Three Big Marketing Mistakes that Business Owners Make and How to Fix Them Before You Lose More Money

Starting with tactics and not prospects

If your prospects do not use Facebook then investing in Facebook is a waste of time and money. In order to get the best return on your marketing dollars, you need to know your target market so well that you know which marketing tactics will work best to reach them. So many business owners who are making strategic marketing decisions do not have a clear profile of who their ideal client is and how to best connect with them.

Selecting a tactic without a plan

Just because you have a great ideal client profile and have selected a marketing tactic to reach those prospects doesn’t mean your “campaign” will work without a well thought out plan. You need to think broader and deeper beyond the tactic if you want your marketing to provide you with the best return on your resources. Marketing providers don’t really help you beyond the tactic they sell.

Staying with a tactic without numbers

This is a real problem with most business owners. They have several tactics that they are using and they are getting enough business to keep them busy. The problem is that they really don’t know what is working and what is costing them money. Even if you ask your marketing provider to provide you some results, often the numbers that they provide do not translate into meaningful numbers that relate to your business.

Steps to fix these three mistakes

  1. Create an Ideal Client Profile

Clearly, define who your target market is and then further clarify who is your ideal client. This is not a simple process and has taken even professions some time to figure out.

  1. Create a plan that goes beyond tactics

A real plan for your marketing takes into account how you will build the relationship, how you actually close a sale and how you service your clients. Then you can return to the tactical side of marketing.

  1. Select the right marketing provider

When you have an “Ideal Client Profile” it should tell you how would be some of the best ways for you to connect with them. This will direct you to check out various tactics closely associated with your ideal client. Then you can start to narrow your actual tactical marketing providers.

  1. Determine your numbers

Before you finalize your choice of marketing tactics providers, make sure your provider can provide you with results information that works for you. Are the results you’re getting fit your plans and what you want to accomplish?  If it isn’t then you need to reassess your plan, tactics and marketing provider.

If you would like any help in planning or managing your marketing or to grow your business please call me at Crossroads Consultants, 980-241-0189 or email me, Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com.

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Don’t Blame the Sales Team for Poor Marketing

There is a big difference between marketing and sales. If you confuse these two areas in your business you can be creating problems that you don’t want and might not even know you have.

Marketing involves everything that brings attention to your business, public relations, advertising, promotions, pricing, store layout, and location, etc., up to the point of personal contact.  The sales area is personal. Anytime a prospect or customer has a personal interaction with another person in your business, they have stepped into the sales department. In a broad sense, your installers, technicians, receptionist and customer service personnel all work in the sales department.

I know that Amazon doesn’t have salespeople per se and they still make sales, I get it. But they don’t have a very big sales department. Most of their sales come through their marketing. So an email from the company is marketing. If a personal email comes from a person in the company then we have crossed over into sales, because now you are starting to develop a personal relationship with the prospect and a person in the company.

When the marketing department and the sales department do not work together like a hand and glove you will be inefficient, less effective and it will cost you money. The key is to work together as a team. Sales need to utilize marketing to their advantage and marketing needs to communicate with the sales team what they are trying to do. Any conflict needs to be resolved so that everyone can benefit.

Make sure both departments are accountable for their own goals as well as working together. Be very careful when one department starts to point fingers at the other. Marketing and branding help to build the impression of a company, but the sales team helps to build the relationships and personal customer relationships.

If you want to know more about how to build a sales and marketing team while setting the accountability standards, I would love to have that conversation. Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com

How is A Good Business Consultant Like Your Top Sales Person? — They make you more money than they cost.

A good business consultant is like your top sales person in that they don’t cost you any money, they make you money.

Sales people bring in more money than you pay them or you wouldn’t do it. But your best or top sales person tends to bring more than just income to the company. They also bring repeat business, they develop relationships and they give you feedback on products, quality and what is going on in the marketplace.

What follows isn’t blatant marketing, it is just good advice, and I can prove it.

If your business doesn’t need improvement than the task or opportunities for a Business Consultant are short lived, like a summer camp room inspection when it is done right, it is quick. When a consultant really doesn’t have much to do, as you may think, the cost is low and you get the reassurance that you were right.

A good business consultant will provide you with direction and how to grow your business. They will help you to work ON your business while you work IN your business. They will help you to discover, define and solve problems and not just symptoms.

A good business consultant will help you to build a higher performing work force. By looking at and improve your communications and accountability systems. Improving motivation as well as efficiencies can go a long way to helping morale and performance. And a good business consultant helps you to have a higher performing workforce that will reduce your stress and give you more freedom to choose how to use your time and money.

A good business consultant can help you to better understand the customer experience and how to help your customers to come back time after time. In the process, your customers may also buy more from you and buy more often. Relationships with your customers should be built beyond just with the sales person. A good business consultant can help you to see the world through your customers’ eyes better as a third party.

When a good business consultant who works in any area of marketing or sales will have a definite impact on your sales income. A good business consultant improves your position in the marketplace which brings in better and repeat business.

A good business consultant is not trying to sell you some product like a website or software or training programs. A good business consultant is an independent third party who allows you to see your business differently. Will challenge you to raise the bar just a little more and to achieve more than you thought you could have done before. A good business consultant will help to develop you as a manager/leader as well as your business.

The one thing that a good business consultant does that most sales personnel don’t is to save you money. That is what they do, they look for better efficiencies and effective use of resources so that every dollar they save goes straight to the bottom line.

Think about that management position that you really want to but haven’t filled yet, but wish you could. Maybe someone is doing the job, kind of. You can’t afford to pay an $80,000.00 salary but you really need someone to relieve the pressure from you. Outsource what you need to be done to a good business consultant. Pay them a fraction of what you would normally pay. You get their expertise and help in managing your business. It is like skimming the cream off of the top. You get the best information and support, without paying the high dollar.

So a good business consultant like top sales professionals won’t cost you money, they make you money. Give me a chance to prove it to you! I don’t want to waste your time or mine. Before I take on any client I must be confident and the client must be confident that I can make them or save them money or solve a value problem for them.

If you want and need to see some change take place in your business, call me at Crossroads Consultants 980-241-0189 / Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com

Unlimited Possibilities Limited Resources Require Hard Choices

It isn’t that you are not working hard. It isn’t that you are not smart in your business. But one of the biggest problems in running a business, and I see many in working with business professionals, is that there is a tendency to not focus the limited resources on a select number of opportunities to maximize their potential.

Whether it is time, energy, knowledge, money, technology or any other resource that you have, you must focus those resources effectively to achieve efficiency. Most business professions don’t focus their resources and wonder why they are not getting the results that they expected.

One example of this is marketing. Most business owners “try” some marketing tactic to see if it works. Without focusing that particular tactic with the rest of your marketing AND sales strategies, it will NOT produce the results that are possible. Even if it is considered a success, it will not reach its potential without a proper planned and prepared implementation.

How are you focusing your resources to produce the maximum results possible?


Stan Broesder, MBA is the owner of Crossroads Consultants helping business professionals to become the best at what they do by providing practical solutions to overcoming hidden challenges and reaching solid profitable results and developing management and organizational skills.

Is Your Business Losing Money And You Don’t Even Know It?

Just like people who are sick with a terminal disease and don’t even know it, so also business can be running backwards and not know it. Usually this scenario is blamed on the market, new competition, and poor capitalization of the business and a whole host of other reasons. But the reality is someone is not paying attention to some very important details.

Three losses that you may not even realize your business is experiencing:

  1. If your business is not adjusting the price for different circumstances, you could be losing money. Too many times a sale is discounted when it doesn’t need to be in order to make a sale, it’s just easier for the sales person. Also when an order is expedited, or special orders are agreed to without considering the cost of those changes. The sale itself can cause a business to lose money because those who are agreeing to the sale don’t know or care about the real costs.

 

  1. Some companies are losing money on future sales because of poor quality products or service. As an example, how many restaurants have served you poor quality food or delivered terrible service and you have not been back. This cost doesn’t really show up on the spreadsheets but the cost is real. Instead, many businesses blame the economy or something else.

 

  1. Every business has the same problem of limited resources. It is the nature of business and life. The difference between successful businesses and unsuccessful businesses is how they allocate those resources. The better decisions you make the better the return on that investment. When you pay more for capital than you should, or hire people who are not engaged in your business, or go for a cheaper vendor and therefore quality suffers, you could be making some very costly choices.

 

The point is that there are many ways to lose money and eventually the business that don’t fit on a nice profit and loss statement. You must be looking beyond what is visible to be able to make better decisions. At times getting different perspectives on your business from outside sources is like using a second mirror to see the back of your head like at a barber shop.

Don’t allow an ailing business go very long without a serious check up from a specialist in business, not just someone who specializes in finance, marketing, accounting or one of the other disciplines of business. There are not many who are truly business specialists. Just because someone ran one business well, doesn’t mean they understand the principles of business that are impacting your business.

Stan Broesder, MBA is the owner of Crossroads Consultants and specializes in helping business professionals to improve the skills, strategies and systems needed to increase profitability, reduce stress and grow a business. For information on creating a smooth running, high performance, profitable and growing business email Stan directly at: 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

Business is More About Relationships Than Ever

Business today is so much more about relationships than ever before

I am not saying that all of your customers have to be your best friend, but you need to relate to them.

As an example, on my 24 wedding anniversary I bought flowers for my wife. Does she have a certain kind that she likes? Does she have any color preference? Would she prefer a vase or an open box?

Did my florist ask any questions? No they didn’t. I paid by check. Did they have my address? Yes! Now what do you think was a good possibility happening within say 365 days? Yes, you guessed it, a big thing of flowers. It wasn’t until I stepped into the florist that second time that I realized, they didn’t know who I was or even cared about who I was. I haven’t purchased flowers from them ever since (7 years and counting).

Up until now a small business didn’t have a viable means to capture, retain and then interact with each customer in that way. Now, for a small monthly fee you can have all of that and it is automated as well. Have the customer key in the information, set some parameters and email reminders go out.

Gift suggestions for special occasions as well as obscure occasions can now go out as well. Big companies use “card holder” discounts, now small businesses can also create groups and promote to them as well. The ideas and opportunities are tremendous; all it takes is a little understanding of the concepts and a fun bit of creativity.

Check out our leveraged marketing and see what you can do.



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