In this series of three posts, we’ll review Your Best Next Step's basics of building a structured marketing plan; the difference between good and bad marketing, discovering what works; and common marketing mistakes and what to do about them. By examining these areas in depth, you’ll gain insight into how to utilize your marketing to drive and support your sales, as well as how Your Best Next Step can help you achieve that goal.
Part 1—Build a Structured Marketing Plan
Everyone wants more sales. Often they are so eager to get more that they spend more and do more, and ironically, end up wasting more and getting less. Sales is a process and the truth is many business owners have yet to figure out how it all works.
Is the sales process a mystery? Not if you truly understand your market, your customers, your marketing and your sales people. Those are a lot of pieces that need to fit together in a particular way. What’s more, even if you have all the pieces, it doesn’t mean you’ll assemble them correctly and get the sales results you’re seeking.
As the president of a strategic marketing company that helps entrepreneurs accelerate the conversion of leads to sales, I have spent years working with businesses to develop customized sales processes that deliver results. Most often, I work with new, small and mid-sized companies to develop a sales process that is within budget, which meets goals, and is within their ability to execute. It is a system I’ve developed over time, as I’ve encountered and addressed many of the same challenges, problems, misconceptions and mindsets as my clients.
What I’ve learned and proven through results is that building a marketing plan is foundational when it is built layer upon layer, with the ultimate goal of generating more leads, converting more leads to customers, and completing the process in the shortest time possible.
Two Meeting Process
The old school method of examining marketing processes would have been linear, time consuming, and very expensive. But setting a course doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. In fact, I have created a two-meeting method that gets things done very quickly. Each meeting lasts just two hours, but consists of an intense assessment of an organization’s current processes, what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what is the best next step.
In the first meeting, we zero in on the client’s objectives. A company that wants to double in size in the next five years will need a much different marketing plan than a business owner who has three kids at home and so may be more risk averse and less aggressive.
Essentially, I create a “mash up” of their experiences, my experiences, the fundamental rules of marketing, internet marketing, direct mail, and new and old strategies. All aspects are focused around their prospects. It’s a natural organic method and it all happens very quickly and effectively. Once complete, we develop a plan and start testing the results.
In only two meetings we uncover the holes and discover the dead ends in their current customer acquisition process. Those are the places where their prospects go to languish and die, or drift off to a competitor.
Together we wrestle with features versus benefits. We ask why customers buy from them? For example, is it because they’re less expensive? That can be hard to admit because it makes the brand sound cheap and of lesser quality. But if service or customer relations are not the reason for their appeal, it’s okay to go with price differentiation. That’s when we go with a word like “economical” or “affordable” rather than “cheap.”
If the client insists that customers buy because their product is great, outstanding, and it rocks, they need to explain why they are selling it for 30 percent less than the competition. If it’s so great, why not charge more?
Ultimately, if the product isn’t selling, it could be they are deceiving themselves about its quality. Or, the product might be fine, but there might be a credibility issue with prospects. If that’s the case, I advise the client on how to build credibility, including using lots of testimonials.
Check back next time for Part 2 in this series, “Why Doesn’t My Marketing Work?” We’ll reveal the purpose of your marketing, what questions you should be asking yourself, and a proven method to reap maximum impact from your marketing.
Your Best Next Step can wake up your company to the money you could be losing by not attracting and converting prospects who should be your customers. Best of all, we do it fast and with no risk to you. What if you could know exactly where your prospects drift away from you and turn to your competitors? Or what if you knew why your prospects just decide to do nothing, when they should be buying from you? Want to learn more? Would you like results in just two meetings? Would you like a no-risk guarantee? Contact us or call 952-896-0062 today!