Monday, July 26, 2010

Small Business Coaching: A Two-Step Marketing Strategy For Clients & Sales

Many small business owners I've worked with have a bit of a one-track mind when it comes to sales and how to sell a service. Even if you're just now starting home-based business, this is an important strategy for you internalize as well. As a small business coach, one of the things I often have to hammer home with entrepreneurs is that people aren't always ready to buy simply because you're ready to sell. So when you walk into a room where your ideal prospects are, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a sale that day. That's the truth and its a reality you have to embrace. So let's talk about the two-step marketing strategy to dramatically increase clients and sales.

Let me first say the #1 thing to remember here is that not everyone is your potential client. So you must first be intimately familiar with who your target market is. If the description of your target market sounds more like "everyone" then you may have some work to do. Once you've nailed the profile of your target market, you can do the 2-step:

Step One: Have prospects make the choice

Wouldn't it be cool if hundreds of people came to your website each month requesting that you give them what you've got? Is that really possible? Sure, it is. Happens in my business every single month. So step one is you ask them if they're interested by offering a taste of who you are and a taste of your expertise for free.

Not everyone who raises their hand to get that free taste is a potential customer, of course. There are people out there who just live on free stuff. But don't let that stop you. You'll find that many who want your freebie indeed convert to clients and customers later on. By contrast, if you never offer an opportunity for visitors to self-select as a potential client, you are losing countless prospects and sales every single month.

So what's your action? Create that free sample of your expertise and offer it on every single page of your website. If you do offline marketing, put that offer on your business card. What's the freebie offer you ask? A free CD, free downloadable audio, free special report, free e-Book. All focused on your area of expertise and the problems you solve for people.

Caution: This free or low-cost offer is not all about you and your qualifications. It's not even something you think is interesting and cool. In fact, it's not about you at all. Whatever you create must be focused on the #1 problem your clients typically want you to solve for them. The thing they're up at night worried about. That's what you focus on when you create that unique free taste of you.

Step Two: Make offers only to those who self-select

When you give away your free stuff, don't assume that someone will naturally take the next step to purchase your product or service. You must tell them what you have available that will help them further. People want to know. If they're interested in your introductory offer, many will want to know how to get more. Be sure to explain that in your freebie.

Now here's the key thing... your follow-up strategy isn't just one email or one call. Studies have shown that most purchases happen only after having seen the offer 7 times or more. Don't be shy. Remind people of how you can help them. Marketing is simply letting people know how you can help and the solutions you offer to their most pressing problems. And you can do that in a very authentic way.

In your follow-up, you share what you have to offer, the results it can help you prospect achieve and how they can get it. You'd be amazed how many business owners forget that last part - show them how to get it. This means you show them where they can buy. You must be confident enough to let people know where they can purchase your products and services if they're interested.

So what's your action here? Review your marketing process - see how many times you actually follow up with an individual who expressed interest in what you do. Check whether you are truly being clear about the problems you solve for them too (vs just talking about your product or service). Also check that you not are stopping short of showing them exactly how to buy.





Change your marketing strategy to include this 2-step and you'll be amazed at how many more interested prospects you can effortlessly attract - who later become clients and customers.

Small Business For Dummies
The Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide