The Marketing Guy.
By: Craig Valine
Craig@biznetonline.com
For December 1998

Quick-Fix Strategies & Turn-Around Techniques to Grow Your Business

18 QUICK-FIX REMEDIES Quick-Fix Strategies & Turn-Around Techniques to Grow Your Business

It’s a certain fact that running a business can get overwhelming. If you have no marketing experience or in-depth knowledge, it can become even more overwhelming. These quick-fix remedies can help you get back on track. They are not designed to overcome the operations problems you might be having, but if getting and keeping new customers or clients is getting to you, apply just one of these, and you’ll be back on track.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #1 - Work your current customer list and your prospects. This is your best bet because you’ve already qualified these people, and your customers have already gone through the "trust" process with you. Work it!

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #2 - Stop spending a lot of money on advertising; use cost effective alternatives (i.e. Calling your customers, Visiting your customers, Writing your customers, Contacting old customers and getting them to recommend and refer people to you, Engineering endorsed relationships (where other people who have a very strong good-will factor with their customers introduce you and your products…recommend and endorse you to them)

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #3 - Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up (80% of the higher ticket sales that occur today only happen after the 5th or 6th follow-up effort)

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #4 - Use risk reversal. Whenever two parties come together, one is always being asked, whether it be implicitly or explicitly, to bear more of the risk in the purchasing transaction. To the extent you can assume almost or, even more then, all the risk in the transaction. Make it so you can make a proposition so risk free that the customer has more to gain by trying than not trying your service…you’re going to lower the barrier of entry.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #5 - Don’t be afraid to upsell, or bump up the sale. Just by offering a greater inducement to 100% of the people, a low 30% to a high of 60% will probably say yes. If you have a better model or style that can benefit the customer, then you owe it to them to offer it to them. Educate them on the benefits why the product will be better for them than what they were going to purchase.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #6 - Sell "after the fact" and keep re-selling your customer. You’ve got to sell your customer not just when they make the purchase but upon delivery, after the fact - and keep re-selling them. That’s how you get re-purchases. In today’s economy you cannot afford only to transact one-shot deals!

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #7 - Use marketing alliances. Who has customers you want? Where are they? They’ve already built trust with their customers. Wouldn’t their customers listen to them if they were to offer your product or services to them? Especially if they added more value and benefit to their lives? Indeed! What would stop them from making those customers available to you directly or what would you have to get them to offer their customers your product even if they did it through their sales people?

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #8 - Offer extended guarantees and incentives. The longer you offer a performance guarantee, the more people will avail themselves of your product…but the lesser number of people will act on the guarantee provided the product really performs. You have nothing to lose by giving very aggressive guarantees. Don’t be afraid that people will take advantage of you. Only if you offer an inferior product or service would everyone want their money back. And that’s not something you need to worry about, is it?

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #9 - Lock in sales in advance. A lot of people would only too eager to agree to purchase a certain minimum amount of your product or service at certain key intervals if you would but allow them to. For instance, a tree cutter knows that the same branch he just cut will grow back in three months. Why not schedule it now and just conveniently bill it to the credit card as necessary. That way the customer doesn’t have to call. The tree cutter is already there to do the job for them. And, the tree cutter now has cash-flow.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #10 - Know the lifetime value of your customers or clients. A lot of people are afraid to break-even on the front end because they’ve never analyzed what the cycle of repurchase is among their customers. Calculate the average amount of times a customer will do business with you in a month, how much the average purchase will be, and how many years that average customer does business with you. You will find out the "Lifetime Value of a Customer" this way.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #11 - Test prices. You find that a higher price may out-do a lower price, or vice-versa. But you don’t know, unless you test.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #12 - Decrease your overhead. How much smaller could you be and still operate successfully? How much overhead could you remove? How many people do I really need to do this job? How many people could operate more productively and efficiently?

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #13 - Make sure your letters and/or offers require a direct-response. Plain and simple. Whatever advertising and sales letters you produce, make sure that you can measure the response by placing a coupon, or a key code, or some reason to get the prospect to "ACT NOW". Otherwise, your spending away for nothing.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #14 - Create headlines that produce optimum results. Headlines are the ad for the ad. You’ve got to produce headlines that offer a benefit to the reader. A reason to keep reading what you’ve got to say. It must provide a self-serving benefit to the reader. Always test your headlines.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #15 - First understand where you are by measuring and analyzing results. You can’t grow you sales and profits unless you first understand where you are. Measure constantly.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #16 - Referrals. Make it a condition of doing business with you. Tell them that if you perform as you say you will and as they expect you to, that they must refer two qualified referrals, similar in character to themselves to do business with you, and to get the same service as they did. It’s powerful, but people will do it as long as you do what you say you will.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #17 - Recognize hidden assets in your business. Look for overlooked opportunities in your business. Some hidden assets might include: Your present and past customer base - relationships with vendors - under-performing advertisements - under-performing salespeople, etc., etc., etc.. They are those things in your business that you take for granted. Gain leverage on them. Leverage means getting phenomenally better results from the same time, money and effort you’re already spending.

QUICK-FIX REMEDY #18 - Telephone selling behind sales letters. People don’t always respond to the first letter you send because they get busy. Make follow-up sales calls and you may improve your sales significantly.

These are simple "quick-fix" remedies to get your business on track. It doesn’t take brain surgery to be a successful marketer. But, it does take consistent marketing to be successful. You must always be communicating the benefits and advantages of doing business with you to your prospects and customers - always!

Good luck!
Craig A. Valine

If you would like to know more about how to market your business effectively, e-mail the "Marketing Guy" at marketingguy@biznetonline.com


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