Archive for the ‘Small Business Marketing’ Category

Picture this image of two boys playing in a garden, trying to catch some birds.

One of the boys rushes around frantically with a net trying to catch the birds. Every time he gets close, the birds fly away. There's lots of squawking, and feathers flying. The other boy stands quietly, holding out some birdseed.

One boy is trying very hard, and is probably exhausted, while the other hardly seems to be working at all.

Which one will get the results he's looking for?

Instinctively you know it's the boy with the birdseed who will be more effective, and a lot less sweaty.

When it comes to marketing and trying to attract clients, you want to act more like that second boy. Unfortunately, though, most people tend to act more like the first.

A lot of the things you might be doing, that are considered to be traditional marketing techniques, might actually be counterproductive. You could well be chasing people away.

Effective marketing techniques used on the wrong market will only provoke resistance, and build defensiveness. You could be running after people, figuratively speaking, with barrages of email, rounds of cold calls and direct mailings, and quite possibly be achieving the exact opposite of what you want.

For example, no matter how effective cold-calling may be for me or someone else, if you detest doing it, your negativity will prevent it from being effective for you.

Even if you are using marketing techniques that are proven to attract clients, if you do them with the negative energy of chasing – if you give off the sense that you are giving simply in order to get - you will end up like the boy who is chasing the birds. Tired and without any bird in the hand.

You want to break down the barriers between you and your prospective clients, not create more of them.

Make sure that the things you are doing marketing-wise, both online and offline, will attract clients to your business. Doing what everyone says is the right thing, but doing it with the wrong energy, won't produce results.   Do the things that feel right to you. That will bring the positive energy into your marketing, and your clients will feel it.

You'll know when you're being a client magnet because it will feel easy. It should feel enjoyable, and you will have an abundance of clients.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at http://www.clientmagnets.com

moneyIn your quest for a million dollars, would you rather get:

A) get $10 from 100,000 clients,

B) $100,000 from 10 clients, or

C) $1,000,000 from 1 client?

If you've chosen option C, one single transaction, congratulations for having great business sense. But for the sake of practicality, let's use the first two choices for a model of quantity versus quality.

You know that no single person can provide a service that's perfect for every potential customer. To further that sentiment, I'd like to suggest that no person can serve 100,000 customers as well as they can serve 10 customers.

It's simple math that results in the same $1,000,000 answer for both options A and B, but you, the business owner, benefit most from choice B.

It's no secret that valuable time is squandered when you have to exhaust yourself chasing a large number of clients. Wouldn't it be magnificent to be able to sit, give your attention to a few clients, and make the same, or more, money?

Consider the chain of benefits: More focus on individual clients leads to better results for those few clients; those clients will offer better testimonials; and those satisfaction ratings will attract more high paying, high quality clients. This a circular effect of good business.

Of course, your next question is, "How?"

Scoring those lucrative client relationships starts where all good business does – in the early planning stages, even before lead generation.

Think big before you attract clients. You can't skip this step, because if you do, you'll end up attracting small-fry clients, and when you present them with the top-quality, top-priced program, you'll fall flat.

Here's an example to explain: you're selling a top-notch software program targeted at high-end, complicated tax processing. If you market to general accountants, you might be netting prospects that do anything from A-B-C accounting services to intricate, full time gigs with top corporations. There's no doubt that you'll strike out with the majority of your audience. Accountants that make their living on Joe Smith's bread-and-butter will have no interest in a high-end product like yours. Instead, back up and find a creative way to market to only those accountants serving the best-of-the-best, super-corporations. They will be willing to pay what you're asking. They've been around for long enough to see the value in it, and are successful enough to be able to pay for it.

When asking for the big bucks, keep these things in mind:

• Before you bring people to your website, before you send out your newsletter, consider the caliber of your product or service, and match it to the caliber of client that would be most likely to spend the kind of money you're asking for. Do the research required to find these people, rather than spending time generating dead-end leads.

• Consider your prospects' mindsets. Do they have cheeseburger budgets and milkshake level businesses? Or do they have filet mignon budgets and crème-brulee-level companies? Which would you rather have? Know that fast food customers won't have the money, or the taste, for expensive steaks.

• Don't make quality an afterthought, or you'll have attracted prospects in vain. Aim high, and your prospects won't bat an eye at your price revelations.

Don't assume that high paying clients are high maintenance. Often, they're more understanding and less demanding. They have the experience that it takes to understand the ins and outs of the business world. They understand your challenges, and are more likely to allow you the freedom to run with your expertise.

Low-paying clients are often new to the business world, and may either indirectly (or directly) look to you for advice beyond the scope of your work, or spend too much time highlighting insignificant details.

Don't be intimidated by the lucrative account. Be drawn to it. Recognize it for the gold mine that it is – and for the quality that it can create for your business.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at http://www.clientmagnets.com

Picture it:   an administrative assistant, who is responsible for sorting the postal mail, brings the daily delivery to her desk for opening and distribution.   As she shuffles through the pile of promotional mailings, invoices, payments, and correspondence from customers (she can recognize most types of mail by the envelopes that they're in), she comes upon something peculiar.

It's not flat; there's no way that it could have traveled seamlessly through a postage meter.   It contains more than paper.   It's got depth!   She tries to determine what's inside by squeezing the envelope in the area of the biggest bulge.   With that, she hears the unmistakable sound of a duck, "Quack!"   What in the world?…

Of course, the office employee opens the lumpy envelope first.   In it, she finds a cute-as-a-button rubber duck that quacks every time she squeezes him.   The letter that accompanies the duck is from an insurance company that is conducting a promotion for new customers.   The little quacking duck is a perfect likeness of the insurance company's mascot.

The woman gives the duck a prominent place on her desk.   He makes her smile.   She makes him quack when coworkers walk past, making them smile.   When she knocks him over with a paperweight or telephone receiver, she sees the name and phone number of the insurance company on his bottom.   And most importantly (for the insurance company), she remembers their business name every time she glances at the duck, prompting her to not only recommend the insurance company to her boss, but to her company's own clients.

The power of lumpy mail is two-fold:

• First, lumpy mail begs to be opened.   Can you imagine yourself throwing away a piece of lumpy mail?   Surely, you'd be wondering what was in there, and might even resort to fishing it back out of the trash to satisfy your curiosity.

• Secondly, the item in the envelope that's responsible for its lumpiness will stay with your target for as long as they choose, effectively giving your company's name a front seat in that target's mind.

Many times, business owners focus on the letter that's enclosed in their direct mail envelopes; when, in fact, their focus would be better placed on actually getting that envelope opened.   And it doesn't matter who opens it…even if a gatekeeper at a large corporation is intrigued enough to set to it with a letter opener, your correspondence has a greater chance of completing its voyage to the decision maker's desk.

Emails cost nothing to send.   But with direct mail, you're paying for paper, envelopes, ink, and postage.   Unless people are opening those direct mailings, your spending is in vain.   Even with a conservative mailing list, you can spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in the blink of an eye.

Because you're investing so much more in direct mail, high response rates are more than desirable.   Direct mail experts site 1 or 2 percent response rates to direct mailings as satisfactory, even impressive.   But if you want extraordinary response rates to your direct mailings, a lumpy mail endeavor could result in response rates as high as 25 percent.   That means that, even if your budget is so tight that you can only afford to send out 10 pieces of lumpy mail, you can expect a response from 2 or 3 of your recipients.

So lump it up!   Mix up the mail bag.   Make mail interesting again.   Maybe you haven't the budget for big bulk mailing…but there's nothing stopping an honest shot at some lucrative lumpiness.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at http://www.clientmagnets.com

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