How to Keep Your Business Healthy
By: Charlie Cook
Can you imagine you're ninety years old and still hiking up mountains with your grandchildren, bench pressing more than most twenty year olds, and making millions of dollars?
Recently Jack LaLanne, America's first TV fitness guru, turned ninety. Not only is he still sound of mind, in great shape, he's made millions and is still earning more. How does he do it?
You know it is important to eat your fruits and veggies, exercise regularly, avoid drinking and smoking and get enough sleep to stay healthy. To that list Jack LaLanne would add, set clear goals, exercise with weights twice a week, avoid eating between meals and keep your mind active.
Of course you can't just eat well and skip the exercise or avoid the drinking and smoking and skimp on sleep. Jack LaLanne is still going strong at 90 because he does ALL the things required to stay healthy every day.
Marketing your business requires the same comprehensive, disciplined approach Jack LaLanne uses to stay healthy at 90. To attract new clients and retain existing ones you need to set goals, target a need, get attention, prompt action, grow your network, establish credibility, provide a solution, follow up, demonstrate value and stay in touch. These are the ten essential steps to marketing your business.
Like a staircase, the steps are connected and you need to put them together in the proper sequence and use each of them regularly. A common marketing mistake is to focus on just one or two of the above steps and hope for the best. Joan, who owns a sports facility, called last week about her advertising campaign. It was costing her significant dollars but wasn't translating into new clients. What was the problem?
Advertising can help get attention but to be effective it needs to be focused on clients' needs and prompt them to action. Joan's advertising was focused on her solution, not on prospects' needs resulting in a disappointing response. Once she rewrote her ads to target prospects' needs, her response rates and business revenue increased.
Larry's promotional efforts were working but he wasn't having success translating all the attention he was getting into dollars and cents. Thanks to top search engine positioning and hundreds of links to his web site, thousands of people were visiting his site each day. Yet, on average, only five people per day were contacting him about his services. Larry was doing a great job of getting attention but wasn't prompting his prospects to action.
Your Marketing Fitness
You can have a steady flow of new prospects and clients each month if you adopt a healthy marketing strategy. Here's how:
1. Set Goals
Regularly review your marketing. Assess what's working and what isn't and set objectives for lead generation, client acquisition and retention.
2. Target a Need
Focus your ads, your elevator speech and your marketing copy on prospects' concerns.
3. Get Attention
Prospects need to know that you exist before they will contact you.
4. Prompt Action
In order to get prospects to give you their contact information, inquire about your services or buy your products, prompt them to action. Use your marketing copy and your offers to get prospects to call you, visit your web site or your store, and buy your products and services.
5. Grow Your Network
The more qualified leads you have, the better.
6. Establish Credibility
You need to demonstrate your competence and convince prospects to trust you before they'll make a purchase.
7. Follow Up
Old leads are cold leads. Follow up when leads are fresh. When people contact you, send an immediate email response and give them a call within 24 hours.
8. Provide a Solution
Make sure your products and services are the solution to your prospects' problems.
9. Demonstrate Value
If you want someone to buy, they need to understand the benefits.
10. Stay in Touch
Don't let prospects forget you when they need you and are ready to buy.
If you increased the time you spent working out each day and improved your diet, you'd start to see a difference in a couple of weeks. You'd be stronger and healthier.
Marketing is the same. You need to do all the right things consistently. Start using these ten marketing steps and in a couple of weeks you'll start to see a change. You'll find more prospects contacting you and a steady increase in revenue.
Whether you want to be fit and profitable at 90 or not you can learn from Jack LaLanne's continued health and prosperity. It just takes some discipline and knowledge. Apply both to keep yourself and your business in good health.
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the Free Marketing Plan eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com