Does Your Marketing Speak to Your Clients?

The basis for the successful application of proven marketing strategies is personal relationships. Regardless of the medium you're using to deliver your marketing message, what your message is or what kind of volume you're dealing with, you must keep one thing in mind. You're speaking to one person and only one person at a time when you send out your message. In all of your marketing, you are always speaking one-on-one with each of your prospective clients.

Think about this: when you read an ad, sales letter, or magazine advertisement, who's reading it? Who decides whether it's relevant to you? When you receive a postcard announcing the newest release of your favorite product or latest real estate listing, who is it addressed to?

That's right, the answers are you, you and you! Unless you have multiple personality disorder, that marketing piece is speaking directly to only one person. You.

Your Ultimate Marketing Goal: Building rapport and creating relationships. Only when you've accomplished this goal will you have the on-going size of business you desire.

The number one focus of any marketing strategy you engage in should be building long-term relationships with your prospects and clients.

Why? Because once these relationships are sufficiently nurtured, you can ethically build on them by providing your clients with many other beneficial products/services that solve their problems and fill a need. It also allows for them to say yes when the timing is truly right for them.

The fact is: if you really are providing your current clients a truly valuable product or service that improves their life in a measurable way, you are actually doing them (and any prospects in the same target audience) a great disservice by not giving them every opportunity possible to enter into a mutually beneficial business relationship with you.

When your marketing is always focused on building long-term relationships (instead of generating immediate sales like many businesses mistakenly do) you're building what's called a "relationship marketing funnel." It's the funnel that will channel an on-going stream of new and repeat sales into your business, along with organically self-replicating profits. Be sure to take care of some critical prerequisites before beginning to build your funnel:

1. You must know specifically what your clients' wants/needs are, and you must have a proven product or service that provides a solution to current challenges that exist for your clients. (There are not really any right or wrong ways to gather this information. But in my coaching with business owners around the country, there are just a dozen or so highly effective methods. However you choose to gather this critical data, be sure it is a maximum leveraging of your time, money and energy.)

2. Once you know exactly what your clients' needs are, you must focus exclusively on those needs (not your own). That means planning your approach... and then working that plan without any unjustified variance. This is where Strategic Partnerships can come in (more about that soon).

3. You must service your clients way beyond what any of your competitors are currently providing. "Satisfaction" in today's marketplace is not enough. You and your team must always be seeking to convert every client into a raving fan!

Now these may seem like simple principles to implement, but you would be amazed at how many business owners cannot accurately fulfill these prerequisites. Many business owners may "think" they know what their target market wants, how the people in that market want to be communicated with and what their true needs are. More often than not their assumptions are way off base. They have never done the research or planning necessary to find and take action on the requirements, and so their marketing efforts fall flat.

Bottom line: most business owners assume they know what their clients want and/or need. If you are willing to address these three fundamental prerequisites, and before you begin building your funnel, I can assure you that you'll experience the same growth my coaching clients do. You'll also be more profitable than you've ever dreamed possible.

Advanced principles of effective marketing communication:

Once you've fulfilled these three prerequisites, you'll be ready to start building your funnel by compiling messages that speak directly to your target audience. Truly effective messages that focus on the specific needs of the people in your niche market or target industry. Messages that speak directly to the diverse behavioral styles, motivational values, and learning modalities of each individual in that group.

You see, while it's true that each of us are as unique as a fingerprint - there are some observable similarities between human beings that you can leverage to accelerate the development of your funnel and the resulting growth in your business. Here are fourteen distinctions that should be considered when composing any marketing message. People fall into:

*Four main behavioral styles: Driver, Influencer, Steady and Compliant. *Six main motivational styles: Utilitarian, Theoretical, Individualistic, Social, Traditional and Aesthetic. *Four main learning modalities: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Digital.

In an article this brief, its not possible to go into full detail on these distinctions. However, I can tell you this: if your marketing only speaks from your style of communication, it's like trying to get home with three nearly flat tires on your car.

If you do make it, it's going to take you a lot longer than it has to, and certainly longer than you'd like it to! On the other hand, if you take the time to ensure that a part of every message in your marketing speaks in some small part to people of different communication styles - it'll be just like bolting a supercharger on your marketing engine.

The bottom line is, the more directly you can speak to the needs of your target market, and the more accurately you can communicate with each person within that niche in their own individual communication style -- the more effective your marketing will be.

Remember, when using the funnel, you're always building relationships with individuals, not with a group. Get started by taking action on the prerequisites I mentioned above. Then, when you're ready to make some serious improvements in the results your funnel generates, learn how to integrate the advanced distinctions into your marketing messages.

There are advanced courses you can take for this, or you can try it on your own. But either way you'll find effective communication can be more profitable than you've ever imagined.

W is for Win (at the Game of Business)

To win any game, you must know the rules. Then, you must play by those rules all while improving your skill-set and performance within those boundaries. This is true for every game, sports or otherwise, we play. In fact, rules are in effect even if we don't know them - and the consequences can be swift and harsh if we break them.

Not so true in the "game" of business.

Business is the only game in life where YOU can set the rules. You can structure your business to fulfill your dreams, goals and outcomes. As a matter of fact, if you structure your business based on other people's rules, you're guaranteed to fall short of your potential (on the low end) and fail (worst-case scenario). Why? Because other people have set the rules to based on their strengths, not yours.

Success in business begins with deciding the game you want to play, and how you want to play it. Personal fulfillment starts with consciously deciding things like what positions you'll personally fill on your business team, and what you'll outsource.

Try "I'll do it my way."

Too many business folks mistakenly believe "it has always been done this way" is the best way to run their businesses. That type of approach will only get you the same results the other guy is getting (and how's he doing anyway? Average? Below average?). Surely that's not even close to what you're wanting to achieve!

I see this mindset in every industry. Look at what the majority of other business owners are doing in your industry, and listen to how much they complain or blame things on outside influences (like "the economy"). The solution would be to put a new set of rules in place and re-engineer how they run their business, starting with what would work best for them, in that moment, based on their vision!

How different are your competitors from each other? My bet is there is no more than a 10% to 20% difference across the board. This leaves success a wide-open proposition for you, if you seize the opportunity.

How different are you from your competitors? Are you offering essentially the same services/products to the same market and experiencing the same financial rewards and constraints?

If you don't like your answers to these questions, then now's time to make a change. The first shift you need to make is in your mind. Winning in the game of business and playing by your own rules takes a comprehensive strategy.

Start here by setting your own rules by answering three simple questions:

1. What could you and your company provide (products/services/benefits) that your competitors do not, cannot do, or would not to do, even if they thought of it first?

2. What is considered "impossible" by the majority of people in your industry? How could you provide that service/product/solution IF it were really not impossible? If it were possible, and you did it, how could you change your industry and set yourself head-and-shoulders above the rest?

3. What are clients and consumers regularly complaining about in your industry? How can you provide solutions to their complaints?

Have you considered that perhaps your competitors are talking about how "impossible" something is to implement because they don't want you to create the solution, and therefore take away their market share? They are stuck in what's always been, which quite frankly is fantastic for you!

Take your answers to these three starter questions and begin to mold your operational systems, marketing, and pricing structure around the answers you come up with. You can boost your profits and your personal fulfillment at the same time, starting by setting the rules of your own game.

When you set your own rules in this manner, you will take a commanding lead in your industry, niche, or profession. You'll be setting the rules around what consumers want instead of what companies in your industry find to be "the norm." Remember this: when you help enough other people get what they want, you'll get more of what you want!

If you want to win big in business and in life, stop playing your game by other people's rules. Set your own rules to generate the profits and create the lifestyle you want!

Are You Committing Mental Malpractice?


Got attitude? Negative or positive? Yes, I'm talking about what's going on inside of your mind! I know I come back to attitude again and again, the reason is because I truly believe that the most competent, talented person will f-a-i-l without a fantastic attitude.

Mental malpractice is what the majority of people walking this planet are doing: not making a positive attitude mandatory and therefore living out the unfavorable results of their thoughts. If you don't have a fantastic attitude you simply won't have a fantastic life. That, my friend, is mental malpractice in the highest order.

What you may have realized is your attitude determined your success, and yet not taken ownership (yet) of the fact that your attitude is determined solely by you! When asked what determined their attitude, many will cite, "my family," "my circumstances," or worse, "the weather."

The consequences of negative attitude are often harsh, yet always fair and accurate. When we focus on the negative, our ability to be creative is lost. Our immune systems are compromised. It drains energy. Causes stress. Increases worry. Prolongs painful situations. Affects our ability to listen - and communicate. Need I say more?

In truth, every situation is an opportunity for growth and learning. You are the master, not the victim, of your present circumstances. Want to change what's next in your life, career, relationship? Become like a third-grader again. Put on your "positive expectation hat" and imagine of what it would look like if you had a pot full of fairy dust and a magic wand. Follow these steps to create your new and improved attitude (and stop committing mental malpractice for good!):

1. Develop a "no whining" policy. Once you've determined where you are (your "point A") focus on the strategies and solutions for getting to your end result. Stay "in solution" by focusing on how you can make it happen, versus why it may not happen, until you get your desired result.

2. Post your goals and review them at least twice a day. Use the power of your subconscious mind to effortlessly draw your desired results to you. Close your eyes and visualize your goals as if they have already been achieved. Get associated with how you will feel once you are working with those new clients or driving that new car.

3. Be grateful. Spend a few moments each day giving thanks for everyone and everything in your life that you are thankful for - when you connect with gratitude, the fear simply goes away. Adopt the belief that "every day above ground is a great day." Its true - if you're reading this, then you're still here. There's still hope and possibility for you to have, do, be and create anything and everything you truly want.

End your mental malpractice today! It all starts with a great positive attitude. Go for it!

F is for (Happy) Father's (Day)

Happy Father's Day, Byron! You're the best bonus dad Lexi and I could have ever asked for, if we knew everything to ask for ... you're all of that and so much more. We're lucky to have you and we love you very much.

R is for Read

Spending time to put thoughts, ideas and information into your mind leads to lots of good: good thoughts, good ideas and having good information. If you find yourself needing something great to read, here are two lists of my top picks:

My favorite 2010 reads so far:
Linchpin by Seth Godin
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Oh Shift! by Jennifer Powers
Sway! The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori & Rom Brafman
Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty by Harvey Mackay

When you finish those, read these (as often as possible):
Go for No! by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

With the iPad and Kindle, you can have all of these books at your fingertips. Happy Reading!