A hunter, in providing for his family, would not have pointed his arrow in the general direction of the woods and fired off an arrow in the hope that something might run into it. He would, with clear intent, have focused on a specific target, taken aim and fired. Before we get to the 12 Strategies, I must tell you about something my partner, Pam cut out of a magazine ages ago and during a recent spring clean (in Autumn), it reappeared. It was written by Uri Geller, of ‘bend the spoon’ fame and what he said is:
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life and what you make of it is really up to you. Your life is exactly what your thoughts make of it. Nothing more, nothing less.” This philosophy has been proven over and over. If you believe yourself to be poor and miserable, you will be. However if you wake up in the morning and tell yourself you feel wonderful and are looking forward to the day ahead, what a difference it will make!
The metaphysicians tell us that thoughts are a force and an energy and we tend to attract what we think about. Weak and scattered thoughts are weak and scattered forces. Of course, the flip side of that is that strong and focused thoughts are also strong and focused forces. Like attracts like. What a powerful concept. I am convinced that if you make it a habit, the last thing at night before you sleep, to vividly imagine yourself handling any situation, tricky or otherwise, solving problems effortlessly, then this is exactly what will happen. It makes so much more sense to focus on the outcome you do want … even when the situation seems overwhelming.
At any chosen moment, Uri Geller says, we can take charge of our destiny, simply by figuring out what it is exactly, that we do want, visualising that as already being reality and voila! – watch the magic begin as events, opportunities, people and circumstances seem to miraculously manifest in our lives.
Take aim – think about what you do want to happen! It does take some effort from us to eliminate the negatives, however we alone are in charge of our thoughts.
I hope the following ideas will make it easier to focus and take charge of your financial and personal destiny. Let’s get on with the 12 best Business Strategies to promote business for 1997. By the way, all of these have been used by a real business. They are proven to work. Just test them for yourself to make sure they’ll work for you.
Business Strategy #1. Get out in the field and meet your customers even before you open your business. Remember during the last election the politicians came knocking on your door introducing themselves and explaining their party policy (all this long before the election date). Does it work? I think so.
A lunch bar/café operator I know dressed up in his shop uniform and went to all the businesses within 3 kms with a sample of his food and menu. Within a very short time, he had a booming business and what’s more, within 6 months he had sold out making a very handsome profit.
Just about any business, which relies upon the local area, would benefit by doing this. As the song says, ‘These boots are made for walking” and that’s just what they should do.Once you’ve gone around you could always follow up with a letter saying …
As you may recall I came to your house a little while ago to introduce myself to you. Well my (your type of industry) business is now open and I’d like to offer you a (free offer) to see you come in and try my service.
Please bring this letter with you to get this offer.
Regards , John”
Beats spending thousands on ads, or just sitting there for 2 years, paying dead rent, hoping people will come, doesn’t it?
Business Strategy #2 Pay people to try your product Then ask for their opinion on it’s performance. This could work for anyone, with a specialised high-ticket item to sell, who finds it difficult to get people to try them out. I’m sure it’s not illegal to offer someone $50 to evaluate your product. I know a manufacturer wholesaler who offers $300 to anyone opening a new account. I also know of a garage that offers a $20 credit for opening a new account with them. Do you think that would work? You bet it would!
It’s a lot better than throwing your money into advertising that doesn’t work
Business Strategy #3 Bribe your customers with an unrelated benefit to do business with you. Here is an example. The Re Store in Northbridge, has the espresso machine turned on and ready to go any time of the day. People go there for their free coffee and guess what … they spend heaps! Imagine a plumbing business providing free coffee and a hot dog. The plumbers would come in for their “free lunch” and, well, you know the rest. This could work for any business that relies on walk-in traffic. E.g., a Chemist – free orange juice while you wait for your prescription. A hardware store could use it. A carpet warehouse, an equipment hire company, the list goes on.
The point is, your customers have a choice and everyone sells pretty much the same things at the same price. This will make them come to you. Actually you may find you can have higher prices and still get the business.
Business Strategy #4 Ask for action. Ask for the order. Would you believe, that even the most successful salesmen among us only ask for the order twice before they give up. Imagine what would have happened to KFC if Colonel Sanders had given up when he got not two but 1,008 knack backs for his chicken recipe. How many of us would have knocked on 1,009 doors without getting disheartened?
Look, you really don’t have to go to these lengths, but if you just asked for the order 5 times, you may be surprised by the result.
In your advertising, make your clients an offer and ask them to take action. Remember customers are silently begging to be lead.
A way of asking for action might be – an ad for a new can of baked beans could end like this . . . “Cut out the coupon and get $1.50 for just 25 cents at your local store”.
Or a real estate ad . . . “Inspect our unit or allow us to give you an appraisal and get a _______________ as a thank you. No obligation whatsoever.”
Hey, it’s a numbers game. Some will take action, some won’t. So what. As long as it’s profitable at the end of the say. And, given by the thousands (No, millions) of dollars being wasted on ads and promotions that don’t bring in any sales, this sort of offer could be a bargain and get lots of people to your business.
Business Strategy #5 Guarantee and prove what you say is true.
With information technology as it is today, it’s little wonder consumers are more skeptical than ever. You see, they are constantly being bombarded with one offer after another. They have developed a filtering system that enables them to recognise the phony offer when they see it.
According to Dan Kennedy (a famous US marketer), in the diet industry over there is a sales rep who carries just one sales tool with her everywhere she goes. A giant, life size blow up of herself … 54 pounds heavier than she is now. She unrolls the poster and stands next to it, and the sale is made. Look in next weeks TV magazines and you’ll see plenty of before and after weight loss adverts. Does it work, proving what you say is true? Absolutely!
North Cottesloe Café, before it’s last paint job, had photos and signatures of many famous people who had dined there. All sing the praises of the food and service. If you’re lucky enough to have something complimentary written about yourself or your company, send a copy to all your customers, it’s great for business.
I know a real estate guy in Kalgoorlie who had a real problem. You see a vendor had removed the dishwasher after the sale had been completed. Gee, what a problem! No, what an opportunity! He did a deal with the local Retravision store, replaced the dishwasher himself, had some photos taken with the happy client receiving his new dishwasher and then asked him for a testimonial. Can you imagine what the client had to say about our real estate friend? What he should do now, is to send a copy to all his other clients and also, during “home opens”, have a framed copy of the testimonials and photo for all to see and read as they come in the door. This “before” and “after” approach works very well for a lot of products. Especially in the form of a testimonial.
So prove what you say is true – give them a sample, show them a photo or even offer a 100% money back guarantee!
Business Strategy #6 Add perceived value to your product. There’s a used car dealer in Perth who offers a free 7 day holiday in Queensland, for everyone who buys a car. Sounds crazy, but it sure worked for him. He tells me he’s run off his feet every time he runs this promotion. There are a few snags attached to promotions like this, like you have to stay at a certain place, catch the midnight flights etc, but who cares – it’s free anyway! The gourmet Pizza Company in Duncraig did a deal with the Ezy video Store there. As an opening special, when you purchased a pizza, you also received a voucher entitling you to a new release video, value $6, absolutely free. Great deal for the customer, great deal for the Pizza co. and also a great deal for the video store. Why? Because one in ten customers who went into the video store had ever been there before. You guessed it, they joined up then continued to hire videos once they had sampled the incredible range and service on offer.
Business Strategy #7 Pick up the phone and call your likely prospect.
Everyone has a few moments in their busty day to make a few phone calls,. So, discipline yourself to make just 5 to 10 calls per day. It is such a cost-effective way to make a sale.
A really great Vietnamese Restaurant I loved, closed the doors but never once did they ask for my name, given me an incentive to come back more often, ask for my phone number or even ask me to tell my friends about their great food. They just quietly went out of business.
If they had just called and faxed other businesses with their menu and maybe even an offer, they would probably still be open.
Business Strategy #8 Let an Audio tape do your selling for you. It’s not uncommon these days to receive a tape recording detailing the virtues of a particular product or service (MLM groups use it extensively and to great effect). Why bother, you might ask – well just about everyone drives in a car these days, so how simple is it to pop a tape on while you are driving? When they’re listening to your audiotape, you have a captive audience. Tapes are also cheap to produce and simple and inexpensive to post. By the way, don’t worry too much about the quality. Doing something that’s not a perfect production is more important than doing nothing.
Business strategy #9 Give it away and watch your profits skyrocket. Auntie Amies Muffin Store in the United States started selling muffins by giving away free samples. Anyone who so much as glances their way, is immediately offered a sample of one of their muffins. The result? Booming sales1 I recently received a health club scratchy card in the post. It’s one of those scratch it & everybody wins 3 months membership. It saved him a fortune on conventional advertising and heaps of people signed on after the 3 month’s were up – at $500 a pop! That’s good marketing1
Business Strategy #10 Follow up after each sale or service performed. I recently had my brakes repaired and to my surprise, a few days later, I received not only a phone call to see if everything has been done to my satisfaction, but also in the mail, I received a thank you letter and a discount voucher towards any future repair work I might require done.
Step 1: Are they happy with the service?
Step 2: Thank you letter and voucher one week later
It’s as simple as that and you will really stand out from the pack if you just perform those two simple tasks.
Business Strategy #11 Delegate everything except marketing. Michael Gerber, who wrote the E Myth (if you haven’t read it, get a copy quickly) calls it working on your business NOT in it. I must say, these seven words changed the way I look at and do business today. You see, I too thought that to be successful, you have to work hard and do everything yourself (including those things I wasn’t good at). I didn’t realise I didn’t have to make the best lasagna, I just had to be the best at selling it. A business has two functions and two functions only: Innovation and marketing. Everything else is a cost against your business. So allocate at least 30% of your working week to marketing. To doing pro-active things, like phoning clients, writing ads, making offers, cleaning the shop front, even listening to marketing tapes and reading is being pro-active for your business. Just work smarter and use marketing, marketing and more marketing
Business strategy #12 Test different marketing ideas, headlines and price. Why? Because the cost of running an ad or sales campaign remains the same whether you get one order or 1,000. Which would you prefer? One of the main things to remember is to try not to be an expert by yourself. The only one who counts is the consumer.
An agency president, James Kobb, author of Profitable direct Marketing Methods, sites a case where 400 marketing pros examined eight direct mail campaigns and not a single one was able to determine the order of success of the campaigns. So let your customers vote with their $$. Important! – Only test one component at a time. It is impossible to test more than one thing at a time. You can test sales letter Vs sales letter or price Vs price or even headline Vs headline, but do not attempt to test two elements at a time. If you do, your test will be invalid. Start with a small test first to say, 1,000 clients and when you have determined your best methods “roll it out” to 5,000 or 10,000 and then 20,000 or 30,000. …In Australia. With this knowledge, you could book a trip to NZ, England and USA to test your winner in those countries.
Could you do the same in your business? Of course you could! What are you waiting for?