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

February 2, 2010

Ethical list building: Tip 4

Yesterday we discussed the third golden rule of email marketing. So far we have addressed ethical vs unethical ways of adding names to your mailing list, making it as easy as one click to be taken off a list (no haggling), and not using your own email programme or mail-merge to send your broadcasts.  Today, ethical list building tip number four is:

4. Only send relevant, useful information

Why? If the articles and information you send out are not directly related to your core business, it will do nothing other than damage your credibility rather than position you as an expert in your field. Sending information on dress and grooming are appropriate if you are an image consultant, not an accountant.

Also, if you make a habit of sending low value gumpf you will quickly irritate your readers, see your unsubscribe rates soar, and risk being marked as a spammer.

Not exactly rocket science, is it?

Tomorrow we’ll look at the 5th and final ‘top tip’ in this series.

January 27, 2010

Are you sick of spam?

Like almost every email user (and that’s prettymuch everyone these days!) you probably get plenty of email newsletters landing in your inbox on a daily basis. But how many did you actually sign up to yourself?

If you’re anything like us you are probably receiving a wide variety of newsletters, offers, sales pitches, and local business announcements that you never requested.

Worse still is that if you don’t actually appreciate receiving them you probably can’t even have yourself removed from the mailing lists, can you?

It’s bad enough when you are the victim… But what if you are the perpetrator?

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing five of the top guidelines that ezine publishers need to adhere to – check back tomorrow for tip number one and make sure that you start getting it right!

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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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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May 25, 2009

How to Scale a ‘Ten Foot Wall’ of Objections

Do you frequently struggle with overcoming objections from your prospects? Do you often feel that they are nothing more than excuses? Then you’ll really appreciate today’s feature article guest authored by Robert Middleton. Robert is one of the mentors we’ve worked with previously, and in fact worked very closely with, in person. Enjoy the article.

The Ten Foot Wall

I’ve found that there are three big objections that frequently come up when anyone is looking at retaining the services of a professional.

  1. I don’t have the money.
  2. I don’t have the time.
  3. I’m not ready/can’t do it/am not able.

This is assuming everything else fits. They have the need and you have the services that can help them. They like you and trust you and you are both excited about the possibilities.

But then an objection bomb falls. So what do you do?

First of all, it’s important for you, the professional, to understand the nature of the objection. And the first fact about all three objections is that they are lies. Everytime.

Even if they really don’t have the money, have absolutely no time and are in some way not ready or able, they are lies. I suppose a softer way to say it is that they are excuses. And excuses are lies.

We lie because we have not made the distinction between an external reality and our belief about confronting that reality. To most of us they are exactly the same. For instance:

  • I don’t have the money now = I can’t raise the money.
  • I have a completely booked schedule = I can’t make the time.
  • I don’t have the experience = I’ll never really be ready or able.

Several years ago I participated in a workshop that included a ropes course. And one of the exercises was getting over a ten foot wall. The reality was that the wall was ten feet high. Everything else I thought about it was a lie: “I’ll never get over it, it’s too high, I’ll hurt myself, this is impossible, etc., etc.”

And then our instructor told our small team that it was time to go over the wall. And he really had no interest in our reasons why it was impossible. “It’s a ten foot wall. Now go over the wall.”

So we put our heads together and in just a few minutes (no kidding!), amazingly to me, we found a way to get over the wall.

And this is exactly how a potential client looks at working with you. They see a high fee, a commitment of time and a challenge that they have never faced before – a ten foot wall.

So the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to lie about the wall.

And the worst mistake you can make is to believe the lie. “Yes, that wall is too high. You’re right, it’s impossible to get over. I understand how hard it is, so let me call you back in a few months and see if you’re ready to get over the wall then.”

I promise you, they won’t be ready.

Again, assuming the work or project is right for them and they will gain a real benefit from working with you, then it is simply irresponsible to buy into their lie. You are definitely not serving their best interests if you “just let it slide.”

So what do you say when they lie to you like this?

You tell them the truth:

“This is something you really want to do, right?”

“Yes it is.”

“And if we do this, you agree that it will make a huge difference in your business (or life), correct?”

“Yes, it will.”

“Then I’d like you to make a commitment to move forward. And when you do that, we’ll work together to find a way to pay for it (or fit it into your schedule or get past your uncertainty). Are you willing to do that?”

“Well, I’m not sure. What if I can’t pay for it (or find the time or get past my uncertainties)?”

“Let’s do this: You make the commitment and I promise we’ll find a way to make it work. The worst that could happen is that things will get delayed a little while. But I know when you make the commitment, we can make it happen.”

“OK, let’s do it!”

Will it always go like this? Can you use this script verbatim? What if they accuse you of pressuring them? What if they tell you never to darken their doorway again?

All I can tell you is that if you make the commitment to take a stand for the truth about the difference your work will make for your clients (and don’t back down when they tell you lies), you will have a client who puts themselves completely in your hands and produces a magnificent outcome.

Give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?

Robert-Middleton©Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has been helping Independent Professionals be better marketers since 1984. On his web site ActionPlan.com find valuable resources, products and programs for attracting more clients and get a free copy of his Marketing Plan Start-Up Kit.

May 23, 2009

Stress Reduction Techniques?

Got a lot of stress?

Ms Rabble has some interesting thoughts….. we’d love to hear yours!

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…)

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

 

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