Get new customers–without begging, bribes or gimmicks

When I started writing, How Should I Market Myself?, I had to “get in the zone” by locking myself in my basement for two weeks to cull over everything I’d ever learned about marketing, both through study, observation and my work with clients.

There was one area that I think is so crucial to this emerging philosophy that I developed an information-packed report just for you.  Here’s a sneak peek …

Manipulation-free Marketing: What you need to know to book new business *almost* effortlessly!

I’ve been looking for a new dining room table, and I’ve discovered that I dread walking into furniture stores.  It’s like walking onto a used car lot.  Eyes following your every move, people waiting to catch your attention so they can “introduce themselves” and “help you find something.”  If you’re like me, you just want to look around.  If I see something I like, I’m not shy about asking for help.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just peek in the window, see if there’s a dining room table that piques your interest, and if nothing’s a fit, you could save everyone some hassle?  I’m really not interested in looking at the office furniture, even though they’ve got some “great new styles,” and I don’t need someone talking me into a table I don’t like. When I don’t think I’m interested and feel coerced, alarm bells go off in my head.  I don’t trust that person.

And God knows that I don’t want to be that salesperson when I’m talking to people about my business.  For many speakers, consultants and coaches, they started their business because they wanted the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, and they wanted to enjoy more independence, contribution, or financial freedom.  All noble goals, right?  The problem is no one cares why you went into business or why you’re good at what you do, and if you’re not careful, you end up sounding like a furniture or used car salesman who is trying to trick someone into buying his stuff.

Frank Rumbauskas, author of Never Cold Call Again!, says, “One of the greatest challenges facing independent professionals today is how to generate new business. Professionals are not salespeople, nor do they want to be; in addition, actively attempting to sell oneself can easily tarnish one’s professional image. How, then, to attract new clients, without the sales pitch? Establish yourself as the recognized expert and authority figure in your field. By doing so, you gain the immediate respect and trust of your prospects.”

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Download our free report to learn how manipulation-free marketing can help you book more business *almost* effortlessly!

What’s in it for ME? Answering Your Customer’s #1 Question

The purpose of business is to create a customer.
–Peter Drucker

I was talking to a colleague the other day who is struggling to take his business to the next level.  He’s an IT guy who helps companies “maximize their technology dollars.”

“I know when I stand up and say that I work with technology, 80% of the people in the room turn their brain off,” he laments.

Ew!  I think I might be one of those people.  Talking about technology, to me, is stressful, frustrating, and frankly, B-O-R-I-N-G!  This guy’s service offerings really are fabulous; he’s a best-kept secret because people “don’t want to talk about it.”  Been there?

So what do you do when your prospects, though they NEED you, don’t want to think about the problem(s) you can help them solve?  In the new book I’m finishing (details coming soon!), we talk about this in detail:  Before you can package your offerings, determine your marketing strategies or develop your promotional tools, you must know who your customers are and how to connect with them.  When we take our clients through this phase of the marketing-development process, there is travailing and gnashing of teeth; figuring this out can be tough.  But when the finally light dawns (and it always does), they have a born-again experience!

The first step in the sales cycle is ATTRACTION.  You MUST position yourself in the marketplace so that what you offer is attractive to your prospects.  You do this by understanding your prospects’ frustrations and pain, and showcasing your solutions to connect with them (leave out the “icky” details for now).  You are their RELIEF. Once you’ve connected with a customer’s pain and they’ve said, “Tell me more!”, you can schedule a follow-up “consultation” to provide more information.

This can be the most difficult, frustrating puzzle to solve in your business.  But solving it is CRUCIAL if you want to connect with qualified prospects.  No matter how difficult this conundrum seems to be, there IS a way to strengthen your position of power.  You can, and you must!

Speakers & Coaches: Setting Goals in the New Year

I attended a Tennessee Coaches Alliance meeting today, where the topic of the luncheon was (fittingly) goal-setting for 2010.  I’ve been working on lining up goals for SMS for 2010 for the last several months, and something about this meeting really inspired me to make sure that I’m framing my goals for the year in terms of the results I want to create.

It’s so easy to make lists and keep ourselves busy, yet busyness doesn’t necessarily translate into growing our businesses.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen speakers and coaches arbitrarily filling their schedules up with busyness that “feels” productive; yet they aren’t seeing key results like more clients and more income (which is what most of us ultimately want!).

Tony Robbins is probably the master, in my book, on teaching you how to leveraging time to create the specific outcomes you care about most.  As you contemplate the results you want to achieve this year in your business, make sure you are framing them as specific, measurable outcomes.  You might have a goal of generating a $250,000 income in your business, for example.  Working backwards, you should be able to determine how many clients you’ll need in each profit center, and how to best execute your marketing strategy to produce those clients.

Also, consider that for speakers, authors, coaches and consultants, a solid Marketing Gameplan is built around the Marketing Triad:  three primary strategies (Networking, Visibility and Grassroots Marketing) designed to help us: attract prospects [Marketing Mavens (sign up free!) can review the Marketing Triad here; you can also learn more about the Marketing Triad in the How Should I Market Myself program], fill our pipeline, and convert prospects to customers.

Once our Triad is established and well-oiled, we can support our efforts with Stacking Strategies to supercharge our campaigns.

As you create your goals this year, consider the quantifiable results you want to achieve, and break these results down into specific, executable tasks:

  • Speaking twice a month to an audience of decision-makers (the Marketing Gameplan program calls this a Visibility Strategy).
  • Execute 5-step autoresponder to event attendees offering both free advice / support and promoting our coaching / new book / mastermind programs (Grassroots Marketing).
  • Execute promo plan to fill our group coaching program with XXX participants (Grassroots Marketing).
  • Turn live training sessions into a multimedia program that we can sell online to generate $XXXX in passive income.

My good friend Scott Jeffrey is one of the most amazing Results Planners I know.  He suggests a few key questions to get you focused on the results you want to create:

  1. What does the end picture look like?
  2. What are the necessary conditions to realizing the end picture?
  3. What results-driven activities are needed to satisfy each condition?  Instead of asking, “What do I need to do next?”, ask “What is the result I’m after?”

According to Scott, “It takes time to develop a results-oriented mindset because we are conditioned to think in terms of activities and to-do lists.”  As you think about your goals for this year, use the New Year’s energy to frame your goals in terms of RESULTS rather than busy “should-dos.”

Learn more about creating your Marketing Gameplan and leveraging the Marketing Triad.

My first presentation …

Last week, I did my first presentation for the National Speaker’s Association’s Cavett Institute, and I had a bit of an epiphany … anyone who knows me know that I don’t love the idea of speaking in front of the room.  I’d rather leave that to my clients.  But there was something surreal about having people come up to you afterwards and say, “This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!  I’m so glad you were here today.”  It redeems the panic attacks and makes your fears and apprehensions seem so small and irrelevant.  Hopefully, there will be more presentations to come, and I’ll learn to enjoy them.

For the presentation, I put together a workbook that outlines the process that we take our clients through to help them determine their Marketing Gamplan.  It also guides us as we build their websites and other marketing tools.  Since most of you weren’t at the Cavett Institute, I want you to have it, too.  You can download the “Getting Unstuck:  Developing a Marketing Gameplan that Works” Workbook here!

I’ll give anyone who downloads the workbook a free 45-minute Strategic Planning Session to go over the workbook and answer any questions you may have.  Email me to schedule your time:

Happy Summer!