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You’ve come up with a concept you think will work. And you’ve done your homework–researched the competition and invested the time and money to be able to do what you say you can. You’re ready to begin offering your product or service to customers.
Building a successful business is hard work, much of which will be devoted to finding customers. Here’s a marketing strategy that should help you to launch your new enterprise or breath new life into an existing concept that’s not as profitable as you think it could be.
Before you can begin advertising, you need to determine who you’re selling to. Who is most likely to buy your product or service? What characteristics do they have in common? What problem do they all have that your product or service solves? Next, where are these people and how can you reach them?
What are the qualities of your product or service? How do these qualities differentiate your product from that of the competition’s?
Identify its features and then translate those features into direct, specific benefits for your consumer. Take the time to actually put into writing these features and benefits as they will be at the heart of your branding efforts and the focus of all your advertising and sales efforts.
Procrastination equals lost sales. That is, if you get a prospect’s attention but are unsuccessful in motivating him to act immediately, then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll never get the sale. You need to strike while the iron is hot, and the best way to do that is to make a time-sensitive offer.
For example, can you give a special discount if the prospect acts by a certain deadline? Can you throw in a bonus or upgrade? A special offer that provides a true benefit gives the buyer a logical reason to buy now.
There’s always a risk on the part of the prospect when it comes to trying a new product or service. Eliminate that risk, and you take away the biggest reason prospects say “no.”
Offer some sort of no-lose guarantee, money back if not satisfied, or free no-obligation consultation. This type of offer shows your total confidence in the quality of your product or service and, while a very minute percentage of people would ever request a refund, the offer itself can help convert a prospect into a customer.
The best product or service is destined to fail unless you find a way to tell people about it. Launch your sales effort with well-written, lead-generating advertising. Most likely you’ll want to begin with a comprehensive website, since all other advertising can refer prospects to that website for more information.
Once you have your website up, promotional opportunities run the gamut from brochures to broadcast commercials, print ads, signage, direct mail, promotional letters, and networking. Since you likely don’t have the budget to try them all, determine which is the most cost-effective way to reach your best prospects. Then, use the information you gathered in items #1-#4 to develop copywriting and promotions that motivate customers to buy from you.
It’s always easier to get more business from your satisfied customers than to find new prospects. Be sure you take care of your customers so they’ll keep coming back. Also, find ways to offer them additional products or services. Finally, look for opportunities to encourage and reward them for new business referrals.