Marketing Can Be SO Frustrating!

You want to generate more qualified leads. You want a better return on your marketing. You don’t want to learn all of the different marketing strategies and tactics to grow your business. You don’t want to manage all of the different marketing providers or research who are making you money and who isn’t.

There is a reason that we hire mechanics, accountants, computer repair people and even landscaping or lawn mowing services to do some work. We don’t want to do it. We don’t want to learn how to do it. We want someone with the skills, abilities, and knowledge to do it for us.

You don’t have to learn “marketing”

Who wants to learn all the marketing strategies and tactics and how to do them? Now you don’t have to. Now you can hire a provisional Marketing Director, just like you hire an accountant that comes into your business every so often to do what needs to be done.  You get full access to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of an expert without paying the full-time cost of another employee.

What would a Marketing Director do?

If you were to hire a full-time Marketing Director (just go with me on this), what would their activities look like for the first week or maybe two? They would review all of your goals and objectives. They would review all that you offer and what strategies and tactics you currently are using and what you have used. They would want to understand your target market and what your ideal client would look like.

After some time the new Marketing Director would design the strategies and tactics that will enable the company to reach their goals. They would create a plan for the next year and then implement that plan. They would connect with all of the existing marketing vendors and support staff. They would apply the plan to the budget and make vendor adjustments. Then they would make sure that they could measure the activities and results and make adjustments to reach the goals.

What is a provisional Marketing Director?

A provisional marketing director can do all of the same things, but for small businesses that cannot afford a full-time person, they work to the level that is needed to get the job done. This saves you money, frees up quite a bit of your time and since they have the skills and abilities that you don’t, your return on marketing dollar should go up with your sales and business growth.

As an independent consultant (no conflicts or strings attached to any vendor) Crossroads Consultants can tell you what strategies and tactics will work for you, your business and especially your budget. If you want to know more about the provisional marketing director program, call Stan at Crossroads Consultants 980-241-0189, or email at Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com.  Get rid of the frustration and grow your business.

 

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How to Maximize Your Marketing Results

Most business owners are very knowledgeable and even specialize in a particular product or service, but marketing. Marketing is usually decided when vendors convince you that their product is the right one for you.

Are you wasting your money?

When you have multiple tactics that are not strategically aligned you may think that your investment is working when actually only one is working well and the rest are a total waste of money.

In today’s fast changing and an ever evolving digital world, you need to rely on some marketing principles to plan your business growth. One of those principles is making sure your marketing tactics actually work together.

Check your marketing efficiency and effectiveness:

  1. Are you using a list of tactics or do you have a sound strategic marketing plan to direct limited resources?
  2. Do you have clear goals for what you are trying to accomplish and can you measure real dollar results?
  3. Do your marketing and sales departments work together strategically and tactically?

Crossroads Consultants is not a marketing provider and therefore is an independent third party when it comes to evaluating and developing strategic marketing, planning and management systems. Developing a group of aligned tactics will work much more effectively and efficiently.

Crossroads Consultants has worked with a number of clients where we saved them money very quickly by decreasing or eliminating low return marketing tactics. We were able to reallocation those resources for tactics that better fit the company’s goals and overall strategies for growth.

Get an independent review

A Marketing Performance Profile is an analysis and recommendation report. Crossroads Consultants provides this report to give you the foundational elements you need for future marketing decisions. With this report you will be able to speed up product and service launches, select better and additional marketing tactics and know when to decrease or eliminate others as well.

A Marketing Performance Profile report determines what you are trying to accomplish and then evaluates each tactic to those goals. It provides a better foundation for a marketing strategy and planning. It looks at each tactic individually and collectively to save you money and see better results.

Contact Crossroads Consultants for a Marketing Performance Profile and to plan a marketing strategy to grow your business.

In order to maximize your marketing results start with a Marketing Performance Profile.

Marketing Automation Impact on Business Success — Case Study

A number of years ago I went to a local florist shop to buy flowers for my 24th wedding anniversary. I paid by check and left. Guess what happened 365 days later? A year later I bought a big thing of flowers from the same shop because it was local.

But afterwards, I wondered, “why should I buy from them?” They didn’t care about me. They have my address from my check and my phone number as well. They didn’t ask me any questions about me, my wife or even how many years we were married. But I did tell them the first time that it was my 24th. So I thought, “Maybe I should check around and see who else is out there.” I have not been back and it has since been sold.

I have never had a florist (and I have used several) send me any reminders, a thank you, or anything that would indicate that my business was important to them.

Here is how it could go:

A man goes in and asks for flowers because it’s his wife’s birthday today. The clerk says “that’s so sweet, how long have you two been married?” You answer, “four years.” And then she says, “When is your anniversary?” You tell the clerk and then they say, “Would it be helpful if we reminded you a few days before your anniversary with an email so you don’t forget or wait until the last minute, or how about we send you some gift ideas?” Not everyone wants to be reminded or given ideas, but some will agree to it. This florist will be “top of mind” when that customer decides to buy flowers again.

This young man who is married for four years gets an email 3 weeks before his wedding anniversary. It says “Thank you again for purchasing the blue bonnet bouquet for your wife’s birthday last year. This year is your fifth anniversary and we wanted to tell you that the “traditional” fifth wedding anniversary gift is “wood”. We have a lovely plant that is rooted in an old piece of wood that is exceptional. These are available by special order only but we wanted you to be aware of it.”

That information makes this florist unique, and memorable, the relationship much more personal and builds the reputation as a place for special gifts when needed. This relationship will continue to build and develop with each visit to the florist.

A young man who is courting the woman of his dreams might appreciate some information or ideas on how to treat that special someone right. When a loved one passes away, you don’t want to call just anyone out of the “book”. You will feel better if you had a relationship with a florist that you have worked with over the years. A florist can’t be a “friend” with everyone, but they can keep in touch and help everyone who gives them a means to stay in touch. An email address with a marketing automation system can keep you top of mind.

Compete or be beat!

A florist may say, well most of our customers are regulars. That may be, but where is the new florist that is starting up or expanding going to get clients? They are going to build relationships with everyone they can and people buy from people they know, like and trust. It may take a little bit of work but they will work on getting to know more of your customers.

There are so many opportunities for a person to use a florist. Some florists provide more than just a vase or box of flowers. Whatever the florist does besides “flowers” they need a way to be able to share it so their business can be more than an anniversary bouquet.

So little time!

One of the biggest problems that florists have is the last minute rush for special days like Valentines and Mother’s day. To be able to have “pre-sold” flowers enables them to schedule out their time and reduce the “crisis” crunch. To be able to encourage sales between special days is one of the secrets to being successful in these types of businesses.
Who has time to send out emails for everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries, etc. That can take a lot of time and effort. You can save a lot of time and be much more creative with an automated marketing system. A good system will allow you to reach more people, with more information and with less effort.

You can set up a unique “event” email each year to remind everyone in your database about that special event that is coming up (their loved one’s birthday, anniversary, “mail carrier appreciation day” or whatever). It is nice to be reminded of important occasions. Also send them one to wish THEM a happy birthday when the time comes.

Automated marketing can make the task of reminding people easy, and the right system can help provide specials to those who you want to reward or who you want to entice to purchase from you. Provide a discount to your regular customers if they order their Mother’s day flower’s early (three weeks before).

Be creative!

There are always ways to be creative for every business and every business is different. Don’t think just because your business isn’t a typical florist shop (or any other kind of business) you could never use automated marketing. There are a lot of ideas for all kinds of businesses. You won’t know until you brainstorm some ideas and try a system that gives you great leverage without taking up a lot of time or money to implement.

Since being creative in what automated marketing can do for you, Crossroads Consultants would be willing to have a conversation with you to come up with some creative ideas and ways for you to reach your business objectives. You can check out Automated Marketing for more information on how it can work for you.


Stan Broesder is a business growth and marketing specialist with Crossroads Consultants. For over 25 years Stan has helped businesses to grow and to overcome obstacles. Today with digital online marketing Crossroads Consultants is an integrator of marketing, which means no matter how much marketing you use, they can help your business coordinate all aspects of your marketing and business growth. Contact by phone 980-241-0189 or email: Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com

When is “May I help you?” the Wrong Question to Ask?

Why do we do things that don’t work? What drives us to do things over and over again, knowing that we are not going to like the result? Well, when it comes to this question that is exactly what happens.

Have you experienced this?

You go into a store and someone walks up to you and says, “May I help you?” I am sure you have been asked this question many time and I am almost as sure that you have answered this question just like 95% of people going into stores. The problem is that no sales person wants to hear the answer they are almost guaranteed to get. You know what you say, “No, I am just looking!”

Once you have been given the simple answer, for you to pursue in almost anyway puts you into the pushy “used-car” sales approach. And no one wants that (not even used car sales people). So if you don’t want that answer, don’t ask that question! But almost every sales floor person will.

Some employees don’t care

Some sales people don’t care; the “I did my job” approach gets them off the hook. Some commission sales will try to change it up by asking “can I interest you in a (whatever they sell) today,” or “Are you looking for a ______, today?” But the answer generally is the same. We have been conditioned, at least in this country, to give to the standard, “get out of my face” statement of, “I am just looking.” Some will say, “don’t ask yes, no question”, but it is more than that.

There are a number of tactics that can be used. Ask, “Have you been in our store before?” Or you can ask, “When was the last time you were in our store?” A commissioned sales person or manager may take a slightly different approach by just saying, “Good afternoon, my name is Bill, let me know if I can help you folks with anything.” This will usually get a much more relaxed response of “thank you!” Or sometimes, “Well, we are looking for…”

Once you they are more relaxed you can then say something like, “I don’t know if you are interested (or ‘have seen in the paper’) that we have our “Super X Thing-A-Bob’s” on sale over next to our “What-cha-ma-call-it’s.”” Some people are just great with other people and can start up a conversation by saying, “I see you are a ___ fan,” or “Is it still (raining, hot, sunny, cold – weather related) outside?” But most can’t.

Now before you become critical, take special notice on how often you are asked the “May I help you?” question. If you are in sales or have sales staff, pay attention to how often you or others say it or some other question that gets a dead end response. Then try to find a different set of questions or approach. If you don’t develop at least three different approaches, you will default back to the standard question and get the “just looking and leave me alone” response.

What other conversations are dead ends?

This is not the only way that sales people and business owners stumble over a common almost guaranteed “no sale” scenario. Sometimes if we answer the question, “How much is…” or “Can I get…” or “Does this come in…?” we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Once you have answered, they will often answer with “okay, I was curious.” Where do you go from there without again seemingly coming on as being pushy? So we then respond with, “Okay, well if I can help you with anything else, just let me know!” You’re done! There are better answers.

Work on designing strategies and tactics to minimize the dead end answers and conversations. Pay attention to what is really happening within the relationship.


Stan Broesder is a business growth and marketing specialist with Crossroads Consultants. For over 25 years Stan has helped businesses to grow and to overcome obstacles. Today with digital online marketing Crossroads Consultants is an integrator of marketing, which means they can help your business in all aspects of marketing and business growth. Contact Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com

Three Big Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make!

Small businesses complain that their marketing is just not working the way that they feel it should. Here are three big marketing mistakes that small businesses often make trying to grow their business.

 1. Having all tactics, and no strategy

You keep trying things and you keep what works and throw out the rest. But what if you could leverage one tactic off of another? This would boost the effectiveness of each tactic. In order to do that you need to start with a strategy. Focus your efforts and resources to accomplish the most important goals first. This will provide the best results.

2. Not measuring results

Many will say that you really can’t measure the results of marketing, but that is not totally true. Part of the problem is that you have not designed your marketing to be measurable. With a little adjustment many marketing tactics can be measured. Once you see the numbers accurately, then you can make the most effective changes to get the best results.

 3. Not aligning your sales with marketing.

When you treat sales and marketing as two different functions then you lose some of the efficiency that is possible. Marketing and sales must be seen from the customer’s perspective and need to reinforce each other with the same or complimentary message. When both of these are in alignment you will see dramatic improvements in results.

Correcting these three mistakes can really have an impact on your marketing results, which should translate into more income. But some really struggle with making these corrections and getting a different perspective can often make the difference.

Call me (980-241-0189) to discuss growing your business and correcting these three big mistakes in marketing. Or email me at Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com and ask about a Marketing Strategy evaluation for your business. Then get ready to grow!

Crossroads Consultants is a Business Management Consulting company that services small and mid-sized businesses and professionals with profitable growth strategies. Your customers don’t care about your growth. Ultimately, it is an inside job. We can help!



Are you using the DIY Marketing Method?

Most people learn how to do marketing by throwing money at a tactic and seeing if it works. Keep trying and then, keep what works, throw out the rest. It is the DIY Marketing method. But that method will only get you so far.

With a specific plan in mind for your marketing dollars, you will have much better results. Here is a real simple three step plan that will improve your marketing results. Try it!

1.  Who is your Ideal Client?

Create a profile of who this person is. Can you write out a description of your ideal client so that someone else who reads that description can identify a specific person?

2.  What is your message?

Assuming that your ideal client is going to read your message, what do you want them to know? A better question would be to ask, what do THEY want to know? Make sure your message is relevant to them.

3.  What is the best media?

You know who you want to talk to and what you want to say, the question is what media or method will most likely capture your ideal client’s attention. If you want to reach a golfer maybe you should put an ad in a golf magazine, or sponsor a hole for a local charity fundraiser. Make a list of all the possible media opportunities and then determine the best avenue for your marketing goal.

Coordinate various tactics so that you have synergy, and are building on other tactics. This is a smart approach to marketing. Don’t just make decisions based on available funds, make choices on maximizing the return on money already spent as well as current and future funding.

If you have some thoughts, leave a comment.

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Crossroads Consultants is a business growth strategy company. Growing income or profits takes planning and excellent execution. The keys are quality planning, being organized, directing your people, and controlling your business.

You can reach Stan Broesder, MBA with Crossroads Consultants at 980-241-0189 or email: Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com

How Does Crossroads Consultants Help Business Owners Solve Business Problems?

This is a quick look at how a business consultant may help a client.

Consulting involves changes. If nothing changes there is no need for a consultant. Even if we only provide information that you didn’t have before that would change the basis of which you might make a decision.

What you may want is to prevent something that is detrimental to you or your business either at present or sometime in the future. This could include new competition, regulation, the loss of a vendor, poor employee morale and engagement, dropping sales, lowering profits, etc.

The other thing would be to reach or progress toward a goal or potential in your business. This could include improved sales or profits, taking advantage of new products and services, hiring the right people, improving performance and productivity, investing in new equipment or facilities, or expansion of some kind. All of these would help you to improve your business in the future. You need to make sure that the risks are calculated and the proper processes are put in place.

I make sure that I get the right perspective on the situation. That means that we want to make sure we don’t get just a little bit of information and make a quick diagnosis of the problem with an even quicker prescription of a solution. Without asking enough questions and getting the proper perspective this would be considered “malpractice” and is not acceptable.

Once I have some perspective on a situation then I start to focus in on potential details that may be causing or influencing the issue. Here is where any consultant should be worth their weight in gold. Many times it is not the obvious cause that is the problem; it is the hidden elements that are the real threat to success. A good consultant will not move too quickly and just go with the basic obvious cause. Looking for other influences can really prevent an expensive disaster.

A good business consultant will also know when they need to bring in additional help with specialties in other disciplines. As an example one client was having some real troubles with some billing and cash flow issues. An accountant was brought in to take a look and was able to see some of the problems fairly quickly. In this case the accountant saw that the problem was the poor use of the accounting software, but upon further review the business consultant was able to determine some additional issues of employee morale and management practices that were also influencing the issue. So while the accountant had solved the problem for a little while, it would have returned in the near future without other adjustments.

No matter what your problem, challenge or goal is, if it is more than a simple vendor problem call Crossroads Consultants and get a complimentary conference call. I have connections with specialists that can help you in areas outside of business management consulting. My goals is to help business professionals to improve their business results and performance, if a simple introduction to someone else that is better suited to meet your needs is all that it takes, than I am glad that I can help you and know that I will gain your respect and hopefully trust for when an issue that is more specific to my expertise comes along.

Stan Broesder is the founder and owner of Crossroads Consultants, a business management consulting company that develops management skills and organizational efficiencies for business professionals. Using Strategic Planning, management systems and employee engagement, Stan helps businesses to improve their performance and ultimately their profits while becoming better at planning and executing plans.

Most of Stan’s clients are in Western North Carolina, specifically in Lincolnton, Hickory, Lincoln and Catawba and surrounding counties. He can be reached at 980-241-0189, by email at Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com or through his website. I can help most business professionals to reach their goals, be more profitable and develop higher performance for themselves and their business.