The 5 Secrets to Become More Referable (Audio and Presentation Download)

Join Patrick McFadden for an Online Seminar and Learn the Secrets of Becoming More Referable

In this session we will reveal the 5 secrets to growing your business by tapping the awesome power of referrals.

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Small businesses say good-ol’ customer referrals remains the most effective marketing strategy, according to a recent report from Infusionsoft.

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If you’re not focused on creating referral motivation, one that gives you a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace, your business won’t survive long in the marketing world as we know it today.

Join me in this online seminar to build your Referral Strategy.

In this content rich session, we will cover:

  • How to approach your referability logically and practically
  • How to build a simple referral strategy based on proven referral generating techniques
  • The precise order you must work in order to be most profitable
  • How to become the obvious choice business that gets talked about
  • How to know where to invest your dollars and time
  • and so much more

If the pace of change for marketing – specifically generating referrals – seems to be moving faster than you can keep up, you’re not alone.  Take action today.

Just to reiterate, not only do you get 30-40 minutes of LIVE audio from Patrick laying out how to create your game plan for being more referable, but you also get:

  • Audio and Presentation
  • Instant Replay access to the seminar
  • Did we mention it’s only $27?

Listen anytime on your computer!

You’ll immediately be email with a link to the presentation. You’ll have access to premier content and you can play it anytime you want.

4 Types of Content That Every Business Must Create

Selling with educational content (via a blog, webinar, seminar, newsletter, magazine, workshop, report, eBook, tip sheet etc.) is not about convincing someone to buy something that they don’t want or need. Rather, it’s about overcoming objections to buying from you.

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Effective marketing now requires that educational content is part of the strategy conversation in almost every business. ( Get more insight in this free eBook: 7 Components of a Successful Marketing Plan)

The word content itself has a lot of hoopla around it today making it difficult for many organizations to view it with the granularity needed and discover the role it plays in the customer life cycle.

On a strategic level, content must mean more than a blog post, status update or tweet. You must think about your content achieving a strategic business goal or objective. Building an asset to serve your organization over time.

You must also think in terms of your content as a marketing tool that moves suspects to prospects, prospects to customers, customers to advocates and in this effort there are at least four types of content that you must address.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Suspect Content – Everyone in your target market

When your entire target market is not aware of your company, product, service or the benefit it offers, then the first objective of content is to simply build trust.

Trust can be built through:

  • Blogs
  • Customer Reviews
  • Articles

At the heart of every transaction is TRUST and in general, trust is what’s in short supply. If more people trust you more, everything else will fall into place. There’s a really big gap between someone being aware of you (which is really hard) and someone trusting you, enough to invest in you or buy from you.

Prospect Content – Anyone who has taken action to solve a problem that you can assist them with

There’s an huge difference between awareness and action. Putting something in the world for awareness is useless if it doesn’t lead to taking action.

As the market begins to trust you and competitors enter that market. Prospects will seek a differentiation….your unique approach, your solution, your message and your organization.

At this stage you need to you need to educate about that differentiation:

  • Special Reports
  • Marketing Kit
  • Seminar

People want to be educated not sold. They will sell themselves if you just stick to educating.

Customer Content – A person or organization that has bought products or services from you

You’ve done all this work attracting and educating now show your customers how to get the most out of what they just bought. This builds loyalty and community.

  • How to get the most out of – product or service information
  • New Customer Kit
  • Q&A Sessions

This is were most organizations stop their marketing but you should continue it if you want repeat sales.

Advocate Content – A person or organization that tells others and basically sells for you

This last stage of the customer lifecycle is one that gets overlooked in view of content. Ultimately, great content has the ability to help your advocates spread the word and increase awareness, generate leads and convert prospects .

  • Referral coupons
  • Access to “behind the scenes” content
  • Customer appreciation events

Think about this

Here’s the deal. This closely resembles the customer life cycle for every market. It begins in stage one and closes in stage four As you can see this presents some challenges for business owners and organizations, namely, they must adapt or perish.

You may enter a new market and clean house, only to fall behind when competitors enter and steal market share. The business of successful marketing and selling is about constant improvement. Constant change.

New Survey Shows That Online Marketing For Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) Is Effective

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Here’s a fact about online marketing that’s actually shocking.

The 2014 annual SMB Internet Marketing Survey by (BrightLocal)  is out, and it includes a number of surprising findings.

Most notable is this: 75% of small & medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) say online marketing is effective.

Attracting Customers to Their Business

When you dig into the study’s findings, 32% find internet marketing to be ‘very effective’ at attracting new customers. 75% believe that internet marketing is ‘effective’ or ‘very’ effective at attracting new customers. 4% don’t do any internet marketing

Most Effective Tactics For Generating New Leads & Customers

8% find word of mouth to be the most effective channel at attracting new customers. 20% find SEO to be the most effective channel at attracting new customers. 51% say online channels are the most effective at attracting new customers.

SMB Success Metrics

31% – Phone calls are the most valued success metric. 20% – Both website traffic & Search Engine rankings.

Different types of businesses will be concerned with different KPIs as success metrics. An Ecommerce business for example, will be more concerned with online metrics, whilst a local retailer might be more concerned with customers walking through the door.

For the majority of SMBs, the amount of phone calls to a business is considered the most important metric. A call is considered a more solid lead because the customer has taken the time to track down a phone number and make a call. There is more friction in taking this action than in searching-clicking-completing an online form. So if a customer is prepared to take this step then they are more committed to using that business. And it gives the business owner / manager / sales guy the chance to provide more information and close the deal.

Top 6 Stats from SMB Internet Marketing Survey 2014

  1. 37% of SMBs plan to spend more on internet marketing in 2015
  2. 32% say internet marketing is ‘very effective’ at attracting customers
  3. 50% of SMBs spend less than $300/month on internet marketing
  4. 31% – Phone calls are the most valued success metric
  5. 64% of SMBs surveyed handle their internet marketing in-house
  6. 35% of SMBs are contacted every day by SEO agencies

The study gives you a better understanding of the attitudes & usage of internet & mobile marketing by small & medium sized businesses (SMBs).

Successful Marketing Requires Doing

Doing marketing is always the hardest part. Successful marketing essentially boils down to everything you DO or SAY that your ideal customer sees and hears. CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, directors are all typically remarkable at their technical expertise, whatever that is. The point is that you mostly likely didn’t take on that responsibility or start the business because you love marketing.

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Marketing is doing and doing leads to having – whether that’s revenue, profits, leads, or awareness.

Marketing strategies don’t fail in the mental creation. They fail in implementation. Ensuring effective implementation of marketing strategies is one of the highest payoff activities for success. A successful marketing plan will never produce results without successful execution behind it.

When it comes to getting marketing done, we’ve learned that start-ups and organizations can take their business to the next level by doing these three things.

  1. Choosing action items. The act of choosing, is the act of succeeding. When creating a marketing plan part of the deal is that you can’t get everything (tactical activities) that you possibly want done. The best way to approach the situation is by choosing marketing strategies and tactics that align with your business goals. Do you need press releases for awareness goals? Will the website need updating to capture qualified leads? Is researching main competitors a priority for communicating a unique position?
  2. Managing marketing activities. Measuring and control are parts of good management. Using a simple chart or marketing dashboard to monitor marketing initiatives and accountability will increase implementation effectiveness. If you don’t have a chart or dashboard, use the plan itself as a weekly review tool.
  3. Daily follow-ups. When it comes right down to it, marketing plans fail because those responsible for getting specific tasks done aren’t being followed up with. Following up and checking due dates on a regular basis will increase the effectiveness of your marketing. Poor execution will always trace back to poor follow-up. This is tough for start-ups and small business owners because of distractions, deliveries, and everyday business routines that have to be done.

The key to successful implementation of a marketing plan is execution, the actual doing of the planned marketing activities.

Initiatives don’t get completed by stating them on paper – they require an installation (action, management, and follow-up.)

3 Epic Marketing Shifts Business Owners Must Know

Marketing has gone through many changes, especially in the last decade. Our marketing focus has shifted from traditional print to online, from direct mail to social media, e-newsletters and blogging. Not to mention the speedy adoption of mobile devices and consumer’s addiction to real-time communication.

times are changing

 

To help sketch out the reinvention of marketing and put it in a larger context, I’ve compiled three epic marketing shifts business owners must know about and that has changed the way you market forever.

Advertising and marketing are no longer the same thing

For 100 years marketing meant one thing and we could all agree what is was: “advertising.” That meant a plethora of TV commercials, billboards, outdoor media, glossy magazine ads and jingle radio ads.  It was a method used by traditional mass marketers, that gave big companies the opportunity to make average products for average people.

Let me say here, that marketing and advertising are not the same thing. They used to be, but they’re not the same thing anymore. Everything is marketing – the name of your business, products and services, how you comport yourself, determining whether you will be selling a product or service, how you run your business, the method of manufacture or servicing, how you bid on projects, the colors, size, and shape or your product, how you perform for clients and customers, the packaging, how you build relationships, the location of your business, the advertising, the PR, etc. You’re either judged on these things, or you’re being ignored.

All media is now optional 

Business owners must fully understand, that in a noisy world “attention” is worth quite a bit, and ought to be cherished. That all media is now optional – no one is going to look at your content, Like your status update, retweet your tweet,  or open your email unless they want to.

Every interaction comes with a cost. No, not in dollars, but in something worth even more: the attention of the person you’re interacting with.

The network effect is the most powerful 

The network effect answers one key question: Does it work better if my friends use it too?

The classic example is the telephone. The more people who own telephones, the more valuable the telephone is to each owner. This creates a positive externality because a user may purchase a telephone without intending to create value for other users, but does so in any case. Online social networks work in the same way, with sites like Twitter and Facebook becoming more attractive as more users join.

Business owners need to fully understand the power of the network effect and how they can (with some creativity, enthusiasm, and energy) employ tools or processes that makes their product or service more valuable the more people use it.

3 Ways to Better Understand Your Customers and Generate More Sales

Would you like your advertising efforts to bring in real results?

How about have your referral programs double (2x) sales?

Do you want more quality traffic to your website?

Maybe, even have your service and product pages generate a flood of new customers or clients?

 

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An excellent way to accomplish those objectives above is to constantly learn more about your customers or target markets.

The hard cold truth is that understanding your customers allows you to market your business more effectively and generate more sales.

If you’ve never had strategic listening conversations with customers or target markets before, do it ASAP as it is the best way to:

  • improve your advertising efforts
  • double sales of your referral marketing programs
  • drive more quality traffic to your site
  • create product and services pages that convert

Now, much has been written and spoken about understanding your customers or target markets but below are the three ways start-ups and organizations can get the ball rolling as they can provide a great foundation for getting at what’s truly important to your customers. Start talking to customers every month and you’ll be rewarded with insight and sales.

3 Ways to Better Understand Your Customers and Generate More Sales

  1. Talk with your best customers. Your best customers have the following two behaviors: they are profitable and also refer business to you. Not to mention it’s not practical to engage all of your customers in a conversation. Discover who your 5-10 best customers are, then email or phone them asking for feedback on your marketing, sales and service processes.
  2. Use Rapportive. I personally use this Gmail plugin and recommend you use it to find out more about your customers before you email them. We are living through a clutter world and personalized communication always breaks through the clutter. Emails that are anticipated, personal and relevant get opened today.
  3. Eliminate “yes” or “no” questions. My motto is to “go Oprah” on your customer base and make sure you ask open ended questions. Some of the things you’re after is the LANGUAGE your customers use when describing why they buy from you, the WORDS and PHRASES your customers use when explaining what they value about what you do, and the DESCRIPTION of the perfect buying experience. You can’t get that by asking them to rate things from 1 to 10.

Far too often start-ups and established organization create advertising campaigns around irrelevant pain points and features, referral programs that don’t create referral motivation, and optimize their websites around industry specific jargon and terms when their ideal customers really pay attention, engage and respond to other communicating factors.

4 Essential Questions For Understanding Your Ideal Customer

Discovering your target market or ideal customer is a foundational element of getting any business on track, and is especially relevant for start-ups, small businesses, and midsize businesses.

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Compelling marketing communication is favored by your ideal customer, but if you don’t speak their language, talk about their pain, know their habits, desires and values, you’re missing a lot of opportunities.

There are countless ways to research your ideal customer and everybody talks about target markets, but on this day you will learn the 4 essential questions for helping you get clearer on this idea.

1. Who will benefit the most from your products or services?

The common answer to this question is “everybody.” If you think every possible human being is your ideal customer chances are you’ll waste your greatest resources time and money.

To answer this question begin building a detailed profile of your current customers. Group your most successful accounts (profitable+refer you).

2. Why do they do business with you?

This question is great for understanding your ideal customer. It can measure how effective your promotion, lead generation and sale process is working.

In order to successfully answer this question you need to “go Oprah” on your most successful accounts. Schedule some time to interview current customers that are the most profitable and also refer business to you.

3. What characteristics do they have in common?

Once you have a profile of your ideal customer, you should start analyzing the common characteristics they share. Start asking yourself some questions about these people: what industry are they in?, where are they located?, what size is their organization?, what do they read?, what do they listen to?, what challenges do they face?, how do they buy?

The answers to the questions above are not always available, but thinking about them in correlation to your ideal customer may allow you to narrow your niche and sell aggressively to it.

4. How can you best service their current and future needs?

Your best prospect is a current customer. Your second best prospect is a past customer. These two target markets already know, like and trust you. When thinking about understanding your ideal customers ponder serving their current and future needs.

This could be considered a customer service question, since winning and keeping customers is the result of effective marketing, but the real opportunity is when you can uncover a unique positioning or an innovation. Push yourself to discover their current and future needs. Ask ideal customers, “what are the top 3 challenges they’re currently facing?”, or “what are current vendors or suppliers doing that they don’t like?”

Start focusing on your target market or ideal customers today. You don’t have the time or resources to waste.

Ask For Advice Before Asking For Help

I believe that asking for advice before asking for help is far more important for any business especially start-ups and SMBs. Here’s why:

You thought you knew what your business needed. You hired a specialist company to create it for you. Then once it was complete and operating you discovered it wasn’t what you really needed. Then what you really discovered is you’re not as clear about your needs as you thought.

Where Did You Go Wrong?

Many business owners discover it’s not always best to hire a specialist who gives you what you asked for. It’s often more helpful to start by hiring people who will ask you good questions, to help you determine what you really need.

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know.

The solution is simple. Ask for advice before asking for help. Hire a strategist or an advisor before you hire a specialist. A strategist will challenge your assumptions and create clarity on needs and priorities before everyone leaps into action. I’m not saying there’s no room for specialists. I’m just tired of tactics first and strategy to the rescue.

A Specialist’s Job Is To Skillfully Do What You Ask

Specialists often assume you know what you need. It’s not their job to second guess you, even though you may be:

  • making decisions based on assumptions
  • unclear on requirements and options
  • unsure about the order of operations
  • unfamiliar with how to direct your specialists
  • unable to evaluate their work, or
  • unaware of the long-term costs and implications of your project

A Strategist’s Job, By Contrast, Is To Ask Why

Job one for a strategist is to understand your situation, constraints, needs and success criteria. They challenge assumptions, clarify requirements, help determine the order of operations, direct specialists, evaluate success and work within the context of long-term costs and plans.

It’s obvious why we hire specialists to complete tasks and projects. There is immediate gratification and the perception of progress. Strategists are likely to challenge assumptions and send us back to a point we thought we were past, potentially delaying our progress.  Strategists can be frustrating to deal with as they tend to make us think before we act and make choices based on information and facts over emotion and desire. They can be annoyingly dispassionate, logical and methodical. Which is exactly why you should consider hiring them and how they create value.

Measure Twice And Cut Once

Think about it. “if you hardly have the means to invest in a solution once, where will you find the resources to do it again?”

I’ve come to see strategists as insurance against impulsiveness and inexperience. I also find their fees typically add between 10 and 20% to my project costs, in exchange for saving me the lost time and expense of starting over. The more often I repeat the mistake of leaping into action, the more often I seek consulting before I invest in new initiatives. I hope you will do the same.

About the Author: Patrick McFadden is the owner and marketing consultant at Indispensable Marketing, a strategic marketing firm in Chesterfield, VA. We help small to midsize businesses create marketing plans and growth processes that generate leads and close sales.

5 Trusted Advisor Behaviors You Must Embrace Right Now

Do you want to be a successful coach, consultant, counselor, mentor or professional?

When professional service people start talking about being a trusted advisor these days, and they’re doing it a lot, they usually default to things like good advice,  a feel-good process, throw in some consultative salesperson tricks and we’re on the trusted advisor track.

I’ve been coaching and consulting for a handful of years now and with every emerging “coined term” there seems to be an equally reactive rush to embrace the accompanying tactical behaviors and it’s what leads people to do things that don’t make sense.

Below are five trusted advisor behaviors you can no longer ignore as they’ve become universal and cross industries and demographics in undeniable ways. And they make sense!

1. Take notes.  It works in every industry. It shows prospects that they can count on you to remember and do what they’ve been talking about.

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2. Provide testimonials. Showcase what third party vouchers have to say about you. This will vary from industry to industry, but examples include case studies, references, ratings, warranties, and certifications.

Indispensable Marketing - The 7 Elements of Small Business Growth - Blurb

3. Strategic noting. Write down something your prospect says and follow up on it later. For instance, if your contact mentioned a large project the last time you spoke, bring it up during your next call. A simple question like “How’d that initiative work out?” will do the trick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Prove proactivity. Keep up to date on your prospect’s industry, and bring major changes to their attention before they reach out to you. For instance, the sales team at a tax firm should closely monitor the new tax rollouts and regularly offer to sit down with their prospects to sort out how the new guidelines affect them.

Here’s a framework that I’ve dubbed “Proactive Proof” to convince your clients and prospects that your firm is proactive. It forces you to get the right answers to questions that showcase why your clients and prospects should see you as an a trusted advisor.

  • What’s going on inside the company?
  • What’s happening with notable parties outside the company — competitors, suppliers, etc.?
  • Who do the buyers you’re working with report to, and/or who are the influencers in the company?
  • How does this company “keep score” metrics-wise, and how do you help them in what they do?

5. Exhibit chemistry.  Be friendly, clear,  and understand your prospects’ nonverbal cues and then start mirroring them. **My hands are only in my pocket for a reason! ;)**Patrick McFadden at Haley Buick GMC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question: What do you think about these behaviors? 

 

Patrick McFadden on The Art of Educational Marketing [Video]

Business Owner and Marketing Expert Patrick McFadden says that ” Educational marketing is all the marketing we’ve got left.”

Indispensable Marketing - The Art of Educational Marketing [Front Page]

He goes on to say, “Teaching your customers and giving your customers the resources to believe you is new marketing.”

What is educational marketing? You’ll have to watch this five-minute video to learn more.

Interview with Patrick McFadden from Owl Train U, LLC on Vimeo.

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