There are countless definitions of 'marketing'. Most depend on the product being sold, and the relationship its provider is trying to establish with the end user.
Though Toyotas and Tide use different marketing methods, both try to have you pre-sold before you enter their buying area.
Not so with us. Few of our prospects are pre-sold.
So marketing, for you and I, is everything we do to get a person to meet, and deal with us on a favourable basis. It's a prelude to selling---a very necessary prelude---because without it there is no sale.
Toyota and Tide purchases are impersonal. You don't have to know, or even like their retailer to want their products. But our prospects have to feel they know and trust us if we are to meet and deal with them on a favourable basis. They are not even prospects until we can meet and deal with them.
So the heart of our marketing is to get people we don't know to feel that they know us, and are willing to deal with us on a favourable basis.
It's a multi-part process.
1. Unlike Toyota and Tide, you can't deal with everyone, so you have to narrow it down to people you have an affinity with, or with whom you can develop an affinity.
2. Narrow this affinity group down to those that you feel can benefit from one or more of your products. These you can consider as pre-prospects.
These first two steps are at the core of niche marketing.
3. Develop a plan to get your pre-prospects to feel that they know you, and would be willing to deal with you.
This is where referrals, newsletters, seminars, and many other techniques described in TIP's past issues are useful. Re-read them at http://www.eTIP.ca to see which you can use.
4. Allow longer for un-referred strangers to get to feel they know you than for referred strangers. They must also feel they can trust you enough to meet, and deal with you on a favourable basis. That's when they become prospects.
5. Marketing does not stop when you meet the prospect. They are still learning about you, so your appearance, the way you present yourself, your conversation and the subjects you discuss, are all adding to their knowledge of you. You want more than 'satisfied customer'; you want an excellent referrors!
6. Which means marketing does not even end with the sale. Your after-sale service is also marketing.
7. Your best prospects are clients who have bought from you. They are also your best source of referrals. Serving them well is therefore a vital part of your marketing plan.
I had to share this with you because marketing in our field is rarely addressed in our training (never in mine), and is misunderstood. Which is why it is TIP's primary focus.