The profits of a business are totally dependent on marketing. Otherwise few, if any, sales will be generated. But what is marketing anyway?|
Marketing is doing what it takes to convince enough customers to pay the necessary price for your products and/or services to produce the desired profits for the business.
Let's discuss the 8 Secrets business owners can use to greatly improve their marketing success.
Secret #1: Give marketing top priority. The primary reason any customer chooses to buy your products or services is because of effective marketing. The marketing process starts at the very beginning and continues forever! Marketing consists of four separate functions, known as the four P's:
1. Product - Develop your products and/or services to ensure they fill the needs of your potential customers, so they will want to buy from your business. You have full control over this marketing function.
2. Pricing - Set your price structure to ensure that the business will achieve the desired profits and that customers will perceive the value of the benefits they receive to be greater than the prices they pay. You have full control over this marketing function.
3. Positioning - Position your products and/or services to allow potential customers easy interaction with the business to evaluate and purchase your products or services. You have full control over this marketing function.
4. Promotion - The final step is promotion, where you communicate with your potential customers (normally through a communications medium) about the existence and benefits of your products or services to attract them to contact your business to learn more. You will have only partial control over this marketing function.
Marketing is culminated in sales when your customers' perception of the value of their benefits exceeds the price they pay for products or services. You generate successful sales only when you complete positive Product Development, Price, Positioning, and Promotion. In fact, you will want your business to be a marketing machine.
The sales process is frequently part of the promotions function, however it can incorporate all four of the marketing functions, depending upon the type of products or services offered and the make-up of your targeted customers.
Secret #2: Do not confuse advertising with marketing. Advertising is only part of the last marketing step (Promotion) and it occurs late in the game. Many people think advertising is all there is to marketing, and they overlook the other three very important earlier marketing steps. Yet, they have total control over the other three marketing steps, which are far more important than advertising. Consequently, you will want to develop the other three functions that you control first, to allow advertising to succeed.
Secret #3: Base your marketing on customer perspectives. Owners believe their power and freedom of choice, as the boss, means that they don't have to deal with the opinions of others. "I am now my own boss" is only partly true. You are in virtual control of either succeeding or failing to convince - The Customer- to buy your products or services. You want to avoid IMPOSING your opinion on your potential customers. Focus on fulfilling the perceived wants and needs of your customers, from Their Perspective.
Secret #4: Research your potential customers. When you have determined who your target customers are, learn everything about:
- What your target customers THINK they want to buy
- Why your target customers THINK they buy
- How your target customers THINK they buy
- When your target customers THINK they buy
Secret #5: Screen out undesirable customers. You have the right and obligation to determine which potential customers you will agree to serve. You should screen out undesirable customers early so you can focus more attention on customers you want to serve. Sadly, owners often may not know how to select desirable customers from the pool of potential customers they encounter. As a result, they often spend too much time, money and energy trying to deal with a handful of hard-to-please customers who frequently demand lower prices at the expense of better customers, who go elsewhere because they were ignored.
Determine the key criteria to decide which potential customers are desirable. You will want to encourage undesirable customers to visit your competitors, so they will expend their time, money and energy instead of you.
Secret #6: Give existing customers full attention. Owners frequently become so focused on getting new customers that they ignore their existing repeat customers. Your business will probably not survive without repeat business. Repeat customers present a wealth of opportunities to you.
- They frequently provide you excellent feedback
- They provide an excellent reference and referral service (read free advertising)
- They are the least expensive to service
- They provide the most likely source of additional business
- Their unnecessary departure causes substantial damage (upset customers will
complain to 5 to 9 other people)
Stay close to your existing customers and learn as much as you can from them.
Secret #7: Create a positive identity that is distinct from your competitors. Most customers compare. They need good reasons to choose your product or service over others. You complete more sales when you understand your competitors extremely well and position your products or services for positive customer comparison.
Secret #8: Consider the overwhelming power Emotion has on the buying process. Human emotions govern the buying process (some say over 80% of the entire process is emotional). Yet owners frequently focus their energies on price and avoid the real emotional reasons customers will buy. You will want to know and feel the emotional connection your potential customers will connect to your business, your products and/or services, and the way customers interact with your business. Design your marketing program to address the emotional issues to attract and keep the right customers.
The normal human thinking process of deciding to buy almost always starts with an emotional need. The emotional need causes the customer to consider buying something to fill it. The search and evaluation of the possible choices of products and or services is also frequently emotional, and additional emotional forces are often added. The price issue usually comes in near the end. Normally, customers ask about prices to help justify the emotional decisions they have already made. In fact, the request for the price from normal customers is a very strong buying signal (does the cost allow them to buy what they want and is it fair for what they decided to get?).
Encourage customers to enjoy their emotional buying choices
Once the purchase is made, far too many businesses can't wait to shuffle the customers off and almost treat the customers like they have some disease. This frequently causes customers to experience buyer's remorse. Yet, this is the time to finalize the sale once and for all and begin the process of future sales. Congratulate your customers on their buying choices and encourage them to enjoy the emotional benefits they sought from the purchase.
Business owners succeed when they know how to deal with this emotional process and permit the customer to complete this process through final payment.
What a wonderful opportunity! You can take charge of your entire marketing effort and attract the customers you desire with much less effort and less cost.
Provided as an educational service by Bill Dueease of The Coach Connection, where "connecting great people with great coaches" is their goal. You may receive a free copy of the article "10 Insider Secrets Most Business Owners Never Learn" by contacting The Coach Connection at 800-887-7214 or 239-415-1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or at http://www.findyourcoach.com/0o-business-coach.htm
Copyright Bill Dueease - www.findyourcoach.com
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