Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

March 8, 2010

Do You Need More Clients F*A*S*T ?


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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

January 23, 2010

Do you need more clients FAST?

Is your business revenue deflated after the holidays?
Have your sales figures stalled from last year’s lousy economy?
Are you in a wheel spin trying to get your business back in motion?

Then a quick JUMPSTART this January will have you in pole position in no time!

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Our JUMPSTART programme consists of four in-person* intense mentoring sessions covering:

(Session 1) Aligning your marketing and sales with your business goals. This session focuses on the level of effort and budget required to support YOUR specific revenue targets, as well as how to build systems for monitoring key marketing and sales ratios. It also explores the most effective ways of doing targeted lead generation.

(Session 2) Building the Professional Service Sale. This session is all about building a repeatable process for marketing and sales in YOUR business, while ensuring that marketing, sales and delivery all align with the branding position of the organisation.

(Session 3) From Strategies to Sales. This session explores various marketing strategies as well as sales techniques that YOU can put to use in YOUR business, each aligned with the process we developed in Session 2.

(Session 4) Online Marketing – A Brave New World. This session focuses on how to avoid the ‘online hype’ and create an effective online presence which is carefully integrated with the organisation’s overall strategy. Where, how, and how much online marketing to do.

The hour-long sessions are held every other week over eight weeks, leaving you the time between sessions to immediately put in to practise what you have just learned.

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Enrol in the JUMPSTART Programme now by sending us an email with your name and contact details and we will call you back with a start date and to collect your payment information.
Please do not send your card details by email!

#If you require longer term or more intensive support, then our Marketing Edge Programme will be more appropriate for you.

*In-person sessions are held at your premises if within a five mile radius of Basingstoke Town Centre, or at Dummer Golf Club just off Junction 7 of the M3. If this is not practical or possible, then all sessions are held by telephone. (We work with international clients via Skype)

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October 6, 2009

What Makes a Great Brand?

Do you understand the common elements of all great brands?
(Here’s a secret: a logo isn’t as important as you think!)

Would you like simple tools to begin crafting your own brand?

Our FREE five-part eCourse will help you to do just that!

Find out more, and claim access HERE

June 30, 2009

Customer Service No-No’s

I noticed two interesting news headlines in the last few days.
Firstly, the OECD say that we are ‘at the bottom’ of the current economic recession – actually a positive thing, because it suggests (without promising) that things may begin the slow climb back to prosperity in the near future. The second indicated that the UK economy suffered a 2.4% shrinkage in the first quarter of 2009 – 0.5% worse than predicted and the worst for 51 years, apparently. Again,
although it may not at first blush seem like it, this is good news.
These type of figures are by definition retrospective – they look back at a period we have already lived through. There are many signs of recovery, mostly in the form of a slowdown in bad news!

In this week’s Marketing Edge (out for publiction tomorrow) we are re-running what was one of the most popular articles of 2008 – a critical look at customer service no-no’s. Remember that everyone struggles in a recession, but those who take customer service lightly will continue to struggle even when conditions improve. So take the key points to heart and root poor customer service out of your organisation. When you do, your customers will show their appreciation via longer, more profitable business relationships.

Sign up for your free subscription at: www.zee2a.com and make sure to verify your request before midnight tonight!

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June 26, 2009

How’s your game?

Today’s feature article has been guest authored by fellow Sales Coach and contact of Vanessa’s, Adrian Miller. In it she tackles the issue of dropping the ball while networking. Our clients and seminar delegates will know that here at Zee2A we use the analogy of a relay race and talk of ‘dropping the baton.’ The principles are exactly the same.

For more top tips on getting the most from your networking why not take a look at our best selling Performance Tuned Networking ‘Seminar-in-a-Box’. It contains over three hours of powerful instruction you can work through at your own pace, and really start ramping up your results in this area!

 

Don’t Drop the Networking Ball!

(Guest authored by Adrian Miller)

Dropping the ball in the game of networking is akin to not catching a fly ball in baseball. Others are counting on you to successfully execute the play and keep the game going. Let the ball drop too many times, and you’ll be booted off of the team.

Networking is entirely about follow through. Just like in baseball, a networking introduction is like a spectacular ball that is heading right for you. You need to keep your eye on it and reach out if you’re going to make the most of the opportunity.

Too often, individuals get busy and forget to make contact with leads that were given to them or don’t follow up with the individuals who facilitated the introductions. Both slip ups are grievous errors in the realm of networking and can really tick off those who have put time and energy into helping you. If you’re guilty of lack of networking follow up and follow through, don’t be surprised if you’re given the “three strikes and you’re out” treatment from your colleagues and acquaintances. No one is going to continue to help someone who isn’t appreciative.

Don’t let yourself be demoted to the minor leagues of networking. Follow these tips and stay in the game:

Say Thank You

As soon as you obtain a lead from someone who has facilitated an introduction, thank them! Don’t wait for a week to go by, and don’t blow it off as something of little importance. A networking lead is a gift, so be gracious even if you don’t think it’s going to amount to a new business opportunity. Write a hand-written note or offer to take them to lunch. Don’t just send a lame, half-hearted thank you email. Remember, no one is going to go out of their way for you if you’re not enthusiastic in your response!

Keep Organized

Use a system for keeping track of your leads and who has provided them to you. Don’t let the information get buried in your email or on your desk.

Follow Up Promptly with the Lead

Develop a rule for yourself for the maximum amount of time you will take to contact a new lead. Ideally, it shouldn’t take you longer than 24 hours to make that first contact.

Follow Up Promptly with the Facilitator

Your work is not done once you’ve had that initial conversation. Now, you need to contact the person who facilitated the lead and give them an update. This step is frequently forgotten but vitally important to maintaining good networking relationships.

Reciprocate

Networking is not just about you receiving new contacts. It’s also about you reciprocating the favors bestowed upon you. Be generous about helping others, making introductions, and offering assistance whenever you have the chance.

Adrian Miller©Adrian Miller. Adrian Miller is a sales trainer, consultant, speaker and author. She launched her firm Adrian Miller Sales Training 21 years ago and works in a vast diversity of industries providing real world solutions for real world situations, on-site and through webinars and teleclasses. She recently started Adrian’s Network, a virtual business networking community that is gaining new members every day. Adrian can be reached here.

June 19, 2009

Is your business the best-kept secret in the industry?

Many small businesses like yours are able to deliver a far more personal, tailored service to clients than your larger competitors, and have very satisfied customers because of it. Unfortunately nobody else seems to know, so prospects go to the competitor blissfully unaware that they could get a far better service from you for a very similar price! If only you could develop branding like theirs to attract prospects!

But why not?

Would you like to know how you can develop a powerful brand that will make your sales cycles shorter and close more deals at list price?

Our free five-part eCourse will help you to understand the common elements of all great brands (no, they don’t include a fancy logo!) and will provide you with simple tools to begin crafting your brand.

Learn more about it and claim your free access HERE and you could begin the process of lifting your service offerings out of the ‘commodity morass’ and into Premium Brand territory today!

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June 12, 2009

Online vs Offline?

Philip Rosenthal sent Vanessa an email asking:

‘How much effort should a consultant put into their online presence versus offline face to face networking?

It may be different for different consultants, but how do you decide how much time to put in or what mix of time to put into different areas? I am concerned that online marketing is a potentially endless sink of time and am not sure what the returns will be compared with traditional marketing.

Also, I have been on [a particular online networking facility] for less than a month and have about 30 connections – some of whom are people I don’t really know but are members of professional societies of which I am also a member and live in the same city as me – I hope to get to know them better this way. Any suggestions?’

Hello Philip,

Great question, and one which I’m sure many other Marketing Edge readers are wondering about. You raise three separate points, which I’ll address one by one:

Online vs offline networking

How much time you decide to spend in one area versus the other depends entirely on where your prospects are and you may have to do some research of your own to find out where that is. As a business owner with many commitments you simply cannot afford to waste your time, money and effort in activities that have minimal impact.

Are your prospects researching and making buying decisions from behind their PCs? If so, are they building relationships with potential suppliers through social networking, or are they using search engines to find information on specific services? (Two distinctly different approaches!) Or are they making those decisions on the golf course? Do they read specific trade journals or attend business to business shows and exhibitions? Find that out, then find a way to regularly get in front of them.

The returns compared with traditional marketing

Any marketing you do – whether online or otherwise must fit in with an overall strategy. They cannot be adhoc events or activities that get done on a whim and without proper forethought and planning. Remember too, that not all methods work for everyone. You have to test it and measure it. If it works, do more of the same. If it doesn’t work, or doesn’t work well enough, change tactics.

For example: Just because you’ve always had an advert in the Yellow Pages doesn’t mean you should just keep on renewing it. Do you know how much business you actually get because of that advert?

The same principle applies to your weekly networking breakfast; your brochures; your website; etc. Don’t blindly keep doing something just because you think you should, or because you think that ‘doing something is better than doing nothing.’

Getting to know your contacts better

Well done for creating an online profile and getting active in making connections! (For some top tips on creating and maintaining your profile, see my article Revamp Your Online Presence in Four Easy Steps.) It is important that your connections have substance and that you can add value to each others’ networks.

What is the point of hundreds of connections that are just there to boost your numbers, but you know nothing about each other and never interact? It would be just as ludicrous to collect hundreds of business cards at face-to-face events and stuff them into an overflowing business card folder that never gets opened again, other than to add more cards!

Your approach to connecting with fellow members of professional societies you belong to and people who live in the same town as you is a good place to start. May I suggest you take the initiative in arranging a meet-up to build those connections into REAL relationships. Perhaps something like meeting for a drink after work – invite all thirty connections and see who turns up. Not only will you benefit from getting to know them better, but they will benefit from meeting each other too. (By the way: This suggestion works equally well if applied to that over-stuffed business card holder too!)

Thank you for your question,

 

Other readers with questions are invited to submit them here and we’ll do our best to answer them in an upcoming issue.

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June 5, 2009

Stop losing leads and opportunities!

The World is Owned by People Who Follow Up

(Guest authored by Colleen Francis)

Two months ago, a freelance photographer was at an event I attended and took some photos of me giving a presentation. I gave the photographer my card and asked him to please call me when he had prints available to sell, as I needed some updated action shots. After I saw the prints on line for sale as hard copies I emailed him inquiring about buying the electronic copies. You could say that basically, I begged to be a customer But, did he follow up?… NO. I have still not been able to buy photos from him.

Then, shortly after, by the luck of the draw, I had a phone conversation with a prospect at a technology call center in Ottawa, from whom I learned that “call center” work was a fill-in job for her. She is a struggling young fashion and portrait photographer with a small studio downtown. So, I asked her to please email me info about how to make an appointment for a photo shoot… and, you guessed it, I haven’t heard a peep from her either! She’s struggling and I’m begging to be a customer… and no follow up.

Last year I wanted to rent a cottage for six weekends during the off season and the cottage owner never returned one of my four emails.

You probably have endless stories in your own life, just like these… and I bet it drives you nuts too. There are a few businesses that do “get it”. Last week I received two E-reminders from my personal trainer – that I have not been to the gym in a while and bathing suit season is close. Bless him! – I went for my first personal training session in five months last week. Ouch.

The million dollar question is…

Who’s following up with your clients? Who’s following up on sales leads and opportunities? You or the competition? Who’s immediately following up on customer complaints to create a positive outcome… or are complaints just left to fester?

If you are a manager, are you following up on your team’s commitments to increase sales, reduce expenses, meet sign and submit deadlines, eliminate cancellations, and ensure prompt follow up with pending clients? And who’s following up with your CRM vendors, printers, marketing departments and other internal partners to make sure that they don’t let you down? Are you following up on your own promises to customers, staff and family?

What will you do?

So, what will you do to improve your track record in the “follow-up department” in every part of your business… and your life? This week, make a commitment to follow up with everyone who bought last month. Send them a thank you note – if you didn’t do that the day after the sale, and call them to ensure they are happy with your product!

Colleen-Francis©Colleen Francis is the Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions, which delivers sales solutions that realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise the client’s bottom line. Reach her at Engage Selling Solutions

May 29, 2009

Do You Need More Customers?

If you would like to receive free marketing advice to help you grow your Professional Service Business, you need to obtain a free subscription to our popular ezine The Marketing Edge(ISSN 1756-350X). Published world-wide twice a month and it’s FREE! Sign up at: http://www.zee2a.com/

There are also a number of complimentary bonuses you’ll receive: including an audio programme to help you develop your own powerful ‘Verbal Signature’ (a key marketing message); and an ebook covering the seven core principles that have to be at the heart of marketing your business. See more about the FREE STUFF at: http://www.zee2a.com/freestuff.html

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