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Friday, February 26, 2010

SALES AND MARKETING: The Marketing Shift


Sales and Marketing with Bill Doerr

15 second 'Speed Read':


A paradigm shift occurs when a new way of seeing a situation occurs. When it does, it happens quickly and shakes up the status quo.

That's quietly taking place and reflects how a growing number of professionals and other service businesses are marketing their services today.

The main 'shift' occurs as more businesses are seeking to attract prospects rather than attack a market as has been done for so long with such outbound interruption marketing tactics as awareness advertising, cold calling and direct mailing.

While these tactics remain viable, they are losing their efficacy to increasingly effective tactics that suggest building a relationship with your market members builds not only sales but a foundation for many more and more efficient sales to be realized over time.

The key tactic to this emerging approach is to recognize and cultivate relationships with prospects, clients and centers-of-influence for the value they offer your business.

Doing this also allows you to have a more efficient and effective way to differentiate your firm from others in a crowded sea of competitive forces.

Steve Ireland, CEO / Norada Corporation
Steve is the CEO of Norada Corporation in beautiful Calgary, Alberta Canada. Steve's company makes elegant and agile software that supports business people anywhere they are and anytime they want. Norada is best known for its leadership in creating a 'cloud-based' CRM known as 'Solve360'.

I recently spoke with Steve on this topic. In a rather gutsy move, Norada made the shift from supporting the advertising media to supporting their key business relationships -- with primary focus on their clients and intermediaries such as VAR's and business consultants. By seeking first to understand their needs and demonstrate a responsiveness to address them, Steve and his team members are earning significant attention, goodwill, share-of-mind-and-market and distinction as a 'preferred provider' in a marketplace that is crowded with fierce competitors.

Randy Aimone, President / AimOne Marketing
Randy is another thought and behavior leader in this area.

A marketing professional (his MBA's focus is in marketing and he's taught marketing at the college level) I know established his own marketing consulting firm last year. Randy's also finding that while outbound tactics have their place, "I'm not letting them go just yet!" he's finding that cultivating relationships with key people for his practice -- prospects, clients and influencers -- is producing some significant and highly beneficial outcomes that are measured in units his CPA can really appreciate. Randy can, too.

John Jantsch, Founder / Duct Tape Marketing
John's a good friend and mentor to marketing people all over the world. He used to work for Michael Gerber (E-Myth fame) and now breathes the rare air where other 'eagles' like Guy Kawaski, Tim Ferris, Ivan Misner and others reside.

John shared a great model for how this 'relationship' marketing dovetails with 'interruption' marketing.

Part 1 (of 3): "Know / Like / Trust".
Getting a market to know you exist . . . is a good start and critical for your success! Traditional marketing tactics like advertising and PR are still your best bets for raising awareness quickly and especially when you're entering a new marketplace. Referrals leverage your goodwill with others and allow you to use their potency and prestige with their networks on your behalf. Unfortunately, they take time to receive -- see part 3 of the model.

Managing the 'experience' prospects, clients and centers-of-influence have with you / your company will build a preference for your brand (Like) and continued consistency in 'delivering the goods' will develop confidence (Trust) in the rely-ability of your value proposition and the probability of enjoying it with you.

Part 2 (of 3) "Try / Buy"
Sean D'Souza, author of "The Brain Audit" and renowned marketing expert (see my TNNW article from December 2009) advocates what he calls 'consumption'. This simply means that getting people to use what you offer is essential in marketing it.

So once the know / like / trust factors are established, you must seek ways to invite response to your offers in order to get people to use and enjoy the service or product you have. A 'trial' that is low risk or even no-cost can get prospects to become buyers and creates confidence for a 'buy' cycle to get fully underway.

Part 3 (of 3): "Repeat / Refer"
This last part is truly the 'acid test' of your marketing. Once the service you offer is being consumed, the REAL test is . . . are people returning to make repeated buying decisions . . . with you / your firm or, are they going to a competitor?

This reflects how well (or, poorly) you're managing your business than anything else. Referrals are symptomatic of managing (yes, it's the foundation of all your marketing!) to provide a quality experience for your clients and customers. And when you reach this end of the Duct Tape Marketing model, you're more likely to be effective using tactics that attract rather than attack your market members.

OK, What Now?
If anything I've shared here resonates with you, do this:

FIRST: look at where you are in each of element of the 'know / like / trust / try / buy / repeat / refer' model and identify any weaknesses.

SECOND: prioritize them in order of importance to address.

THIRD: create an action plan to reduce or eliminate them from limiting your business and revenues in the future.

Hey, it's not rocket-surgery . . . but it works!

*******
Bill Doerr is CCO of SellMore Marketing. He helps professionals and other service providers to market their problem-solving expertise simply, effectively and affordably.You can reach him at www.sellmoremarketing.com, or by phone at 860-798-6964.


For more information, please visit
Bill's TNNW Bio.





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2 comments:

Rick Itzkowich said...

Bill,

What resonated most with me is Part1 - Know/Like/Trust. The Referral Institute has the VCP model which stands for Visibility-Credibility-Profitability. Simply stated, people need to know who you are, they need to trust you and only then will they either do business directly from you or refer you business.

Too many people want to go from Visibility to Profitability without passing through Credibility.

Thank you for reinforcing this very powerful concept.

Rick Itzkowich
Creator of QuoteActions

Nothrock said...

Along my travels I stumbled on the point that there are two parts to "customer service", the customer and the service. Simple but profound. We're all customers, so it's not a leap to step out of your role and relate to your own, customers. Do it then ask: are you interesting or helpful enough to talk about?

Bill brings up a timely point. Word of mouth marketing is not new and will always be something to "hope for". The difference now is it seems to be the only? effective way to rise above the shouting competitors. To be effective however it requires a strategy and systematic process.

@Rick You mention a very fundamental point. People prefer to do business with others they like and trust. Without that folks might be talking to you, but they're not talking about you.

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