Did you know there’s a common marketing mistake, which loses small businesses a fortune? Well, there is and it could be hurting your business… without you even knowing it!
Here it is, along with the solution.
It’s all about getting your marketing foundations in place. The problems happen, when you ask a prospective client or customer to make a purchasing decision too soon… before you have the foundations in place. That’s because these foundations are essential to successful marketing.
In brief, there are 3 things you need to do, before you are in a position to make high volume sales or attract great, new clients:
- Demonstrate your professionalism.
- Clearly explain your proposition, (what your product or service is and what the benefits are).
- Earn their trust.
Let me expand on these 3 points for you, with some ideas on what you need to do, to massively improve your sales results.
Here they are — 3 tips to help you increase your sales. Massively.
Marketing Foundation tip 1: Demonstrate your professionalism
I see this mistake, every hour of every day. This, by itself, can destroy a business. If you’re skim reading this post, read the following paragraph!
You can’t expect people to buy from you or hire you, until they have checked your credentials and are satisfied you are a professional. However, that’s exactly what small business owners, coaches and consultants do all the time. They contact potential clients with links to their cheap looking websites. They use homemade logos and DIY business cards. They use freebie, Gmail / Yahoo email instead of branded email addresses, etc.
People are extremely visual. We think in pictures. It’s impossible to look professional, when you operate behind amateur looking marketing. We can’t expect people to believe we are professional, when it seems we can’t afford the peanuts required to get a professionally designed logo and website.
Similarly, we give an equally bad impression if prospective clients think that looking professional, isn’t important to us. That details are not important. That we’re fine about being associated with cheap looking work.
So, before you even think about marketing your products or service, make sure the impression you create is professional.
Marketing Foundation tip 2: Clearly explain your proposition
One of the oldest and most valuable sayings in professional marketing is this:
“A confused mind always says NO.”
By default, if someone asks us to make a decision, especially one involving money, before we have all the information we need, we say NO. We either say no to whatever they ask or we say no to making the decision itself. This makes perfect sense. We’ve been told since childhood to look before we leap.
Very, very few people will take a leap into the unknown and buy from you or hire you, when they are still unclear about what exactly your proposition is. So, before you ask a prospective client or customer to make a decision, make sure you have given them the information they need. This marketing foundation is built by ensuring you have clearly explained your proposition and asked for questions, to get and give, total clarity.
Marketing Foundation tip 3: Earn their trust
People will not buy from us, hire us or recommend us, unless they trust us. In fact, trust is perhaps the most important element of our marketing foundations.
There are a couple of important things regarding trust, which we all need to be mindful of:
- Trust needs to be earned.
- Trust takes time to earn.
We live in a time where we can send a marketing email to 10000 people with a button press and have them arrive minutes later. We can send people a link to a special offer via a social network, which is almost instantly in front of our contacts. (Unless you use Facebook.) We can write a blog post, press the publish button and have it available to the world, immediately.
However, we can’t click a button and earn people’s trust. Here’s the thing: Unless we have already earned the trust of the people who receive those messages, they are extremely ineffective.
Earning trust takes time. We need to build it. Asking someone to hire us or buy from us, before we’ve earned their trust, simply doesn’t work. This is especially the case for those who sell services or higher priced products.
So, take every opportunity to earn the trust of your marketplace. There are many ways to do this. For instance, I work hard to earn the trust of my marketplace, by showing up regularly with useful blog posts. Anyone can check me out, simply by clicking the link on the sidebar of Jim’s Marketing Blog, where I link to every post I have written since 2008. This body of work shows I can be relied upon to turn up. It shows my ability to stick with a project. It also demonstrates my expertise. All of these help me to earn your trust… over time.
You can do the same with a simple (free) WordPress blog, newsletter, podcast, public speaking… whichever suits you best. Here are some other ideas for earning trust.
Build your marketing on solid foundations
In a nutshell, great marketing, which sells and gets noticed is built on solid Marketing Foundations. Asking for the sale or trying to encourage a prospective client to hire you, without these marketing foundations in place, will dramatically lower your conversion rates. If you think you’re saving money or time by ignoring them, you are making a potentially fatal marketing mistake.