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Referral Marketing Helps You Stop Worrying About Clients And Builds Your Business On Auto Pilot

Referral Marketing is the key to building your business and prospects base in no time. It seems most business biggest worries is how to generate more leads so that they can generate more sales. There is one thing the most business have not tried which is word of mouth marketing. Yes I said word of mouth marketing and advertising.

This form of marketing is one of the best ways to help overcome the anxiety and worrying about obtaining new clients, because the prospects come from people who already believe in your service or product. Have you ever thought about how many times a day you refer people to business well that is what referral marketing will do for you and your business it will get you clients without you even looking for them.

The reason why word of mouth marketing works so well is that people love to give referral, see it is in our human nature to feel that we are being helpful and by giving something to someone makes the giver feel great inside it is simple psychology. They also like the idea that they have are helping someone grow their business particularly if you are a small mom and pop shop.

The other benefit it is a great return on investment looking at it from a financial stand point you can not lose when you choose to get new client using referral marketing. Unlike other advertising techniques the cost of entry can be as little as 0 dollars.

This type of marketing also lends itself to branding by default see you will be borrowing credibility and trust, as you know most consumers and business alike have been burnt one way or another so referral marketing opens up a new flood gates of clients that already trust you because you was recommended by someone they trust, respect and like. When you or your business is recommended by someone they already trust in effect you borrow the trust.

The other benefit is you gain more clients willing to except the price you charge, here is a little example lets say you are a hairstylist but your prices is a tad bit more than your competitors when you a referred it would probably sound something like “I know a great hairstylist that can do all you need but she is a tad bit higher but she is worth every penny”. This is how you will be referred and most people do care about quality so you have now risen above the average.

In conclusion if you start making referral marketing part of your daily marketing plan you will no longer have to worry about getting clients as you will soon have more clients than you can keep up with.

Everything You Know About Marketing is Wrong!

For as long as marketing and advertising has been the driving force behind big business, smaller companies have tried copying their marketing strategies with results that are less than desirable. This results in the general opinion among small business owners that marketing is expensive and does little to generate business.

These general opinions are true. So true in fact that the majority of small business owners have become so jaded by their own marketing activities that they have chosen not to market their business. Other business owners have heard stories of failed marketing attempts and they too shy away from actively growing their business.

Why?

Everything you know about marketing is wrong!

That’s why!

How can I say that everything you know about marketing is wrong? Look around, look at the marketing you see every day. We are bombarded by TV commercials, radio adverts, billboards and print advertising and as a result this is how we have now learnt to market our businesses. This could not be further from the truth as to how we should be marketing our business.

The type of marketing we have become accustomed to has its origins in the 1950′s. This was before TV had been launched in South Africa and the two largest advertising mediums were radio and print, although nowhere near as competitive or costly as it is today. The 1950′s is known as the era of the brand builders. Brand building worked off a simple formula adopted by advertising agencies, used even in today’s era of marketing and advertising. This formula is so simple and yet out of reach to smaller businesses as the cost escalates in to the millions. The brand building formula, ‘C&R’ is how they base all their advertising and marketing expertise. C&R translated into layman’s terms is Creativity and Repetition Advertising. Simply put, develop a creative catchy advert and repeat it so many times that it sticks. Almost like throwing mud onto a wall. If it is dirty enough some will remain behind and leave a lasting impression.

It is frightening how many millions this type of advertising can amount to, keep in mind that advertising is only one element of the vast array of guerrilla marketing tactics at our disposable. Here is a brief example. A number of years ago I was involved with a large corporate advert in the motor security environment. They commissioned a budget of R3 500 000 for the production of their advert. The ad was cute and portrayed the essence of the company and the service provided to the public. Excluded in that hefty production bill was airtime fee across the variety of TV channels in SA. This amounted to a whopping R4 000 000, which delivered three months of airtime. The company then ran short of budget for the second half of the year and decided to rebroadcast the same advert for another R4 000 000, with far less effect. In total R 11 500 000 was spent on the ad campaign and not one sale could be tracked from the ad campaign.

Can you see how you have been trained to believe that TV, Radio and Print adverts are the way to market your business? As a small business you can market yourself for far less and generate generous results.

Jay Conrad Levinson coined the term Guerrilla Marketing in 1984. He is known as the father of Guerrilla Marketing and is considered a pioneer with his take-no-prisoners approach to marketing for the small and medium-size business owner. Jay has authored and co-authored over 35 books, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. His skills and marketing tactic have become part of the curriculum in many universities worldwide as they recognise that the standards of marketing have changed.

Adopting Guerrilla Marketing Tactics into your business is key to growing your business at an affordable marketing budget. There are over 100 marketing weapons, according to Jay, that should be considered when planning a marketing activity in your business. One of which is database marketing, using technology as a delivery vehicle.

Before any marketing takes place you need to establish the type of business you are in. You may be a service provider, you may sell products, you may be in manufacturing, hairdressing, plumbing or retail. Which ever it may be, know that your primary business is marketing: marketing your products and services. Marketing is one of the only two activities that drives revenue, the other being sales.

The aim of Guerrilla Marketing is primarily to explore the untapped assets within your business. Those assets are your marketable entities that can and should be used to expose the benefits of doing business with you.

Of the 100 Guerrilla Marketing tactics, around 60 will cost nothing to implement into your daily marketing activities. These can be used in their simplest form, and stem from what is known as the ‘inner reality’ of the business.

The ‘inner reality’ of your business is everything you and your business stand for. This could be the based on service excellence, owner and staff expertise, your guarantee (also known as risk reversal), time in business and other elements that make you stand out from the crowed of competitors.

Taking what we now know from your ‘inner reality’ and matching it to the ‘outer perception’, the experiences and opinions your clients have of your business, is the basis for the development of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Your USP becomes your superior promise to your clients and prospects of that which they will experience with your business based on other clients’ experiences as well as the ethos of your company.

Once your USP has been well constructed and implemented throughout all communication channels, the competition your audience faces is narrowed as they realise that you must be the obvious choice to do business with based on the superior promise you offer. You must be able to back up your USP with testimonials and references that have been blown away by your offer and service. There you have a number of Guerrilla Marketing tactics in place: testimonials, references and a compelling USP.

One of the most obvious Guerrilla Marketing tactic is known as phone demeanour. This baffles most business owners yet is so simple to implement and get right. Your telephone is the first port of call to your business and so often the people operating the switchboard perform so poorly that every caller must wonder why they have called in the first place. Make sure that every telephonic communication presents the best possible experience for the client. This goes for your voice mail as well as leaving messages on other peoples’ answering machines.

One of the most obvious Guerrilla Marketing tactics, which is usually underutilised, is your business card. Many business cards deliver the least amount of detail, which should be considered a waste of paper and print. Your card should inspire and motivate the prospect to take some kind of action. Next time you are at a networking event presenting your business take a good look at the variety of business cards you receive and separate cards those that move you from those that are not grabbing your interest. Then decide what needs to change on your card. Picture your card as a mini portable billboard that advertises your company.

Spot the other guerrilla activity? That’s right, networking. There are obviously the good and the not so good networking events. Choose those that relate closest to your industry and learn the dynamics of effective networking. This will help to grow your list of potential buyers and even suppliers. Keep in mind that there are always sellers at networking events and very few buyers. This is however, a very good way to initiate relationships for future marketing.

That brings us to another guerrilla marketing activity, relationship marketing. People like to buy from people they like and trust. The fact that they entrust their hard-earned cash into your offer means that some kind of working relationship needs to be established to ease the risk of the business transaction. There are many relationship tools available to small business owners that ‘automate’ the relationship process. These tie into other tactics such as email and digital marketing.

Guerrilla Marketing is everything you do, from the way you answer your phone to your dress code and appearance. It is any contact you have, or anyone representing you, with anybody or company.

Your marketing should start and have no end; it needs to been seen as a circle of events that continue year in and year out. These events should be structured on your Guerrilla Marketing calendar for easy reference and measurement. Every marketing campaign should be structured around your marketing plan. Jay developed the seven sentence-marketing plan which delivers direction and accountability to your marketing efforts. This plan outlines the promotion, benefits, audience and budget of every campaign. Following these basic fundamentals of small business marketing will help your company generate sales and profits without spending unnecessary money on advertising.

Marketing Your Business is Essential

Marketing your business is of high importance in increasing your customer base and product/service sales. There are many ways you can market your business and receive results. Keep in mind that the average return on your efforts is 1%-3% return for the contacts made. Therefore, the more contacts the more responses you’ll receive.

Letters to your prospective clients is one of the best ways on communication. It gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself and your products/services to the prospect, with information on why they should respond to your letter. You want to keep your letter brief and to the point. You can lose the prospects’ interest if you use too much verbege. Be concise and to the point. Use nice stationary and matching envelopes when using this method of contact. The more professional your letter appears will ensure that the recipient will at least look at it and read the content. Plain white paper and cheap regular envelopes do not generate the same interest. Use light gray or ivory as statistics show these are the best colors for business letters.

Faxing letters of flyers is another method of marketing. There are laws regarding this method. You need to have permission to fax which you can get by calling and asking permission. Make sure you document who gave you permission to fax. When you call for permission, identify yourself, your company and briefly what type of information you want to fax. If your prospective client is interested in your product/service, they will usually give you the needed permission to fax it to them.

Telemarketing is another source of marketing. When telemarketing, make sure you are not aggravating your prospect when calling. The best method we’ve found is to introduce yourself and your company, briefly tell the person answering the phone what your call is regarding and ask for the owner, manager or decision maker to call you back. If your subject matter is of interest to your prospect, they will call you back.
Telemarketing is more cost effective today due to the phone companies that offer unlimited long distance rates.

Brochures are a more expensive way to market although you can get a wealth of information regarding your product/services out to your prospective client. You need to make sure that your brochure is attractive on first sight using color and art work that depicts what you are selling. Additionally, you want to give as much information about your products/services as possible, but at the same time, you don’t want to give all of your information away. You want to leave a few unanswered questions to generate an interested response from the prospective client.

Internet marketing in today’s’ world is an effective means of marketing. You can build websites at little or no cost. If you choose this method of marketing, you’ll need to get your website submitted to as many search engines as possible for it to be effective. Even if you are not exposed on the internet, it helps to have a website to direct potential clients to.

Additionally, in all forms of communication, make sure you have all means of contact printed on all materials including your phone number, fax number, email address, physical address, and web site address. Do not use a P O box as an address. With all of the scams today, a physical address gives more credibility to your business marketing efforts.

In summary, what ever means of marketing you choose, be consistent! Even if you only contact 25 new prospects a day, daily marketing is critical to building your business.