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
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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?

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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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January 22, 2009

Only Ten Days Left

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  • Attract leads with a powerful BRAND PROMISE
  • Build credibility to create BRAND EXPECTATION
  • Close deals at premium rates, then deliver BRAND BELIEF
  • Use your BRAND LEVERAGE to expand your business beyond your wildest dreams?

We are offering complimentary access to our five-part eCourse to help you understand the common elements of all great brands, and provide you with simple tools to build powerful branding for YOUR professional services business.

The RRP for this eCourse is £99, but until the end of January we are offering it completely FREE OF CHARGE

Learn more about the eCourse and sign up at www.zee2a.com/branding

January 19, 2009

Could You Make More Profitable Sales by Doing LESS Networking?

networkingIs it possible to stop doing so much networking and yet make more sales with higher profits?

 

Sound crazy?

 

Read the feature article in the week’s Marketing Edge eZine due out first thing on Wednesday morning.

 

Not a subscriber yet?

 

Sign up at: www.zee2a.com and grab a host of free marketing resources at the same time.

Your email details will NEVER be shared, sold or compromised. View our full privacy policy.

January 5, 2009

You Ought To Know!

Today we’re sharing a video from You Tube that (so far) has had over 44000 views.  In a very creative way it makes the serious point about why cold calling sucks and doesn’t work – and offers some ideas of what marketing activities get better results.

 

Once you’re done watching the video you’d be smart to refresh your memory on two previous articles in The Marketing Edge:  Never Cold Call Again! And Get More Clients into the Bargain… And Don’t Place Another Ad Before You Read This!

 

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts

December 1, 2008

Free Sales Tele-Class Next Week!

virtual-seminar1Would You Like to Attend A Free Sales Tele-Class on 9 December?

Would you like to attend a FREE one-hour tele-seminar that will explore the four key elements of a successful sale, providing practical advice and examples to help you perfect each step?
The call is taking place on Tuesday 9th December at 7pm UK time (2pm Eastern), and pre-registration is essential. (We have UK and USA dial in numbers for the call.)

For full information on the tele-seminar, and how to register, please visit:
http://www.zee2a.com/teleseminar/

November 28, 2008

Get More Clients Without Cold-Calling!

no-more-cold-calls

NEVER COLD-CALL AGAIN! 

And Get More Clients
Into the Bargain …

 

Okay, so that title sounds like a load of phoo-ey, right? (And yes, phoo-ey IS a technical term we marketing gurus use!) Everybody knows that the only way to get new clients is to cold-call, or cold-mail – how else do you find prospects that you might end up doing business with? That is at least how the accepted wisdom goes – and judging by the number of organisations in the UK currently selling lists of prospects carefully segmented by any number of weird and wonderful demographics, the accepted wisdom is still very much accepted. So how can I tell you that you’ll get more clients by NOT cold-calling?

 

Here’s something you might not have thought of before: Did you know that organisations like Sainsburys and Barclays Bank cannot cold-call? Now I’m not saying that there’s some kind of law that prevents them. Rather, I’m pointing out that it’s impossible for them to do so. How’s that? Because pretty much anyone who might appear on one of their marketing lists (and that includes virtually everyone over the age of sixteen in the British Isles) has not only heard of them, but also quite likely knows where their nearest branch or store is. The point is that we’re not cold prospects – we know them, we’re familiar with their logo and their place of business, and we have possibly even had some experience of them. We’ve already been warmed to them by our previous dealings with them, to the extent that we likely view them as part of our community. And that can make the world of difference to our reception when being marketed to.

 

Of course, part of the reason for that is the immense marketing and operating budgets at the disposal of these commercial giants. They buy this exposure by running TV commercials and radio slots ad nauseum (or at least it can feel like it!) and by having a physical presence on nearly every High Street in the country. Very few of the professional service organisations we work with have anything more than a fraction of a percent of that financial muscle – but there is still a vital lesson we can learn from their success. The lesson is this: Never market to strangers!

 

You may notice that the lesson sounds very like our title, and with good reason – cold-calling and cold-mailing are first-rate examples of marketing to strangers. Why not market to strangers? Three reasons (well, four if you count the conclusion): They don’t know you, they don’t like you, they don’t trust you – so they are not going to buy from you! You may want to remember this as the ‘know, like and trust threshold’ and test every marketing initiative against it. If a marketing initiative hasn’t already scaled the ‘know, like and trust threshold’, keep your money in your pocket.

 

You’re probably thinking ‘I’ve worked every lead I already know, so without marketing to strangers I’m not going to get even one more customer!’ We might debate just how effectively you’ve worked every lead you already know, but let’s agree for the purposes of this article that what you say is true. Really, if you want to grow your business you have no alternative but to market to strangers, right?

 

Ah well, having told you what not to do perhaps I should now share with you what you must do to turn strangers into profitable customers. The answer lies in identifying connections which link you with the strangers you wish to market to. What’s a connection? Think of it as an affiliation, a commonality you share with the individual you wish to engage in a marketing conversation. It really doesn’t matter that much what the nature of the connection is – are you part of the same church-group? Do you share a hobby? Did you grow up in the same town or attend the same school? Are you subscribed to the same Chamber of Commerce? A connection may even be established by subscribing to the same periodical!

 

It’s a fact that the single greatest human need is acceptance – a need to belong, to feel connected. In this twenty-first century world where the community values of our grandparents no longer have any kind of currency, we fulfil our need for acceptance through a bewildering range of virtual communities – some of them so virtual that they only exist in cyberspace! You would be making a dangerous mistake concluding that the connections we hold have little value – they are actually the most powerful marketing tools we have.

 

Don’t believe me? Then consider this – if you can identify a connection to your prospects, they are no longer strangers! If you’re still struggling to see this, perhaps you might want to tell me which of the following is a more persuasive marketing pitch:

  • 20% Discount on our services during December!
  • Produce a Basingstoke and Deane Council Tax bill to receive a 20% ‘community’ discount during December!

Of course if you’re thinking ‘Who wants to live in a dump like Basingstoke?’ you’ve just proved my point! We Basingstokers suspect how others feel about us (especially since that ‘Crap Towns’ book hit the shelves) but we know that we are part of a wonderful warm community and we look after each other. Which may or may not be true – but it’s our perception, so nothing could be truer for us. We’re connected, see? And we can’t be connected to strangers – that’s another impossibility.

 

I strongly urge you to do something right now that will have an immediate impact on your marketing success rates. Take a few minutes to consider where you might find communities with a high percentage of your prospects. Then consider how you might connect with those communities on the basis of joint participation, and frame a marketing campaign that emphasizes your connection.

 

Before long you’ll have added another connection to some of those community members – they’ll be profitable clients.

 

©David Deakin and Zee2A Limited 2008.

This article was first published in The Marketing Edge on 23rd January 2008

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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November 24, 2008

Three Pitfalls of Strategic Partnerships

partnerships1Many small businesses spend far too much time chasing strategic partnerships that never get to the point of delivering referral business, and thus waste effort that would have been better used elsewhere.

What goes wrong?

And how can we ensure early success in our strategic partnerships?

 

If you’d like the answers to those questions, you need to read this week’s Marketing Edge which will be published by email first thing on Wednesday morning.

Sign up for your free copy at www.zee2a.com and make sure you have verified your subscription before midnight tomorrow (Tuesday 24th November).

 

Feel free to read previous issues at: http://www.zee2a.com/MarketingEdge/index.html

Read our privacy policy at: http://www.zee2a.com/privacy.html

November 13, 2008

Executive AE Update

exclamationOnly 5 Places Left at Executive A&E

Grab One NOW Before it’s Too Late

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