What Your Aunt Gertrude Never Told You About Making Money
Strategic Selling in Just Five Steps
If you have or had a relative that was a business owner, yet never shared with you any sort of winning formula that was transferrable to today’s consumer behavior, well, that’s too bad.
Here’s some advice about making money using strategic selling. I’d like to think there are five steps to success in the entire sales process, both online and offline.
It doesn’t matter what media you use to distribute your marketing message, as long as it’s the media that your ideal client, customer, or patient resides. Often, business owners and marketers begin with selecting media because it is the buzzword – social media. That would be wrong.
Well, all in all, there are 1248 different forms of media, not just the obvious ones. The most important thing to remember is the market to message match. And that can’t happen until a few other things occur.
Now some of these can be dealt with concurrently because after all, if you took them to perfection one at a time, well – you’d never get anywhere.
Here’s my five-point formula:
Establish yourself as the industry expert who has a handle on the cutting-edge technologies, tactics, strategies, and marketing content to position yourself as the authority.
Your online and offline presence is critical if you are to have a chance to stand out and be recognized. Online presence is vital because of the technological world we live in.
When you hear of someone that you have some interest in knowing, what’s the first thing you do? Right. You Google them. If you don’t control the first page of your name and your company name, well, being anywhere else tells the world that, eh, you’re not so hot.
Therefore, if you want to be an influencer in your niche, you’ve got a lot of work to do. Start with ensuring all of your online information is accurate on all review sites, listing sites, social sites, anywhere you or your business can be found. If just one detail is off, say, hours of operation or your phone number, the aggregators will pick it up and push it to others. That would be wrong to allow. Some services keep track of that for you automatically.
Next, you should write at least one book. A book gives you status – a published author on a subject is an automatic “authority.” Become a best-selling author, and that sweetens the deal.
If you don’t have your ideal client, customer, or patient in your crosshairs, it’s because you haven’t yet figured out exactly who your Avatar is. Don’t think because you have filled out the persona checklist, you must research more in-depth. Get into conversations with some in the niche in which you operate. Perform research via online sources. Conduct surveys of your target audience. Get specific.
Get so specific you can tell what day they do laundry, what they have for breakfast. The absolute most important are their behaviors. Where do they hang out? What do they read? What are their secret desires? What keeps them up at night?
Most small business owners tend to want to “sell to everyone” fearing they will miss out if they don’t. That too would be wrong. It’s the NEW Pareto Principle; the updated rule for the new Millennium. It’s no longer 80/20 – it’s now 80/20/2. Twenty percent of the market has the available resources to purchase most of what they want beyond necessities. The eighty percent are just getting by at best. However, selling to the masses forces you to operate on price-based selling. That would be wrong. What you want to do is figure out who the 2% of the 20% is. They are the ones that have the money and will pay more for what they want.
If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, try this. Research your data to identify the buyers that have both spent the much, and the most frequent of buyers (if you have repeat customers). Go back three years and segment them from all the others.
Now, figure out the 10-20 touch points that all of these folks have in common with each other. If you can’t get 20, then do the best you possibly can. This is an exercise that will compound your revenues overnight, so don’t take this lightly. Once you’ve mastered the touchpoints, THAT makeup of person IS your new Avatar.
Strategy and Tactics.
It makes sense. If you are planning a trip from New York to Tucson, Arizona and you’ve never been there before, you’ll need a map. Unless you can drive by the stars’ alignment, a map or GPS or some sort of planned route is required. Well, the same thing applies here. Use the 5Ws-1H method. Who, what, when, where, why, and how. Who can you rely on to get you on your destination on time? What exactly is the rationale for the trip? When do you have to be there and when do you have to return? Where exactly are you going to stop for fuel, food, rest? How exactly are you going to address anything out of the ordinary that might come up during the trip?
Doesn’t make the path a bit clearer when you can break things down? Of course, it does. You can come up with a lot more questions within this framework, but you get the idea. The items you’ll need, the milestones you establish to keep you on track toward your objectives, the tools that are required, resources, possible blocks or disruptions, and so on. A plan and benchmarks, along with the tactics and tools, will make the journey so much more manageable.
Laws of Attraction – Content.
Today’s consumer is a curious beast. They research nearly every purchase beyond the bare necessities of life. Some go so far as to compare prices online and right in the store aisles to make sure they are getting a fair price, or that the ingredients meet or exceed their standards. They are consumers of information. The best way to attract ideal avatars is to offer them information to educate them on your unique capabilities, what makes you different than the competition.
With the implementation of steps 1-3, and engaging content in multiple forms and frequency, clients, customers, or patients will begin to seek you rather than you find them. When a hunter seeks prey, what does the prey do? Right, they run in the opposite direction. We’re not hunting. We’ve already eliminated all of the folks we have no desire to work with and are only seeking those we know are compatible with our belief systems, quality, service, and price.
Now we know where our Avatar hangs out, what they read, and what their behaviors are, we need to share emotion-driven messaging that addresses things that are negatively affecting their lives. What are their secret desires only you can fulfill. Remember, ALL buyers do so from a position of emotion, then validate their purchase with logic. It’s the human condition.
Keep a steady stream of content headed their way and interact as much as possible with them on social media, on the phone, offline at networking events, etc. It makes little to no sense to “Like” someone’s comment without letting them know why you care. This is relationship building 101. Why would you want to ignore your prospects?
Use as many varieties of content as you are capable. Podcasting is very popular today. Video is red hot and doesn’t appear to be cooling off any time soon. Blogs, article directories, social media, radio, television, even airplanes pulling banners (if your Avatar hangs out at the beach) or just about any media that serves as a good distribution outlet for your messaging and offers.
Yes, I said offers. A percentage of your message should contain an offer of some kind, along with a call to action. “Feel free to download our Special Report on Whiz Bang Candies by Calling this pre-recorded number” or whatever. Ask for the sale, that’s why you’re going through all this effort.
Let’s not forget about the customer, client, or patient that has accepted our offer and is now part of the family. They need constant nurturing to keep them interested, as well as an occasional offer to gain repeat sales. Also, a retention plan of content, offers, rewards, recognition, and pampering will keep them loyal. And, if you do it right, will refer others to you.
Rinse and Repeat.
You’ve done an admirable job taking your Avatar through the customer journey- the path to revenue. You’ve successfully taken that trip to Arizona, now let’s see what we learned from the trip, and do it again, but this time with the wrinkles ironed out of the map.
Like all good things, there is a process that makes it so. A chef has a method to take raw materials and convert them into fine cuisine. A jeweler takes disparate parts and pieces and crafts them into a ring, bracelet or some other adornment.
It’s the same in marketing. To bring people in the door, you have to have processes to do so. Merely putting up a website and expecting floods of new customers, you must have a process, hopefully, automated.
I hope you got something out of this article. It’s one of my favorite topics, and I enjoyed putting this together for you, our readers. Thanks for being with us.