The Dangerous Marketing Trend – Me-Me-Me…

“I can do it myself,” said the frustrated business owner.I'll-Do-It-Myself

Let’s face it, it’s hard for a business owner to give up a responsibility in his/her business for fear of it not being completed or a variation of staggering reasons.

Most entrepreneurs treat their business as if it were their children and it’s hard to just let anyone take care of your kids right.

This is why it’s important when considering outsourcing a function within your business that you are comfortable with that company and that they have your best interest at heart.

However, we live in an outsourced world.
More and more companies are looking to outsource certain functions of their business so they can focus on running the business better.

Companies are outsourcing their HR department, Billing, Client Service, Advertising and Marketing, Project Management, Payroll, Accounting, Distribution, and a host of other functions. Reducing costs may not be the only reason to consider outsourcing, however, for most, this is the ideal situation.

There are many benefits to outsourcing:
• Focus on your core business!
• Reduce risk in most cases!
• Compete with big businesses!
• Focus on other projects!
• Increase overall efficiency!

My company for example will handle a company’s entire marketing and advertising needs from strategic market planning to total implementation to finding out what makes your clients love you.

This in essence frees up your company from having to either higher someone for this particular position with the average salary being a little over $85,000 per year, plus benefits.

Or, having to hire an ad agency whose primary goal is to sell expensive media and win awards that make them look good and lead to more clients for them.

Be careful; Ask trusted advisers for recommendations when looking for qualified advice.

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How to Get More Client Referrals

Why is it that some clients, customers and patience shout your name, business name and successes at the top of their lungs? And other barely squeaks the same praise?

What would happen to your business if you could get more people screaming your name from the rooftops, the Internet and around the world?

Here are three ways to get the people who know and love you to shout your name to the world.

Thank-You-For-your-referralsThe first, this probably does not need to be said, but I will.
You must deliver an exceptional product or service or a combination of both. Your product or service must be better then all the other options available, including the option of doing nothing.

When you do deliver a great product or service, what are you doing to let your clients know that it is, in fact, the best available and he/she made a wise decision to choose you?

Let’s face it; it all comes down to what you deliver before, during and after delivery. Every step is critical and one flaw can cause your client to not shout your praises.

Next, Are you asking your clients for a shout out?


Because the reason most of us do not get regular referrals is because we do not ask for them. If you do not ask, you will not receive.  I once heard some ware that 20% of clients will give you referrals without asking. Another 20% will never give you a referral. It’s not how they are wired. For the remaining 60% you have to ask for referrals

Let’s look at a few numbers. We have 100 clients. 20% of our clients give us two referrals a year, without asking. Nice that’s 40 referrals. Now we close 10 of them.

Okay, let’s look at the 60%, if we could get 20% of them to refer 2 future clients, that’s another 40. Again, we close 10 of them.

Ask yourself this. How much profits will be added to my bottom line from 80 new clients?

Now ask yourself if you can afford not to start asking this one simple question, “Who do you know, that you care enough about to introduce me, so I can help them like I have helped you?”

Finally, would you be surprised if I told you that the majority of your clients would be happy to endorse you. To shout about you on their website, in their newsletter or by mailing letters to their clients?  They would, but again you have to ask.

Or even better, invite them out to lunch and ask your client if it would be OK if you sent a letter. A letter to some of your clients telling them about your client’s product and service and how it would be profitable to meet each other. No obligation. Just want to help.

What happens next, you mail the letter, some of your clients call your client and start doing business together. Now, the client who you promoted calls you up and offers to return the favor. Wants to shout your name to his clients. Wants to recommend you. It’s human nature. People love to help. Reciprocity kicks in.

Any ideas floating around now?
Write them down and kick them into action.

Soon enough, your clients will be shouting your name from the roof tops.

Bonus Referral Idea.

Wouldn’t “pre-conditioning” your current client, make it a lot easier to get referrals from them? Try this. Educate your clients, early in your relationship to the fact that your business grows and survives on referrals and that you’re very happy about that.

Then explain exactly how everyone will win. Explain to them that referrals are yet another reason they’ll always be guaranteed awesome service from you. That you fully appreciate that they expect (and deserve) to get super products and services. And of course, that you wouldn’t expect them to refer anyone BUT someone offering super products and services to their friends and colleagues.

“Getting referrals” is a very proactive “marketing” process.

Getting referrals requires effort and time.

The rewards can be very profitable from two angles. One you spend less money on marketing.  Two, when you are referred, your referrer has helped a friend save time, money and the trouble of interviewing many suppliers to find just the right fit.

Now, go out and start getting more referrals

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What can you name in life that lasts forever?

Not much?

That’s exactly why all your marketing efforts should have some type of expiration date.Basic CMYK

A limited offer will “out-pull” and “out-sell” an open-ended offer almost every time.

When you use a “limited offer,” you will need to explain to your client/prospect why you are making your offer “limited.”

For example:

“Quantities are limited. We only have 132 units in stock and the manufacturer is back-ordered.”

Or “Call today. We have sold 3 in the last two days, and we only have 7 units left.”

Or “We made a special purchase and can’t offer this price again.” 

People will want to know why what you are offering is limited, or they will not believe that there truly is a limitation. You need to give them this information.

Keep in mind that nothing is forever, everything has a limit and you can use those limits to your selling advantage.

When your offer is known to be limited, it will force people to respond or lose the opportunity, and people will do almost anything to avoid loss.

Limits force a decision and that is the ultimate goal of any marketing effort.

What kind of limit will you set for your next offer?

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Testing is the heart and soul of direct response marketing…

Yes…Testing is the heart and soul of direct marketing.

As a direct marketer (that’s you) you must follow certain guidelines in order to get good results.

Test All Your Marketing Here are the nine guidelines, rules, and suggestions to get the most out of your direct mail marketing testing.

  • Have goals for every test. What do you want to learn? What response would you like to achieve? Write down the questions you would like answered and run a test for each. Every test should answer one specific question.
  • Develop a hypothesis for every test. Each test you run should be a test of a specific idea. Every hypothesis should be based on a sound rationale. For example: “This is a test to see if adding a lift letter signed by a well-known engineer will lift response to our package. Our rationale is that since people respond to authority signatures, such as doctors, adding a lift letter will increase credibility and boost response.” Your test, then, will prove or disprove this hypothesis for a particular product marketed to a particular audience.
  • Use hypotheses as a platform for creative work. Hypotheses can help you create genuinely different ideas for testing rather than retouched versions of your control. For example, if you have a few hypotheses, you can test a series of direct mail pieces, each incorporating one hypothesis.
  • Test one element at a time. Testing more than one element will make it impossible for you to know what makes a difference in results. For example, if you’re testing price, change only the price. I call this the Evolutionary Testing Strategy.
  • Test all-new direct response mail (email) pieces. There are some disadvantages to testing elements indi­vidually. It takes a long time and conditions change. So for some, it may be better to test totally different mail pieces against your control in hopes of a big breakthrough. I call this the Revolutionary Test Strategy.
  • Track results meticulously. Keep detailed reports on the number of pieces mailed, the number of responses you get, response source, the conversion percentage, the income those responses generate, the average order, the percentage response, your income per thousand, your cost per order or cost per response, your net dollar return, returns, bad debt, and every other fact that you need to calculate specifically how your piece performs.
  • Use your tests to determine strategy. Mathematical results are the best way to end de­bates on issues such as creative approaches, formats, and offers.
  • Keep using your control (your best responsive piece) until you beat it. Never stop using a control just because you’re tired of it. If it’s making money, keep using it. Until you have the figures in black and white that conclusively demonstrate that you have a new control, keep that old one going.
  • Keep testing. Testing is a long-term commitment. It’s not something you do once and forget about. It’s not something you do only when you have a little extra in your budget. Testing should be part of your routine. You want to follow what I call the Testing Loop:

To chunk it down to the very basics
Run a test
Analyze the results.
Act based on the results.

#marketing #tests

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Your New Year Marketing Checkup Checklist. 9 Quick Tips…

Helpful tips and advice on a yellow office noteHere are 9 Quick Tips checklist to help you get your 2019 marketing program off to a clean start.

Quick Tip #1. Update your Copyright notice on your website and info products.

Quick Tip #2. Check your opt-in forms to be sure that they are working.

Quick Tip #3. Review your marketing sequence/auto-responder letters to be sure that there are no 2018 or other date-sensitive items.

Quick Tip #4. Update your marketing calendar to reflect any changes that you’ve “just done” in 2018. Now is a great time to update your plan with the changes that you’ve made throughout the year.

Quick Tip #5. Review your marketing metrics (you did measure your marketing, right?) and see what worked well and what didn’t and what might be fading and make your necessary changes.

Quick Tip #6. Review your website content keywords for relevance. Keyword popularity changes quick so take some time now and review your content keywords, meta keywords, and your meta descriptions.

Quick Tip #7. Check your links and images on your website. Make sure that everything is working.

Quick Tip #8. Look at your last years’ goals and your accomplishments. What’s working? What’s not working. What’s missing? And what’s next?

Quick Tip #9. Clean up your list. Your Opt-outs, bounces, etc. Remove these from your list.

Enjoy and wishing you good health, joy and lots of love in 2019 and beyond.

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Will the wrong list will kill even the best marketing?

Ok, so you’ve hired a great copywriter to create a great message.

You distributed your message out and nothing.Wrong list equals marketing failure.
No response, except a few unqualified folks.
You ask yourself, what happened?
What went south?

Look at your list.

Was it laser targeted to proven buyers?

Marketing to people who will never buy your product/service is the biggest mistake most Marketing to people who will never buy your product/service is the biggest mistake most businesses make.

I’ve a client who sells door repair services. Fixes and repair many garage doors. Before hiring me he did a direct response mailing campaign and was terribly frustrated. Didn’t get a single call.

So I had him pull his list and go for a ride. As we approached the neighborhood he mailed to he noticed something strikingly wrong.

Turns out only one of five houses had a garage and many of those had cars on blocks in front of the garage. He started to realize why the mailing didn’t work. We drove more and saw more of the same. Finally, we hit a street on the list with a garage on almost every home. But these home where not in the best of shape, again, the reason for a low response.

Targeting the wrong neighborhood. Those folks are highly unlikely to spend money they barley have.

We bought a list in a much higher income bracket neighborhood. A list with 2-5 parking spots in each garage on each home. And viola. A response, a damn good response. A response that easily paid for the marketing campaign and the backend, repeat business will end up being very good.

How targeted and good are the lists you are marketing too?

Posted in change, database, decisions, focus, lists, marketing, marketing ideas, sandy barris | Leave a comment

How To Make Your Mind Grabber Statement Work For You!

Mind Grabber StatementYou’re probably wondering,
“What the hell is a Mind Grabber Statement”, right?

Well, a mind grabber is an overall business marketing concept. 

It’s the ethics of your business, a mission statement, but it’s also what you are offering in a tight sentence.

A mind grabber statement is the benefits of doing business with you and also describes what’s in it for your client.

The “Reasons Why” they should do and believe what you promise.

It Cuts Through Other Marketing Messages.

Is Clear, Simple, Short & Immediate.

Simply answers these four questions to create your Mind Grabber Statement”. By the way, they are silently being asked by every one of your clients, customers, patients and prospects: 

1) Here’s what we’re trying to sell you;

2) This is how much it will cost you;

3) Here’s why you should trust us;

4) And this is what’s in it for you.

And finally, here’s an offer so great that you’d be a fool to pass it up.

Now, what’s your mind grabber statement?

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Get ready to conduct surveys to help grow your business.

One of the most overlooked Marketing Tools is to Conduct Surveys.

survey-says-2First, it gives you a better idea what your Prospects, Clients and Patients are thinking and wanting.

It also helps you discover their likes and dislikes and what they want in the way of Pricing, Packaging, Specials, Terms and Guarantees, etc.

You’ll quickly find out how they compare you to the Competition or what they may need this year that they didn’t need last year.

And more importantly, it truly shows them that you care about their opinions, feelings and feedback.

Of course, I strongly urge you to offer some sort of incentive to encourage them to complete the Survey on a timely basis.

Last but not least, you can get a ton of mileage from the results by sharing the results with your Employees, Clients, Customers, Patients and Prospects.

You could also publish them in the form of Articles and Press Releases for additional exposure.

Ultimately, you’ll discover exactly what folks want to buy, helping you take your business to the next level.

Now, create your survey and find out what people really want from you and your business.


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Do You Hate Voice Mail Too?


How Many Times Have You Hung Up The Phone 

Because You Were Put Into Voice Mail?

I’m sure that you’ve made a call and been forced to listen to the following recorded message:
“Your call is important to us. Please hold for the next available Customer Service representative.”

Many business operations have been automated at the expense of customer service. The businesses that keep their Customer Service departments “human” often thrive.

Southwest Airlines is ranked as the number one airline in the United States, and they use only “live” human beings for their telephone Customer Service operations (sadly it is now after a bunch of announcements, warnings then a series of prompts to get you to the right department).

“Forget about the sales you hope to make and concentrate on the service you want to render.”
Harry Bullis

Automated customer service has been proven to drive customers crazy.

It will drive these customers away from many of the businesses that are using this service.

People often will turn to a competitor that uses a live customer service who can answer their questions.

Why? Because this business seems to care more about how customers are treated.

Most people like to talk to a person, so when you or your employees hide behind an automated phone system, your customers will get frustrated and move on to your competition.

Customer dissatisfaction will not only drive away prospective clients, it will drive up your marketing costs.

You will have to replace the customers whom you lose. It costs about five to seven times more to get a new client than it does to keep an existing one.

What are you doing to make it more convenient for your clients to contact your company on the telephone?



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Who else thinks their first sale is the most important sale?

no2-2Would you be surprised if I told you a second-time buyer is at least twice as likely to buy from you again when compared to a first-time buyer.


Because the second time client will usually buy again because you have proved that you added value to his/her life. The customer who has had his/her wants and needs fulfilled comes back for more.

That said, it’s also critical to know where your profits will be made.

They are either made on the “front end,” at the time of the first sale, or they are made on additional, “backend” sales.

Are your products/services the type that will result in repeat business? If so, your initial sale could be small, but be designed to lead to

If so, your initial sale could be small, but be designed to lead to quite a few larger and more profitable sales.

Most businesses profit more from additional sales than they do from first sales.

For that simple reason, it’s important to know whether you want a customer for the long term or if you’re making a “oneshot” sale.

Now, is your marketing designed to generate additional sales, or is your focus more “single sale” oriented?

Although “backend” sales are vital to the survival of most businesses, one of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make is NOT capturing valuable client information so that they know which customers are returning to buy again.

Don’t keep track of your client information… And you’ll never know which customers are coming back to you.

If that’s the case then how will you ever stay in contact with them and sell them more products/services. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.”
– David Starr Jordan

I recently been to a local hobby store several times during the last three weeks looking for parts for my son’s HO cars. Do you think they have ever asked me for any of my contact information? Do you think they are keeping track of the cars or supplies that I have been purchasing?

Over the course of these three weeks, I have easily spent at least $400.00 on various products/services for my son. You would think that they would want to make sure I had a good reason to come back.

If they had asked for my info and tracked the types of things I had purchased, they could then mail (or email or text) or call me with marketing offers relating to what I had been buying. If they had my contact information, then they could let me know about upcoming sales or special offers.

And if they haven’t got my information, then they probably don’t have information on other customers either.

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”
– Albert Camus

The point I’m making here is that by not asking for my information, they are leaving a lot of money on the table. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Did you know many businesses are not overly worried about making a profit on the first sale to a new client.

Why… you ask?

Because they have calculated that their profits will come from future sales. In other words, they know that they will profit from repeat sales to existing clients. And they also know the lifetime value of a new customer.

In other words, they know what the average profit will be from repeat sales to existing clients.

If you know that one out of every three customers who makes a purchase from your business will purchase again and again and again, you can take a reasonable loss on your first sale.

The key is getting them in the door the first time. If you can do that and you add value to their lives, then you know they will return and you will profit in the future. So some of your marketing efforts should be designed to “hook” the first time buyer.

But it is equally important that some of your marketing efforts are designed to bring repeat customers back to you.

Does your marketing strategy include efforts to both bring in new customers and keep your clients come back again?

Posted in backend, customer service, direct marketing, getting clients, knowledge, life time value, relationships, repeat customers | Leave a comment

Are YOU hurting your business?

Icrowdt’s a tough question.

One of the most significant factors in causing a business to fail is creating the product/service first, and the market (the need for the product/service) second.

This is the opposite of what many people think needs to be done to create a successful business.

Talented people who have great ideas start many businesses. These folks may be great at what they do or know, and they are often great technicians. Unfortunately, many of them never investigate whether there is a real market (a starving crowd)) for the products/services they wish to offer.

Clever and successful entrepreneurs find the market first.

They discover who needs what, why it’s needed and wanted and then they focus on creating or locating the product that will fill that need.

To be successful, you must find out whether or not anyone actually wants the product/service you intend to offer.  If you discover that people do want your product/service, then you need to find out if they are willing to pay for it (and if so, then how much). Will it be profitable?

The very best proof is to do a “market test” to determine whether or not your marketing message will sell your product.

Many publishers will produce a list of 40-50 different titles for  books that they are thinking about printing in the upcoming months. The response that the list generates helps the publisher to determine which titles, if any, the public might be interested in buying.

BMG music did a similar technique: they’d mail sheets of stamps, each containing a different musical artist. The selections that people make when they return their order form help BMG market the music that is most popular.

What markets do you need to discover and what business ideas do you need to test before you invest in them on a large scale?

Posted in advertising, Advertising Plan, business, decisions, flexibility, focus, Proof, questions, target marketing | Leave a comment

Losing Clients Suck, Right?

Ask WhyHow often does your boss, your sales manager or someone else (even yourself) ask  why you lost your last 5-10-25 or 100 clients?

Who really knows the answer?

It’s your former client.

So, why don’t you ask these clients why s/he no longer buys from your company?

You might get lucky and find a X-client who is prepared to talk, but keep in mind that s/he has moved on and may not want to talk to you.

Also, your Ex will probably will give you only one reason, then thank you for your efforts and wish you well.

So keep asking… “And what else” “What are more reasons”. Act confused and ask to explain further.

How much have you learned? Not much at all if you stop at one questions and take the answer for granted.

Recently, I lost a client for whom I had created a successful direct-mail campaign. This marketing effort had produced a nice 1,148.85% Return on Investment (ROI).

Later, I found out from my client she was upset with the slow response that she was getting from me regarding a marketing questionnaire for which she had paid. After answering the questions, my client wanted her market­ing analysis, which is part of the deal, but we just couldn’t seem to find a mutually convenient time to get together.

Ultimately, I gave her a refund on the questionnaire and we parted ways.

However, to this day I feel that there had to be some­thing more. Maybe there was a hidden “decision-maker,” someone else who had a final say about who my client does business with or who harbored some ill feeling. I felt very bad when I lost my client because I was hoping that there would be a long and profitable relationship for both of us.

Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on the definite reason why someone stops giving you his/her bus­ness.

It can be hard to determine what complaints s/he had about you that led to the decision. Many times, you are left with very little information. Working backwards to discover what went wrong can be very difficult.

How about this?

Be prepared to ask a new client for a lit­tle time after the first sale or, then you probably can determine the things that keep him or her coming back and buying from you.

After the relationship with your client advances from the new phase to “long-term,” ask him/her why you get his/her business. There will be quite a few reasons, not just one or two. You may have to dig deep, ask  open-ended questions. I’m sure that it will be worth it.

Build a file or a database of the answers that you get and the reasons why your clients came to you in the first place, of course, but also (if possible) the reasons that they stopped using your competition.

Discover from these answers what you can do to prevent clients from going somewhere else.

You’ll benefit by using what you have learned with your next prospect. All this valuable information will help you to convert him or her into a new client.

What will you be asking your clients and X-clients next?

Posted in business, business personality, decisions, learning, life time value, marketing, motivation, questions, reference, referrals, research, sales, sandy barris, solving problems, USP, Why This Marketing Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment