Posted by Beverly on
December 12, 2009
Special Guest Post by: Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Looking for more business? Marketing and PR expert Gary Purece gave me some advice that can help you as well. He told me that successful marketing means that you identify prospective clients and position yourself in the market so that they choose you over your competition. When I sit down with clients who want to position their marketing, I seek the answers to these four basic questions:
1. Who Is Your Potential Client? Who wants to buy or could be stimulated to want to buy? Who is in a position to buy what you sell? What geographical and financial factors affect this ability?
A good way to identify future clients is to listen — really listen — to those you have now. Their comments, especially negative ones, will help you tailor both your product and your approach to other prospects.
2. Why Will They Want To Buy? What emotional and physical factors will influence them? I just worked with an East Coast psychiatrist who ran a practice with ten other psychiatrists and wanted to position herself. Our conversations quickly disclosed that her community was predominantly upwardly mobile professionals. Many of the women had delayed having children. Due to fertility drugs, a high percentage of families had twins, triplets or more. We decided to focus her practice on these kinds of families. Hers was the first practice in the area to do that.
How did we do this? First, we realized her potential audience was geographical, that is, in her community rather than regional, national or international. These prospects also had distinctive demographics. By appealing to a unique aspect, we hit on her core group. She is now hugely successful in her practice.
3. What Angle Should You Take? How is your product or service unique? Why is it perfect for your target audience? How is it different from everyone else’s? How will it fulfill your core group’s needs in a way that no one else can?
This is positioning you in the market. (Remember how Avis advertised: “We try harder”) For example, when other advertising consultants do presentations, they talk about budgets, print versus TV, soft versus hard sell. I position myself by emphasizing that you start by targeting your audience, positioning your product and creating distinctive selling propositions. Lots of mom-and-pop businesses, confronted by super stores, cannot compete or even survive unless they find a unique niche to fill.
4. How Are You Going To Sell It? We all know people with great ideas, products and inventions. They spend a fortune developing this product, but it sits there because they have no idea what to do with it. Is there a system in place to put your product in customers’ hands and return their money to you? Or do you need to create one?
Market to your core group, and position yourself among the competition. That is million-dollar marketing.
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Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, is a sales presentation skills trainer, keynote speaker and executive speech coach. She is the co-author of Speaker’s EDGE: Secrets and Strategies for Connecting with Any Audience and past president of the National Speakers Association. firstname.lastname@example.org“>email@example.com – 415-753-6556 — www.fripp.com
Posted by Beverly on
March 14, 2009
If you’re a woman in business you are probably operating on, what I call, a “low-to-no budget.” Many of us have to wear several hats under the marketing umbrella, therefore, knowledge of each area is important to develop a focused effort.
A focus on what the customer wants and needs is essential to successful marketing efforts. This customer-orientation should go hand-in-hand with the company’s objective of maintaining a profitable volume of sales. Marketing is a creative process combining all of the activities needed to accomplish both of these objectives.
The American Marketing Association’s definition of marketing is:
“The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.”
Providing the features and quality customers want is a critical first step in marketing. You will be facing an uphill battle if you provide something you want to produce and then try to convince someone to buy it.
Once you have a product, you need to determine a price for the product, let potential customers, know about your product and make it available to them. These are often called the four “P’s” of marketing:
Place (how you distribute it)
If you cover the four P’s well, you should have no trouble achieving a fifth P: profits.
Posted by Beverly on
February 7, 2009
As a woman in business how do your customers come in contact with your business? Do they arrive through word of mouth, through direct contact with you, business card or perhaps by stumbling upon your website? All of these methods project some image of your business. What that image is, including your business name, reflects your position in the market. Would you expect specialty chocolates to be dropped into the bottom of a brown paper bag when you purchase them? You must decide upon the image you want your business to project.
Think about how you present yourself. This is most critical if you are a service business. The impression you create in face-to-face contact must reflect your position in the market and create a market opportunity for your business every time you speak to others. People are seeking your credibility on the product or service you sell. Convincing others of your credibility requires two key elements:
1. Knowledge – You must be seen as knowledgeable about the product or service you are selling or promoting by providing expert information.
2. Trust – Customers must believe you will act with their best interests in mind.
Credibility and visibility go hand-in-hand. You need to demonstrate your expertise, trustworthiness, and concern for your customer’s welfare. How will you do this? Marketing yourself is an active process. It requires you to assert yourself, make your audience aware of you (even if it is only one person), grab their attention, and then focus that attention on your credibility.
Business image is extremely important to customers who have many choices in deciding where to spend their money. It also affects whether or not someone will return to you in the future. Customers will leave you for many reasons, but almost 70% leave due to a poor attitude exhibited by employees of the business. This is easily avoidable if you understand what the customer wants and then communicate the image you want to project to all of your employees. Remember to talk periodically to your customers about what you’re doing right or wrong. This is a good way to make sure that your customers view the business in the way you want it to be seen.