Are You Aiding & Abetting E-Myths

In his book, “The E-Myth Revisited,” Michael E. Gerber defines E-Myth as, (1) the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs (2) the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.

We are going to embark upon a journey through the world of those and other e-myths and debunk them to help you avoid falling into the e-myth trap.

In addition to Gerber’s definition, another predominate entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is the assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:

  • Desire
  • Some capital
  • Projected, targeted profit

While this sounds great, it just not realistic. Think of starting a business as a marathon. Most start out of the gate at record pace, but after a few miles people start slowing and others drop out entirely. Building a successful business is akin to running a marathon. It requires stamina and determination.

The reality is there are many different facets to a successful business and none of them can be ignored if you plan to achieve that success.

The emotions that come with starting, nurturing and the potential failure of a business are like the ups, downs, twists and turns of a roller coaster.

The emotions that occur (often in this order) are:

  • Exhilaration
  • Exhaustion
  • Despair
  • Sense of self-loss

This is usually cause by the e-myths and assumptions we talked about. You can get your hopes so high on instant success that even the smallest set back can send you into an emotional tailspin. Too often, this leads to entrepreneurial paralysis brought on by the stark realization you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge or expertise. Now, faced with limited choices you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t do that. Embrace the realization that you can’t do it alone and that there are professionals out there who can assist you in your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Use our FREE Guided Tour to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

Ensure “Lift-Off” in Your Marketing Campaign Launch (Part II)

How would you like to ensure a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch? Last week we began an examination of 5 essential keys to make that possible. Remember, once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again. First, a quick review…

The 5 essential keys are:

  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Put an effective sales offer to work
  • Avoid marketing pitfalls
  • Develop a world-class marketing perspective
  • Get results!

Last week we looked at the first three essentials. Today, we examine the last two.

Develop a world-class marketing perspective

Developing and utilizing a World-Class marketing perspective is important – especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this with a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Keep a marketing journal and scribble down anything innovative you see.
  2. Keep encouraging your marketing department, as well as yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
  3. Order from your own company under a different name and analyze the process of ordering, shipping, online store navigation, customer service and the product itself. This will show you where there are areas for improvement in the customer experience.
  4. Read every quality ad you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.
  5. When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
  6. Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  7. Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
  8. Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
  9. Continuously test markets, ads, and marketing techniques. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
  10. Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Improve your best marketing ideas.
  14. Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials with an attention to compelling and factual information.

By using these techniques you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your industry.

Get results!

The last area we are going to talk about is the best-satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and any chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  • Providing quality products/services
  • Providing high quality customer service
  • Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  • Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee

To generate more business there are a couple of simple techniques that work every time:

  • Build your database with a contest.
  • Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  • Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

As long as the reward is directly related to your product or service, you can’t lose. Why not get started today? It’s so simple, it’s so seldom done, and it’s so profitable. And that’s the bottom line.” Jay Abraham

It is so simple! So, why aren’t you starting today? I can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you results. I utilize the E-Learning Marketing System to help businesses just like yours increase their leads, their revenue and their profit margin. To see what this system can do for you take this guided tour.

Ensure “Lift-Off” in Your Marketing Campaign Launch (Part I)

How would you like to ensure a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch? In our next two posts, we’re going to examine 5 essential keys to make that possible. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.

 

The 5 essential keys are:

  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Put an effective sales offer to work
  • Avoid marketing pitfalls
  • Develop a world-class marketing perspective
  • Get results!

Let’s take a look at each one these so you can see exactly how they fit together. You’ll also discover how they affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign.

Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the prospective of the customers/clients. If you were your prospective client, what would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that must be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Your USP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. It would be extremely helpful to take a look at what USP your competitors are using. This will be crucial to help you develop your own USP which will clearly demonstrate your market dominating position and help your prospects to see how you differ from your competitors.

Put an effective sales offer to work

  1. Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
  2. Share benefits of your products/services (speaking from the customers’ perspective).
  3. Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  4. Make it easy to do business with you by offering guarantees. (Remove the risk!)
  5. Share your specific sales proposition.
  6. Guide your customer’s/client’s responses. (Don’t be afraid to tell them how they should respond)
  7. Motivate them with a clear call to action.

In other words, you need to put together a pitch that communicates how your products/services are special and compels your customers to buy. If they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. You need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession.

You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.

Avoid the marketing pitfalls

There are 5 major marketing pitfalls many businesses fall into which you should avoid. They…

  • Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
  • Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout their marketing plan.
  • Fail to notice the needs of their prospective customers/clients.
  • Fail to diversify their marketing options.
  • Fail to get market opinions on their offers.

This article will be continued in the next blog post.

The E-Learning Marketing System I use with my clients provides information, examples – even a “paint-by-number” process to help business owners increase their revenue. If you’re not satisfied with the number of leads your current marketing is producing or you desire to double, or even triple your revenue in your near future, take a guided tour of the system and see the difference it can make for your business.

Inside Reality vs Outward Perception

Don’t you hate it when your prospects don’t seem to understand everything your business offers them?

You believe in your business! You know you offer an exceptional product/service, that what you offer provides extraordinary value to your customer/clients and that your relationship with them is far better than anything they could expect from your competitors. Still, it amazes and saddens you when you discover your prospects don’t view you any different than your competitors – in fact they know very little about you and what you offer.

What you are experiencing is the disconnect between your business’ inside reality and its outward perception.

Your inside reality encompasses everything that is true about your business – those components which, combined, make your business great. The outside perception refers to how your prospects perceive your company. Too often, there is a marked difference between the two.

For instance, when you went into business you were determined to pursue excellence in every aspect in order to set yourself apart from your competitors. You developed your skills, hired the best candidates, created a customer service program that is second to none and honed your expertise so you would be the “go-to-person” in your field. All of that is part of your inside reality. In addition, your systems, your operational procedures, your continued commitment to excellence, your passion for what you do and the way you conduct your daily business all add to that inside reality.

If you have never done so, take a half hour or so one day soon and capture what you believe to be your inside reality. What makes you different? What makes you stand head and shoulders above your competition? If you ever hope to communicate this inside reality to your prospects, you must clearly see it yourself first.

Hopefully, your loyal customer/clients see and understand this inside reality. It is why they are loyal customers. Once you have completed the exercise above and have clearly delineated your inside reality, conduct a quick survey with your existing customers to see if they see it as well. Simply ask them why they do business with you. Ideally, the reasons they provide will correlate with the inside reality you believe defines your business.

Now let’s talk a bit about your outside perception. This outside perception is developed through the interactions your prospects and customer/clients experience with your business. Especially for your prospects, most of these interactions will occur through your marketing or through the referrals (good or bad) made by your current customer/client base. If your inside reality is indeed true (and it focuses on excellence), then you can expect the majority of your referrals from existing customers to be positive. That will help immensely in helping to create an outside perception which aligns with your inside reality.

Most of your prospects, however, will develop their perception of your business through your marketing. And here is where many small business owners fail to create the outward perception they desire. They market their business just like their competitors. They use the same platitudes in their advertising, make the same claims and offer the same discounts. When a prospect is seeking to buy whatever it is you offer, they going to compare your ad to your competitors – and if they don’t see obvious differences – they will choose to do business with the one who offers the lowest price or is in the most convenient location.

You need to develop a marketing strategy that accomplishes the following:
• captures the attention of your prospects
• helps them to see that you offer the solution to whatever problem or issue it is they are experiencing
• clearly communicates your inside reality so they perceive you differently from your competitors
• offers them a low/no risk offer so they will follow through and contact you

How do you create such a marketing strategy? Download the free presentation, “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make…And How to Overcome Them All” to gain a clearer understanding how to market your business in such a way that enables your prospect’s outward perception of your business to match your inner reality.

Press Releases – Free Publicity!

There are three key areas of free publicity you can use to boost your advertising results ten-fold over your paid advertising.

 

Those three areas are:

  • Public relations
  • Merchandising
  • Promotions

With a solid plan in place that encompasses all these areas, you’ll have a great approach to use free publicity in the best way possible. To help you begin to develop your plan, let’s look at public relations.

Public relations include everything that is considered media. But don’t limit yourself by only giving consideration to conventional media. Be willing to think outside the box. The attention of newspapers, television, radio, magazines, bloggers, ezines and more are all equally powerful. However, in today’s world which is so internet savvy, online marketing is just as, if not more, important as conventional media.

To get your creative juices flowing consider these steps which can help you get noticed by the media:

  1. Put together a press release for your company. The press release should be relevant to your target market and address consumer interest, not just announce your business.
  2. Design your press release to include one hook and one angle. Choose the most attention-getting hook you can think of to make sure the media person you are sending it to is interested in reading it.
  3. Deliver your press release with professional formatting. With press releases you need a dateline, the most important information at the top, facts and figures in the body then wrap it up with contact details including who and how. Print the press release on your letterhead.
  4. Send your press release to all television and radio stations, local and metro newspapers, national newspapers, industry magazines, and any other form of media that reaches your target market. Don’t forgot to include relevant blogs, ezines, press release submission sites and to industry professionals.

More important than creating a perfectly formatted press release is to make certain you have addressed the needs of your target market in the products/services you offer. If this isn’t clear in the press release, you have squandered a great opportunity for the publicity you seek and need. If you are providing people a solution to a problem, a way to avoid a problem or an opportunity to enhance their life, and you make this abundantly clear in your press release, the media and public will be interested.

If you have a connection (or the ability to get a connection) with a celebrity (even a local one!), ask if you can use their name as reference. This can practically guarantee you’ll get more attention. Make sure you are offering newsworthy information, and then follow up with media outlets to make sure they are publicizing that information.

“One of the most powerful techniques every business should use is free publicity. As the name implies, there is no cost, just the time and effort required to attract attention to your business.” Jay Abraham

Unsure how to craft an impactful press release? My E-Learning Marketing System helps you by guiding you through the development of a marketing dominating position, through identifying your target market and many other marketing issues. It even contains an extensive library of sample press releases you can use as a template for your own. For a FREE tour, visit chrismahanconsulting.com/guidedtour.

Get in to the Head of Your Prospects

Have you ever bought something you didn’t need – in fact, you really didn’t even want – because of a high-pressure sales person and their pitch? Many of us have. However, I would venture a guess that you never engaged in another transaction with that person or the business they represented. That marketing approach may have gained a sale but it also lost a customer.

If we want our marketing to truly be effective, we must approach the process from the customer or client’s point of view rather than our own. Instead of telling them what they need, we must be listening to them and discovering what they really desire. To do this, we need to get in to the head of our prospects. Think like they do. See our products/services from their vantage point.

One way to accomplish this is to realize our prospects often have a conversation going on in their minds which centers on two issues. The first is: The problem the prospect has but doesn’t want. The second: The solution the prospect wants but doesn’t have. If we can understand that conversation in the context of our product or services, we can then effectively market those products and services to that prospect.

Ideally, your product or service will provide a solution to a problem your prospect is experiencing. Now, instead of pitching your product or service based on why you think they should buy, you are able to approach them with the solution they want but don’t have. Instead of coming to them as a sales person, you come as a savior.

Take the time to think of the hot button issues and/or problem your potential customers are facing then figure out how you can solve that issue or problem. Then highlight that issue/problem, along with the solution you offer, in all your marketing mediums using the Marketing Equation.

If you’re not familiar with the Marketing Equation, email me at chris@chris-mahan.com and I’ll be glad to send you a more detailed explanation.

Turn Prospects Into Customers Overnight!

Generating leads and creating prospects is great! But your business doesn’t thrive unless you can convert those prospects into customers. However, you are not looking for just any customers. You want loyal customers who come back to do business with you over and over again. Today, we’ll examine a few tactics which can help you in this process.

Keep in mind the buying decision for your prospects begins with their very first introduction to you and/or your business. In order to establish a great foundation upon which to build a relationship, you need to be:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Enjoyable

Realize one of the greatest fears most new customers deal with is buyer’s remorse. You can make great strides in mitigating this fear if you provide a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.

To further put your prospect’s mind at ease and encourage them to take the plunge to do business with you, you can remove much of the risk involved in the purchase. Two ways to accomplish this is to:

  • Offer a “no questions asked” refund policy
  • Offer a bonus customers can keep even if they return the product

These two offers can successfully address the fear of buyer’s remorse. Simply by offering these guarantees, you also create a level of trust which generates a situation in which the prospect is more likely to decide to do business with you as opposed to your competition.

In addition to removing risk from the buying equation by offering guarantees, there are numerous other tactics you can utilize to turn a prospect into a customer:

  1. Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
  2. Offer a lower price with an explanation that you are pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, pay for your kid’s’ braces, or some other tangible reason. This makes you more human and relatable to your customers.
  3. Offer a referral incentive.
  4. Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product for the first transaction to build trust.
  5. Offer package deals.
  6. Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
  7. Offer extra incentives such as longer warranties or free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
  8. Offer financing options, if applicable.
  9. Offer a bonus if they pay in full.
  10. Offer special packaging or delivery.
  11. Offer “name your own price” incentives.
  12. Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
  13. Offer a trade-up or upgrade to something they already have.
  14. Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.

The opportunities to create trusting relationships with your prospects are limitless. Experiment with various tactics to discover what works best for your business, products/service and target market.

Consider these words from Jay Abraham…

“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.”

Do you need assistance to determine your best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our FREE test drive of our marketing system gives you exclusive access to a mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.

Advertising – Make it Pop!

As you develop your marketing plan, realize there are 5 major components to good advertising copy: (The order in which these components appear is essential to success)

  • Command Attention
  • Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
  • Prove the Benefits
  • Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
  • Call to Action

Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.

Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:

  1. Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
  2. Showcase Benefits: Next, you showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. Potential customers need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help them.
  3. Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
  4. Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will help motivate your potential customers to feel like they have to act now. Which leads to the last component.
  5. Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something.  Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.

Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. Chris Mahan Consulting can help you with this too. Take a FREE guided tour of my E-Learning marketing System to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.

Chris Mahan is a marketing strategist and business development specialist. Using a five step profit formula, he can help any business discover low/no cost ways to immediately generate more revenue and increase profits. You can take advantage of his 10K Challenge, where he guarantees to find at least 10K in potential income for your business in 45 minutes or less. Visit chris-mahan.com to learn more.