Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

March 7, 2010

Have you met the ‘Goop Guy’?

Every now and then we run an article from a guest author, and today we are delighted to re-print ‘The Goop Guy’ written by Robert Middleton, one of our colleagues and associates.  As you read it, have a think about the principles involved and how they relate to your business and the way you do your marketing – then please add your comments at the end!

*

Imagine sitting in the middle of a swanky shopping center, a male

cosmetologist hovering over you, with goop slathered all over your

face. Not a pretty picture. But that was me on Friday.

How in the world did I get into such a situation?

Well, it started innocently enough. I was in San Francisco for Mac-

World and stopped by the upscale downtown mall to pick up a few

shirts at Nordstrom’s and find a Valentine’s day gift for my wife.

As I was wandering aimlessly through the mall, I noticed a number

of young girls handing out a sample drink of some sort. I was

thirsty, so I grabbed a dixie cup of the elixer and gulped it down.

Before I could blink he was talking to me. I say “he” because I

don’t think I ever got his name. He was totally focused on me for

the next half hour.

Have you heard of the goji berry? he asked innocently enough.

Well, no I hadn’t. Oh yes, it’s one of the world’s most powerful

antioxidants, and the company he worked for, “The Secret of the

Himalayas,” was the purveyor of all things goji berry.

Before I could blink he was was looking at my hands and

commenting on how dry they were and asking what I used to

moisturize them. Me, I’m a guy. We don’t think about that kind of

stuff. But before I knew it, I was rubbing my hands with an exotic

product called Hunza Apricot Treatment.

It felt kind of like wet sand. I rubbed it in and then he rinsed my

hands ever-so-delicately with a spray bottle. Next was Body Butter,

a light moisturizer that smelled like coconut and apricot.

How did my hands feel now? he implored seductively.

Well, by this time I thought this was pretty nice stuff and would

make a nice Valentine’s gift for my wife. I was sold. OK, now let

me outta here.

Not so quick!!

The Body Better was followed by by the exotic Goji Peel, then

another moisturizer and toner which he proceeded to rub into my

wrist as he regaled me with the superior qualities of these

sublimely divine body products.

OK, OK, enough already! I’l take the Apricot Treatment, the Body

Butter and the Goji Peel. My wife would be happy and I could get

back to MacWorld.

But wait, he was willing to give me the dispenser of special

moisturizer for only $50 and throw in the toner for free. How could

I possibly say no to that? I pulled out my credit card and $240 of

my new-found products were wrapped up and ready to go.

But just one more little thing.

He looked soulfully into my eyes and asked me what I was doing

for those bags so strategically placed beneath them. Bags? I have

bags under my eyes? Apparently so.

And before I knew it I was sitting on a stool being slathered with

eye goop. By now I was having fun. This guy was such a

consummate salesman I couldn’t believe the path he was taking

me down.

Here I am, a guy, considering goop to put under my eyes every

day! When would it all end? Then I realized it. It would never end.

As long as he had my attention he would continue to sell.

Then he showed me the prices. $175 for the eye rejuvenator and

$275 for the collagen cream. Yeah, how on earth did we live before

collagen? And don’t forget the mask that was now spread over the

right side of my face.

He gently wiped off everything with delicately moisturized cotton

puffs and then had me look in the mirror. Did I notice the

difference? Well, actually I did. My right eye was now definitely less

baggier than my right one. Wow, this stuff works!

But at that price? You gotta be kidding me!

But suddenly I learned that, for a very limited time, and just for

me, he could give me the first two products for a greatly reduced

price and throw in the third for free.

Well, I finally got ahold of my senses and thought… There is no

friggin’ way I’ll use this eye stuff for more than a few days, feel like

an idiot and regret my purchase. My sanity took the upper hand

and I told him firmly, thank you, but no.

An average salesperson would have moved on. But not Goop Guy. I

think he used about five more closes (don’t you care about your

eyes? was the most heart-rending) before I took off.

Nevertheless, as I gathered my bags and walked away and down

the escalator to freedom, I looked back and still saw him enticing

me back to his parlor of lotions and potions, never really giving up

until I was completely out of sight.

My only regret was that I hadn’t pulled out my Flip Video and

recorded him in action. It was in my pocket, but as I contemplated

returning, I knew I probably wouldn’t get away without buying

that damn eye goop.

*

The Bottom Line:  If most Independent Professionals

had one tenth of the focus, persistence and charm of this guy,

they’d be making ten times the income. No, you really don’t have

to manipulate, but certainly you’d know exactly what to say to

make your services compelling and valuable. You’d have a great

answer to every single question your prospects asked, and always

have another way to move the sale forward, no matter what.

*

© Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit
Robert’s web site at www.actionplan.com for additional
marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional
service businesses

May 19, 2009

Call For Guest Authors

writerIf you are an expert in your field and have a quality article that you think Marketing Edge readers would benefit from, we want to hear from you! We are particularly keen on the following topics to satisfy reader requests:

  • Blogging
  • Delegating and Outsourcing
  • Planning and Organising

Please send your articles (maximum of 1000 words) to info @ zee2a . com together with a photo and brief author bio. If we like your article, we will run it in a future issue. 

Our Marketing Edge readers are mainly self employed professionals, and are largely based in and around the UK, Europe, and the USA. But we also have a sprinkling of subscribers throughout Africa, the Far East, Indian sub-continent and Australasia – so while you won’t be paid for your article, you will get some great exposure!

May 4, 2009

News Worth Shouting From The Rooftops

One of our mentoring clients has just recently broken in to a brand new market valued at over One Hundred Million Pounds. Obviously news like that is big stuff and worth shouting from the rooftops – but how exactly do you do that without literally climbing on the roof with a loud-hailer? What if it was your business that had big news to share?

No doubt many of you have either heard about or even issued Press Releases to make announcements before. Well, today’s  article, guest authored by Laurie Dart discusses how to write brilliant press releases. In the article she shares ten best-practise suggestions that will ensure you get the media attention you’re after.

Happy reading!

10 Tips to Ensure Your
Press Release Is Published

(more…)

May 1, 2009

Looking For a Speaker?

presentationWould you like David or Vanessa to speak at your next event, seminar, workshop, or conference?

Send our assistant an email and we will respond within two working days to confirm availability and topics. We currently have openings in June and August.

We offer our services as guest speakers without charge, if the event is within reasonable travelling distance. Fees for events further afield are available on application.

April 28, 2009

Have You Reached Critical Mass?

Have You Reached Critical Mass?

Back in February we looked at two fundamental marketing errors to be avoided by start-up businesses. You may want to refresh your memory briefly; in which case click here to read the article again.

Start-up businesses are at an unenviable junction of product offering and target market: They are offering an unknown/untried product to a market which knows little of nothing about them or their product. As an aside, many franchise operators make the promise that as their franchisee you can leapfrog this stage of business growth, but be very careful: a lot of franchises are untried in a broader market, so you should do very careful market research before signing on the dotted line. In any case, a franchise is someone else’s business, not yours: You can get rich operating a franchise but you’ll never ‘own’ it the way you do your own business.

But I digress: let’s look at what happens as you operate your start-up business. Over time (if you remain in business) your product gets refined and enhanced, while your market (that group of businesses or individuals from which your most successful clients will be drawn) gets to know you better and better, because you keep showing up and doing the right kind and volume of marketing. This may seem to be taking too long, and it is rare for a start-up business to have really achieved this within eighteen months (some take far longer).

But you will reach what some refer to as a ‘tipping point’ (I prefer the term used of nuclear reactions: reaching ‘critical mass’) at which you will suddenly go from struggling to make yourself known and understood to your target market to being recognised instantly and seen as a ‘core product’ in your chosen market. This may seem to happen overnight and with little change from the previous day, but be assured that it only happens if you have been working hard at marketing to your key audiences over an extended period of time.

You’ll recognise this change: selling may not get easier, but instead of having to explain who you are and why you should be shortlisted, you will be asked to explain how you justify your price against the market leader, or (ironically) why you should be chosen against the ‘new guy’ who is hungry for the work! You are no longer selling an untested product into a new market; you are now one of the yardsticks in your market – others are evaluated against you!

Core Business – The Second Phase of Growth

When your business reaches this phase of growth (the junction of a tried and tested product offering and an established market) you really should get out the dusty bottle of French Red you’ve been saving for a special day and pour yourself a glass. It’s a huge milestone – so many start-ups have fallen by the wayside without ever reaching this point, for any one of a hundred different reasons. You’ve made it. And you deserve to celebrate.

But don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s lots more work to do; and many marketing mistakes yet to be avoided. Let’s look at a few which are relevant to this second phase of business growth:

Continued/Intensified Indiscriminate Marketing

Just so we’re clear: Your business is now established in a market. I might have mentioned earlier that this doesn’t make selling easier, but I lied. It does make the selling easier – not only do you have to work less to get through the door of qualified prospects, but you even occasionally get invited in, because your business is now one of the ‘usual suspects’ –those recognised scions of the industry who have to be evaluated as part of a buying decision. Here is where all of the carefully targeted marketing that you did in the start-up phase (and wondered whether you were spending too much for the results you were getting) start to pay off.

So why would you now start panicking about the market being too small and go off trying to win business outside your core market? And yet that is all too common – the belief that your core market is saturated and results are starting to drop off.

I have worked with clients who focused on singularly small markets – one client could recite by heart the forty-four public-sector organisations that formed his target market. But after fifteen years and some amazing growth, he still markets with pinpoint accuracy into that market, and the business still wins contracts. In a future article we will touch on the phase of growth which allows for an expansion of your marketing efforts, but understand for now that unless you know for sure that your market is saturated (or approaching that point) any marketing done outside your core market is a mistake. Keep the shotgun locked away, and rely on your hunting rifle.

Giving Up Hunting

Once your business reaches this phase you’re going to be as busy as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. Because you’re selling more, you’ll need to deliver more – and your time will come under huge pressure.

What happens to marketing? One of a few things: either you just don’t get around to it anymore, or you bring in your spouse’s cousin’s lad to help out. No offence – he’s probably a wonderful boy – but the sort of marketing skill your business needs he is not.

What’s the result? Remember that what your marketing has bought you is what marketers call ‘mindshare’ – conscious or close-to-conscious recall of your business in the minds of key prospects. As your marketing efforts tail off or lose their effectiveness that recall will fade, and your business will fall back under the critical mass threshold again. Virtually every entrepreneur I have ever met has explained how difficult they found it to break through a particular revenue barrier at some point in the evolution of their business – and every time the reason was this phenomenon.

Work hard at keeping up the marketing momentum – and consider carefully whether now is the time to beef up, rather than dilute, the marketing expertise available to your business. Staying above the critical mass threshold ensures that your business will never again have to contend with the start-up phase.

©David Deakin and Zee2A Limited 2009. Would you like to reprint this article? You may do so as long as you include the copyright notice and the following paragraph: David Deakin, CEO of Zee2A, is a marketing mentor who works with Professional services Executives yearning to take their business to the next level. Through one-on-one and group mentoring programmes he helps them to create sustainable marketing strategies that attract more clients at profitable rates. To learn more, sign up for his e-zine, or make an enquiry please visit www.zee2a.com.

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April 23, 2009

Jumpstart Your Revenues This Summer

Summer isn’t normally a time people talk about jumpstarting their revenues, but what if this year was different? What if THIS summer, you transformed your business and kicked up your revenues big time?

 

Well, do I have a treat for you! One of my mentors, Millionaire Entrepreneurial Coach Ali Brown, is hosting a BRAND NEW free teleclass called “Ali’s Top 10 Recommendations to Kick-Up Your Revenues This Summer!”

 

(In a hurry? Here’s the link to sign up:http://tinyurl.com/cnzwth)

 

Ali has developed a reputation for teaching the “real deal.”

She’ll tell you what works…and what doesn’t. Best yet, she’s going to teach you her personal success strategies that have allowed her to keep doubling and tripling her business EVEN during this economy.

 

Whether you’re a startup or have been in business several years, you’ll get at least 3 BIG money-making ideas from this 75-minute call. You’ll discover:

 

* the 2 invisible revenue barriers that most solo-preneurs unknowingly hit, and how to break through them starting RIGHT NOW

 

* Ali’s top 10 personal recommendations to help you make 2009 your highest revenue year ever, including…

 

* her 4 best marketing strategies that have been proven to skyrocket her students’ incomes into the multiple 6-figures and 7-figures

 

* her 2 best business strategies that will immediately free up your time to focus on your “bigger fish”

 

* the 4 best additional revenue streams that boost her students’

bank accounts, once they add them to their business

 

You’ll want to sign up NOW before you forget. Here’s the link:

http://tinyurl.com/cnzwth

 

See you on the call!

Vanessa

 

March 2, 2009

See You On Wednesday!

capacityWe’ve had a phenomenal response of RSVPs to our VIP Reception taking place on Wednesday, at Business South in Southampton.

 

We have filled our quota of 50 guest places and have got a large list of folks on our waiting list for next year.

 

Look out for your Marketing Edge later this week – which should have some photos from the event.  And if you missed out and would like to get on the waiting list for next year, then please subscribe to the Marketing Edge at www.zee2a.com as our subscribers always get first dibs on invitations (not to forget all the free sales and marketing advice, and complimentary downloads….  Learn more about the FREE STUFF here).

 

If you are coming on Wednesday – I’m looking forward to seeing you!

February 24, 2009

Marketing Q&A – Readers Ask, We Answer

Joyce Turton sent us an email asking “It would be interesting to have your views on how to identify ‘good networks.’ A common complaint I hear, especially locally, is that ‘Everyone’s selling and Nobody’s buying’ – which predated the credit crunch. Any thoughts on this? Could it be faulty networking techniques en masse in Surrey/Hants?”

Many of our readers and clients often ask us about where and how to network effectively. It’s important to always bear the following three keys in mind, as a start:

  • 1. Fish in the right pond. You need to be doing your networking where your prospects are. It’s of little value to spend many hours (and many £££) on networking events that provide you with lots of low value connections. You need to be thinking quality not quantity.
  • 2. You need to be an active, visible member of any group (or groups) that you belong to, so don’t spread yourself too thinly.
  • 3. If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results, so you need to frequently evaluate your networking and the results you are getting from it. Sometimes hard decisions need to be made.

The above pointers are expanded upon significantly in the feature article ‘Are You Fishing in the Wrong Pond?’ first published in the Marketing Edge back in April last year ,  so please have a read through it in full by clicking here.

Regarding your point that Everyone’s selling and Nobody’s buying’

Don’t lose too much sleep over the fact that most networkers are there to sell – after all, you are there to sell! Why shouldn’t the people you meet have a similar objective? But ask yourself this question about most of the people you meet at your next networking event:

‘If they were buying – would their need match my product/ service offering?’ (Evaluate their personality, the size of their business, their industry, and any other relevant demographics. Be ruthless – your time is too precious to waste on long shots. And remember that if your product/service can solve everybody’s problems, you haven’t defined your market well enough.)

If you answer no to the aforementioned question, you have identified the problem. Don’t bother to go back.

However, if you answer yes then you are networking in the right place. Now your challenge is to get the attention of your prospect – they are, after all, there to sell, not buy. You have to find a way to shift their attention to something they need, and need badly enough to stop selling for a while and go into buying mode.

Joyce, you will also benefit tremendously from the content in our Performance Tuned Networking Seminar-in-a-Box.

Thank you for your question,

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February 15, 2009

14 VIP Places Left – Grab one FREE Now!

36236 49 Guests representing the following industries:

      Law

      Accounting & Bookkeeping

      Web Development & Graphic Design

      Human Resources

      Training & Coaching

      Business Brokers & Advocates; among others

have already confirmed their attendance at our VIP Reception at Business South on 4th March 2009

 

Grab one of the remaining 14 2 free tickets at www.zee2a.com/vip2009 while you still can!

deadline-extention

February 4, 2009

Be Our VIP Guest on 4 March

vipThe wait is over!

 

Over the last few weeks we’ve been dropping hints that we are once again hosting a VIP Reception for invited guests at Business South 2009 on Wednesday 4th March. This is now your exclusive invitation to join us there!

 

 

Where:  Business South 2009 Show, St Mary’s Stadium, Britannia Road,

                     Southampton SO14 5FP.

When: Wednesday 4th March

Time: 3:30pm (but doors open at 10:00)

Cost: No Charge

What do VIP guests get?

· free entry to the show

· free VIP Parking

· free drinks and canapés

· Ample opportunity to network with other guests; and

· A high impact, condensed training session that will appeal to small business executives, delivered by our very own Marketing Director Vanessa.

Full information about the event is on this private access webpage.

If you would like to attend the reception please RSVP by completing the registration boxes at the above webpage ASAP but before the deadline of Friday 13 February. We can only accommodate 50 guests at this event, and tickets will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Hope to see you there!

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