busienss development

Your Business is a System

In this week’s Moment of Clarity I share my thoughts on how seeing your business as a system can help you improve and grow your business.

About fifteen years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire.

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Replicating Your Ideal Customers

In this Moment of Clarity I show you how to create an Ideal Customer Profile with a downloadable worksheet.

Everybody knows that 20% of customers provide the lion’s share of revenue.

The real question is how to replicate this 20%.

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Don’t be a Saleshole. The Five Attributes of Poor Salesmanship.

The last few weeks I have been subjected to a lot of bad salesmanship. It got me thinking. Surely people don’t mean to be rude, pushy or full of proverbial bovine excrement. But somehow, they still excel at being a total saleshole. So, in the interest of enlightenment and relieving my frustration, I share my top five saleshole attributes. 1. If you never take no for an answer and instead resort to stalking prospects with repeated calls, unannounced visits, hanging out at the bar next to the prospect’s office, lurking around his yard at night – you might be a Saleshole.

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Tell me brands don’t matter.

While you may not care about Walmart or how it does business, there is something to be gained from watching them learn marketing and merchandising lessons – especially when they learn the hard way. Think about it. Walmart is huge. Regardless of how you feel about the company, they represent a giant consumer laboratory – when Walmart makes a move, the cause and effect can be clearly seen in statistically significant numbers. Case in point: Over the last year or so Walmart has been reducing the number of “branded” projects they carry (little names like Kraft, General Mills and Heinz) and increasing placement of in-house brand “Great Value” products.

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Rule #5 of Marketing: Capitalization

Ok, this is where I break your heart. Effective marketing takes money. That’s just the truth. Take a deep breath now and accept it. it’s not just a question of “how much” – it’s more a question of “how fast”.  The more money you invest, the faster you realize a return. When it comes to investing in marketing and getting a return the trick is to know your ROI Threshold.  

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Rule #3 of Marketing: Consistency

In the buyer’s mind, consistency = quality. The rule of consistency can be applied to many functional areas in a business. When it comes to marketing a consistent message, consistently delivered to the right people will pay dividends. Think of it this way. Drip marketing works because it delivers multiple “touches” over time. Consistent, high quality touches repeated over time. The medium might change (email, printed, on-line, publicity, advertising, etc.) but the net effect is the perception of omnipresence.  

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Why Do People Buy – Part One.

As marketers, we are constantly trying to anticipate every objection a potential customer might have about buying our products and services. It seems that if we could identify and address each of these objections and formulate a solution to each, we should be able to get them to buy almost anything. However the reality is very different and unpredictable. Advertising and marketing strategies based on logic rarely do as well as strategies based on an understanding of people’s emotions, desires and needs. In fact, in my experience, you will only get the results you desire by appealing to both the logic AND emotional needs of customers.

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What first impression are you making?

At the risk of sounding a bit judgmental,  (as businesses we are being judged constantly) but I feel a need to share some thoughts about a disturbing trend that threatens to destroy us all! Sorry, got carried away for a minute, but in the context of sending a message that you can be trusted and are a credible and reliable resource – the way you make your first impression is critical to winning customers. So often people seem to get first impressions wrong.

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