Archive for February, 2010


A little fun for the weekend…

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I just couldn’t resist – it made me laugh, put a big, wide grin on my face and made me want to join in – if nothing else it’s worth the uplifting beat of the music.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did, and that it gives you a little break from all your hard work! :-)

Categories : inspirational
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5 Steps to the Buying Decision

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When you are developing marketing materials it is important to think about the mental buying process of your target prospect…

There are, essentially, 5 steps that every prospect will go through when considering your ‘offer’. If you follow these logical steps and make sure you answer each of these ‘questions’ your prospect has you will have a much higher chance of success.

Be sure to clearly show the prospect what you can do for them and remember to include an offer or a ‘call to action’ – get them to do something to initiate an interaction with you – redeem a coupon, call your office for an appointment, visit your store, mail in an order form, enter their information on your website, make a purchase etc.

The 5 Steps:

  1. Make the prospect aware of their need and/or desire
  2. Show the prospect that there is something that fulfills their need or desire
  3. Clearly identify your product or service as the best ‘source’ for fulfilling their need or desire
  4. Get them to accept the value and price proposition
  5. Give them reasons to act now

In most cases you will do best to start with step one, but if your product or service is something that the prospect knows they have a clear need for, like soap for example, you can start with step 2.

Essentially, every marketing message being delivered via any medium should adhere to this type of clear, effective and proven structure, whether you are marketing direct to the consumer or business to business. Step the prospect through the steps and your chances of having them take the action you outline will go up exponentially.

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In Marketing, Perception IS Reality

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When it comes to marketing your small business it is imperative that you understand this fact:

Perception Is Reality.

What your prospects, clients or customers perceive about you, your place of business and your level of success in business is imminently more important that what may be a different reality. For example, if you are a client of a high-end restaurant, and when you are in the restroom you notice that things are dirty, there are paper towels on the floor or something else unpleasant, it might be the last time you ever visit the location, even if the food is fabulous.

I once read a story about an airline executive who figured out that dirty tray tables led people to have less confidence in the airline and seek other providers. They’re thought process, “Well, if they can’t even clean the tray tables, what else aren’t they maintaining…I may not be safe on this airline…” Not the ideal thought process you want your clients to be experiencing as they start a trip with your company.

Websites are actually a very good example of this…if you are a large established company, but your website is difficult to use or amateurish people’s impression of you who choose to find you on the web, either before becoming a customer or after, may change dramatically. If you are a small company, even if you are just starting out, and you take the time to create a well thought out website, even if it is simple, it can change a lot about the way people perceive your business, making people think you are larger and more successful than you may actually be, helping them to have more confidence in you and your product or service.

What can you do to ‘clean up your act’ or add substance to your appearance?

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