, when you use the power of attraction to generate sales, you spend 100% of your time speaking with people who are:

  • Already interested in you and your services.
  • Already aware of the value you offer.
  • Ready to proceed.

Conclusion

No matter what industry or profession you are in, the power of attraction can slash your marketing costs, take the stress away from selling and transform the way your future clients think of you and your business.

Welcome!

Welcome to my brand new marketing blog!

So, why a marketing blog Jim?

Unlike my website, when you read something HERE, you can share your thoughts, ideas and opinions with your fellow readers and myself.  Blogging is about communicating not broadcasting. It’s about 2-way or multi-way communication.  It’s about community and connecting with like-minded people.

When you see something here and want to get involved, your fellow readers and myself can respond to your comments and get a conversation going – something that’s just not possible via a traditional broadcast website.

As well as marketing tips and ideas, I will ALSO be using this blog to give you an insight into my day-to-day work.  The idea is to pass on anything I think you might find either useful, interesting or both!

So, why not say hello?

I would love to get as many of my website and newsletter readers as possible to leave a comment here in my ‘welcome post’, so please say hello.  Let us know your company name and where you are!

To leave a comment, just click the comment link below.

How to leverage a million in sales!

I am going to show you a simple, high leverage way to generate stacks more sales super-fast; WITHOUT you having to invest a penny more on marketing! This is a step by step guide that anyone can follow, which can generate an almost unlimited amount of sales for you; with very little effort on your part.

Leverage leverage leverage…

marketing leverage sales business clients profit

When you study the the world’s most successful businesspeople and salespeople, you will see a word popping up again and again. That word is leverage.  Leverage, when referred to in marketing or business development terms, is all about getting the maximum return on everything you do.

I use leverage to get results in every area of my business and I want you to start doing the same from now on because the rewards are stunning!

Leverage an extra £500,000 in sales – for free!

Allow me to introduce you to a few people who can easily help you leverage your best sales, profits and turnover figures ever. These people have the attention of hundreds or thousands of new potential clients for your services – possibly even more!

You already know these people. . . they are your Accountant, Business Bank Manager and Company Solicitor.  How many local businesses does your Accountant work with 500 or 5,000?  And what about your Solicitor – another 1,000 or so?  Ok, what about your Company’s Bank Manager – 5,000 or 10,000 local businesses?

Of these thousands of local businesses, how many have a potential need for your services? If you are in a service industry; Recruitment, Insurance, Internet, IT or Training – there is potential for you to supply your services to almost ALL of these thousands of local businesses!  If you provide a product or a range of products, you will quickly know roughly what percentage of these local businesses are likely to have a need for your offering.  In either case, the potential here is massive!

Getting referrals and recommendations!

Speak with any group of businesspeople or salespeople and you will quickly learn that one of their most pressing marketing problems is winning new, high quality clients or customers on a regular basis.

Despite this, very few of them have actually held a meeting with their Accountant, Solicitor or Bank Manager to specifically request leads from their massive client base!

Business owners and entrepreneurs usually make the costly mistake of assuming that their Accountant, Solicitor and Bank Manager will ‘automatically’ recommend them and their services to their masses of clients and contacts. This is seldom, if ever, the case!  Accountants, Lawyers and Bank Managers are extremely busy professional people and unless there is some motivation for them to proactively pass leads to you – they won’t!

Leverage in action

What you need is a strategy that leverages the motivation of these professionals; making it easier for them to provide you with referrals than NOT to – and here it is!  These three great questions should be asked, preferably face-to-face, in the exact order they are given:

Question 1: How many clients do you have?
Question 2:
How many of them do you think use (whatever you offer)?
Question 3:
So, how many leads do you think you can pass to me over the next 30 days?

What these three questions do is extremely clever. Here’s the science behind each one:

Question 1: How many clients do you have?

This is what I refer to as the ‘foundation’ question. It forms the foundation upon which the rest of the questions stack.  People are proud of the size of their client base and are only too eager to show you just how hard they work and how successful their bank or practice is.

Question 2: How many of your clients do you think use (whatever kind of service/product you provide)?

This is what I refer to as the ‘focus’ question.  It causes the listener to focus on the profile of his or her client base and the nature of your product or service, before joining the two together. They know that you will have a very good idea of how many businesses, on average, have a requirement for your services or products – so their answer to you has to be realistic.

Question 3: So, how many leads do you think you can pass to me over the next 30 days?

This is what I refer to as the leverage question.  It causes the listener to review the two answers they have just given you and then give you a number.  It also sets up a time-scale and as the old saying goes; “what gets measured gets done!”

At this point you have just leveraged their motivation – making it far easier to pass you leads and far harder not to. Even if they fail to give you a definitive number, it is no longer easy for them NOT to provide you with regular introductions, referrals or leads. Now that there is a time-scale for when you will be expecting to have received some leads, they will find it easier to help you than ignore you.

Your Bank Manager, Accountant and Solicitor are trusted professionals and their recommendation is extremely valuable.  They will also know all about you and your business and they will know that you offer a great product or service – so there’s no barrier to them recommending you.

Each of these hard working professionals will be keen to help their other clients, and if they believe that your service will benefit their other clients, it’s only natural that they would introduce your services to them!

If you find it a little ‘awkward’ asking these questions, ask them in a playful way!

Amazingly, even if you ask these questions with a big smile on your face, as I always do, the impact is exactly the same!

Some numbers you will find interesting

If only one business in ten, on average, has a need for your type of product or service, it’s likely that your; Bank Manager, Company Solicitor and Accountant combined will have access RIGHT NOW to A THOUSAND new clients for you and your business.

If you only sold £500 worth of goods to these people each year, that’s a half a million pounds a year increase in YOUR turnover!

A quick million

If you work in any of the industries I have already mentioned in this free guide; that figure will be closer to a million pounds a year in new business for you and your business!

The great networking lie!

In my opinion, when it comes to winning business, ‘chamber of commerce style’ networking events offer extremely poor value.  Small businesses lose a fortune each year attending these networking events – when they could be getting far better results, for a fraction of the time and money they wasted on networking!

Business owners and salespeople regularly tell me that they get little (if anything) tangible from these dead-end events; often believing they are at fault because they are doing something wrong. Many then waste even more time learning ‘how to work the room’ – then finally realise, after being screwed out of their money, that it’s the actual networking events that are the problem – NOT them!

I have run a successful marketing business for over 14 years and have clients all over the world.  In my experience, I can think of no business gathering where you are LESS likely to make a sale or win some business than a typical ‘chamber of commerce style’ networking event.

Why?

  1. Firstly, very few people attend networking events to buy!  Just like you, EVERYONE in that room is there to SELL.
    .
  2. Secondly, because networking events are regarded as a sales and marketing activity, companies send their SALESPEOPLE along and not their BUYERS!  This is why all those dreadful “how to work a room” books and seminars are sold exclusively to salespeople and delivered by sales trainers.

In other words, you will be speaking to salespeople and not buyers at these events; people with not only no interest in buying from you BUT with no authority to buy from you either!

If you enjoy meeting people and want to find new potential suppliers, a traditional networking event’s worth considering. However, as a marketing activity I genuinely believe there are man, many better alternatives.

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