We all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. The Hare ran helter skelter quickly running out of energy and falling short of the finish line. However, the Tortoise plodded along at a steady rate until finally he won the race. What no one speaks of in this analogy is momentum. While the Tortoise may have had slow momentum, it was momentum that kept him on his course until the finish line. This is the steady flow of activity that builds a strong foundation toward business sales.
Unfortunately, often times, we tend to fall into the category of the Hare. We only pick up the fine techniques of salesmanship and marketing once we become aware that sales have dropped. So we run helter skelter to bring in new business, with no real plan in mind.
The difference is that one technique builds a steady, even flow of sales through planning and, therefore, momentum, while the other continually takes us back to the starting line to begin again. It’s not hard to see which will work better over time.
Every single business participates in the exercise of salesmanship. Some participate more subtly than others do, but all participate in the exercise. The question now is; do you simply want to survive in your business or do you want to thrive in your business?
Marketing is like exercise; it is an activity. An activity that will make the difference between just surviving and really thriving toward your dreams. If you exercise salesmanship daily it will reward you, if you do it sporadically it will not be as generous with you. So let’s discuss creating a plan to build momentum.
The Warm Up: Planning
You may understand all the vital ingredients to a dynamic marketing program but until you plan your activities it will be an activity of second thoughts at best. To really become successful you must integrate a sales program into your daily, weekly, and monthly agenda. To do that you must know what you are going to be doing before each day arrives. In other words have a plan of attack for each arena in salesmanship.
1. Target Marketing:
Target marketing includes the research necessary to know and understand who is part of your buying audience and how to reach them. Once that is achieved prepare a budget and a plan for placing ads strategically both online and off.
2. Confidence Marketing:
Once you have pulled in interested parties from your target advertising you must gain their confidence. In other words, you must convince them that you are the solution to their needs above anyone else.
Building confidence means portraying past experience through the use of testimonials. Those little tiny ads your customers award you with when you have done an excellent job. Don’t wait for past clients to give one to you, as most won’t even think of it. Ask for a testimonial and then use it to build confidence in your upcoming clients. These little jewels close more sales than any other technique. Confidence Marketing can also be achieved by sharing your expertise with the use of the written word. Writing educational articles for online and offline publications builds your reputation as a leader in your field. After all, if the publication editor thinks you’re worth putting into print, the audience will in turn think your worth listening to!
3. Permission Marketing:
We have arrived in a new era of salesmanship. This era includes permission marketing. Some hard core entrepreneurs are still driven by the impression that only the direct, not invited, sale will work and that certainly no-one will actually enlist to actually “get sold”. But as short as Internet commerce history is, it is proving them dead wrong.
Consumers all understand that there are indeed products and services they will be interested in learning about and purchasing and will invite you to send such information to them. However, in order to do this there must be a platform for doing so and this platform is generally the website newsletter. A website newsletter invites the visitor to do something free on entering the site, …subscribe! Once they have, you will have ongoing permission to market you product or service to that visitor. Statistics show us that visitors must return upwards of 7 times before they will begin making a purchase and permission marketing is the means for making that happen.
4. Relationship Marketing:
Once all of the above have taken place visitors soon turn into viable prospects. These viable prospects will begin inquiring about your products and services which in turn requires you to answer emails queries or return phone calls to close the actual sale. Your presentation should be concise, confident, and enthusiastic, and above all invite the prospect to buy. This is the area when you begin to build a one on one relationship with your prospect. Although even the newsletter, on publication, will begin the relationship process once you have reached the correspondence stage you are now one on one with your prospect and they have invited YOU. That’s the very best place to be. So as with any relationship, treat them well, and they will do the same.
The Exercise: Action
Once you understand the dynamics of the basic online selling strategies you can begin to make a plan that includes each of the four platforms. Practiced consistently, you will begin to see your goals and visions realized. Once you have maintained the exercise for even a few months you will notice a momentum that gains more progression with less effort. However you must maintain the exercise of action or go back to the beginning and start over.
The time to start is now; the time to stop is never.