Your marketing could be pulling in clients and profits like a magnet. Think about how many people could benefit from your products and services. Even if only a fraction of them bought from you, you'd be amazingly successful.
It doesn't matter if the economy is headed up or down, there are plenty of people looking to spend money to solve their problems and meet their needs. People are happy to spend money on things they want, whether it's a five thousand dollar painting, five-dollar cup of coffee, a golf lesson, a new computer or a new web site.
With all these prospects searching for products and services to buy, how can you attract more of them and increase your profits?
Makes sense that the best way to get people to spend money is to give them what they want. But, and here's the amazing thing, most small businesses don't market to what their prospects want. Too much small business marketing is about the business owner and what he or she wants, not what the client wants.
Typically, ads or web site pages begin with;
- The name of the business
- A picture of the product, the owner, or the company's headquarters
- A list of product names
- A company history
- Company hours and contact information
Many small business owners use this format because they see everyone else doing it. While it may be the most common approach, it's usually the least effective.
When a prospect views an ad or a website that doesn't speak to their needs, they ignore it. Even if the prospect wants the product or service you're selling, chances are they won't respond. They've got too many choices of similar ads from competitors and will end up just choosing the last one they looked at. To stand out from your competition, get a response to your marketing and increase your sales and profits, you need to take a different approach.
To get attention and grow your business, you need to focus your marketing on what your prospects want, then once you've got their attention you can work on building a mutually profitable relationship.
Give Your Prospects a Reason to Buy
Your prospects are out there searching for your products and services but they're doing so as fast as they can surf the net, flip the pages of a magazine, sort their mail or scan the yellow pages. Give them a reason to stop and read your ad, sales letter or web site. "Welcome" or a company name or simply naming your product won't grab their attention.
Tell your prospects how you are going to help them. Tell them how they'll benefit from your products or services. You want this information to jump out at prospects when they see your materials.
You may be thinking, "How can this work, when every large corporation in the U.S. features its brand name in their ads? Every magazine I read is full of these brand-focused ads."
Focusing on a brand or company name is important for multinationals like Coke or Nike, but keep in mind that these companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year building brand awareness and maintaining their brand image in every media and every market. Without a hefty advertising budget, this approach won't work for you.
Give your prospects a reason to stop what they are doing and read your ad or your web page. Give them a reason to read the first paragraph, then the second, and lead them to contact you and buy from you.
REI sells outdoor sports gear and apparel in stores and online. Their Christmas catalogue is a great example of giving prospects a reason to buy. They identified a problem that plagues their customers at Christmas time; figuring out which gifts to give friends and family.
REI speaks to that need on the front cover of the catalog with a great photo of a woman and a man climbing a snow covered mountain and a single line of text; "We'll help you find great gifts for everyone on your list."
Inside, below each product photo, they've listed the product benefit; "Keep him toasty even in winter's worst"; or "Built for deep snow and bitter cold"; or "Keep kids happy on hikes with their own hydration". Below that is the description of the product. Finally, below that, you'll find the name and price of the product.
Getting your prospects' interest and their business is simply about helping them get what they want. The first step is to give them the information they want. Your next step is relationship-building, helping your prospects get to know your business and to trust you.
Are you as successful as you want to be at helping your prospects get what they want? Do you know how to get their attention? Do you know how to get prospects to trust you? Then, do you know how to get them to take action and contact you? What are the crucial steps to getting a client to commit to spending money with you?
When you discover the answers to these questions you'll attract clients like a magnet and grow your business faster and with less work than you ever imagined.
by Charlie Cook