November 23, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

Transform your business by answering these 7 simple questions

You can create a step-by-step framework for success, tailored to your business, by answering these questions.

Ron Stein | 8/10/2014

We all want more for our business. More leads, more customers, and more profits. And, you'd probably like more time in the day too. All of this can lead to more stress!

Let's face it; burnout isn't far away when you're constantly stressed out because more isn't happening. So, you try harder and end up getting less for your efforts. Well, except for the stress -- you'll get more of that!

Didn't Albert Einstein say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Here's the deal. To obtain the result you're expecting you'll have to zero in the actions needed to produce it. Yes, this is obvious advice, but here's what's not so obvious; first it's important to know where you are right now. That's how you'll gain clarity as to which activities are needed to get to your desired goal.

Once you know where you are, it is much easier to take the next step. Then the next step builds on that. It's the same for each step after that. All while your eye is on the prize -- your goal.

There's a catch. Most people don't make a distinction between the core actions that really makes a difference and actions that are helpful but not essential. So, how can you tell which are the absolutely core steps to take?

A step-by-step road map would be helpful to keep from getting off course. Start with the answers to these seven simple, yet powerful questions. Use them as a step-by-step framework to take the core actions you need to transform your business.

Put a plan together:

  1. Who are your perfect prospects and customers? Let's face it, not everyone wants or needs your product or service. The more you know about your audience, the more success you'll have selling to them. Your mission is to find the "perfect audience" for your offering. When you carefully and specifically define who your buyers are, you'll spend your time and money much more wisely. Build a perfect prospect profile and there will be no confusion over who to target.
  2. What's your core marketing message? Once there is clarity about exactly who you target as a customer, it's much easier to create a compelling message. Define your exclusive difference and edge. Describe the exact problems your offering solves that are relevant only to your target audience. Demonstrate that the unique benefits and value of your product or service is much greater than the cost and risks, in easy-to-understand language.
  3. Do you have a blueprint for reaching and closing buyers? A marketing strategy is a statement that outlines exactly how you intend to attract customers to your business. But, intentions are meaningless without a plan of action that converts your strategy into tactics and activities. Layout your big idea strategy and break it down into bite-sized chunks of objectives. Then create programs and tactics around each. Now get specific -- time line with dates for critical tasks, who's accountable for each element, budget, conditions that will pose a risk, and how you'll measure success.

    Create a process to implement your plan:
  4. How will you gain visibility and generate leads? No leads, no revenue. Your ideal prospects have no idea you exist and it's impossible for them to buy from you until they do. Think like your prospects and go where they go, see what they see -- both online and offline. Engage your buyers with a call to action using an offer to educate, in a way that showcases your expertise. Remember, people do not want to be sold to; they're looking for information and solutions to their problems. Help them by sharing valuable insights in the marketing content your company creates.
  5. How will you develop and nurture your leads? The conversation has started and now you've got to keep it going. If a prospect is interested but not ready to act, the lead needs to be cultivated with a systematic approach until the time is right to consider your offering. The key here is to have a process of consistent follow-up that uses targeted information, education, and two-way conversations. Map out the possible steps of the buying process and how you'll handle different scenarios. Lead nurturing builds relationships that win the business of qualified prospects at the expense of your competition -- when they are ready.
  6. Do you have a process to convert leads into customers? Don't assume your prospects will take the next step by themselves, so lend a hand. Increase your conversions by getting prospects to agree to take some action. Even a non-buying action. Each meeting, visit to your website, phone call, face-to-face meeting, news release, or email should move you closer to earning the sale with a compelling call-to-action. The words are important -- use active language to persuade prospects to take an action that you'd like. But, you just can't say, "buy" and expect people to act. Plan each interaction to get your prospect to say "Yes" one step at a time.
  7. What's your plan to keep paying customers happy and get referrals? Don't leave an opening for competitors to steal customers away. Passionate fans buy again and again -- and promote your brand. Have a process to keep paying customers happy, starting the day a prospect buys your product or signs up for your services. Send a welcome email or better yet, a handwritten note. Let them know what they can expect and who to call when they need to contact your business. Surprise your customers by doing the unexpected. Now ask for referrals and testimonials. Referrals provide fresh pre-qualified leads and testimonials help prospects feel comfortable about choosing your products or services.

The goals you've set for your company or department will be easily reached when you have a framework of success. Confidently answer these seven questions and you'll be leaps ahead of your competition. Period.

Avoid high anxiety. Ask yourself and your team these questions daily to help stay focused on the core actions that will make a difference. That's how you get less stress and more leads, more customers, and more profits.

Can you answer these seven questions about your business?


Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com) and the author of the Rapid Impact Marketing & Selling Playbook. As a speaker, coach, and consultant he works with small business owners helping them to accelerate the path between their vision and the actions needed to reach, win, and keep customers. Ron is the creator of the FastPath to More Customers Now! 7-step marketing system based on more than twenty years as a successful business owner, corporate CEO, business development executive, and salesman. He is also a mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.

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