Is Your Marketing Aggressive Enough?

by Charlie Cook

Cathy, a business writer, emailed me and said, “Boy, do I need to work on my Web site this year!” I gave her a couple of ways to improve her site and had her look at several websites that sell effectively on the Internet. Her response was a common one; she thought those sites were marketing aggressively and she worried about turning her prospects off with a “hard sell”.

Are you concerned about being too aggressive with your small business marketing?

No one in business wants to be seen as the stereotypical used car salesman, who tries to sell you a lemon by claiming the car was owned by a little old lady who never drove it. And are prospects really convinced by promises that are too good to be true? “Start your own business and make $200,000 in just two weeks!” Then there are the salespeople who drive everyone crazy with their annoying cold calls at dinner time…

You could try the “soft sell” approach; in your marketing materials, simply state your company’s name and include a list of the products or services you sell. This is a very common approach. But it doesn’t work. It’s true that if you’re too loud or annoying, you may scare your prospects away, but if you’re too subtle or you sound the same as the competition, no one will ever read your materials.

Let me clear up one misperception right away.

Aggressive marketing does not mean deceiving your prospects or deliberately pestering them. Don’t make claims that you can’t back up, and don’t annoy your prospects. You want them to become satisfied clients, after all.

When you think of aggressive small business marketing you may think of being aggressive as “showing a readiness or having a tendency to attack or do harm to others”. Instead, think of aggressive marketing as “characterized by or exhibiting determination, energy, and initiative”. (Definitions from Encarta)

When people read your marketing materials, your sales letters or your web site, you want to grab their attention, to impress them and to prompt them to contact you and buy from you. To get attention and do well, you need an aggressive marketing approach that demonstrates your determination, energy, and initiative.

Remember your school days. If you sat in the back of the class and never raised your hand, never asked a question or participated in discussions, it was tough to get top grades. No matter how smart you are or how good you are at what you do, if you don’t let your prospects know how you can help them and convince them of your credibility, you won’t get their business.

You want the people reading your sales letters or visiting your web site to contact you, get to know you, see you as the expert to rely on and buy from you. It’s reasonable to expect at least one out of ten web site visitors to contact you.

Some of my clients are getting one out of five site visitors to contact them. If you’re not getting that kind of response, chances are that you’re not being aggressive enough in your marketing.

** How aggressive is your marketing? **

> Take the 10 item quiz below to find out.
Circle yes or no next to each question.

1. Have you written down your business goals for the next 12 months?
Yes – No

2. Is one of your goals to grow your list of qualified prospects by 5% each month?
Yes – No

3. Do you have a written marketing plan that guides your daily, weekly and monthly marketing activities?
Yes – No

4. Is the first and most prominent element in your marketing materials a one-sentence explanation of how you help your clients?
Yes – No

5. Do you feature client testimonials or case studies that provide proof of the results your products and services generate?
Yes – No

6. Is the first 50% or more of your marketing copy in your marketing materials focused on your prospects’ problems and concerns relative to your products and services?
Yes – No

7. In your sales letters and on your web site, do you use a free offer to prompt prospects to contact you?
Yes – No

8. Does your free offer prompt hundreds of people to contact you each week?
Yes – No

9. Do you follow up each prospect inquiry with an immediate response and at least 6 follow up contacts?
Yes – No

10. Do you continue to stay in touch with qualified prospects at least once a month, sharing an idea they can use and demonstrating the solutions you provide?
Yes – No

Your Marketing Aggressiveness Score and What It Means
Count the number of your “Yes” answers and see below.

1 to 3
You’re a marketing wallflower. You may be brilliant, and you may have great products and services, but your prospects have probably never heard of you and aren’t buying from you. Make a small business marketing plan and discover how to create a steady stream of prospects. Use this link to find out how >

3 to 6
You are on your way to becoming a successful marketer and to growing your business. You just need to discover how to generate more leads and more sales. Use this link to get the tools you need to succeed >

7 to 10
You’re an aggressive marketer. You’ve been in business for at least a couple of years and understand the core marketing techniques that provide results. Use this link to discover how to further increase your conversion rates and sell more to new and existing clients >

Whether you scored 1 or 10 on the quiz, there are steps you can take to improve your marketing and grow your business. You understand what your prospects want; use your marketing to motivate them to buy from you. Remember that aggressive marketing is about demonstrating your determination, energy, and initiative.

Marketing Tools You Can Use To Succeed

1. Small Business Marketing – Get The Works!
Discover how to market your business online and offline. Get the tools you need to attract more clients, close more sales and be more successful with this Small Business Marketing package, available for a limited time only. Use this link >

“I am thrilled with the marketing tools I ordered! You are a master of making the important very easy to understand and implement.”
Dave Eller, House Guy, Inc.

2. Web Marketing – Get Leads and Clients!
Discover the proven formula for increasing online lead generation and sales by 200 to 1000% with your web site marketing. Use this link >

“I love your marketing books … my favorite being ‘Creating Web Sites that Sell‘. I used to see marketing as a puzzle; now all the pieces are falling into place.”
Susan Robichaud, Visual Communications Inc.

3. Small Business Marketing System – Make More Each Month! Finally a guaranteed system to attract more clients, sell more to current clients and make more money with less effort or your money back! Use this link >

“One of the best investments I ever made in my business… Your marketing manual absolutely improved my business! I can read a chapter on Tuesday and put it into practice on Wednesday. I will be telling all my clients about this marketing tool.”
Dionne Carver, Owner, Accounting Firm

4. Get Attention, Fast!
Discover the secret to getting a flood of attention and sales with your marketing messages >

“In the last three weeks, since I started using my new marketing message, I’ve gotten as many clients as I did the last six months.”
Denise Annunciata, LeapLaw

5. More Small Business Marketing Tools to Help You Succeed
Get free publicity without paying for advertising >

Add thousands of people to your personal 24/7 sales force without spending a dime? Use this link >

6. Get Personal Help From the Marketing Response Expert
Discover how much more you could be making >

“Money well spent! Our business has skyrocketed since we first started working with Charlie on our web site marketing. With Charlie’s help we’ve increased web traffic, doubled lead flow and seen our sales increase.”
Mike Trowbridge, VP Marketing, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

“We called Charlie because no one was responding to our ads. We ran the ad Charlie wrote for us, and within three weeks, we added nine new clients and increased our income by $180,000.”
Jose Lopez, Rent4me

(VALUE: $200)
In less than 67 seconds, discover your company’s online reputation score and how to improve your reviews to attract more clients. Based on an analysis of the review sites that matter.