Strengthen Your Marketing and Get More Leads!

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How to Generate More Leads

Above is a link to my latest e-book to help you generate more leads and improve your marketing message.

There is nothing for you to do except open it – Its a gift from me!

The reason I’m sending it to you is just to help you improve your marketing message and remind people of  my Business Growth Academy at the same time.

Look out for my next  event – a joint venture with Stadio Marketing – on Building your Fans around Your Pitch. We’ve delivered it in Ipswich and it was very well received. Dates to be confirmed soon

www.nacbusinessgrowthacademy.co.uk

 

Word of Mouth – Search & Implement

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People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary and new. As you research word of mouth, there are some questions you need to ask along the way: What are the users willing to tell the non-users?

  • Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
  • What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
  • What are the things they need to know, but are unwilling to ask?
  • What happens when these issues are raised?
  • Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger purchase?
  • Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
  • How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
  • How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
  • What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
  • Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving word of mouth?
  • What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favour and how will you deliver them?

There are two main reasons why word of mouth research is so important:

  1. To get the real impression and feedback from customers
  2. To define word of mouth itself and the concept it creates

There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your word of mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model. 2-2-2- Model What this breaks down to is:

  • 2 groups of customers
  • 2 focus groups of prospects
  • 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & sceptics)

In these groups you need to ask the following questions:

  1. What would you tell a friend?
  2. How would you persuade a sceptic?
  3. What questions would you anticipate from a sceptic?
  4. How would you answer their objections?

The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation. We’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a word of mouth campaign. First we’ll talk a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:

  • A superior product
  • A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
  • A cadre of experts willing to bat for you
  • A large number of enthusiastic consumers
  • A way of reaching the right prospects
  • One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
  • A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
  • A way for people to have direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
  • A way of reducing overall risk, an ironclad guarantee

Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from a strong word of mouth programme. Some of these situations are:

  • When there are credibility problems
  • When there are breakthroughs
  • When there are marginal improvements
  • Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or over time
  • Where there is high risk in trying the product
  • With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
  • With unfair competitive practices such as spreading rumors, or telling lies about your product
  • When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly

While, most of the word of mouth tactics are positive for your word of mouth programme, there are a few products to avoid using in this programme. They are:

  • Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
  • Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
  • Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
  • Products that are so personal or emotion that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
  • Products where the decision value is so small (low price/low volume) the medium will not be cost-effective.

This wraps up this post on word of mouth research and how that research can be used when putting together your word of mouth campaign. If you need help with the research and a plan to use the results of that research, try our FREE test drive to get all the help you need with our top notch resources and tools. Go over to www.nacbusinessgrowthacademy.co.uk

How to Focus on Your Ideal Customers

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In this post we will cover:

  • The 80/20 rule in your business
  • How to figure out who your ideal customers are
  • How to figure out what your ideal customers want

The majority of your revenue comes from your ideal customers. This is great news!

I’ve described the 80/20 rule of business before, but it’s the premise for this whole post.

80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients, and
those 20% are your ideal customers.

Generally, these customers are loyal, spend a lot and spend often. They may be demanding, or ask you to stretch a little bit further, but they’re fair and they’re profitable. You make a substantial amount of money from them. You want to keep these customers in your business, and keep them exceptionally happy.

The rest of your customers can be organised on a sliding scale all the way down to your c-list, or unprofitable customers. These are the people who waste your time, energy and resources. They’re never satisfied, and nearly always cost you more to serve than they actually spend in your business.

The most profitable – and enjoyable to work in – businesses know how to spot and cater to their 20%, as well as how to spot and fire the difficult customers.

This post is about optimising your customer base so you can

a. serve happy, pleasant customers
b. see more repeat business
c. have happier staff
d. make more money

To identify the bad apples, you’ll have to first make a list of your ideal customers.

Go through your database of customers and make a list of the customers that make you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Has the customer purchased from you on several occasions?
  • Is the customer profitable?
  • Is the customer strategically important to your business?
  • Has the customer spent a significant amount of money in your business?

While you do this, you may also wish to make a list of customers who made you answer no to one or several of those questions. Those customers could potentially be unprofitable, or undesirable ones that you need to review.

When you are trying to establish how profitable a customer is, think about how much they spend, how often they spend, and what they buy. Do they buy high-margin or low-margin items? Have they referred other customers to you? Do they pay on time? Do they buy products or services at full price? Each business will have a different set of criteria to evaluate this, but use those questions as guidelines.

Your ideal customers are those that are highly profitable, and a dream to deal with. You’re more than happy to accommodate their requests, and go above and beyond their expectations. These are the customers you will want to cultivate more of in your business.

Your ideal customers are the ones that:

  • Ask you for the products and services that fall within your expertise or speciality.
  • Value your products and services, as well as you and your staff.
  • Pay a fair market price.
  • Challenge you to be better at what you do.
  • Support your continued business and professional growth.
  • Help you move in new strategic directions.

Once you know who your top clients are, ask them what they want and value in your business so you can continue to provide great service.

Why do your ideal customers buy from you? And what more can you do to encourage their business?

Consider sending a survey out to your A-list customers, and provide an incentive for them to complete and return it. Craft the questions to elicit a true picture of your strengths and weaknesses, and include a combination of multiple choice, ranking and open ended questions.

Ask your ideal customers questions about:

  • The products or services they love or would love to see.
  • Customer service elements that are important to them.
  • Why they chose your business?
  • How your business could improve?
  • How could you do more business with them?

You may also wish to create a survey for your staff to identify anything in your business that they feel could be improved. They work there everyday too, so they’re a great resource pool for ideas and enhancements.

Take the information you collect from these surveys, and use it to genuinely improve your business. Fix any problems, and eliminate any activities or services that weren’t identified as valuable. Maximise the activities and services that were identified as valuable.

 

 

Increase your Repeat Business

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Cultivating repeat business is a smart move because you’re leveraging time and money that you’ve already spent. Here’s how you can do it for your business:

 

1. Find out what your customers want.

In many ways, you’ve already done this step. You’ve completed some thorough target market research, and continue to review your customer’s purchasing patterns. You also continuously test and measure your marketing copy so that you are sure to tap into their motivations. Don’t you?!

To go a step further, you need to find out what they need from and think about their experience with your business. You need to figure out what is important to them and what they may not care about.

Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Conduct a survey of your existing customers. Create a short customer service feedback survey, and ask all your customers to complete it. You can easily do this through online survey programs, or hand out cards. You may need to provide an incentive for customers to fill it out – like 10% off their next purchase, or a chance to win a prize. Keep the survey short – about 10 questions – and focus on asking a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions. I use survey monkey.
  2. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers. If it is appropriate, nurture a social relationship with your clients. Take them out to lunch or dinner, or a sports game. In these relaxed environments, you’ll be able to easily learn new things about your customer that will show you how you can go above and beyond their expectations.
  3. Go to trade shows and industry events that matter to your customers. This will give you insight into what your competition is doing, as well as what products or services your customers are interested in. Remember that if your customers are keenly interested in a topic – like the environment, for example – that is not directly related to your business, you may also benefit from attending.
  4. Keep on top of trends and anticipate needs. Keep on top of trends in your industry so you can stay up to speed and on par with the competition. Also, if you follow what your customers are doing – if, for example, they’re athletes or high-powered businessmen – you’ll be able to anticipate their needs.
  5. Always ask for suggestions and feedback. Provide an ongoing place where you customers can provide their feedback or suggestions in an anonymous form. Review these cards regularly, and make changes and improvements where possible.

2. Give your customers what they want.

Now that you have cultivated a greater understanding of what matters to your customer base, you can start giving it to them! Here are some general suggestions for ways you can enhance your customer’s experience.

Remember to take their feedback and incorporate it wherever possible. Don’t be afraid of getting creative – unique touches will make sure your business will be remembered and revisited.

Here are some guidelines for enhancing your customer service:

  • Everything you do should be customer-driven. The service the customer receives is exactly how they would like to be treated when buying your product or service. It is reflective of your target market, and appropriate to their lifestyle. Customers would probably not appreciate white linen tablecloths at a fast food restaurant, but they would appreciate a 2 minutes or less guarantee.
  • Make your customer’s life as easy as possible. Your customers are coming to you for a solution to their problem or need. They’re coming to you to make their lives easier, so go a step further than just providing the product or service they need. Make it nearly effortless for the customer to spend money at your place of business. Convenience can take many forms – location, product selection, value-added services like delivery – and it is also consistent.
  • Be consistent with your products and services. The standards you establish for customer service need to be maintained by every person in your organisation. Same goes for every product in your business. Expectations should be clear and followed through. When customers know what to expect (and are happy with the service), they will choose your business because they trust that you have their best interests in mind. They want their buying experience to be risk and surprise-free.

Easy really! – More on this next time…

How to Write an Effective Headline in 6 Steps!

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1. Identify who you are trying to target.

You need a clear understanding of who you’re writing for and what their motivators are before you can attempt to reach them.

If you are trying to target a more specific group within your target market, you can choose to segment your market into sub-markets by demographic or behaviouristic characteristics. For example, you might choose to focus on only men, or only women with children under five years of age.

The more specific you can be with your market, the easier time you will have identifying and reaching their emotional ‘hot buttons.’

2. Identify what you are trying to communicate.

Once you know who you’re speaking to, clearly define what message you need to communicate to them. Be specific, and even write it down in plain language before you start drafting your headlines.

To clearly articulate your message, ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you have a solution to their problem?
  • Do you offer a new product or service that they need?
  • Can you provide the information they’re looking for?
  • Do you have a better option for them?

3. Identify the motivators or “hot buttons” that will elicit an emotional response from your audience.

Take the list you drafted above, and highlight or write down the words that will pique your target market’s interest, or trigger their ‘hot buttons’.

If you’re selling vacuum cleaners to young mothers, you’re going to want to identify words that would appeal to her desire to keep her home germ free for toddlers, and make her cleaning efforts easier and less time consuming.

When you’re writing for sales and marketing, always try to paint a picture for your audience. Carefully select descriptive words they will relate to and resonate with, and strong power words.

For example, phrases like “challenging outdoor experiences” would appeal to physically fit readers, but not those who don’t like to exercise.

4. Choose a type of headline that will work best based on the emotional motivators you have identified.

Direct Headlines clearly and simply state the offer or message, without any attempt at humour or cleverness. Pure Silk Scarves – 40% This Weekend Only | Brand New Security System Just $99 Per Month

Indirect Headlines are subtle, and often use curiosity to pique a reader’s interest before providing an explanation in the body copy. Clever puns, figures of speech and double meanings are often used. 

News Headlines mimic a headline you would read in the newspaper and are a great option for a new product announcement or industry scoop. These work best when you actually have news, and can stay focused on benefits, not features. 

Question Headlines ask the reader something they can closely relate to or would need to continue reading to discover the answer. Questions are easy to read, and can immediately tap into your reader’s emotions.

‘How to’ Headlines indicate that the rest of the copy or the offer itself will describe a step-by-step process of interest or use to the reader. These two words create headlines that work wonders. How to find a job in a recession | How to start a profitable internet business from scratch.

Command Headlines are similar to direct headlines, but always start with a strong verb or command for action. It usually focuses on the most important benefit you offer your reader. Triple your energy in just three days | Stop wasting money when you travel.

‘Reasons Why’ or ‘Ways to’ Headlines precede lists of tips, suggestions, product benefits or even mistakes of interest to your target audience. Keep the list to a reasonable length or you’ll run the risk of losing your reader. Eight ways to save money around the house 

Testimonial Headlines use other people’s opinions and expertise to persuade a reader to keep reading and begin to build trust. Quotation marks are used to indicate that the words are a testimonial, not the words of your business, and they can increase readership by almost 30%. 

5. Draft at least ten different headlines and pick your best three to test and measure.

Use the number of words you need to get your point across, without writing a paragraph. Remember that your headline needs to do one thing: get the reader to keep reading.

Don’t be afraid to draft pages of headlines or sift through the pages of a thesaurus before you get yours just right. Sometimes you’re only a word or two away from transforming a boring headline into a really effective one. Some examples:

Example Headline Templates

  • How to become the smartest _____ in _____
  • How to end ______
  • How I improved my _____
  • How to develop _____
  • Seven ways to add to your _____ without cleaning out your bank account
  • How to begin _____
  • 12 innovations in _____ design
  • How to enjoy _____
  • Introducing the four key rules for _____
  • How I _____
  • Six things to check when buying a new _____

6. Always test and measure the effectiveness of your headlines. Try two at a time and compare which generates the best results.

As always, you will need to test and measure the strength of your headlines. Try to test at least two “hot buttons” in different media to determine where your target audience’s reaction is the strongest.

You can leverage off of the information gathered from testing and measuring your powerful offer as well. For example, if the offer geared to safety and security concerns was a roaring success, headlines that tap into those motivators will also be successful.

You can apply these headline writing techniques to all your marketing materials.