The following is from Viking marketer Timo Jappinen in Sweden.
No. That’s not in South Carolina. It’s in Scandinavia, just in case you didn’t know.
They are “7 Simple Low-Cost Marketing Tips to Save Your Bacon.”
You can’t do much about the government, Congress or the White House. They are hopeless riggers of the economy, generally in their favor, not ours.
The only economy you should worry about is your own.
The good news: Those who start getting things right during the recession come out stronger than those who sit on their hands.
Here are a few firms started in the great depression of the 1930′s: Audi, Duracell, Fisher-Price, Westin Hotels, Clairol, Revlon, Lego, Nissan and Walt Disney.
Why did they survive? Because they were good at marketing.
Good marketing isn’t expensive marketing.
It’s means smart marketing. So here are 7 low-cost marketing tips for you.
1. Put a top priority on collecting prospect contacts.
That’s info on anyone you think might be likely to buy from you – now or later
The great business thinker Peter Drucker once said “There is only one profit center in business. It is your customer.”
Don’t settle for a website or an ad that simply lists a few benefits of doing business with you.
Offer something free – a report, a booklet or a special deal – so your prospect has to give you his or her contact information.
Then you can follow them up until they buy . . . or die.
Now you have more than one shot to sell to them.
2. Don’t be shy. Go after the money.
In our marketing agency, we have learned that “the money is in the list.” That’s the list of prospects I was talking about – but also, and even more valuable, your list of clients.
Talk to them. It is 3 to 8 times easier to sell to an existing client than to someone who is not.
They are your best source of profit.
And don’t just talk to them once a month or once a year.
Talk to them as often as you can think of something helpful or interesting to say. The more often you communicate, the more you sell.
My partner once asked a big client how long he followed up with people?
“Until they give in.” said the marketing director.
He measured everything. He knew it could be six months, a year, even five years before they cloise the first sale. The second and third sales depend on how well you perform.
3. Your client buys when he wants to . . . not when you want him to.
Just because your prospect didn’t buy immediately or after a few sales calls or emails, it doesn’t mean they are not interested. McGraw-Hill research revealed that on average a salesman makes the sale after the fifth call.
When we were running our own executived search service, we found that it took a minimum of 7 calls to get an appointment and 7 appointments to get a search assignment. And that was calling a well-researched, warm list of prospects.
You can sell a complex, expensive product directly by phone or on the web with well-written letters and emails . . . working with good personal selling skills and a reheased script that does not sound like you’re reading it.
I got one such call the other day and I stopped the caller on the second sentence.
“Honey,” I said in my most supportive tone of voice, “please don’t read it to me.”
Does it sound like that?” she said, surprised by my response.
“It does,” I assured her. “What you must do is rehearse it until you can say it to your husband, your kids, your dog and in your sleep. Then it becomes you.”
Ttarget the right people and talk or write about what interests them. Contrary to ill-informed belief, long copy almost invariably beats short copy. As any top salesman will tell you the more you share and the more you question your prospects, the more they will buy.
Tmo said one of his clients sells a product starting at $85,000. The average sale is $170,000.
They were using a one-page sales letter. He rewrote and expanded it to four pages.
Response tripled and sales doubled.
4. Don’t limit your marketing to the internet.
Google Adwords expert Perry Marshall started his career as a sales manager in a small unknown U.S. software company.
After months of struggle, he decided to offer events teaching prospects to use their software to improve their business. They even charged to attend.
Their yearly sales leaped from less than $1 million to $3 million dollars in three years.
Imagine: Prospects pay to see you. It beats cold calling. And works better.
You have an array of marketing media. Test the ones that your Ideal Clients consume to determine which produce the highest sales of your most profitable products.
5. Sales and profits matter more than getting capital.
If you follow startups, you may sometimes get an idea that the purpose of a new company is to get millions from venture capitalists before you have sold or done anything.
Many will tell you that’s the way to success. What they don’t tell you is that easy money corrupts. It makes you lazy.
IBM’s maxim is still true today: “Nothing happens until something is sold.”
Having a profitable business makes you stronger when you negotiate with the money sharks who eat innocent dolphins like you for a living.
6. It’s smart to copy your competition.
Just do it better than they do it and give your products and service greater value.
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, confessed that he didn’t really invent anything nor tried to.
Instead he went to the cheapest source of tested business ideas, to the competitor across the street and copied shamelessly. It may not to be the sexiest thing to do, but Walmart is doing pretty well, don’t you think?
7. Testing is the right answer to any marketing problem.
It’s easier, cheaper and faster to do a split test than to argue in endless meetings. Should you lower or raise prices? A free trial or money back guarantee? Webinars or live seminars?
Let your customers decide – by buying. Research can tell you what people think and have done but not what they are going to.
Did you know that consumer research suggested Marlboro Man ad campaign would bomb?
But Leo Burnett, father of the agency that created it, knew better: “To hell with the research. Run it.” And Marlboro became the best selling cigarette brand in the world.