Guest blog post from Frank Swiatek, co-author of “Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?” – Hard-Hitting Lessons on How to Get Real Results. Frank is this month’s featured author in the Verizon Author Series. Frank was a recent webinar guest giving tips to find hidden marketing assets; click here to view it or go to http://www.brighttalk.com/channel/6255.
My marketing approach is to examine your marketing assets that are either underutilized or are underperforming. They cost you money. Many of these assets are right before your very eyes, but you may not see them because you are working in your business (performing tasks, operations, etc.) and not working on your business (determining marketing direction). I call them ‘hidden marketing assets’ because they are present but you are not necessarily focused on them.
My goal is to help you optimize these assets. You can realize dramatic and profitable growth by developing a marketing system that uncovers new found sales from these assets in 30 – 90 days. You don’t have to invest a lot of money or spend more money on advertising. You may, however, re-allocate marketing dollars or you may re-direct marketing efforts to get those sales.
To find your business’ hidden marketing assets you need to conduct an opportunity analysis audit. Please spend some time to respond to each of the following questions below (individually or with your team) to discover overlooked sales opportunities and untapped sales possibilities in your small business:
1. Do you have a laser-like focus on “The Four Fundamentals” every single day?
* Grow revenue
* Get new customers
* Keep the customers you already have
* Eliminate costs
2. What distracts you, every day, from focusing on The Four Fundamentals?
* Do you spend excessive time focusing on external factors over which you have no
control (economy, government, etc.)
* Do you spend excessive time looking for “magic pills” or “silver bullets” to improve
* Are you overrun by text messages and emails to the extent that most of your day is
spent receiving and sending?
3. Do you know your key sales metrics?
* The number of new prospects you touch on a monthly basis?
* The number of prospects you sell on a monthly basis (your conversion rate)?
* The amount of the average sale?
4. Do you have any of these underperforming assets?
* Subpar sales staff?
* Advertising that falls short?
* Low average sale?
* Poor website performance?
5. Do you have any of these underutilized assets?
* Relationships with other businesses that can become profitable alliances?
* A competitive advantage that is not articulated or integrated?
* Prospective, existing and past customers that are lying dormant?
6. Have you ever developed a process map or flow chart of your sales and marketing process to identify what is not working?
7. Did you ever do a promotion, an ad, a direct mail piece, an e-mail campaign that failed? Do you know why it failed?
* Wrong target market?
* Poor message?
* No compelling headline?
* Poor offer?
* Lack of customer benefits?
* Lack of proof, evidence, and testimonials?
* Did you test on a smaller scale before rolling out the full campaign?
8. Can you state specifically why someone should do business with you? Can your competitors say the same thing? Is it a compelling marketing message?
9. Do you have a compelling marketing message that is integrated in all your communications (letterhead, brochures, website, invoices, etc.)?
10. Do you have a database that captures all customer contacts?
* Do you maintain it?
* How many are active names? Inactive names?
* Do you consistently communicate with prospective, current and past customers?
* Do those communications provide valuable information to customers and not just
another attempt to sell them?
* Do you know the lifetime value of your customers?
* Do you have, or can you develop, upsell products/services or back-end
products/services to complement the original sale?
11. Can you develop cross-promotions and alliances with other businesses?
* What is common about your customers?
* What other businesses might appeal to them?
* What other non-competitive business do you know that may have the same type of
* Can you establish a partnership with them to promote each other’s products/services?
12. Are you using local association memberships to boost your image in the community?
13. Do you belong to national associations? Do they provide trends, surveys, etc that you
could use for free local publicity?
14. Do you belong to any networking groups (e.g.BNI) that provide leads to you?
15. Do you let every prospect know that you are a “referral-based” business?
16. Do you know why people stop buying from you?
17. Can you write articles, special reports, or even a book for promotional reasons?
18. Do you only use response-based advertising where you can track and measure results?
19. Are your customer contact employees professionally trained?
20. Have you developed a lead-generating or a sales producing website?
From the above audit questions, identify 3 areas that can provide a jumpstart to your sales:
Remember, exceptional owners and managers take action, make decisions, and get results!
I hope after reviewing these questions you have a better handle on your business and where it statnds. If you go to www.marketing-for-results.com, you will find a quick way to calculate your potential sales growth based on the three key sales metrics.
In addition, you will be able to download a special marketing report entitled, “How to Grow Your Business 10% - 100% in the next 30 – 90 Days!” filled with valuable content on exponentially grow your business. You will see opportunities and possibilities!
So, have you done such an audit recently on your business? What did you learn?
Make it a great day!
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