There Are 5 Parts In The Monopolize Your Marketplace System
In Order To Now Be Successful, Today’s Companies Must Become Marketing Oriented
How To Stand Head And Shoulders Above Your Competition!
The first and most important element in the Monopolize Your Marketplace system is the argument you build, the case you design, and the reasons you give why a prospect should do business with you. Your case should distinguish your business from all the competitors. It will make you the obvious choice and lead prospects to the conclusion, “I would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone but you…regardless of price.”
You may have associated this to current business buzzwords like “niche marketing” or “unique selling proposition.” The difference is we are not only going to introduce you to the concept, we are going to help you implement the underlying principle in a systematic way in your business.
The Case You Build Will Raise Your Business Above The Noise
Take a look in the yellow pages and you will find pages of ads for nearly every given product or service. Each ad seems to shout the same thing: “best, cheapest, honest, friendly service” and many other empty words. We call this condition NOISE and it is one of the primary reasons for the Confidence Gap. This condition is not exclusive to the yellow pages, it is in every aspect of marketing and advertising. How then can a prospect determine which, if any, of the offers is the greatest deal? Generally speaking, they cannot. The result is a prospect calling the first few ads then going with the lowest price.
You may be aware that in your industry lowest price does not always reflect the best deal. You can probably name a competitor or two that offer a lower price than you. You can probably also identify how buying from your competition would result in less value for the same money spent. The most important question is does your marketing make your value clear to the prospect?
Build A Case For Your Product Or Service Like An Attorney Would
Envision your marketing situation as a court case – your prospects are the jury, you are the defendant and you must prove to them without a doubt that your product or service is the most practical alternative amidst all the competition. Now remember: this is a life or death situation. Under these circumstances, are you going to settle with a defense that says, “we’re better, we’re cheaper, we’re professional or we’ve got better service”? Of course not! You are going to probe your jury to know what they will be sympathetic to and respond to. You are going to give substantial, quantifiable evidence to back yourself up.
Once you have gathered this information about your business or developed your case, selling becomes incredibly easy. You will have the entire framework for any marketing and media you will ever need to create for your business. In effect, you have defined the “Inside Reality” or the “something good to say.” Once you have this clearly defined, you are ready to work on the “Outside Perception” or “saying it well.” We have organized the MYM System to help you gather and organize all the information you will need to build a strong case for your business.
To get more information on the MYM System: Contact one of our Principal Consultants by filling out some basic information at the following link. Free Consultation
If You Feel You Are Making All The Money Possible From Your Written Ads, Then This Section Is Not For You!!
It has been said that advertising costs the same whether it is used intelligently or foolishly. An ad in the newspaper costs you the same amount whether it generates one new customer or 100 new customers. A mailer costs you the same whether it brings in $10 of business or $10,000. Your degree of skill in marketing and advertising can obviously have a profound impact on your business.
Few Small Business Owners Really Understand How To Advertise Intelligently
Small businesses must demand maximum performance from every marketing dollar spent. Ad campaigns that are cute and/or silly attempt only to build name recognition or merely say, “Here it is, come get it” must be avoided.
Small businesses cannot afford to spend a lot of money on advertising where the main purpose is to build name recognition. Advertising must lead prospects to act in some measurable, specific way – send in a coupon, call a number, write a check, go to the store, etc. – all in an effort to make a sale.
Headlines: Simply stated, the headline is the ad for the ad. Its purpose is to pick people out of a crowd of readers/listeners who may be responsive to your general offer and give them a reason to continue reading or listening to the ad.
You will usually want to incorporate your Articulate Sales Argument (ASA) into your headline. Your ASA is the singular, unique benefit your customers will receive by doing business with your firm, stated in an easily embraceable way. It’s the one thing that really distinguishes you from your competition.
People who have interest in your proposition will read the headline and decide to keep reading. Those who aren’t interested in your headline won’t keep reading – but you shouldn’t care because they aren’t qualified prospects. On the other hand, if you use a cute, ambiguous headline to attract attention, chances are you will lose people who are qualified. Remember: you are only interested in selling to qualified, interested prospects!
Being Specific: Claude Hopkins, the father of direct response advertising, said “Platitudes and generalities roll off the human understanding like water from a duck. They leave no impression whatever.” To say “Low Prices, Biggest Selection or Highest Quality” is useless. People tend to be skeptical. They need to be convinced.
Instead, try using specific, graphically illustrative words and phrases that quantify your statement. “We Always Have at Least 1745 Tuxedos in No Less Than 22 Different Styles, 72 Varying Sizes, and 10 Desirable Colors, And in Price Ranges From $25 to $125.” This is more definite and more believable than the usual generic “Large Selection.”
Since people are skeptical, they tend to discount (or flat out ignore) any generalized statements you make. But they know that you wouldn’t tell a bold-faced lie. When you make a specific statement about your product, they give it 100% credibility. Changing general statements to specific ones will double the effectiveness of any advertisement. No extra cost. Try it.
Long vs. Short Copy: Interesting short copy is better than boring long copy. But remember who you are trying to sell your products to: interested, qualified prospects – the people who are hungry for information about the product in question.
Think in terms of salesman-like advertising. You certainly wouldn’t send a salesman to see an interested, qualified prospect and have him merely hand the prospect a photograph of your product and say, “Ours is higher quality and we have better service,” and then leave. But that is exactly what 90% of all advertising says! If you don’t believe me, just look in your local newspaper or yellow pages directory.
The More You Tell, The More You Sell
A rule of thumb is to use as much space as it takes to present a fairly complete argument for your product or service. Drew Kaplan of DAK consumer electronics fame has earned hundreds of millions of dollars describing in exacting, painstaking detail every feature, benefit, and advantage of what seem to be very common products. You should see his 32-page mini-magazine that sells one product – a desktop publishing software package.
W.I.I.F.M.: What’s In It For Me? Every ad must address this important question. Surprisingly, most advertisements only breeze over WIIFM. They would rather tell you that they’ve been in business for 200 years or that they have 44 expert tailors on site.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Your ASA should tell people what’s in it for them – and state that reason in clear, graphically illustrative terms. Here’s another formula for you to remember when you’re describing your products or services: FAB.
FAB stands for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. While most ads focus on features, your ads should focus on advantages and benefits.
Risk Reversal: In almost every business relationship, one party is always asking the other – whether implicitly or explicitly – to bear the burden of risk on the transaction.
If your product or service can truly perform, then you should not hesitate to offer it to interested, qualified prospects at zero risk. If your product cannot perform, or if you’re trying to sell it to the wrong target, you have no business being in business. Don’t make your prospect take the risk.
Marketing consulting is a perfect example of risk reversal. Even though most of my clients come to me on a referral basis, they don’t really know if I can help them out in their situation. People hesitate to pay me in advance to write an advertisement if they’ve never worked with me before.
But since I know my services will exceed their expectations (I can’t go wrong because I hedge by testing), I don’t mind “giving” the service away. Depending on the relationship with the client, I might or might not ask for a good faith deposit. But I never accept any money if something doesn’t work.
Now, contrast that to my competition – advertising agencies. They demand payment in advance – and I guarantee that they will refuse to refund your money if their $10,000 artwork didn’t net you any new customers. They’re funny that way.
Like everything else I exhort, always state your guarantee in readily embraceable terms. “Money Back Guarantee” does not evoke the same response as saying “Your check will not be cashed for two weeks and the sale isn’t even considered binding until you’ve taken your diamond to be appraised by at least two certified gemologists of your choice.”
Yes, you will have a higher incidence of returns if you offer a guarantee. You might even have a few people take advantage of you. But if emphasizing a performance guarantee doubles or triples the response of an ad, the returns are inconsequential. Again, the guarantee offers you an opportunity to increase your bottom line without spending extra money.
Chameleon Advertising: In many cases, it makes sense to disguise your advertisement. People tend to not pay attention to advertisements, but they do tend to pay attention to news or entertainment your advertisements are so often delivered with.
Paul Harvey tells the whole world “The Rest of the Story” three times a day. At least a couple of times a week, he starts one of his news stories by talking about the consumer satisfaction polls for new cars. Buick Park Avenue, the car Paul himself drives, is always on top. It sounds just like a news clip. It’s an advertisement.
Some of the greatest print advertisements of all times looked just like news articles. One I like is frequently found in the sports section. The headline says, “New, Hot Golf Ball Banned From Pro Tour – Flies Too Far.” It keeps running year after year; it must be working.
Call to Action: Just like a good salesman always tries to close the deal, your advertisements should lead the prospect to do something. Your objective will determine what that action is. If you’re generating leads, your ad needs to tell people to call, send a card, bring in a coupon, write for more information or some other specific reply. If you’re trying to make sales, tell people to write a check or call with their credit card ready.
People are silently begging to be led. If your advertisement has built a solid case for your product, all you have to do is ask for action and you will get it.
In Conclusion: There are several other aspects of ad writing that haven’t been covered here, like use of testimonials, bonuses, postscripts, and such. Unless your product is very simple to understand, it’s a good idea to use advertising for lead generating. There comes a point when it makes sense to sub a real salesman to close the sale. But don’t underestimate the usefulness of employing a huge army of tiny salesmen to open doors and pique interest. If your salesman-like ads are reaching qualified, interested prospects, they will definitely have a positive effect on your business.
Create Powerful Sales Tools…Even The Weakest Link In Your Sales Staff Can Become A Superstar
Franchising your market is a way to systematize your sales and marketing processes so that it’s easy to understand, implement, and train your people. You need to create sales tools that capture your passion and expertise, such as audio tapes, videos, CDs, reports, etc. With powerful sales tools, even the weakest link in your sales staff will be far more productive.
“Franchise Your Sales System” By Capturing The Essence Of Your ASA In Sales Tools That Can Easily Be Used By Your Salespeople
Obviously, every business has some type of sales department, whether you actually have “salespeople” or not. Some businesses have order takers or counter clerks or customer service reps or whatever you want to call them. For our purposes, I’ll just call them all salespeople because the concepts are the same no matter what kind of sales setup you have.
We’ve found that most businesses have the usual 80/20 rule when it comes to sales…20% of the sales people are superstars and the other 80% are average to below average. Now I’m not trying to kid you and say that this system will make everyone a superstar, but it will do this: It will make the guys who are bad, decent. It will make the guys who are decent, pretty good. It will make the guys who are pretty good, just plain “good.” And it will make the guys who are good, great. And as a guy moves up that ladder, he always has the opportunity…and even the likelihood…of becoming great at some point. It’s all dependent on how you set up your sales system.
Think about the way a McDonald’s is set up and you’ll begin to understand the great power of systemization. I mean there’s a reason that McDonald’s is the biggest and the best in their industry. And it’s not because they have the best food. It’s because they have, by far, the best systems for doing everything from operations to sales. When you go into any McDonald’s, anywhere in the world, what’s the first thing you do? You look up. Why? Because the menu’s up there. Then they’ve got pictures of the food so you don’t even have to be able to read. You just look at the picture and tell them you want a number three with a Sprite. It’s idiot proof. The system sells the food. You don’t have to rely on the clerk to tell you all about the food. Heck, he just points to the picture himself if you do ask. Then he asks you the magic question, “May I take your order?” and then adds the ever-present, “Would you like anything else with that?” It’s all predetermined. They don’t leave it up to people to figure things out.
Now I’m not saying you have to be as systematized as McDonald’s and I realize that they’re talking mostly about a system of operations and we’re talking about marketing and sales. But we can learn from the example about the power of the system.
Let The Tools Do The Selling For The Salesperson, Especially If He’s Not A Superstar
For instance, you can create brochures, audio tapes, videos, newsletters, and things your salespeople can use as a crutch. We operate from the “even a blind dog with a broken leg can deliver a video, tape or CD” mentality. Now, what’s key is saying something on that tape or that brochure or that video that is compelling, ASA oriented, and so forth.
If you can create the sales tools that will make the salesperson’s job easier, the next thing you need to do is generate leads, provide scripts, and standardized follow-ups that the people can use. Just like the martial arts master, you’ve got to figure out all of the prospect’s situations BEFORE you start the sales process.
Years ago, we owned an office supply company and we had certain sales advantages over each of the 4 main competitors…but the advantages were different depending on who we were competing against. So, for instance, if we generated a lead and the prospect said he was currently using Miller Business Systems, the salesperson would go to the secretary, who would then pull the follow-up letter up on the computer that gave specific advantages that we held over Miller Business Systems. She’d print it out, with some customization if necessary, and give it to the salesperson for a signature and she’d mail it out.
Now what do you think would happen if we left it up to the salesperson to try to a) figure out what to say in that letter and b) actually take the time to type up and mail out the letter himself? The chance is approximately zero. See, that’s what I mean by “Franchise Your Sales System.” In my sales system, the guy has the same opportunity to send the same well-written, perfectly articulated letter, regardless of how good of a salesperson he is. We elevate the performance of everyone…because everyone gets the same results when they’re using the same tools. Of course, there are variables that affect the overall performance of your sales staff. But systematizing lifts everyone’s performance.
What Can Be Systematized In Your Business? Just About Everything!
You can systematize the follow up letters and procedures, the phone scripts, the element of “surprising” your customers, the ‘thank yous’, how you handle problems, lead generation, everything. Even the passion can be systematized and duplicated. Hey, you’re the superstar. You’ve got to find a way to get your people to deliver the passion that you have for the business.
We created a video brochure for a large roofing company that talked about an innovative program we created for them called the “Code of Ethics & Competency Consumer Protection Act.” Now keep in mind roofing is an industry with a bad reputation and a lot of screwy operators. So it’s an uphill battle to gain the confidence of the homeowners. The video set up specific standards that roofing contractors should adhere to and told the prospect how to tell if a given roofing company complied. Well, we set it up so that only one roofing company had the ability to comply with all the standards-our client. The video did a very good job of forming an outside perception that accurately reflected the inside reality, which was that this company really was peerless in the roofing industry. The video was extremely well articulated…it built a tremendous case.
Even A Blind Dog With A Broken Leg Can Hand A Guy A Video
Well, an example of how well this systematized sales tool, the video, worked for one of their salesman. The salesman noticed one day that one of his neighbors, right there on his own street, had a sign in his yard for another roofing contractor to re-roof his house. The salesman walked over to the neighbor’s house, knocked on the door, said “I live down the street and I work for a roofing company. Here’s a video that will help you make sure that the contractor you’re using will do a satisfactory job on your roof.” Then he shook his hand and went home. No more, no less. Well, the salesman got a call from the neighbor the next morning at about 7:30. He said, “Hey, I watched this video. I want you guys to do my roof.” By the time he got over there at 8:15, the guy had already pulled the other company’s sign out of the ground. The job was worth $15,000 bucks. Not a bad sale for handing a guy a video. Remember what I said earlier? Even a blind dog with a broken leg can hand a guy a video. That’s what we call “Franchising Your Sales System.”
Train Your Targeted Prospects To Buy From You and Loathe The Competition
The Monopolize Your Marketplace System is the systematic approach to making prospects want to listen to what a company has to offer by presenting a compelling case for your product or service and systematically and consistently communicating it in a way that’s instantly embraceable.
We have found that most companies don’t have much of a problem selling their services or products – once they get an audience. If a salesman gets an appointment, as long as he can fill the prospect’s basic needs, then he’s got a good shot at making the sale. In retail, if the customer just comes in the door, it’s likely that they’ll buy again, provided that their needs can be met at a fair price. Professionals can usually sell new clients if they can just get the initial consultation to demonstrate how good they are. If a manufacturer can just get his products into the hands of distribution, there’s a good chance they’ll make sales and so on. The problem is generally NOT selling.
The Problem Is Getting An Opportunity To Sell
The Monopolize Your Marketplace System is to consistently contact your target market with compelling marketing pieces. In this way you train your prospects to buy from you and loathe the competition. You do this through the creation and implementation of a Hopper System.
The whole point of the Hopper System is to allow you to manage huge quantities of leads without all the additional time, hassle, and expense of trying to personally contact each one of them with the intent of developing a one-on-one relationship. Most business owners and salespeople spend 80% of their time trying to frantically manage prospects (with little success), instead of spending 80% of their time closing business and building their residual income.
To help you more clearly understand how the Hopper System works, consider the analogy of a plum tree. It’s simplistic, but it’s also true to form. Let’s say you have a plum tree in your backyard. Each year that tree will grow hundreds of green plums that are up on the branches just waiting to turn red. If you wait long enough, you’ll discover that some of the green plums ripen, turn red, and become ready to eat.
Plums on a tree are like your prospects. At first, some of your prospects will be ready to buy just like the ripe plums that are ready to eat at the beginning of the season. But the fact remains, that for various reasons, many of your prospects WILL NOT be ready to buy when you first contact them. They still need some nurturing some time to “ripen,” so to speak.
Harvesting “ripe” prospects is easy. These are the ones you call on and they have an immediate need and since you called at a good time, you get the sale. This, incidentally, is not your greatest opportunity to gain new customers. Your REAL potential wealth lies in the “green” prospects-ones who need more time and more nurturing from you before they’ll finally be ready to buy.
The average business owner or salesperson will pick all the red plums off the tree, throw them in his little bucket (he doesn’t need a very big one!), and run off to the next tree looking for more red plums. Maybe his next tree is a trade show, a networking group, a mail campaign, a fax blast, or a telemarketing list. But wait a second-don’t you think some of those green ones, the ones who weren’t ready right away might pan out in the future?
Well, even the average business owner or salesperson figures that his green plums might turn red someday, too. So he sets up a great system for cultivating them called the tickler file. Every so often, he calls the people on his list from a given tree and becomes what’s known as “the annoying little voice on the other end of the phone.”
See if this sounds familiar; maybe you’ve even been guilty of doing it. You call an unconverted prospect and say “Hello, may I please speak with Tom. Tom? Hey, this is Joe over at XYZ Cash Flow Solutions. Remember I met you at the chamber of commerce lunch a couple of months ago? You don’t. Well, did you get that brochure I sent you with my business card? Oh, don’t worry about it. Anyway, I was just calling to see if you guys over there need any of our services yet? You don’t? That’s okay. I’ll give you a call in a couple of months to see if you need some then. Bye!”
See how silly that sounds? There is no reason from the prospect’s perspective for you to call him and waste his time in the first place. So instead of building trust and confidence and brand equity, you’re building a gulf of contempt and hatred! This routine gets old (for them) very, very fast.
In business, realize that there’s a process that a prospect must go through before he’ll be ready to buy from you. He may need to learn more about this industry in general or he may want to know about you and why your offer is any better than anyone else’s he’s considering. Or maybe, he just doesn’t need what you have…right now.
Your challenge is to educate and nurture each prospect along. But that’s hard to do if you’ve got more than 10 prospects. Lots of business books and trainers talk about what’s known as “relationship marketing” or the process of building a personal relationship with a prospect so he’ll think you’re his friend. After all, given a choice, we’d all like to buy things from our friends. But with 250 prospects, that’s a tough row to hoe.
Let’s go back to the orchard to find the solution. In the orchard, you cultivate plum trees by watering, fertilizing, de-pesting, etc., and you also let nature take care of some things (sun, rain, and so forth). But remember, prospects are like plums, not entire trees. Building a relationship with every prospect is a lot like paying a lot of attention to every plum on the tree. Imagine inspecting all the plums for bugs every day. Or somehow adding a small but precise amount of water to each plum each day. This is a silly example, but it does make the point. You have to address the entire tree at once not plum by plum.
In the orchard you can set up an irrigation system that would automatically come on every day to water the trees. You can hire an airplane to drop pesticide on your trees once a week. You can send in a crew to prune the branches. In other words, you can treat the entire orchard at once. All the plums will ripen when the time comes. Then your job is to go in and HARVEST!
In sales, your nurturing consists of two things: Communication and Consistent Contact. You have to continuously communicate with your prospects why they would want to do business with you…and you have to say it in a way that makes them believe it and take action. If you will do this consistently, you will win the lion’s share of the business. Here’s why:
- None of your competitors are doing it, so you win by default.
- If you do this properly, you will be building your case and as soon as the prospect has a need, you will already be the OBVIOUS CHOICE to do business with.
Turning One-Shot Sales Into A Continuous Stream of Income
3 Critical Elements To Growing Your Business
For many business owners and marketers, marketing only means getting new customers. True, getting new customers is important for every business but it is only one part of the OPTIMIZATION equation.
In order for a business to achieve exponential growth, it must do the following three things:
- Increase its customer base.
- Increase each customer’s frequency of purchase.
- Increase each customer’s average amount of purchase.
Marketing must address all three of these areas to optimize a business. For some reason though, 95% of marketing dollars are spent on gaining new customers. But by failing to increase your current customers’ frequency and amount of purchase, there’s a good chance that you’re wasting valuable resources.
3 Steps To Avoid Perpetual One-Shot Selling
Restaurants are a good example of perpetual one-shot selling. It’s not that people don’t come back necessarily, just that the restaurant makes no pro-active effort to get them back. That’s why I’m going to use a restaurant to illustrate a simple 3-step formula that will keep customers coming back over and over again. This formula can and should be applied to every business.
Step One: Capture the names and addresses of all of your customers.
Step Two: Systematically contact all of your customers and ask them for more business.
Step Three: Offer a reward when you ask for more business.
Sounds simple enough and it is. But I can assure you that any business that is struggling isn’t doing it and 90% of businesses that aren’t struggling could double their profitability-if they would execute this formula.
By execute, I mean contacting the customers either individually or by a letter that is computer addressed and laser printed and sent to them. I don’t mean sending a coupon in the mail on the back of a lost child postcard (although those are good for finding customers in some cases).
The Myth Of Passing Out Coupons
What about a method that most small-time restaurants use: coupons. I’ll submit to you that most people using your half-off coupon are looking for a deal more than they’re looking for a good restaurant to frequent.
Think about the message the coupon sends to customers: Our place is so bad that we’ve got to give it to you at half price to make it worth your while. Plus you don’t make any profit on the transaction.
You must pro-actively seek to work the back-end. Most businesses let their customers dictate what their buying habits will be how often they’ll come back, how much they’ll spend when they do buy, etc. Most businesses are reactive when it comes to re-selling their customers. If you already have sunk the cost of generating and nurturing a customer once, why not solidify the relationship and profit from him forever?
Start immediately to do everything in your power to gain repeat sales from your current customers. It may be something as simple as writing them a letter or giving them a telephone call. But one thing is certain if you don’t ask for the business, your competitors will.
Joint Ventures: How to Gain $3.4 Million of Good Will in 30 Days
One of the best ways I know to leverage your time and marketing dollars is to enter into joint ventures with other businesses. The first place you need to consider when looking to maximize profits is reselling to your own customers.
If you agree that your customers are your business’ most valuable asset, then you should see the potential profits available if another business will make its customers available to you. Available, that is, in the form of consignment of goods, an endorsement or a more integrated joint venture.
Joint ventures can work in one of two basic ways. First, you let other companies play off your customer base and then take a percentage of each resulting sale. Or second, work a deal with other companies to make their customers available to you and then pay them a portion of each sale.
The underlying principle of why this works is simple. A business will spend some finite amount of time, money, resources, and sweat developing a relationship with its customers. The customers will have some level of confidence in that company which translates into their willingness to respond to offers made by the company.
For instance, a company might spend $50,000 a year in advertising, $80,000 a year on commissioned salespeople, and $5,000 a month for prime retail space. These three expenditures alone not to mention dozens of others account for almost $200,000 spent a year to develop customer relationships. Now, if you work a joint venture with the owner of that store, you can access all of that money spent for the cost of a letter.
Joint Venture Marketing Offers Your Business The Ultimate Financial Leverage
There are thousands of ways to construct joint venture deals. You have to be willing to actively pursue and put together deals. When you present another business owner with a proposition, your approach is all-important.
Just like all good marketing efforts, you want to preach benefits to him immediately. Don’t just go up to him and say, “Will you endorse my product to your customers?” You have to paint the picture first. You have to help him understand how it works. Not everyone understands the dynamics and leverage like you do.
The marketing function of a business can offer tremendous leverage. These concepts can be applied to almost any kind of business successfully as long as you keep an open mind and continue to think outside the box.