Ten tried-and-true principles to take to market
If you’ve been in business for more than a day and a half you’ve probably been reminded no fewer than a thousand times that, in addition to whatever business you think you’re in, that you’re also in the marketing business. Let me say this again at the risk of repetitious overload—you’re in the marketing business.
Marketing yourself and your business has been, and will continue to be, the single most-important element to your success. There’s no better a time to ply this trade than right now—economic turmoil or not. The issue is that a great number of agents simply don’t know what to do.
So how do you actually “go to market?” Many people approach this question by purchasing a copy of “Marketing for Dummies,” then follow up with a copy of “The Idiots’ Guide to Marketing.”
For those of you who are still in a quandary, and this has no inference whatsoever to your IQ, “More-On Marketing” just might be what the doctor ordered. Having personally read both guides for dummies and idiots, along with hundreds of other marketing books, special reports, and professional journals on the topic of marketing, I believe I’ve successfully boiled down marketing to a 10-step approach designed for us mere mortals.
You’re in the marketing business, and here’s what you have to do:
Embellish your database. This is your number-one job. Having one is nice. Growing one is essential. Effectively using one is the key to your success. Once you identify exactly with whom you would like to do business, your marketing chore is half done. Insert your target audience into your database.
Then work your database. Identify ideal clients. Working with and trying to work with people you have no business working with is not very intelligent. There are people you can help, and there are people you cannot help. Focus on the group who appreciates your contributions and is willing to pay for them. Then, make it your business to make certain your contributions are worth paying for.
Develop your message. Having managed to schedule some face-time with a prospect, it’s not time to “wing” your way through the rest of the relationship. Stop long enough to think. What is it I want to say to my soon-to-be new client? Draft, craft, sculpt and edit a message worth sharing during the initial face-to-face meeting. Then, spend some time developing your “what’s next?” strategy. You want to always have a next step clearly in mind.
Select your tools. There are many ways to go to market. Regardless of the tool you select, it’s important to remember that consistency is without question the name of the marketing game. Pick your tool and use it consistently.
Pick your team. Teamwork has become an essential ingredient in today’s competitive environment. Collaboration is fast becoming the most direct route to personal success. If you’re not already collaborating with somebody, begin investigating this option immediately. I have a small group of professionals I use as a sounding board. You need to develop one of your own.
Use technology. You have a tremendous advantage if you understand and correctly utilize today’s technology. Websites have handed the baton to blogs; social networking is fast becoming the new Pac-Man. Twitter is taking on a life of its own. Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest are a few more of today’s social media options. My recommendation is to select one or maybe two options, and work them with consistently.
Blow your horn. The sooner you understand that when you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind, the sooner you can make an impact on your audience. It’s your job to spread the good word about your ability. This is not conceit—it’s business as it should be.
Get free ink. Like everything else having to do with your success, it’s entirely up to you to garner some positive publicity. Just keep in mind that the ball is in your court, and you need to get the right information to the right people. If you want press, go out and get some. The media are always looking for interesting material to share with their readers.
Plan your marketing. It was General Eisenhower who reminded us that although most plans are ignored, planning is everything. In my 27 years in the marketing business I might have met 15 to 20 people (or companies) who actually followed their marketing plan as written.
Follow through. Think about building your database and decide what your most attractive client looks like. Decide what you’re going to say to sales prospects, and then select a marketing tool that complements your time constraints, your budget, and your personality. Choose your playing partners, spread the good word and organize a consistent method to get your message to the media. That’s the name of the game.
Once the “thinking” is done, you have to get up, get out and actually do something. This is when marketing becomes fun and begins to pay dividends. This is when you make more people glad they know you.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
For information on Mike’s 6-Week Online Selling Course, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “sales course” in the subject box.