Selling To Small Business

Selling To Small Business - Strategies to help you sell to small business entrepreneurs

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Name of The Game is Getting New Clients!

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


This seems to be the biggest challenge for many people in this economy. I totally understand the issues around this and totally get it. The only thing that I don't get is that this has NOT been issue for me in my business. In fact, this has been my best year yet! Well how can than be you ask? Well, let me share with you in this season of thanks, two things that will help you make a difference and get more clients in any economy:

1) Do you really know the business you're in? You might say that you're a coach, a marketer, a musician, or whatever your business focus is. The reality is you're that's not really the business you're in. The business you're in is connecting with your clients, creating relationships and marketing to them. That's THE business you're in, you're the problem solver, the person that will come to their rescue and help that. The more you can get this and figure this out, the easier it will be for you to get new clients. The more you can reach your prospects on a more emotional level, the more you will connect and they'll want to work with you. The best way to do this is to speak like your prospects in your marketing copy. Use their language, speak to their issues. This is what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones, knowing that you're a marketer 1st, and marketing your business will lead to your great success.


2) The best marketing that you can do that will lead to your success is called Direct Response marketing. It's different from image marketing. Image marketing is what big companies like Sony, IBM, and Starbucks do. They spend tons of money using image/brand marketing. This is what I don't want you to do. For you as an entrepreneur or a small business, I don't want you to spend a ton of money on your marketing, and the money you do spend, I want you to get the most value out of it. Hence, I want you to use direct response marketing when you start to market yourself. What this means is that everything you put out to advertise yourself has a way for your prospects to respond to you. The focus of your business is to get new clients and keep these clients for a long time. It's not to simply sell your services. Also, you want your potential clients/prospects to raise their hand and let you know that they're interested in your services. So how we do this is whatever you create, you're going to ask for your prospects info in exchange for something for free. What I call this is creating your incredible free offer.

You want to create something so compelling that they'd be willing to exchange their information to get it. It has to be something that they'd feel like a fool if they didn't get this free thing. This thing could be a free report, free audio, free video. The real key here is you need to really know your client so you can create something that they'd be willing to have. An example of a title would be- The 7 Horrible mistakes people make when they're hiring a career coach and what you can do to avoid them.

- For example if you want to do this online- When creating your website, to advertise your new business and services, you need to put your incredible free offer to give to prospects. You need to have an email auto responder like 1 shopping cart or like aweber which you will put on your website that will take these names and automate this whole feature of giving them your free report.


I hope you can take these two tips and run with them all the way to the bank. I use both of these strategies and many more. This is what's helped me grow my business to much success in any economy.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You better keep score...

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


Do you keep track of your numbers, you know the amount of money that you spend on producing products, advertising, shipping and handling? This is huge in the Information Marketing business- "Know Your Numbers!"

You need to keep really good track of all these numbers:

1) Product Cost- Do you know how much your products are services cost? Are you making money or losing money? You better know your margins well. It might be time to reassess your prices and do an increase. Yes, you can increase your prices in a
recession, don't listen to Wal-Mart or Kmart. The money is not in discounting your prices.

2) Advertising Cost- This is really key- you need to keep track of ALL your advertising, especially if you're doing multi-step direct mail campaigns, or postcard series, email newsletters, etc. There has to be a system that you put
in place to know WHERE your prospects are coming from and how much it costs to acquire a new prospect. This way you will know how affective your advertising and marketing really is out there versus how much it costs.

3) Shipping and Handling (S&H) Costs- Lots of different studies have been done on how much to charge for shipping and handling. What's interesting here is
people who've not charged for shipping and handling have gotten basically the same conversion rate as people who do charge for shipping and handling. Moral of the story is definitely charge for S&H. Things to think about- if you give them a refund, you might consider subtracting the S&H.

4) Refund Percentage- If you have a great product or service, this ought to be pretty small, like 10% or less. In this crazy economy it might be a little higher. The important thing here is to know what the number is and keep track of it to ensure
it stays in the low figures.

5) Profit & Loss- This needs no explanation or you wouldn't be in business.


6) Other numbers you really need to get a handle on are- Your cost per sale, your total number of sales, and your conversation rate for your advertising and marketing pieces.


There's much more to this number thing and keeping track and score of them all. You just really need to get a good handle on these in order creating an even more successful business. So watch your numbers, or higher an expert to help you with them. Keep track of them and make important business decisions based on your all of these numbers.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to Find Your Starving & Very Hungry Crowd

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


There's a great story by the late marketer and copy writer Gary Halbert. He often asked a group of people this question, "If you were to open up a fast food business, what would you want?" Some people said they'd want a great location, others said the best secret sauce. And what Gary said was, "You guys can have that stuff. All I want is a starving, and very hungry crowd." This IS exactly what you want- a huge massive starving and hungry crowd. You need to find people that are desperate or who will do anything to simply get their hands on your product or services and then all you need to do is give it to them. Your potential customer is that "Hungry Crowd."

So then the real question is what comes first? Do you create your product first, then find your hungry crowd and sell it? Or do you find that hungry crowd first and then create your product? Well, the debate about this one in the information marketing business is pretty hot and heated and almost as passionate as to what came first, the chicken or the egg?! The funny thing is that the majority of people I come across usually have already created a product or in the process of creating it and then they look to build their list and find their hungry crowd. The real truth and honestly THE best way to go about this is finding that hungry crowd FIRST. This is really the key. There's no need to spend all your time, money and effort creating a product to then find out that it's not a real "hungry" market and there's no real "need" for your product.

I'm going to spend a few minutes here this month and give you some excellent tips I've discovered on how to go about finding "your hungry crowd" first, then later in the coming months I'll give you some insights and great ideas on how to go about creating your product.

Here's step #1, after you have your product area, you need to do RESEARCH. Best way to do it is go online to Google. Put your key words right into the search area and check out the right side of the page. These are paid advertising, and also the top of the page there might be some ads. Are there products or services already being marketed to this niche? If the answer is yes, that's a good sign. It means people are looking for solutions to their problems and are willing to spend money to buy them. Look for trends, and top performers in your category. For example if you create a product on house training your dog, put that into Google's search engine and see what comes up. Sometimes there are too many products in a field. So if you decide you want to enter, I'd recommend buying the top products that are your competition and read through them and figure out what's missing from the product. Figure out your competitor's weak point. So when you create your product, make it incrementally different, than your competition and have a specific marketing hook that's different from them. Also, sign-up for their newsletters or free reports and see what they're selling, and how they're selling it. Knowing your competition is good.

Other places to do your key word research: www.technorati.com - search blogs for your topic or idea, www.Wordtracker.com (they have a paid and free service) You could also go to Google Adwords and see your search volume on actual words people are using surrounding your product idea. Just go to Google, on the bottom of the page that says "Advertising Programs." (If you have an adwords account already, you can read on!), then click on Google Adwords. Scroll down to "Create your ads" and click on "Get key word ideas." Add as many words as you can and hit "get key word ideas." When you get your results, look at the "global monthly search volume," and you can even sort by this column. This will give you a good idea on how many searches were done with these key words. Plus it will give you many other key words that people search. There's so much more you can do with this, however, I just don't have the space here. And there are also volumes of other great resources on Google adwords that could help you as well.

Something else to keep in mind is that very successful products come from these 3 Super niches:

1) Money in Business


2) Health & Fitness


3) Dating and Relationships


Look for markets that are evergreen; is it a fad that will last? Is this a seasonal market and do I have time to enter it? How much money can be made in these niches? Remember you need a little bit of lead time to create and then sell your product.

Next, do you have a sense of what it costs them NOT to have those problems solved? If not, find out. This can be a key selling point in your favor, you will appeal to this crowd on an emotional level, and you feel their pain and want to help. Do you know what they are willing to spend in order to solve their problem? You can find out by going to the web sites of the current vendors within the space you are pursuing. Check out the products and services they sell, paying special attention to the pricing.

We've just scratched the service on how to go about researching for your product idea. I hope this was helpful. I'll give you some more great stuff on research and product creation next month too! In the mean time, if you have any questions, email me, I'm happy to help!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to Create a 7 Figure Business

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


It was supposed to be a quick hour and fifteen minute plane ride to Cleveland from Newark. Then out of nowhere right before we're supposed to push back from the gate, this huge thunderstorm hit and we were grounded for over 4 hours, stuck on the plane. I used to travel a lot in my corporate days so I was ready with lots to keep me busy for the much longer plane ride to Cleveland. I was extremely excited to be going there because I was attending Dan Kennedy's 7 Figure Academy: 7 Steps to 7 Figures. I've seen Dan speak many times at conferences. Yet, this was the first time I was going to hear him speak for 3 days straight and it was all content, all Dan. So while waiting on the plane for the airport to reopen, I had ample time to catch up on my past issues of Dan Kennedy's Marketing newsletter.

I was able to read the 3 that I brought from cover to cover and the information he shares still amazes me. I've been getting his newsletters for 3 years, and I can always pick one up and find the exact nugget that's been able to transform my own business and also my clients. Well, I did eventually get to Cleveland, 3 hours late, but just in time for dinner with my friends that were attending.

I knew this meeting was going to help me transform my business and the businesses of my clients. In fact, I got so much awesome information on the first day, I could have gone home! Dan totally over delivered at this workshop. The investment in this workshop was well worth it for the 200 of us who attended. So I can't reveal all of Dan's secrets here, however I can share with you a couple things that I think you can certainly take to the bank in your business. I really want to help your business be incredibly successful. That's one of the many reasons why I love going to conferences and workshops: I always learn something new that I can share with you and my clients, so we can all have more successful businesses. Remember "a rising tide floats all boats."

Ok, back to how you can take your business from 6 figures to 7 figures... There are 7 Things you need to have and to do in order to make 7 figures. I'll share with you the top 4 that I think will be the most affective for you:

Tremendous Status - Think of this as being like Donald Trump, or Houdini. You need to have status, personality and high end connections and associations. What's the "you" you are selling to your prospects/clients? What makes you unique in your niche?

Incredible Value - Every business has tangible and intangible value. What's the intangible value that only you can bring to your business? How can you over deliver to your customers? Prospects?

Extreme Productivity - Most businesses have unused and unexplored capacity. Do you have a new element you can add to your business? A new niche? A new "done for you" product/service?

Maximum Leverage - What's your biggest multiplier that you can use to leverage your business? What are your income producing assets and how can you leverage them more? How can you leverage your customers? Intellectual property? Process? Procedure? Brand? Connections?

Overall, the best thing I discovered at this workshop is if making 7 figures were that easy, than everyone would be doing it. It takes courage, stamina, resilience, fortitude, brains, and really being able to leverage your business, your connections and think really big, way out of the box big. An example would be, instead of trying to figure out how to build your list, why not ask this question - "How do I get 100 other people to feed me their best customers?" The name of the game to move forward to 7 figures is to be able to leverage yourself, your products, your business, giving incredible value and figuring out how you can be extremely productive. So I give you permission today, to start thinking much bigger for yourself, and your business. Don't wait, take one action now towards a 7 figure income - you deserve it!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Do You Really Know Your Customer and Their Emotional Hot Buttons?

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


I was flying home on the plane yesterday after attending Dan Kennedy's 7 Figure Academy, 7 Steps to a 7 Figure Income, in Cleveland, Ohio. (The workshop was nothing short of mind blowing. I'd highly recommend checking out Dan Kennedy and pick up any of his books on marketing.) After I sat down on the plane, the man next to me started talking to me. He told me what business he was in and after he found out I was a marketing coach and consultant, he proceeded to whine about how his business was down and did I have any wisdom to share that might help him. As it turned out I had a ton of questions for him and I think I really helped him get a good snap shot on some core things he can do to get more clients now. So I thought this might make a good post to share with you - Do you really know who your customer is and what their emotional hot buttons are?

First thing above all else, you need to have an excellent snapshot of "who" your customer really is. You need details like how many credit cards do they have? Do they own their own home? Do they have a vacation home? How many cars do they drive? Are they foreign or domestic cars? What's their age range? I'd jot all this down on paper and make sure you have a very clear picture of who they are.

Next, I would encourage you to do this exercise- take some time out and talk to your potential customer for 15 to 30 minutes every day. The best way you will really zero in on who your customer is and what their problems are, is to talk to them. I'd talk to one potential customer every day for 30 days. You can find them anywhere, online, offline, maybe when you're out at conferences, or networking meetings, or even on Facebook and Twitter. The real key here for you is to ask these questions and REALLY LISTEN to their answers. Listen for their emotional hot buttons and take notes. (These hot buttons would be great to use in your advertising of your product/services.) The information you get will greatly enhance your ability to market yourself and really attract your ideal clients. Here are the questions:

1- What's their biggest fear/frustration in their business?
2- What are the problems this challenge is causing for them?
3- What keeps them awake at night? (This will help you get into the mind of your ideal client.)
4- What's their ideal outcome/result or goal they'd like to achieve in their business?
5- What would getting that outcome do for them? What would it mean for them in their life?
6- Based on what they've told you, the next step is... (This is where if you think they're a good match for you, tell them what the next step would be in moving your working relationship to the next level.)

In summary, you need to have a good snapshot of who your ideal client is, create a really good message that will really appeal to them. Go out and schedule calls with them, talk to them, listen for their emotional hot buttons. Use these hot buttons in your marketing and advertising. You want to reach them and talk to their fears, frustrations and what keeps them awake at night. You want you and your products/services to be the best and most perfect solution to their problem.


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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's My Secret to Marketing Implementation? 3 Simple steps...

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site



I get asked this question a lot - and what they really want to know is how do I get so much accomplished for myself and my clients? I actually love this question because it really gets to the heart of people's frustrations with getting things done.
What is my secret?

Step 1 - Ask yourself these questions: What are you trying to accomplish in your business? What are your goals, long term, short term? If you're having trouble figuring out what your goals are, or what you want to accomplish in your business, it might be time do an overall marketing analysis. This is incredibly helpful because it gives a really good snapshot of where you are with your business, what's working, what's not, and what needs to change. It's all about gaining clarity and focus for your business. The more clear and focused you are about what you want to accomplish in your business, the easier it will be to do it.

Here are some questions that I use when I do a marketing analysis for my clients:

-Describe in detail what products and/or services you deliver.

-Who is your ideal customer? Describe them - what do they read, do they own a home, have a credit card, what are their hobbies, etc.

-Why would a customer choose you over your competitors or over not doing anything at all?

-What's working right now in your business?

-What's not working in your business?

-What would you like/need to do differently in your business to create more prospects/clients?

Once you answer these questions, you'll have a much better picture of where you are and what you need to do to increase your prospects/clients and in turn, increase your profits. The real key is to analyze your business, come away with some clear goals and direction, as well as figure out where your holes are in your business and what steps need to be taken to seal them up. I've done a number of these analysis' for my clients and the biggest takeaway is that I always find areas of lost or hidden money. Often times it just takes a few tweaks to turn the faucet of your sluggish business into the steady stream of a fire hose.

Step 2 - Take all your answers and create a plan of action together with your goals and how you will accomplish them in the next 6 months to a year.

Step 3 - Put your plan into action. These last two steps really seem to trip people up. The biggest part of this secret is you must take time to work on your business, to put a plan together. If you're a pilot flying a plane, you have to have a map and controls so you know where you're going, that's the same for any successful business. And the other crucial part is to simply take action! Remember you can't do it all yourself. It's time to find some good talented people who can help you. Promise me you'll stop doing it all yourself! Go find a good virtual assistant, copy writer, web master, transcriber, etc. I've found many talented people on guru.com or elance.com or craigslist.org. I also have a bunch of resources at my fingertips, including doing a marketing analysis for your business. I'm happy to help you, just send an email (info@marketingimplementer.com ). So, go take some action!

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Success is All About Your Perspective!

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


"When you hear no, then simply take another approach," said Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy.com. I had the pleasure of hearing Bob Speak at Yanik Silver's Underground 5 Conference in D.C. this month. He was an inspiring speaker and had to overcome a lot of odds before he created an amazingly successful company. He attributes the success of his company to luck and perspective. He said he always had a good perspective. When he spent a tour of duty in Vietnam he simply took it one day at a time. He emerged from the war with some wounds. And even was honored with medals for his time in the marine core.

He really hit home how important it is for an entrepreneur and a business owner to get their head in the right place in order to be successful. He lives by and always follows his 16 rules that helped him create the success he has today. Here are a few of them:

- Get and Stay out of your comfort zone - "security is for cadavers"
- Never give up
- When you're ready to quit, you are closer to success than you think
- Whatever worries you, always accept what's the worse thing that can happen to you
- Always Focus on what you want to have happen - "as you think, so shall you be."

The rest of Bob's rules can be found at bobparsons.me - "Bob's 16 Rules." Listening to him speak was inspiring to me in particular, because I have a tendency to stay in my comfort zone. When I do that, I don't grow as fast and don't take enough risks. Being able to take risks and do things differently is a huge key to success and something I'm working on for myself. The other thing that struck me, was to always ask the question- "What's the worst possible thing that could happen?" Once you answer that, whatever you're going through really doesn't seem that bad at all. His best story though, was how he almost closed GoDaddy. The company was simply losing money. Yet, when he decided he was going to stick to his guns until "the ship" went down, that's when the company turned the corner and now they're a huge contender online today. They register a new URL every second and have registered over 3.5 million.

So, get your head in the game of your business - focus on what you want, not on all the problems. Do something to change your perspective and it will change your business. Do one thing today to get out of your comfort zone and I will too. Let me know what you did and how I can support you!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's About Delivering Happiness... (Part 2)

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


"Everything is about the customer experience," exclaimed Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos. I had the ultimate pleasure of hearing him speak at Yanik Silver's Underground 5 Conference, as well as talk to him after his presentation. He's a very inspiring, pragmatic and funny speaker. He had so many gems of wisdom that I almost ran out of room to write them all down. A lot of what he said really hit home for me, especially now with what's happening with businesses and the economy. I believe the philosophy he shared and the philosophy I keep reading about in Dan Kennedy's monthly newsletter will be the keys to companies staying in business. What's that philosophy?

Well it's about the customer and as Tony Hsieh said, "Zappos is about delivering happiness to their door." In his case it's delivering merchandise like shoes and clothing, while building long lasting relationships with their customers and having THE best customer service ever. Their main brand IS customer service. They go above and beyond for their customers. He gave us many awe inspiring stories and some funny ones too. I decided to try out their customer service and they were wonderful. Unfortunately my rescue dog Lily got a hold of my Keens and chewed the closure loop. I called Zappos to see if I could get it fixed or what to do since I purchased the shoes from them. They checked out Keens site and gave me all the info to get them fixed - wow, that was cool.

Here's what I'd recommend for you - ramp up your customer service by doing something special for your customers. Also, stay in their mind by constantly keeping in touch via direct mail, email or the phone. During these times don't be strangers with your customers. Also don't overtly "sell" them either. Ask them in depth questions to try to help them. Find out what they need or what their biggest challenge is right now or what they need help with. Go above and beyond for your customers so they will always remember you. Really show you care and mean it. Send them a gift once a year, food always works (I love Cheryl's cookies!), or send them a gift card or something they would appreciate. During these stress-filled economic times, those that will rise to the top think differently, take risks don't do what everyone else is doing and take good care of your customers.

Another idea is - give them a quick survey, check in on how they're doing and what they need now during this time. I've done several of these for clients and we've received some gems of info that are helping us create new products, and meeting client's needs because we know what those needs are!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's About Delivering Happiness

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


"Everything is about the customer experience," exclaimed Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos. I had the ultimate pleasure of hearing him speak at Yanik Silver's Underground 5 Conference, as well as talk to him after his presentation. He's a very inspiring, pragmatic and funny speaker. He had so many gems of wisdom that I almost ran out of room to write them all down. A lot of what he said really hit home for me, especially now with what's happening with businesses and the economy. Hence, I thought it would make a perfect post for this blog. I believe the philosophy Tony shared and the philosophy I keep reading about in Dan Kennedy's (If you don't know Dan you can go to his website http://www.dankennedy.com ) monthly newsletter will be the keys to companies staying in business.

What's that philosophy? Well it's all about the customer and as Tony Hsieh said, "Zappos is about delivering happiness to our customer's door." In his case it's delivering merchandise like shoes and clothing, while building long lasting relationships with their customers and having THE best customer service ever. Their main brand IS customer service. They go above and beyond for their customers. He gave us many awe inspiring stories and some funny ones too. I decided to try out their customer service and they were wonderful. Unfortunately my rescue dog Lily got a hold of my Keens and chewed the closure loop off. I called Zappos to see if I could get it fixed or what to do since I purchased the shoes from them. They checked out Keens site and gave me all the info to get them fixed - wow, that was cool.

Here's what I'd recommend for you in your business - ramp up your customer service by doing something for them. Stay in their forefront of their minds by constantly keeping in touch via direct mail, email, phone, or social media (like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.). During these challenging economic times don't be strangers with your customers. Also don't overtly "sell" them either. Ask them in depth questions to try to help them. Find out what they need or what their biggest challenge is right now or what they need help with. Go above and beyond for your customers so they will always remember you. Really show you care and mean it. Send them a gift once a year, food always works (I love Cheryl's cookies!), or send them a gift card or something they would appreciate. During these stress-filled economic times, those companies and entrepreneurs that will rise to the top think differently. Don't be afraid to take risks and above all else don't do what everyone else is doing! Your goal is really that simple - take good care of your customers.

Another idea is - give them a quick survey, check in on how they're doing and what they need now during this time. I've done several of these for clients and we've received some gems of info that are helping us create new products, and meeting client's needs because we know what those needs are!

Now is not a time to give up and tighten your belts when it comes to your customers. Go above and beyond, the name of the game is to keep your customers happy so they want to be your customer for a LONG time, maybe even for life
.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The World's Famous Direct Mail Marketing Piece (or So They Say) & What You Can Gleam From It...

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site



Have you ever heard of Martin Conroy? Don't worry if you haven't. Because if you're not in the advertising world, its most likely you have no idea who he is. In fact, Martin is quite famous because of a letter he wrote back in 1974 for the Wall Street Journal. This is a very famous letter in the advertising world and considered a classic of direct-mail marketing. It's been reused and rewritten and reared as one of the best pieces of advertising among those in the marketing business. This letter was first sent out in 1974 and since then has been mailed continuously for over 28 years. It was sent to millions of people in the course of nearly three decades. It's alleged that it had a longer life than any other direct mail piece ever.

I'm mentioning this for a few reasons. First, I just wanted to pay tribute to Martin Conroy for his brilliant letter. He was an advertising executive and has since passed away. He was 84 years old. He was revered because he created the most enduring ad campaign of all time.

The beauty of what he created was in its simplicity. It was just a letter, a simple two page letter that was a subscription pitch for the Wall Street Journal. It was written in plain language and had an interesting similarity to a fairy tale. It's a wonderful story. That's the real key here, it's written like a story and is a very simple tale and interesting read.

The second reason I'm mentioning this letter is because something most interesting. The Journal never kept any statistics on the letter's effectiveness. As I've mentioned in previous posts about the importance of monitoring, tracking and testing your advertising, I'm amazed that this was never measured. In some ways because of its sheer longevity, the direct mail experts say that is its own testament to its effectiveness.

I just want to note here, unless you've got a lot of money to burn, I would highly encourage you to ALWAYS monitor, track and test your advertising! Here's a glimpse at the first paragraph:

"Dear Reader:
On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable and both-as young college graduates are-were filled with ambitious dreams for the future. Recently, these men returned to their college for their 25th reunion..."

Want to read more and see what ideas you can "borrow" for your advertising? Discover the amazing secrets of this great direct mail piece. Check out the WHOLE letter by going to this link-
http://www.MarketingImplementer.com/WSJ_Letter.php You won't be disappointed by what you discover.

This should be something you keep in your swipe file of good copy, great story and a direct mail piece that really worked. My philosophy is keep a swipe file of really good ads that work. When I'm creating something new, I get out my swipe file and generate some awesome ideas for some killer sales copy.


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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lead Generation is King

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site



Don't you want to acquire and get the keys to the kingdom that will unlock your world of riches? You're probably wondering what exactly are the keys to that kingdom that will unlock the door? Well I won't leave you in too much suspense here- one of the keys to unlock your riches is LEAD GENERATION. This is one area that will bring the money rolling in.


Why is lead generation so important? When you're in the business of making money, the name of the game is building your herd of followers. You see my philosophy is you sell something to acquire a client to sell to for life. Most businesses don't operate that way. The sell products and services to make money. They don't cultivate, nurture and put a fence around their herd of buyers. In order to get a good stream of prospects knocking on your door, you need to generate leads or acquire people's names and information that are interested in what you have to offer. If you've ever heard of Seth Godin, he calls this "Permission Marketing." You're going out there in the world and asking for those people who are interested in your products or services to raise their hands and tell you that they're interested in discovering more of what you have to sell.


So having a way to generate leads (people in affect raising their hands) and start adding these people to your marketing funnel is king. A good example of this is Rory Fatt, who has a marketing business geared towards restaurant owners. When he started his business he advertised in key restaurant publications that his industry audience read. His ad was more like an Advitorial and the whole focus of the ad was for people to sign up to receive his free report. He amassed a wealth of names to then market his products to. In affect his free report was really a sophisticated brilliant sales letter.


The key here is to have a very affective lead generation machine. Whether it's a lead generation web page, advertisement or direct mail campaign. You also always need to have a free offer in your ad to get your potential prospects to give you their name and information-like give away a free report, audio mp3, CD, or maybe even a DVD. When you have a brilliant lead generation machine, you will get all those people who are interested in your product or services to raise their hands. Then you simply need to cultivate and sell to them!


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Find Your Hidden $$$ in Your Business

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site

It's a brand spanking New Year and I'm proposing I take you back to marketing lesson 101- "Find Your Hidden $$$." And no I'm not talking about money that maybe you hid in your mattress or put somewhere in a safe place for an emergency (or in the case of the markets melting again.)

I'm talking about the money that you have no idea about that's buried in your business. One of my favorite things to do with my new clients is really dig deep into their business. I do a marketing assessment and can literally find the hidden money in their business.

You're in luck this month because I want to share with you two of my marketing secrets to help you find the hidden money in your business:

Current Clients- This is the best way to find hidden money- because they already know you and hopefully had a great experience buying your product and/or working with you.

- Are you communicating to your current clients on a regular basis? You need to communicate with them at least 12 times a year as a minimum. Communicating with them 24 and even 52 times is even more beneficial.

- How are you communicating with them? Via email? Printed newsletter? Electronic newsletter? Via direct mail? By phone? There are several ways to stay in touch with your clients. Remember, you're in business not just to make money, but to make the sale to get a new client that you will keep and market to for life.

- Is your communication interesting, informative, entertaining and valuable? It needs to be at least informative and entertaining. Give them valuable information that can help them.

- Are you creating new products or services and subtly selling them in your communications? This is key- tie your communications into subtly promoting products or services. Constantly come out with new products/services or updated and revised ones to keep the pipeline fresh.

Referrals- This is tied to the point above about your current clients. Asking for referrals from your current clients is huge. The best time is when they are gushing tons of praise for something you've done for them. This is when they want to help you. Another thing you can do is simply email or snail mail them a nice letter asking for referrals and rewarding them with a gift card to Amazon, Starbucks or possibly donating money to their favorite charity.

These are only two ways to find hidden money, and there are so many more. In this economy, start with these two inexpensive things to get your business moving. If you're interested in discovering more, you can always contact me, I'm happy to help you.

Here's to an incredibly prosperous '09 for you!

Shannon.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Frustrations and Anxieties Are the Keys to Your Riches...

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site

No I haven't gone mad, at least not yet! Here's

the deal, knowing your clients frustrations and

anxieties are truly the key to your riches. Let

me explain a bit more. You see we all have

desires, frustrations and anxieties. The real money is being able to

pinpoint what these are in your potential prospects

mind. Then you take these desires, anxieties and frustrations and run with them in all

your advertising!

Here are some great ideas to take to the bank

with figuring out what these are:

Let's start with just some desires- We all desire similar things like:

- Sex appeal

- Security

- Health

- Love

- Relationships

- Money

- Status

- Friends

- Attractiveness

- Youthfulness

In having these desires, we also have fears and

frustrations around them, like a fear of losing

or not attaining any one of them.

So how do you use these and turn them into money?
First thing you can do is gather all the information you can about

your potential prospects frustrations, fears and

anxieties. You can do this by interviewing current

clients, sending out a survey or by attending

certain networking meetings and associations and

paying very close attention to what people are

talking about.

Don't be afraid to get into your potential

prospects heads. If you're sincere about helping

them get to their desires by solving their fears, anxieties and frustrations,

they will want to work with you. Find out how they're

currently solving these right now and how it's

working for them. The key with your advertising is to enter into the conversation

your prospects are having in their heads right now. If you can do that well,

your prospects will unconsciously think you can solve their problems for them.

Some examples of products that solve anxieties, fears and frustrations- products that help you lose weight,

whiten your teeth, get rid of grey hair, give you fresh breath. All of these types of products appeal to

solving your anxieties of being overweight, or fear of bad breathe, looking old or having bad breath.

Start to notice how companies advertise and how they really address your fears and anxieties.

Some of them are especially good at agitating your fears and anxieties, and then of course they

show you how THEY have the perfect solution to solve these fears, and anxieties for you.

Again, getting into the heads of your potential

prospects and then using your advertising to address their fears, frustrations

and anxieties will certainly enhance and line your

pockets with much deserved riches.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Scary Secret that Could Propel You Way Ahead of Your Competition

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


If I were to ask you what business you were in, what would you say? Would you tell me you're in the interior design business, or that you're a life coach, or that you're in the technology or training business? Here's the real scary answer and it requires a MAJOR SHIFT in YOUR thinking this past Halloween. You're not in the business you think you're in. If you want selling to your clients and customers to be easy, if you want to make a lot of money and, if you want to propel yourself ahead of all your competitors then listen up closely here. You are in the relationship business. You are in the business of communicating information in an entertaining, fun way to connect with your clients and prospects and establish an ongoing relationship with them. You want to keep adding value to your current customers and prospects, as well as connect with them on a human level.

Here's an example of how you can add value- you need to communicate with your customers at the very least- once a month. A great way to do this is with a monthly printed newsletter. This newsletter needs to be a friendly communication that informs, educates, entertains and demonstrates your expertise. If a newsletter is too daunting, you could also use a large sized postcard or send out a monthly email newsletter that pulls people to your website. The ideas of how to do this are endless. The key is you need to establish a relationship with your clients and prospects and communicate with them on a regular basis. You always want your business or service to be in the top of their mind. The best way to do this is to establish yourself as more than a business or service. They need to get to know you, and feel they can relate to you. This lesson is huge and the businesses and entrepreneurs that "get this" are taking this all the way to the bank. Take some time out of your busy day to come up with some ideas today to start using this principal. If you do, you too can reap the rewards.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

8 Secrets to Creating & Using Successful Sales Letters in Your Business

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


Do you use sales letters in your marketing and advertising to your prospects and clients? Using simple sales letters is the most reliable and powerful method of selling anything. The most successful businesses use sales letters to make loads of money.

In this age of the internet, so many people use email and the internet to sell, which are both great vehicles. However, I really think the direct mailed sales letter is a lost medium. We're all too caught up in the inexpensiveness of sending emails and getting people to go to our websites.

I would recommend using a variety of media in selling your products and services- email, web and direct mail. I would strongly urge you to use a printed sales letter, especially if you're aiming at smaller businesses. This is really the workhouse of all your media.

A simple letter if done well, written like you're speaking to them, and is personalized, and has an offer and reason to respond, will develop rapport and will get your prospects to contact you.

Here are some key things every sales letter has to contain:

1) Killer Headline- Every sales letter has to have headline filled with a benefit that will get the attention of the reader to want to read more.

2) A photo of you- Most especially if you're in the service business, a picture is worth a thousand words.

3) Here's how the copy should flow- Start off by addressing a problem they are having, then agitate that problem, than finally offer them a solution which will be your product or service.

4) Don't forget to have an irresistible offer in your letter (one that will make them respond and take advantage of your offer) and only 1 offer- don't confuse your prospects by offering them a free report a discount coupon and an invite to your seminar- talk about overload and convoluted message!

5) Always give them more than one way to respond- web, email, fax, or call a 24 hour hotline

6) Always have a deadline to respond by- within 12 days, no later

7) Always have at least one testimonial in your letter, 2 - 3 are preferable

8) Always have at least one PS that summarizes your offer. (I usually have 3 - 4 PS's.)

Sales letters are really a simple and easy tool to get new prospects. One thing to keep in mind, don't just send one letter. You're leaving money on the table- always send them out in a series of 2 - 3 letters.

You'll increase your response rate by sending at least 2 or 3 direct mail pieces. So start writing!

To Your Success,

Shannon

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Carving a Marketing Path for Your Business

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


Have you ever been at a crossroads in business or in life where there were two different paths to choose from? Did you put yourself through major pain and suffering because you didn't know which one to take?

Why not ask yourself: How did I make my decision as to which path to follow? What was it based on? What if I made a mistake and took the wrong path? What am I going to do next time?

I've been faced with choice dilemmas countless times in my life. After each decision, I've found that un-doubtedly I'd made the right choice at that time. I've not regretted a single choice. Honestly, I believe there are no right or wrong choices. I make decisions based on 3 resources: creating a list of pros and cons, listening to my gut, and getting feedback on my decision from a team of close and trusted friends and colleagues.

We will continue to find ourselves on the threshold of change, our fate determined by a choice we're about to make. The question is not how do we eliminate the need for making difficult choices, it's how do we avoid the paralysis that prevents us from taking any action. So many businesses lose ground by facing the empowerment of choice with indecision and inaction.

They either don't act on it at all, or act so slowly that change is ineffective.

What I want for you and your business is to see you take control of your choice opportunities: plan ahead, carve out your marketing path, make your decisions swiftly, and take action. One way to start is to calculate the lifetime value of your clients. Find out how much acquiring a new client is worth to you and then make informed decisions on your marketing budget for the year.

Also, thoroughly analyze your client base-What do they eat? Where do they shop? What do they read? Where to do they live? What kind of car do they drive? How many credit cards to they have? Do they have children, a computer, etc.? The more you know about your client, the better you can reach them with an advertising strategy that has enough variety to meet their needs.

Whatever your current marketing plans are, it will be time well-spent to figure out what your clients are worth and who they are. Then you'll be able to better incorporate your marketing campaigns to get their attention and show how well you are positioned to meet their marketing needs.

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Carving a Marketing Path for Your Business

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


Have you ever been at a crossroads in business or in life where there were two different paths to choose from? Did you put yourself through major pain and suffering because you didn't know which one to take?

Why not ask yourself: How did I make my decision as to which path to follow? What was it based on? What if I made a mistake and took the wrong path? What am I going to do next time?

I've been faced with choice dilemmas countless times in my life. After each decision, I've found that un-doubtedly I'd made the right choice at that time. I've not regretted a single choice. Honestly, I believe there are no right or wrong choices. I make decisions based on 3 resources: creating a list of pros and cons, listening to my gut, and getting feedback on my decision from a team of close and trusted friends and colleagues.

We will continue to find ourselves on the threshold of change, our fate determined by a choice we're about to make. The question is not how do we eliminate the need for making difficult choices, it's how do we avoid the paralysis that prevents us from taking any action. So many businesses lose ground by facing the empowerment of choice with indecision and inaction.

They either don't act on it at all, or act so slowly that change is ineffective.

What I want for you and your business is to see you take control of your choice opportunities: plan ahead, carve out your marketing path, make your decisions swiftly, and take action. One way to start is to calculate the lifetime value of your clients. Find out how much acquiring a new client is worth to you and then make informed decisions on your marketing budget for the year.

Also, thoroughly analyze your client base-What do they eat? Where do they shop? What do they read? Where to do they live? What kind of car do they drive? How many credit cards to they have? Do they have children, a computer, etc.? The more you know about your client, the better you can reach them with an advertising strategy that has enough variety to meet their needs.

Whatever your current marketing plans are, it will be time well-spent to figure out what your clients are worth and who they are. Then you'll be able to better incorporate your marketing campaigns to get their attention and show how well you are positioned to meet their marketing needs.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Scary Secret that Could Propel You Way Ahead of Your Competition

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


If I were to ask you what business you were in, what would you say? Would you tell me you're in the interior design business, or that you're a life coach, or that you're in the technology or training business? Here's the real scary answer and it requires a MAJOR SHIFT in YOUR thinking. You're not in the business you think you're in. If you want selling to your clients and customers to be easy, if you want to make a lot of money and, if you want to propel yourself ahead of all your competitors then listen up closely here. You are in the relationship business. You are in the business of communicating information in an entertaining, fun way to connect with your clients and prospects and establish an ongoing relationship with them. You want to keep adding value to your current customers and prospects, as well as connect with them on a human level. If you work for a company or corporation that wants to sell to small businesses, one of the worst things you can do is treat them impersonally like a number, or just another widget in your cog of the wheel of your company.

Here's an example of how you can add value- you need to communicate with your customers at the very least- once a month. A great way to do this is with a monthly printed newsletter. This newsletter needs to be a friendly communication that informs, educates, entertains and demonstrates your expertise. If a newsletter is too daunting, you could also use a large sized postcard or send out a monthly email newsletter that pulls people to your website. The ideas of how to do this are endless.

The key is you need to establish a relationship with your clients and prospects and communicate with them on a regular basis. You always want your business or service to be in the top of their mind. The best way to do this is to establish yourself as more than a business or service. They need to get to know you, and feel they can relate to you. This lesson is huge and the businesses and entrepreneurs that "get this" are taking it all the way to the bank. Take some time out of your busy day to come up with some ideas today to start using this principal. If you do, you too can reap the rewards.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Let her stick!

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


I'm taking a bit of liberty here by taking off the famous line of "let her rip." So "let her stick," is an incredible way that you can get your new clients to stay with you and your products or services.

What is a "stick letter?" It's just one strategic way of reducing your refunds. It's definitely something that you send to someone AFTER he or she buys your product or service. Do you ever send a thank you letter? Well a “stick letter” is just another thank you letter on steroids because it truly "sticks."

The whole key after a client buys your product or service is you want them to NOT return it, or want a refund. This letter is more than a thank you, it not only thanks them for buying the product but it reiterates all the awesome benefits to get them all excited about having your hot product in their hands.

Also if it might take some time for your product to show results to them, this letter will help encourage and motivate them. You spell out for them not go give up and give them specific steps on where and how to start using your product. Let's look at a good example of how to word this from Dave Dee, Info Marketing guru- "Now, don't you give up. People are going to be telling you
that you can't do it. Your friends are going to say, 'this isn't going to work.' Don't believe them, believe in yourself!" Dave wants to get them all fired up and remember why they bought this product in the first place.

The deal is you want buyers remorse to disappear as quickly as it came into their mind. Let's face it after people make large purchases they often question, 'did I make the right decision to buy this expensive program, product or service?'

By sending them your "stick letter" you're erasing that remorse from their consciousness and reassuring them that they made an awesome decision for buying your product or service.

Take out your pen and let her rip on that "stick letter."

Here's to your success!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How do you stand out from your competition?

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


Knowing how you stand out from your competition and what makes your products or services unique from your competition is key. This gets to the real question of what's your USP or Unique Selling Proposition? Is it compelling enough to your audience to buy from you?

A USP is the reason why your customers or clients should be using your products or services versus doing nothing at all. This may sound harsh, but it's true, the reality is your potential customers or clients don't have to do business with you, they can simply do nothing at all or go elsewhere.

Your USP has to be so compelling to your audience that they decide to purchase from you. Let me give you an example, if my USP is "We're bigger and better than the competition." This is good, yet we need to dig down deeper. The best way we'd go about this is by using the words "so that." You're bigger and better so that- you can handle more clients in less time, so that- you do projects quickly and more efficiently so that-... and you can basically keep going. By using the term "so that," you can really sharpen your USP to get at the heart of what you do for your clients. Look at GE's USP- "Imagination at Work," or Dominoes original USP- "Delivered to
you in 30 minutes or it's free," or Verizon Wireless- "From America's Most Reliable Network." These USP really get at the heart of what they do well.

In order to get at the heart of your USP you need to really study and understand the pain your customers feel and address that pain with specific language. A good example of that is an oldie- "M&M's they melt in your mouth, not in your hands." This gets to the real benefit that people who eat chocolate don't want to get it all over their hands- M&M's- problem solved. (Hence this was perfect back in WW II when it was invented, so soldiers wouldn't get chocolate all over their hands in the battlefield.)

How do you go about finding that USP for your products or services? One way is to go right to your clients or customers and ASK THEM why they use you, and focus on your uniqueness. What pain or problems do your customers have that you're trying to solve? What makes you so unique that they would rather buy from you than someone else? Take a pen and paper and start your list, or call/email your current clients today and write
or rewrite your USP!

To Your Success,

Shannon

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Guest Contributor: Shannon McCaffery
Shannon's Posts - Shannon's Site


The key to your future riches in closing your prospects, is knowing their hot buttons. If you're a big business looking to work with smaller businesses and help them with specific aspects, you better know their lingo and be able to speak their language. You see the more you know not only about who your prospects are, but what's their emotional hot button, and what keeps them awake at night.

Here's a terrific exercise for you and the first big step to getting at their hot buttons. Take out a sheet of paper and start writing.

Think about who your top 10 clients are right now. Then I want you to answer these 5 questions about them:

1) What kinds of advertising do they respond to? Is it direct mail, phone calls, personal visits, irresistible offers, or maybe a combination of these.

2) What do they read and where do they get this stuff? You need to check out newsletters, consumer magazines, industry newspapers, trade publications, and community newspapers

3) What trade shows do they go to? Do they go to local community events, national conventions, state fairs, local consumer shows, etc.

4) How did your past clients hear about you? Was it word of mouth, a flyer, direct mail piece, telemarketing, internet, email or an ad stuffer

5) What clubs, groups or associations do they belong to? Write down any associations, clubs, business groups or networking groups they attend.

After you've answered these questions, I'd suggest you sign up and maybe attend some of these clubs, associations or trade shows. I'd even say you might want to subscribe to the publications and maybe even contribute to them with writing an article or placing and ad. When you immerse yourself in their world, a light bulb will go off, and you'll know how to appeal to them in a much more meaningful way. The more you know about your prospect and us it in your advertising, the more you will attract the right prospects and be able to close them.

To Your Success
Shannon

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Name: Evan Carmichael
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

EvanCarmichael.com is the world's #1 website for small business motivation and strategies. Evan also runs a series of successful Mastermind Groups in Toronto for entrepreneurs.


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