As part of our Strategic Business Growth Cycle Evaluation we ask clients if they feel they are getting the profit results they want. Most often the answer is a resounding NO.
In the next couple of blog posts, we will discuss ”Profits.” This will be divided into four sections:
1. Top-line revenues through Marketing
2. Top-line revenues through Sales
3. Bottom-line revenues
4. Cash Flows
This particular post will help you improve your top-line revenues. Obviously, when we talk about top-line revenues, we are talking about getting potential customers to contact us…AND to subsequently BUY something from us. Therefore, we need to discuss marketing and sales. These are NOT the same thing! Marketing is getting them to show up…Sales is getting them to buy. Let’s discuss marketing first…
Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself regarding your marketing:
Do I TRULY have a UNIQUE message?
There are a gazillion ways to differentiate yourself! Whether it is your location, your unique price range, a certain target market that you serve better than anyone else, the customer’s buying cycle, the ease of customer purchase, the ease of using your product/service, level of quality, level of personal service, wide/narrow product line…it is up to you to identify a niche that resonates in the marketplace.
Can you CLEARLY IDENTIFY the PAIN or PLEASURE that your company alleviates or provides for your customers?
People only buy things for two reasons – and two reasons only…to alleviate a pain or to provide a pleasure. I challenge you to think of anything you have EVER bought that didn’t meet one of these two criteria! Therefore, if this is true – you better identify it so you can communicate it!
Do you have a marketing calendar?
Marketing should be intentional and regular. If you don’t plan properly, your results will suffer and/or become erratic.
Do you apply “marketing physics” when communicating your message?
Marketing physics has been proven effective and consists of the following:
- An OVERT Benefit – Your message MUST describe what your product/service provides for your customers in an upfront and easy-to-understand way!
- A REAL Reason to Believe – Your message MUST communicate to your prospect WHY they should believe you – and what their remedy is if you don’t deliver.
- A DRAMATIC Difference – Review your “overt benefit” and “real reason to believe.” Does anyone else say it? If so – start over! Unless you are dramatically different, your prospects can – and often will – buy from your competitors.
Do you have a systematized follow-up process?
This is CRUCIAL to your long-term success! First of all, your “lowest hanging fruit” to increase your sales comes from your existing and past customers! Do you have a system for marketing to them? Secondly, for those prospects who DID inquire about your product/service but DIDN’T buy, studies show that 67% of the WILL BUY in the following 12 months – but perhaps from your competitors. Do you have a system to stay in touch with them?
Hopefully, that gave you some ideas to improve your marketing.
That concludes the first installment of our Profits Series. Obviously, we could do a week-long workshop on any or all of these suggestions! However, we just wanted to help you out as quickly as possible in a short series like this one. Hopefully, it helped you out a bit.
The next part of the series is Profits – Top-Line Revenue/Sales. Remember, if you have any questions or would like to discuss what Essentia Business Advisors can do for YOU, don’t hesitate to contact me, Michael Andersen. We look forward to working with you!