The Benefits of Giving

gift_givingAny successful business owner will tell you that hands down the #1 way to bring in prospective customers is through marketing. What they might not tell you is what that marketing includes. Oh sure, the standard media announcements, articles, sales pages and what not. But what else? What made them stand out from the crowd? The answer, surprising or not, is in the freebie.

What is a freebie? In general a freebie is something for nothing. A freebie in a marketing sense is a little something that entices prospective customers to buy. But freebies aren’t just for prospective customers. Wouldn’t you love to get something for nothing? Especially if it comes from someone you have done business with before? After all, if you purchased from them don’t you trust them? (Bad experiences aside for a moment)

Customers new and old want to feel special and wanted and the holidays are a great time for this. Think of the possibilities. With so many holidays so close together your only option is to either close up and hide or reach out and share. There are many ways to reach out, but the simplest and most meaningful is with an incentive.

There are many ways to share an incentive with your customers just as there are many different types of incentives to choose from. Incentives such as seasonal sales, special item promotions, special seasonal rates and more are simple to implement and will mean the world to you customers. The key to an effective incentive is communication. Did you stay touch with your customers before, during and after their purchases? If you did, great! Send them a holiday card with your incentive mentioned. If you didn’t, well what can we say about lost opportunities?

Making your customers feel special doesn’t have to cost you money. In fact, it should make you money. One of the simplest things you as a business owner can do to reach out to your customer base is to send them a seasonal newsletter. Include links to new products or a special discount only those receiving that letter can get. Also, include something of value to them. Since we’re talking newsletters, that something of value will likely be information. Whatever it is you specialize in, whatever it was that drew those individuals to you in the first place can and should be built on. Share with them something new that will help them this season. The results might surprise you.

There are so many ways to connect with people over the holidays. Don’t let another opportunity pass you by.

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Know Your Product’s Value

Just like every person is special, so too are the products/services you sell. Take a minute and consider that value. How are your products going to help, change, or enhance your customers’ lives? This is the information your prospects want and need in order to go from window shoppers to customers. Your prospects likely didn’t come visit your site to read a manual on what the product does. They want a clear, concise description that conveys how that product will help them. You need to address the question in their minds: Why do I need it?

Effectively describing your productss value will draw interested individuals to you. Three things that must be in the description are:

1. What is the product? Is it a DVD on sales practices or a video game for young adults?

2. Who will benefit from this product? If you’re marketing a video game, then knowing the content will tell you the audience it will benefit. Young Adults, Elementary school children, Teens…

3. What does it do? What about this product will help, change, or enhance your target customers’ lives?

Descriptions are usually only a few sentences in length because people rarely take more than 30 seconds to decide to buy. Because of that, keep the following in mind: the product name should tell what the product is. Use descriptive words, numbers, and pictures to help convey your message. Keep your product summary short, but have more information available if and when the customer is interested. Some customers never read more than the little sales blurb before buying. Always tell what the product will help, change or enhance in your customers’ lives.

Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle Sales and Marketing SuperConference 2008

Heather Nelson and Bill Glazer at the SuperConferenceWow! What an amazing conference last week in Nashville! I’m a Gold+ member of the Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle and attended the Gold+ reception before the conference, which was a wonderful introduction to what was yet to come. At the reception I was able to meet quite a few highly motivated business owners and learn a little about what makes their businesses tick.

There were about 1200 or so people in total attending, and the conference rooms were bursting with energy and excitement. I’ll be writing more about the individual presenters and strategies discussed in additional posts as well as in my next newsletter. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to purchase my detailed conference notes. Lessons and strategies from the greats including Bill Glazer, Dan Kennedy, Nido Qubein, Gene Simmon (yes, the lead singer from Kiss), George Ross (Donald Trump’s chief negotiator, and seen on the Apprentice), and so many others are priceless. Your business definitely needs these in your toolkit!

All the best,

Heather

www.championassistants.com

Assisting Your Success…Virtually!

Author Event with Bob Bloom – The Inside Advantage

Today at the Seattle Chamber Bob Bloom, author of The Inside Advantage, talked about his book and what it takes to grow your business.  Growing your business from the inside is the fastest and cheapest way, and what is inside your business is your Uncommon Offering.  An uncommon offering distinguishes you from your competition – it’s what only you offer.  Since business is all about the customer, your uncommon offering has to be tailored to your core customer and marketed to them only.  Bob Bloom stated he does not emphasize marketing and instead emphasizes only making your product known to your core customer, that customer who is most likely to buy your product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit.  Very insightful!  How many of us spend marketing dollars trying to appeal to a broader market to include those who use our services or products as add-ons and who don’t generate the kind of revenue we need to grow our businesses?!

To appeal to your core customer with your uncommon offering, the best strategy is to speak to their emotions.  BMW, for example, sells a driving experience; not a car.  What BMW projects is the experience and not the car stats, image appeal or features.  BMW appeals to our emotions, our desire for a driving experience.  How does your product or service uniquely appeal to your core customer?  It may be highest quality, fastest to market or easiest to get, but what does it do for your customer?  What need does it fill?  What problem does it solve?  What sets it uniquely apart from the competition?  To run a successful, growing business you need to stand on a platform uniquely designed for your feet, apart from your competition.  Own your offering and make it well known to your core customer.  For more detailed steps on how to accomplish this, you’ll need to read his book!

Kind regards,

Heather

www.championassistants.com

Assisting your success…virtually!

Ali Brown’s Interview with Robert Skrob

Last week Ali Brown (eZine Queen) had an insightful phone interview with Robert Skrob about “The 9 Simple Steps to Building a $$$ Million Dollar Info-Marketing Business…Within 12 Months!”.  Robert took some time to explain opportunities to develop home study courses, coaching seminars and teleseminars.  The emphasis was packaging what you know and marketing that to your target audience.  People need to take their individual knowledge and break that into 6 topics such as How to…, Ways to Breakthrough, and How to Systematize. 

The trick is to write down your topics and each of these can be turned into a teleseminar.  The teleseminar can be a 6-week series devoted to those topics.  If you have a potential market, sell the teleseminar, and even if there is a small turnout you can sell CDs of the teleseminar as a product.  A lot of people get nervous wondering if they will get enough people to just sign up for the teleseminar.  By recording it and producing it as CDs, there is an additional opportunity for people to buy your product. 

To get yourself to motivated you need to set a date!  Put yourself on your calendar and prepare to let yourself shine!  Just by having a date you can begin brainstorming and putting everything together in a set format.  Don’t put yourself under pressure with unreasonable expectations.  Know that you are bringing value to your audience with your  knowledge and experience!

Kind regards,

Heather

www.championassistants.com

Your business-savvy virtual assistants!

Time to Revise Your Marketing Strategy!

January is a great time to review your 2007 marketing strategy. How much money did you spend and what did it bring you? It’s a good idea to review where exactly your marketing dollars went. Whether it’s Google AdWords or a Mastermind group, you need to know if those investments are paying off and if you should continue them in 2008. I for one did not receive any benefit from my AdWords other than getting lots of resumes from people who wanted to become VA’s! That was an investment that didn’t pay off and I will no longer pursue. Instead I am revising my plan, investing more in what has led me to great clients and pursuing other avenues that I have researched. A solid web page, which I am currently revamping, and blogging consistently are essentials in my business, and things I often help my clients with.

As you play with new marketing ideas, make sure to think from your ideal client’s perspective. How do they search for your product or service? If they only go through referrals, find out who makes the referral and try networking with them! There are many approaches, so think creatively and always from your clients’ perspectives.

Kind regards,
Heather
www.championassistants.com
Your business-savvy virtual assistants!