The three phases of small business marketing are as predictable as the phases of the moon. Work with the small business marketing cycle to generate a steady stream of prospects and to convert prospects to clients.
You want to attract more clients to grow your business, but you’re not sure where to start or where to focus your efforts. You’ve tried advertising in various media, a web site, cold calling, brochures, and direct mail, but none of these are generating as much new or repeat business as you’d like.
Marketing is costly and can be frustrating when its not working; to get more out of your investment of time and money, understand how marketing can and should work to drive prospects to your door.
Understanding the Marketing and Sales Cycle
Marketing progresses through a series of steps to get to a sale or repeat sale. No matter how much you might like to have a full moon on any one night, you can’t skip the quarter moon and half moon to get there.
The first phase of marketing is Getting Attention. People need to know that you exist and what it is that you do or offer before they can buy. The second phase is Positioning; before a prospect will part with their hard earned dollars, they need to get to know and trust you and learn the value of what you provide. The final phase of the marketing cycle is Selling, getting first time and repeat sales.
Unlike the moon, you can affect the marketing and sales cycle. You can influence your prospects to generate a steady stream of clients and customers.
Learn how to attract more prospects and convert them to clients by putting the marketing cycle to work for you. In “Earning More by Marketing Smarter” I detail what how do this.
In “Earning More by Marketing Smarter” you’ll learn how Get Attention and Position your business, and increase sales.
Step 1 – Generating Awareness
Introduce yourself to prospects and tell them what you do and how you can help them. Make sure your marketing message addresses your prospects’ interests, and then use it to write ads that pay for themselves, whether you are using google/adwords, ezine ads, newspaper ads, or radio spots.
Step 2 – Motivating Prospects to Action
Use everything from your ads, to your business card to your web site to stimulate a contact or a conversation. Give prospects a reason to take the next step and respond by emailing or calling you or visiting your store.
You can get attention to grow your business in just 15 seconds. The key is having a brilliant marketing message, one that prompts people to contact you.
Step 3 – Establishing Credibility
People won’t buy from you until they feel confident that they know and trust you. Use your articles, books, interviews, and testim0nials to establish your credibility and help prospects feel confident in buying from your firm.
Step 4 – Clarifying Your Value
Whether you are selling a $15 book, a $10,000 business consultation, or a $50,000 car, prospects won’t make a commitment unless they understand in their own terms the value you are providing. Use your small business marketing materials, your web site, and your conversations to help prospects define the value of your goods or services.
Step 5 – Receiving Commitments
Whether it is helping a prospect to sign up for your free ezine, scheduling a conversation, buying a manual or sending you a check for your services, to move the process forward you need to ask for and get a commitment.
Step 6 – Providing Service that Generates More Revenue
You’ll sell your products or services if they solve a problem or satisfy a need. Your objective is to give people what they want. Do so and they’ll be happy. The second objective is to sell them what they need. Do this and they’ll come back to buy your other products and services.
Step 7 – Maintaining the Relationship
Once a prospect has become a paying client, you want them to stay with you and continue learning and buying from you. Continue to stay in touch, clarify the value of your products and services and prompt prospects and clients to buy from you and refer new clients to you.
Getting Attention, Positioning, Selling a three-step cycle that you can anticipate and influence using the seven steps outlined above. Put these steps in order and you’ll move many more prospects through the marketing cycle to increase sales.