As I allowed in my earlier posts: “Reason #1-3”, despite the potential benefits that working with a marketing advisor offers you, you might not benefit from working with one for several reasons. Here’s Reason #4 . . .

Reason #4:  You Don’t Have a Business Worthy of Marketing
No kidding.  Sometimes we find a business that, quite honestly, isn’t being operated very effectively.  In short, the customers, clients or patients aren’t having a truly ‘positive’ experience with the business or practice.

This is not to say that people don’t need or want what you offer. They probably do. It’s just that they feel ‘less than ideal’ when they seek to get it from your firm.

In this case, any promotional activity will only put you on the ‘Superhighway of Marketing Hell’.  The negative ‘word-of-mouth’ that a ‘negative’ experience with your business can cause will never be as compelling as any kind of marketing promotion you might run.

You Need Solid Management MORE Than You Need Good Marketing
The real foundation of any successful business is not marketing.  It’s good management.  Management that understands what attracts — and keeps — someone coming back to your firm for more of what they came for in the first place.  So sometimes, an advisor needs to help you assess and tighten up the operation before they ever help you promote awareness of your business to prospective clients.

No marketing can overcome poor management!

As I allowed in my earlier posts: “Reason #1-2”, despite the potential benefits that working with a marketing advisor offers you, you might not benefit from working with one for several reasons. Here’s Reason #3 . . .

Reason #3:  You Don’t Understand What a Marketing Advisor Does
This is problematic for two reasons.  First, if you don’t know what an advisor is supposed to do, how can you judge if you’re getting what you should be?  Second, if you believe you know what a marketing advisor is supposed to do, you’ll probably tell him (or, her) what you expect them to do. Sadly, that’s like using a gun butt for a hammer.  Technically you can do it but it’s not the best way to use the weapon.

A Marketing Advisor . . . ADVISES!
An advisor helps you formulate a marketing strategy and identifies factors that may limit your ability to generate interest in what you do and put revenues in your bank if you don’t.  An advisor is not going to design / update your website, copywrite your direct mail letters, manage your email autoresponders, print your tri-fold brochures, build a tradeshow booth, etc..  An advisor will, however, make darned sure you know which, why (and, how!) any of these actions is going to increase your revenues — or waste your money.

Think of it this way.  A Marketing Advisor helps you know WHAT you must do, WHY, HOW and may even arrange WHO and WHERE you can go to get these things done.  But an advisor will not do these things for you.

Understand what a marketing advisor really does . . . and choose yours accordingly! 

As I allowed in my earlier post: “Reason #1”, despite the potential benefits that working with a marketing advisor offers you, you might not benefit from working with one for several reasons. Here’s Reason #2 . . .

Reason #2:  You’re Not Ready, Willing or Able To Invest in One
You know the expression, “It takes money to make money”?  Obviously there are other factors.  But investing in your business is a key factor in making your business successful. You may invest money in your office, a website, a flight to attend a conference, taking prospects to lunch, etc..

All Expenses Are Not Investments
While the IRS may allow most expenses you incur as ‘business-related’ for deduction purposes, MOST . . . are not investments.  The difference?  An investment is money you spend that is likely to generate a ‘return’ not only of but on that money.  An expense may be necessary but lacks the potential ROI to be considered a business ‘investment’.

A Marketing Consultant is an Investment
Good marketing consultants ‘earn their keep’ by helping you generate revenues and profits many times over whatever you pay them.  If they don’t, FIRE THEM.  In fact, if they won’t offer you a GUARANTEE of some kind, RUN LIKE HELL!

Marketing Consultants are supposed to make you money . . . if you don’t understand or believe that about someone, find someone you can! 

I’m not being negative.  I’m being real.  With you.  Unfortunately, despite the potential benefit that working with a marketing advisor like SellMore Marketing — a certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant since 2005 — offers you, you might not benefit from working with us.

Reason #1:  You’re Not Ready, Willing or Able To Change
If you’re thinking about your marketing and/or hiring someone to help you do it better, you’re not happy with your marketing results. That’s a given.

Unfortunately, if you’re UN-willing to change the way you’ve been doing your marketing, you aren’t going to get any better results.

This a case where what you SAY you want and what you DO to get it . . . need to be aligned –– or you’ll continue to get what you’ve been getting . . . and I bet ‘Frustrated’ is at the top of your list.  Am I right?

Find Your Big, Compelling Reason to Change
If you want to change anything – your weight, your business, your relationship, etc. –  you need a compelling reason to do so.  Years ago, I said to a cigarette smoking friend, “You have no will power”.  He immediately taught me a great lesson when he said, “My will power is strong.  The problem is my will to smoke is stronger than my will to stop”.

So it’s a dynamic balance.  You want to change your marketing to enjoy better revenues and more profits.  But you also want to avoid making changes in your attitude and behavior.  One of your desires is going to win.  Which one actually does reflects what’s more important to you . . . status quo or real change . . . and only one can win . . . in any given moment.

Change Your Attitude . . . To Change Your Behavior
Marketing success reflects effective marketing behavior.  If your current behavior isn’t working as you want, you must make changes.  But changing behavior isn’t easy . . . until you find a more compelling reason to change than you have now that argues you should not.

Change your ATTITUDE . . . your RISK / REWARD ratio . . . or no advisor will make a difference in your marketing

Make sure your marketing recognizes all prospects are not at the same point in their buying process. Yes, there IS a PROCESS your client must go through to become your client:

Stage 1: “Happy Campers”
Think back to a time before you bought a car, a home, a cell phone. You were probably happy with the car, home or phone you had BEFORE you ever starting thinking about getting a new one. Prospects in this stage are equally ‘happy’ with their status quo.  They tend to ‘stay put’ until there’s a good reason to change.  That’s why your marketing messages need to help these people become aware of their frustrations . . . and develop a desire for ‘something better’.

Stage 2: “Lookers and Cookers”
These prospects are increasingly aware of their frustrations and are very receptive to information on how to best address them.  They are also diligently doing their homework on why your firm may be a ‘better’ option to get a solution from than any others.

Stage 3: “Try’ers and buyers”
These prospects are ready to do something (like buy!) to feel better.  They know why and learned what they want as well as who has the best solution for the problems they’re suffering with or the opportunities they’re missing out on.  These people need your help to ‘take action’ . . . like buying the solution you’re offering.

Tailoring marketing messages to be ‘stage specific’ makes you more effective!

“Let’s Shake On It, Then!”
Businesspeople make promises to their clients.  It’s what we do.  Unfortunately, the expectation of many (most?) clients is that a promise is likely to be broken.

You Need a SYSTEM
If your reputation for ‘keeping your word’ . . . or, promises . . . is so important but it seems to be the exception (not the rule) that businesspeople will break more than they make . . . you have to ask, “Why?”.  The answer is not that they meant to break their promise, but that they don’t have a system in place to make sure they keep them!

Make a Promise . . . “Write a Check”
If you’re in a service business . . . where the client’s buying your ability to ‘come through’ as you promise (and, your client expects) then you need a deliberate way to ensure that happens . . . consistently.  My suggestion?  “Write a check”.  Literally.  Not on your bank.  On your time!  Think of a ‘check’ as a written evidence of your commitment to your client’s happiness . . . with you.

When you make a promise . . . WRITE A CHECK to demonstrate your commitment to ‘cash it’ with your customer or client.  Here’s an example:

Is this SCARY?  You bet it is!  Especially if you’re not committed to deliver.  This is a huge ACCOUNTABILITY tool.  But, if you’re as good as you say you are, it’s a NO BRAINER, isn’t it? Actually, it’s going to help you to DIFFERENTIATE yourself and your practice!

NOTE:  If you’d like my Special Report on how to set up a ‘Promise Checkbook System’ . . . shoot me an email and I’ll send it right back!

You make promises every day . . . give people evidence of your commitment and watch your competition shake in their boots! 

Lately, graphic information (not the “Oh no, I did NOT need to know THAT!” kind) has been prolific.  Whether it’s the state of your equity assets or the rate of (un)employment, there’s definitely no shortage of information about what’s happening in the world, is there?

The Heisenberg Effect
Werner Heisenberg won a Nobel Prize for his work in physics.  The ‘Heisenberg Effect’ got its name from his experiments that revealed the fact that observing an event changes the event.  Heisenberg observed the velocity and movement of sub-atomic particles.  If he focused on a particle’s velocity, its movement changed and vice versa.

Tracking Your Behavior . . . Changes Your Results 
In your daily life, Heisenberg’s effect is operating, too.  The action of tracking your behavior makes you more aware of it and, somehow, it affects your performance.  Athletes keep score not only to know who won the round or game but because it drives them to improve.

Behavioral Goals . . . Matter
Goals reflect either 1) a consequence or 2) a contributing factor.  “Make $1.2MM in gross revenues” is a consequence . . . of doing many things correctly before that becomes a reality. “Develop visibility and credibility with CEO’s in our target market” is a contributing factor. The former reflects a meaningful achievement.  The latter is what will cause it to happen.

Keep Score . . . tracking your contributing factors leads to successful consequences! 

In the short time human beings have been on the planet, we started out as ‘hunter-gatherers’ who had to stalk and kill prey to eat to ‘farmers’ who learned to cultivate the land for our food.
Moving from ‘hunting’ to ‘farming’ was a huge step in the growth of civilization.  OK, the ‘thrill of the kill’ may have been lost, but the fact is farmers tend to eat more regularly and predictably.

Farming . . . Leads To Predictable Productivity
Farmers know that planting in the spring means they’ll have a harvest in the fall.  Sure, there’s some risk — like drought, insects, etc. — but overall, “input => output” in farming with a fairly high degree of probability.

Business . . . Has Reverted
In the world of small business, many firms seem to prefer ‘hunting’ rather than ‘farming’.  The problem is that hunting is a ‘hit or miss’ proposition. Cultivating opportunities . . . is not.  But it requires a strategic perspective, not a tactical one.  Not easy to find these days.

You Do Have a Choice
Assuming you’re aware of these two options, which one are you choosing — farming or hunting?  If increasing the predictability of generating everything you need to ‘go to the bank’ — leads, referrals, opportunities and (lest we forget!) revenues . . . is important to you . . . why would you not want to be a farmer of your business?

Be a farmer . . . cultivate relationships for the referrals and revenues they offer! 

Wayne Gretsky the renowned hockey player was once asked for the ‘secret’ for his success.  His reply?  “Other players go to where the puck is now.  I go to where the puck is going to be”.

Anticipation . . . determining where the thinking is going
In marketing, the same principle applies. You want to engage with prospective clients where they are going (to be) in their thinking about what you do . . . i.e. ‘the conversation’ just as Gretsky did with the hockey puck.

Keywords . . . the key to being where your prospects are going to be
While outbound marketing tactics — cold calls, mass media advertising, etc. are still viable, inbound marketing — being found by prospects when they’re seeking information about what you do — is growing rapidly as a critical component of effective marketing.

Being Found . . . is your first step
Once someone finds you online, thanks to your keyword-relevant content and a Google search, you want to invite them to get what they want — useful, relevant information on the topic of interest — from your blog or website.  That means a landing page offering a whitepaper, report, etc. in exchange for their contact information — which you can use to cultivate a relationship that may lead, sooner or later, to a new client relationship.

Be there . . . whenever your prospects’ are thinking about what you do

This year, we’ve had work done on our home.  A number of contractors have ‘graced’ the property.  Landscapers, irrigation specialists, hardwood floor experts, painters, etc.  My wife Joyce said, “We’ve seen more contractors this year than when the house was being built”.  I agree.  It does seem that way.

Candor is Attractive
On a scale of 1 – 10, where 10 is high, our contractors have, for the most part, fallen into the “6 – 8” range. They’ve been ‘above average’ in their expertise and the ‘experience’ we’ve had with them.  But three people have earned a ’10’ from us. Why?  “Candor”

“Pardon, Your Foundation is Showing . . . And You’ve Got Cracks!”
Each of our ‘Top 3’ people were completely transparent with us. What impressed us was their candor about work someone in their company had done . . . incorrectly.

Disclosure is Disarming and . . . Charming
As hard as it is to acknowledge a mistake, it reveals character and integrity when you do. Showing your imperfections makes you human and builds your credibility with clients. It’s also the first step in recovering and restoring the goodwill that’s ‘at risk’ if you don’t.

Admitting your mistakes . . . makes you more attractive . . . to prospects and clients