Last week I got a call from Jose, who was looking for help improving his ads. He’d been running the same ad in four local papers for two months and only gotten one response. He was understandably frustrated. With more than a dozen very satisfied clients, he knows that the residential property management services he and his brother provide should interest more people, but he wasn’t having any success getting attention or generating leads for his small business .
Jose knew that to grow his business he’d need to do some marketing. He had a web site and was doing all the networking he could in addition to running his ads. Isn’t this what he should be doing to attract more clients? Aren’t advertising, web sites, mailings and networking what small business marketing is all about?
Webster’s dictionary thinks so; it defines marketing as, “an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer”. In other words, small business marketing is a collection of activities. Is this how you think of it? Has approaching marketing with this mindset helped you increase your sales and profits?
Think about it. You started your business to provide products or services that help people. You work long and hard for your clients to ensure they get what they want. You know that the more helpful you are to your clients, the more likely they’ll be to hire you again and the more often they’ll recommend you.
Your products and services are aimed at meeting your prospects’ wants and needs. Focus your marketing on these wants and needs and use them to guide your marketing activities.
Small Business Marketing is Helping Your Prospects Get What They Want.
Marketing is not about you. It is not building your brand name, (unless you’re a Fortune 500 company and have the advertising budget to match). It is not convincing people to buy your products and services. It is not a group of activities that move goods and services. It is about your customers and what they want.
Working with Jose, I had shown him how to refocus his marketing on what his prospects were looking for. A few days ago Jose called me back to tell me about his experience with trying out this helping model of marketing. During a recent visit to Home Depot, he struck up a conversation with a prospect, Bob, who asked what Jose did. Instead of going through the litany of services his company provides, Jose said, “We help landlords manage their properties more efficiently and make more money.”
That got Bob’s attention; he wanted to know how Jose helped landlords. Jose briefly explained his company’s services from the landlord’s point of view. Bob asked for Jose’s business card, so they could have a conversation about Jose managing Bob’s 56 rental properties.
Whether you are crafting your advertising copy, elevator speech, or the copy for your web or print brochure, your business marketing should focus on what your prospects want. When your prospects see you as helping them instead of just trying to sell them, they’ll be more likely to respond.
Want to help your prospects get what they want so you can increase your sales and profits? Focus your marketing on helping by doing the following three things.
• Regularly ask your prospects what they want, what their goals are and how you can help them.
• Use this information to shape your marketing copy.
• Describe in brief and in detail your clients’ concerns and how you help them on everything from your business card to your sales letters to your ads and to your web site.
When you focus your small business marketing on helping your prospects get what they want, you’ll get what you want; more leads, more prospects and more clients.