How Aggressive Is Your Marketing?
By: Charlie Cook
Cathy, a business writer, emailed me and said, "Boy, do I need to
work on my Web site this year!" I gave her a couple of ways to improve her
site and had her look at several websites that sell effectively on the
Internet. Her response was a common one; she thought those sites were
marketing aggressively and she worried about turning her prospects off with
a "hard sell".
Are you concerned about being too aggressive in your marketing?
No one in business wants to be seen as the stereotypical used car salesman,
who tries to sell you a lemon by claiming the car was owned by a little old
lady who never drove it. And are prospects really convinced by promises
that are too good to be true? "Start your own business and make $200,000 in
just two weeks!" Then there are the salespeople who drive everyone crazy
with their annoying cold calls at dinner time...
You could try the "soft sell" approach; in your marketing materials, simply
state your company's name and include a list of the products or services
you sell. This is a very common approach. But it doesn't work. It's true
that if you're too loud or annoying, you may scare your prospects away, but
if you're too subtle or you sound the same as the competition, no one will
ever read your materials.
Let me clear up one misperception right away. Aggressive marketing does not
mean deceiving your prospects or deliberately pestering them. Don't make
claims that you can't back up, and don't annoy your prospects. You want
them to become satisfied clients, after all.
When you think of aggressive marketing you may think of being aggressive
as "showing a readiness or having a tendency to attack or do harm to
others". Instead, think of aggressive marketing as "characterized by or
exhibiting determination, energy, and initiative". (Definitions from Encarta)
When people read your marketing materials, your sales letters or your web
site, you want to grab their attention, to impress them and to prompt them
to contact you and buy from you. To get attention and do well, you need an
aggressive marketing approach that demonstrates your determination, energy,
Remember your school days. If you sat in the back of the class and never
raised your hand, never asked a question or participated in discussions, it
was tough to get top grades. No matter how smart you are or how good you
are at what you do, if you don't let your prospects know how you can help
them and convince them of your credibility, you won't get their business.
You want the people reading your sales letters or visiting your web site to
contact you, get to know you, see you as the expert to rely on and buy from
you. It's reasonable to expect at least one out of ten web site visitors to
Some of my clients are getting one out of five site visitors to contact
them. If you're not getting that kind of response, chances are that you're
not being aggressive enough in your marketing.
How aggressive are you in your marketing?
Take the 10 item quiz below to find out. Circle yes or no next to each
Your Marketing Aggressiveness Score and What It Means Count the number of
your "Yes" answers and see below.
- Have you written down your business goals for the next 12 months?
- Is one of your goals to grow your list of qualified prospects by 5% each
- Do you have a written marketing plan that guides your daily, weekly and
monthly marketing activities?
- Is the first and most prominent element in your marketing materials a
one-sentence explanation of how you help your clients?
- Do you feature client testimonials or case studies that provide proof of
the results your products and services generate?
- Is the first 50% or more of your marketing copy in your marketing
materials focused on your prospects’ problems and concerns relative to your
products and services?
- In your s.ales letters and on your web site, do you use a free offer to
prompt prospects to contact you?
- Does your free offer prompt hundreds of people to contact you each
- Do you follow up each prospect inquiry with an immediate response and at
least 6 follow up contacts?
- Do you continue to stay in touch with qualified prospects at least once
a month, sharing an idea they can use and demonstrating the solutions you
1 to 3 You're a marketing wallflower. You may be brilliant, and you may
have great products and services, but your prospects have probably never
heard of you and aren't buying from you. Make a marketing plan and discover
how to create a steady stream of prospects.
3 to 6 You are on your way to becoming a successful marketer and to growing
your business. You just need to discover how to generate more leads and
7 to 10 You're an aggressive marketer. You've been in business for at least
a couple of years and understand the core marketing techniques that provide
results. Next discover how to further increase your conversion rates and
sell more to new and existing clients.
Whether you scored 1 or 10 on the quiz, there are steps you can take to
improve your marketing and grow your business. You understand what your
prospects want; use your marketing to motivate them to buy from you.
Remember that aggressive marketing is about demonstrating your
determination, energy, and initiative.
2006 © 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 FrŽe Marketing Plan eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com