WHY is More Important Than How or What

October 21, 2011

Ever wonder why some people seem to be able to get more done than you?  Or how about the dedication that some people have to their family, business, a charity, cause, or whatever.  It always intrigues me to see someone so passionate about something that they are not only willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals, but they are also getting stuff done at a speed that is just mind-boggling.

The secret to their success can be summed up in this little word:  WHY

Why they are doing whatever “it” is, is what drives them.

Having a PURPOSE makes you purposeful with every move you make.

Understanding what’s on the line, drives you to care about the end result more than the steps that will get you there.

If we take a step back and examine the way most people work and think, you will see a distinct difference.

The average person thinks….  How do I accomplish this? And then they ask the question, What do I do now or next?  But while those questions are good to ask, they often take center stage and overshadow the why.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the [How] and the [What] and actually forget about [Why] altogether.

Ever hear the phrase, “life is a journey not a destination”? or “you have to take time to enjoy the ride”?  While that’s great advice to enjoy the journey, we often get distracted from our destination by all the speed bumps and challenges along the way.

Ever see the movie “Vacation”?  Easily one of my favorite movies of all time.  Clark Griswold was definitely focused on the destination.  Didn’t matter what happened along the way, they were going to Wally World and they were going to have fun whether they liked it or not.  I admire the passion, but it’s not quite the example we are looking for here.  But I bet many of us relate.

The other example I think of is one of my favorite athletes when I was growing up and that’s Michael Jordan.  Most people think they know his story about being cut from the basketball team in high school.  But what most people don’t know about that is why he got cut.  You see, he had the talent to be on the team.  In fact, he had more talent than everyone on the team put together.  The problem was that he didn’t understand WHY he should be on the team.  His coach saw something in him that he hadn’t seen before and knew it was special.  So he made Michael commit to practicing every day with him for a year with no guarantee of getting on the team.  While I don’t have time to explain the whole story, let’s just say he found out WHY during all those practices.  His WHY was a long-term vision of being the greatest player to ever play the game and winning an NBA championship along the way.  Many would agree he is the greatest player in NBA history and he won 6 titles.

So how does this all relate?  Many people go through life like Clark Griswold barreling their way toward something.  The secret to real success is knowing WHY.  You see, while it’s a great movie (and I wouldn’t change a thing…), if you dig deeper you’ll see that Clark really didn’t have any reason why other than getting to the park and having some fun.  What if his [WHY] or [Purpose] for the trip was to create a bond with his family, make heartfelt memories, and make the trip their best summer vacation ever!  You get a different outcome when your WHY is right.  You also enjoy the journey!

To put a little more perspective on this, imagine being so passionate about your WHY that you enjoy the otherwise meaningless daily tasks.  Or better yet, you relish the opportunity to take on each challenge along the way.  Do you think you would do a better job if you enjoyed the challenges?  Do you think it’s easier to do something when you know the impact it will make to the long-term WHY?  You bet it does.

Some questions you can ask yourself to be more effective:

  • Always ask, WHY am I doing this?
  • What’s the purpose of this?
  • What part does this play in my long-term vision, my WHY, life goals, etc?
  • How can I enjoy even the most trivial tasks or challenges?

This is a big can of worms for most people.  So my last bit of advice is don’t got it alone.  Find a coach, mentor, or friend that can help you get perspective.  If need help discovering your WHY, reach out to me at michael@michaellejeune.com.  I’m happy to give you some specific advice for your situation.

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12 Disciplines Of Every Successful Company

October 14, 2011

A common daily question that business owners have is:  What should our company be doing better?  I literally hear this every time I meet a business owner.  Initially, I thought the answer to this question depended on what that business did, or their industry, or maybe several other factors that were unique to that business…  BUT what I’ve found after studying this for several years now is that almost everything you need to do to improve your business will fall into the following 12 Disciplines.  If your company can master these and constantly work on them, you will see tremendous results.

So here are the disciplines and a brief outline of what I’m talking about for each.  More info to come on each of these in the future….

1. Optimizing – Most people are great at starting new things or doing stuff the same way forever.  But to build a truly amazing company, you must have a focus on improving and optimizing what you are doing.  I like to focus on a couple of areas first.  I like to work on current promotions, tracking leads and opportunities, and expenses.  These areas can have a fast impact and boost your bottom line quickly.

2. Team Building – If you want a strong company that operates with or without you, you need a team.  The foundation of the team is your leadership team.  The core of your leadership team is built on communication, mindset and beliefs.  Your building blocks for making it all work together are your Vision, Culture, Integrity, Accountability, and Systems.

3. Sales Process – Map it out from first impression to a closed sale.  Use a CRM!  This is a nonnegotiable.

4. Sales Scripts – What do you say and when do you say it in the process?  What phrases work and which ones cause problems during a sale?  Know this stuff and teach it to EVERYONE on your team!

5. Overcoming Objections – Start by making a list of common objections.  Address common objections during the sales process to minimize them at the end.  Position all your interactions with the prospects so they expect the sale…

6. Customer Service – How do you treat your customers?  Do you survey them?  Do you have standard response times?  How about WOW factors?  What information do you gather about your clients so you can impress them?

7. Knowing Your Ideal Client – Know who you like to work with and who you don’t.  Know who’s a good fit for your company and when you are forcing a round peg into a square hole just for a dollar.  Have a set of criteria that you use to accept a client.

8. Telling Your Story – What makes your company special?  What problems does your company address for the industry.  What makes your product/service better than the rest?  What are the real intangible benefits to working with you?

9. Perfecting Your Follow Up To Current Customers – The first sale is only the beginning of the relationship.  How can you keep your customers coming back over and over again?

10. Hiring – A bad hire will cost you as much as 60K.  Learn how to find, recruit, screen, and train good talent.  It will change your business from the inside out.  Very powerful.

11. Strategy – This is the long-term piece of your planning.  Thinking and planning 5 years or more out, creating a roadmap, milestones, and targets.  Involves thinking about what you want to accomplish and working your way backwards to the present day.  Also includes thinking of ways to accomplish more with each move you make.

12. 90 Day Planning – The strategy is great, but if you don’t get out the business every 90 days and clear your mind, review where you are, and get down in the details, you are going to be in trouble.  This is a key part of growing and maintaining an amazing business.

Want to know more about these 12 disciplines?  Want to Master them?  I have a 6 month training series coming up on this soon.  Email me  michael@michaellejeune.com and set you up with all info…


Mike’s Top 10 Ways to Grow Any Business

October 5, 2011

I get asked all the time about how to quickly and easily grow a company.  My short answer is that there are NO silver bullets!  It doesn’t matter what business you are in, there’s no single way to jump your sales overnight.  And there’s really no way at all to do it effortlessly.

That said, if you want tried and true ways to grow literally any business on planet, read on…

Here’s a list of my personal 10 favorites that work in literally every situation I’ve ever been in.  And by the way, that ranges from advanced business solutions to manure farmer (Yes, I’ve actually coached a manure farmer).  I’ve used this in all situations and they flat-out work!

Mike’s top 10 ways to grow any company

  1. Reach out to past leads that didn’t close and see if they are now ready to buy. – Most sales are lost for lack of follow-up.
  2. Reach out to current customers and see if they could use an upgrade or cross sell them into another product or service.  What if every one of your customers purchased just 10% more from you?
  3. Ask everyone, past clients, current clients, people who don’t close in a demo; for a REFERRAL!  People will give you referrals if you ask.  Even if it doesn’t work more than 10 or 20% of the time, that’s better than 0% which is what I bet most of you reading this are getting right now.
  4. Increase your prices.  If you are worth it, charge more.  Cheap = you get what you pay for.
  5. Review your promotions and discounts to find ways of adding value instead of just giving discounts.  I recently reduced the cost of a promotion for a client from $15 to $9 (a savings of $6 per sale).  We reduced the plain cash discount to $5 cash off and a product that cost him $4 but had a perceived value of $10 (still a $15 value to the customer).  Doesn’t sound like much until you hear that he sells 200 of these deals per month.  That equals 200 sales times $6 or $1,200 per month/$14,400 per year.
  6. Review your marketing to see what’s working and what isn’t.  Cut what isn’t working and redirect those funds to what is.
  7. Pick up the phone and call all your customers just to see how they are doing.  You will be amazed at how many will refer business or let you in on a need they have (that you can help with) if you just communicate with them regularly.
  8. Invest 1 hour a week honing your sales skills, presentation/demo, etc.  Get better at closing!
  9. Implement a multi-touch sales and marketing system so that every lead gets “touched” a minimum of 20 times before you give up on it.
  10. Be authentic! – It’s not enough to be funny, cute, or original.  People want to see how real you are.  Show a real side to who you are and what your company is about and more people will buy.
Bonus 11th and 12th Tips…
11. Implement KPI’s in each key area of your business.  Tracking is actually a strategy that will improve your performance.  This one is highly underestimated.
12.  Implement a CRM into your sales process.  There’s no excuse here.  Zoho.com has an amazing free system, Salesforce.com is superb.  This step will increase your sales departments effectiveness by 40% or more.

For more strategies and tips on how to grow your business, email me at michael@michaellejeune.com

Have an interesting tip or strategy you want to share?  Send them in.  I’d love to share with the world!


Failure doesn’t mean you stop trying

October 2, 2011

There’s one horrible trend that I see in a lot of entrepreneurs and it’s simply that they quit very easily.  This is especially true when it comes to marketing, hiring, and their sales process.  Now I know what you are thinking…  Most entrepreneurs you know are the kind of people who never quit.  They never give up and they will fight to the death to make their business succeed.  While that it is true on the surface, this article will dig a little deeper into this epidemic.

This all starts from a recent conversation I had with a lawyer client of mine.  I asked him about what marketing had worked in the past and his answer was, “nothing”.  Seriously???  So I dug deeper and asked how he got his past clients.  The answer, “I did some networking, some post card mailers, and a couple of ads in the paper”.  So as I was scratching my head with confusion, I asked this, “So if nothing worked for you, how did you get those clients?”  His response, “well it worked once, but it hasn’t worked since”.  My response was simple, “so how many times do you think you’ve tried it that it didn’t work?”  The answer was kind of funny [to me, not to him].  His answer, “at least once or twice”.  Wow…  So I guess that’s a good reason to stop trying.

Follow my train of thought here.  You may not remember when you learned to walk, but I’m guessing you tried it more than once and I’m guess you failed several times along the way right?  What if you had just stopped trying to learn to walk the first or second time you fell?  You’d be in a wheelchair right now!  What about this major milestone in every person’s life, learning to successfully use the toilet.  Did you get that right the first time?  What about the second or third time?  Probably not.  It probably took weeks if not months of trying to get it right.  Imagine your life without learning this little skill…  I don’t care how smart you are, how talented in sports you are, or how charismatic you are, if you are 30 and still going in a diaper [because you are lazy and don’t want to learn to do it right] no one is going to hang out with you!  And that’s a fact.

One of the sad facts here is that learning to walk and going potty are probably the last times in your life where you were encouraged to keep trying NO MATTER HOW MANY MISTAKES YOU MADE!  Am I right?  Maybe riding a bike ranks in there with these, but then it stops there.  What if your networking skills stink the first dozen times you try it?  What do you think is going to happen?  Someone is going to come along and give you this pearl of wisdom, “why don’t you try something else?”  And of course that will make sense because networking is hard for many people and your brain goes into protection mode and says, “look, this yahoo said you should try something else.  That sure would make you happy.  Let’s just quit?”

Sometimes we just need to smack ourselves for listening to that little voice in our brain that is trying to hold us back.  It reminds me of the cartoons when I was a kid.  You know, the one where Sylvester the cat has the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.  That voice in your head is the devil saying to take it easy.

Back to my Lawyer client….

So I asked him this, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how good do you think you are at networking, marketing, etc.?”  His answer was a 2.  So I fired back with this, “Do you think if we worked on those skills and got you to a 5 or 6 out of 10 that you would be successful using those strategies to get customers.”  He answered with a resounding, Y-E-S!  So here’s the magic follow-up question, “How long do you suppose that it’s going to take to get from a 2 to a 6?”  He thought about it for a minute and said, “At least 6 months.  Maybe more.  Just depends on how fast I catch on.”  That was a brilliant answer.  You see, you can’t possibly the know the answer.  It depends on many factors like how fast you learn, what learning style works best for you, if you are an intellectual or if you are more hands on, how much knowledge you already have in this area, and your mindset or beliefs around the skill.  Another question I asked was, “if it will take you 6 months to get to a 6 out of 10, how long do you think it will take you to fully MASTER this and be a 10 out of 10?”  He thought for a minute and said, “probably a couple years.”  Again, right on the money…  A couple of studies I’ve read say it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to MASTER something. Which would take you just under 5 years if you practiced 40 hours a week.

I had one final question for my client…  “Are you committed to just 6 months to learn this or however long it takes?”  You see you have to be committed to however long it takes.  In his case, he said he was committed to eventually being a master at it.

Simply knowing what you are getting into at the beginning is an important step in maturity, but also success.  You see if you know going in that there will be mistakes, but that each one is a milestone that gets you one step closer to success, you treat the mistakes much differently.   When inventing the light bulb Ben Franklin made over 1,000 failed attempts.  His famous quote was, “I now know 1,000 ways it won’t work and just need to find one way to make it work.”  Are you willing to fail 1,000 times to get to success?

Let me leave you with this final point.  Each time you try, you INCREASE your percentages that your next attempt WILL WORK!  This not only applies in marketing and that sort of thing, but in prospecting as well.  I tell all my clients that you have to keep making calls, sending emails, and direct mail to your list at a minimum, 20 times.  Anything less and you’ve wasted all your efforts.  Yes, some will take action right away, but most people need you to keep reminding them about your business until they buy.  My famous line is, “I’m going to keep after them until they are a client or they get a restraining order.”  My clients and I always have a chuckle at that, because I would never cross a line that would cause something like that, but the point is real.  I keep after and just don’t give up.  As a result, I need much fewer prospects than the average person because over time I close 6 times as many.

Got a story of how your persistence paid off in learning something?  Please share it…


Your Net Has a Hole – A Story About How To Optimize Your Business For the Holidays

September 24, 2011

Did you know that for some businesses, the holiday season is where they generate 60 to 75% of their income for the year as well as 50% or more of their new customers?  I was a little shocked at first when I learned this, but when you think about it, it’s very accurate.  The main holiday season in the United States is about to kick off and will run right into the first week of January.  After that, business usually slows down for many industries right through spring time.

In a traditional business model, most people are gearing up for the holiday season and looking at ways to make it better than last year.  But let me challenge you with this.  How many of you are looking past the holiday season and how you can make the hard winter months of January, February, and March more successful?  I’ll bet the answer is very few.

If I could show you a way to make your slowest months of the year better, would you take me up on the advice?  What if that advice could set you up to generate 20 to 50% more sales in those months?  Would you listen then?  What if I told you that some people will double or triple their business in those months next year if they continue to take this advice year after year?  Do I have your attention now?

I want you to imagine something for a minute.  Imagine you are fisherman and you are using a net to catch fish.  Your whole livelihood depends on you catching as much fish as you can, selling some at market, and feeding your family with your catch.  Now imagine that your net has a TON of holes in it.  Some big holes, some little holes, but just a ton of holes in it.  Now remember, this net is how you catch your fish and your whole world is depending you catching fish.  Before you take off to sea for your fishing trip, wouldn’t mend the net and fix all the holes?  I know I would.

This is a problem that most business owners have.  Their net is full of holes.  Some big, some small.  The problem is that most people don’t even know there’s a problem.  I’m here today to tell you, THERE’S A PROBLEM!

Here’s the problem…  You are thinking short-term sale instead of lifetime value.  You see, in the winter months people are thinking how they can close each sale and how if they just do a good job that will bring the customers back.  WRONG!  It will bring some back, but let’s get real for a minute, how many people come back over and over again.  If you are really honest, very few unless you have a system in place to bring them back time and time again.

So without any more delay, here’s how you should be thinking.  Yes, the short-term sale is great, but what can I do at the point of purchase to (1.) Position the client to come back soon and (2.) Get them to tell their friends.  After all, the power of the referral is something you really want.

So let’s take a retail jewelry store for example.  If someone comes in your store and places a custom order for a piece, how do you normally handle this?  You make a sale and then tell them you will call them when it’s in.  If you are good at what you do, you send them a thank you card.  But MOST people don’t even do that.  When the piece is in, you call them, they come check it out, pay the rest of the fee and then they are off and possibly out of your life.

If you are superstar, this is what you WOULD do.  Someone comes into your store and while they are making a purchase, you strike up a conversation about them, their family, and eventually get into other pieces they would like to have some day.  You even help them build a wish list with their 2 or 3 favorite items on it.  You ask about birthdays, anniversaries, kids, etc and if there’s a significant other, you get their details so you can “remind” them of those special occasions.  When you are wrapping up the sale, you give your new client a simple postcard that asks them to rate their experience on yahoo or google under your business profile [note to self, make sure you have a business profile on both] and that their review will entitle them to a free cleaning/or other service if they bring the card back with a date of the review on it.   [Please note that this is just the beginning  J]

Next, you do send a thank you card.  Make sure it is hand written, in your authentic style, says more than “thank you”, and DOES NOT promote your business [i.e. and here’s a gift certificate for xyz].  [By the way, you can pick up boxes of these for pennies at discount stores, close out sales, and end of season clearance – requires you to think ahead…  See the theme here?]

Here’s a cool step.  When their piece comes in, call them and tell them you can show it to them online in an interactive fashion.  Tell them you do this for your customers so they don’t have to fight the traffic and the mall/parking lots, etc and view this in the comfort of their home.  Build up the benefits of this and how cool it is and customers will love it!  At the end of the online presentation ask them if they would do you a favor.  You can do it like this.  “So what do you think about using the internet to see your piece?”  Most will say that it was awesome.  Your next question should then be, “It would mean the world to us if you would share this experience with your friends.  Would you help us out by spreading the word?”  Again most would say, “sure”.    You say great, and then ask them to “like” your Facebook page and put a quick comment about the online presentation.  [Note to self, Facebook isn’t a joke and I need to create a page immediately…]

But it doesn’t stop here.  This is just where the relationship starts.  From here you can start a whole plethora of contacts and touches about their wish list, new pieces in your store, and even interacting with them and their friends via Facebook.  But that’s a story for another day…

To wrap this up, let’s bullet point what we accomplished here for our new client by thinking ahead.

  • We learned about them, their family, what they like, and key dates
  • We thanked them for their business in a super nice way
  • We made an impression on them that we are unique
  • We introduced them to a time-saving way to interact with you through the internet
  • We got them to rate our website via google or yahoo
  • We got them to like our Facebook page
  • We got them to tell their friends about us
  • We set ourselves up to speak to them again and again

If you want more cool ideas for your business, you can email me directly at michael@michaellejeune.com

I also want to hear your success stories from using these ideas.  Please send them so I can share them with the world!


How to Get 10 times the impact out of every marketing dollar you spend

July 19, 2011

Want 10 times more impact from every marketing dollar you spend?  If so, check out these 9 key factors that will allow you to maximize your marketing budget and dominate your competition….  These 9 keys are ideally meant to work together, but you can start with just one and add the other in later.

1.       Is my marketing aligned with the strategic objectives of the company?

First off, if your company doesn’t have strategic objectives, you are in trouble!  Worse than that, if your marketing isn’t aligned with where you want to go as a company, you are just wasting your marketing dollars.

The first key here is establishing clear objectives for the company.  Get this done at the beginning of each year.   But just get it done.  Your next question may be, so what’s a strategic objective look like?  If so, here are a few for an ink and toner remanufacture business:  We want to capture 50% of the market share of small businesses in our company who buy ink and toner.  We also want to position our company as locally owned and operated experts in our market.  We also want to educate our clients on the environmental impacts of not using a service like ours.  We want to increase our revenues 25% over last year.

Those are just a few strategic objectives for that business.  I suggest between 10 and 12 per business per year.  But understand the impact of having this on your marketing.  Once you understand what you want to accomplish, you can then build your marketing campaigns around those objectives.  This puts your marketing and your business in harmony and allows you to be more effective.

2.       Do I communicate the SAME clear message through my:  Marketing, Business, Customer Service, Website, and Staff?

This one is pretty simple.  Do you have the same message being broadcast in all the areas of the business?  The odds are that every area of the business and even each marketing piece are all selling something different.  One of the most important keys of marketing is having a clear message.

For example, if you are Jewelry Store and you want to sell diamond rings, your direct mail needs to focus in on diamond rings.  Your website should educate buyers on the value and how to properly select diamond rings.  Your website should mention the direct mail ad directly or indirectly and connect with that message.  Your staff should talk about diamond rings with everyone they meet and your business should have strategic objectives around how you will sell more diamond rings.  One more, your customer service team should be TRAINED on handling diamond rings, cleaning them, and educating the customer in even greater detail on the great purchase they made.

3.       Do I engage my customers the way they want to be engaged?

This is where most businesses completely veer off track.  If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this.  Just because you can put a cheap ad in the paper or hit 10,000 houses for dirt cheap with direct mail — doesn’t mean you should!  You have to understand HOW your buyers want to be communicated with and then engage them PRIMARILY in that way.  The secondary way/s are also very important and I cover that in my next point.

So how do you know the best way to engage your clients?  The first thing you can do is poll your current clients.  Ask them how they like to be communicated with.  And start with your best or top 20% of customers first.  These are your ideal clients and the ones you want the more of.  So talk to them and find out what works best for them.  The next thing is to study your ideal client by making a list of their characteristics.  Then you move on to practical things like testing your theories.  It sounds much more complicated than it is. 

My main point here is that if you want to be successful in business, you will find out HOW your customers want to be engaged and then you will do it!  Because I can guarantee you one thing… If you choose NOT to engage your buyers the want they want, they will find another business that is WILLING to engage and communicate with them they way they prefer.  In this global economy, even the local jeweler isn’t the only game in town.  People are one google search away from 20,000 businesses who do what you do and one of them is bound to do what they ask.  It might as well be you. J

 My Top 6 ways to engage clients:

  • Through an ACTIVE referral program
  • By Phone
  • Webinar
  • Direct mail
  • Website
  • Social media

 4.       Do I engage my customers using 5 or more methods with my message?

This is what I call a complete marketing strategy.  It’s when you send a piece of direct mail that has a link to your website, facebook, twitter, and blog on it.  The customer then goes to any one of those online places and finds out that you have some great educational pieces they can download after they enter in their contact details.  They can also email you or signup for a webinar with you.  If this person gets your same direct mail piece and chooses NOT to go to your site but rather search for your product or service, you have done some SEO work as well PPC and you SHOW UP in the search research!

The takeaway from this section is that you need to use multiple methods to reach your customers with the same message.  Mix it up and have them all touting the same message.

5.       Do I educate my clients with my marketing?

Doing what I do its inevitable that I wind up reviewing countless marketing pieces each month.  And the there is one they all seem to have in common.  They talk about all the reasons they think you should buy from them.  As an FYI – that only works for the people who already know they want your product and are just shopping for the best supplier.  Which winds up being about 1 to 2% of the population.  So that means for every 100 direct mail letters you mail out, you will AT BEST only appeal to 1 or 2 people.  Starting to understand the conversion rate of direct mail?  Makes sense doesn’t it?

So let’s look at the education based marketing approach.  Education marketing is designed with 2 things in mind.  The first is obvious.  It’s designed to educate the market.  But the second thing that isn’t as obvious is that this marketing method is designed to interrupt the daily  patterns of your buyer and build a case for why they should consider getting this education.  In short, it’s designed to get your first sale…  Which is getting them to read your material, attend a webinar, download your free report or take a free consultation.  Whatever it is that you are going to use to educate them.

Here’s an example of a plumber that I worked with.  His original marketing was to restaurants and his pitch was of course about him.  So every 100 calls got him 1 or 2 appointments.  We changed up the phone pitch and it went something like this, “Did you know that are 7 key problems in every restaurant that cause 87% of your downtime?  Do you think it would be helpful for one of my engineers (not plumbers – engineers sounds really professional) to drop by this week and do a walk through your kitchen with you and educate you on these 7 areas and how to avoid any downtime?  Much better than, “hi, I’m Joe at ABC plumbing and I think you should use us for your next job”.  CLICK…  DIAL TONE….  REPEAT 99 more times to get an appointment…  OR my education based marketing approach where you get 3 appointments for every 8 to 10 calls.  Your choice…

6.       Do I have a system in place to follow up with prospects, current clients, and past clients?

I’ll keep this brief.  If you don’t plan on doing any follow up, just quit your marketing all together.  You’re wasting time and money.  You can read more on this in my article on why your marketing sucks by clicking here:  https://michaellejeune.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-single-biggest-reason-your-marketing-sucks/

7.       Does our marketing include more than 16 touches?

This piggybacks a bit on number 6, but since it’s about follow up…. So it’s worth repeating. J    Understand that most buyers don’t even recognize your marketing or brand until they have seen it at least 6 to 10 times.  Some surveys say it takes as many as 20 touches.  It just depends on how bad you want the client and how creative you can be.  I’ll give you a personal example.  It’s taken me nearly 7 years of emails, phone calls, and letters to multiple departments and many staff at Tony Robbins to finally get through and get myself aligned with that organization.  But I did it!  And I’m only 1 of about 60 people in the world vetted and trained to work with their business clients now.  That’s huge personal accomplishment for me to be in that type of elite group of coaches and consultants.  But most people would have stopped after an email or two.  How bad do you want your dream clients?

Remember this, anything less than 10 touches (emails, direct mail, phone calls, letters, etc) and you have wasted all the rapport, time, money, branding, and effort that you have put into your marketing.

Think about it this way.  With each additional touch you add to a campaign, you significantly INCREASE your chances of getting that client. 

8.       Do I track and analyze my marketing campaigns?

This one is pretty basic, but most people don’t measure anything.  By simply measuring how many letters you send out, what the response is, and what the revenues are, you can better run the business.  This makes your marketing predictable and affordable because you know the results it produces.  It also lets you know what works and what doesn’t.  It sure beats doing marketing and guessing about its effectiveness. 

 9.       Do I make it Super Easy to buy?  This is HUGE!

This sort of goes along with all the others a bit.  You have to understand that if you sell a product that people want to buy at 2 am while surfing the web in their underwear, you better have a way for them to do that!  After all, the customer is in control these days.  And again, remember that if you don’t allow the customer to buy at 2 am because your store requires them to call during your hours, there’s another guy somewhere in the world selling the same widget who has a customer service rep online at 2 am (maybe even working from home in their underwear).

The point is, if your customers want to buy online – Sell online.

If your customers want to get on a webcam with you and see the details of your product before placing a big order – Have a way to do that.

If your customers want to pay via credit card – you better accept them all.


The Single Biggest Reason Your Marketing Sucks!

July 19, 2011

Simply put… Your lack of follow up!

You may think you follow up enough, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t!  How do I know this?  Because I have YET to meet a single business owner, sales person, or marketing “expert” that follows up enough.

But because you may still be skeptical, I’ll put my theory to the test.

How many times on average do you follow up on a lead that doesn’t call you back before you quit?

The AVERAGE answer is 2 to 3 times.

The BEST answer….  As many times as it takes to reach them or until they get a restraining order…  That may sound extreme, but is it really?

The SECOND best answer is 20 times.  Want to see your conversion rates quadruple?  Follow up like you’re getting paid to do it.  Wait a minute…  You are getting paid to do it!  So follow up!

Here’s just a few more reasons why should follow up more:

  • Leads are expensive and follow up will increase your conversion rates and reduce your marketing costs
  • Your product or service is NOT the center of the universe for your prospects.  So even if they ARE interested they have other things going on in their life that are more important.  You have to consistently and repeatedly get in front of them
  • It takes a prospect 12 to 18 times of hearing your name, seeing your emails, listening to your voicemails to even recognize your brand.  So anything below 12 marketing touches is a complete waste of time and money unless you are just plain lucky.

One more quick test for my theory.  Suppose you get a hold of the person and they are not interested.  Do you follow up?

The AVERAGE answer is no.

The BEST answer is YES.  And not only do you follow up, you build a case over time with valuable data of why they should be interested.  You find out what their objections are and you probe for valuable data that you can use to fine tune your sales process and be a closing MACHINE.  No wait, you don’t do that.  Your answer was no…you don’t follow up….

Getting the picture of why your marketing probably sucks?

….Here’s the good news….

If your company is currently in this position and you are still surviving, a few simple changes to your follow up and you could be THRIVING!

Here’s just 2 things that I would implement right away.

  1. Create a 20 week campaign minimum that includes email, phone calls, and direct mail follow up
  2. Shorten your pieces.  A big mistake people make is trying to tell a prospect 100 facts about their product in the very first touch in hopes that all that data will get a sale.  The problem with this is that you overwhelm the client and you don’t leave anything of value to share with them after the first contact.  Leave them wanting more…