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5 Concrete Marketing Actions for Business Success

5 Concrete Marketing Actions for Business Success

Marketing has traditionally been broken down to a formula known as “the 5P’s” – the five factors that make up an organization’s marketing strategy. If these are done consistently, well, and for a long enough period of time, these five factors also become part of their brand. 

So far, so good. But the problem is that no one can agree on exactly which 5 P’s are important, so the list typically includes: people, product, place, process, price, promotion, paradigm, perspective, persuasion, passion, positioning, packaging, and performance. 

Wow. Sounds complicated, huh? 

We will try and simplify effective marketing into five moves – five concrete actions – that you can implement immediately. 

Your challenge: try one or more of these NOW. 

Move #1: Move Up

Want to try something different? The next time you’re speaking with a prospect, when the question of price comes up, DOUBLE your normal price and see what happens. 

It may sound crazy, but the other side of the coin is that maybe YOU’RE crazy for not charging for VALUE but competing on PRICE. Businesses that compete on price lose.

The easiest thing your competition can do is undercut your price. In fact, the first thing they will copy is your price. It takes no imagination, no creativity, no innovation, no market leadership, and no vision to lower the cost of something. And it hurts all parties involved. Lower prices always mean lower profits. 

Studies have shown that a 1% drop in price leads to an 8% drop in profit. 

What happens when you double your usual price? 

Several things. 

Prospects perceive:

  • An increase in the value of your product/service
  • An increased level of prestige in owning/using your product/service
  • An increased level of trust in you – and all your other offerings (the halo effect)
  • An increased level of confidence that your product/service really works

By increasing your price, perhaps, you’ll lose a few unprofitable clients along the way. If you don’t lose some unprofitable clients, you won’t have room to serve the more profitable ones when they come along. It’s professional suicide to continue focusing on serving a market sector “that can afford” to pay your old (low) prices. Price doesn’t find clients. VALUE finds clients. And those clients that value your work should – and will – pay according to that value.

Free is also a powerful price point. And, of course, free is remarkable. Which is another facet to moving up – you move up when you give VALUE first. For free. 

  1. Got a great idea for a prospect? Great! SEND IT TO THEM. 
  2. Even better, got a business lead for them? Hand it over! 
  3. Did you come across an article, a profile, or a piece of research that directly impacts their business? Clip it and mail it to the top person with a brief note. 

That prospect’s door is now open.

Move #2: Move In

Moving in means moving closer to the customer. Live in their world, think about their problems, and think about their clients and prospects. 

What’s the first step? 

Research. Preparation. Homework. 

Industry, regional, business, and company news are now at every salesperson’s fingertips on the Internet. If you’re not intelligently researching your prospect’s issues, challenges, and pressures, how can you possibly come in with a credible solution? 

Don’t like sitting at the computer all day? An even better idea is to hit the street. Visit businesses, talk to your contacts in the fields you serve, and get some firsthand information about what’s going on in their world – their challenges, perspectives, obstacles, priorities, dreams, and “only-ifs,” and their biggest aspirations?

Is this a lot of work? You bet. Do the majority of salespeople put in this kind of effort? No way. Which is exactly why you should. That brings us to Move #3.

Move #3: Move Ahead

Moving ahead means going above and beyond what most salespeople are doing. It means putting in the work – yes, the real, hard work – that makes the difference between being a peddler and being a partner. 

Want to move ahead? Start by avoiding doing things your prospects dislike. 

According to a Purchasing magazine survey, here are the top 10 things salespeople do that buyers dislike. See if you (or your sales team) might be guilty of any of the following professional no-no’s:

10.Failure to keep promises

9. Lack of creativity

8. Failure to make and keep appointments

7. Lack of awareness of the customer’s operation 

6. Taking the customer for granted

5. Lack of follow-through

4. Lack of product knowledge

3. Overaggressiveness and failure to listen

2. Lack of interest or purpose (“Just checking in”)

… and the Number 1 dislike: Lack of preparation.

You can also move ahead by charging more (remember Move 1?) and DEMONSTRATING the VALUE of your product service with hard numbers. 

Here’s another way to move ahead: stop the ridiculous game of “closing the sale.” Closing is not a technique; closing is not a trick; closing is not about magic phrases and looks and power games. Closing should be a natural extension of your conversation, and the two most effective questions you should ask your prospect as you near the end of your value-based discussion are:

1. Does what we’ve talked about so far make sense?

2. What would you like me to do next?

Answer to Question 1: If you’ve prepared for the meeting, discussed the prospect’s key issues, and monetized the value of your solution, of course, it makes sense! 

Answer to Question 2: “Let’s go ahead” or “Let’s do the paperwork.” Seriously, carefully listening to the answer to this question will allow you to address any hidden concerns, hesitations, or issues – right then and there before the prospect would otherwise blurt out an abrupt “No!” to any other traditional “ask for the sale” verbiage that so many sales trainers recommend. Remember, you’re not there to sell – you’re there to HELP THE PROSPECT BUY.

Move #4: Move Aside

Here’s another thing that most sales and marketing people have a hard time with: you can’t be all things to all people. Move Aside is about finding your niche and claiming your expertise in a narrow specialty area. In plain English, you want to become the “Go-To Guy” for your specific product or service – the opposite of a “jack-of-all-trades and master of none.”

The people you speak with will have a very different reaction to these two mental images of your product/service:

“I think we can make this fit.”

“This is exactly what we’ve been looking for.”

Move #5: Move Alone

Right now, you are lost in a sea of grey. Me-too rules the day. Everywhere you look, more and more and more of the same old thing sold by the same old people in the same old way. 

The problem is that people don’t buy grey. If you and your company and your offerings blend into the background, you might as well close up shop right now. Let me put it another way: all companies go bankrupt, and it’s just a matter of time. 

Want proof? 

Out of the 100 largest companies of 50 years ago, 17 survive today. And none of those 17 is the market leaders they used to be. 

Why? 

Shift happens. 

If you’re not separating yourself from the crowd, you’re blending in – and nobody will even notice you, much less seek you out and tell their friends about you.

Here’s a good test to see if your marketing and sales strategies are in the category of “moving alone” – they are if you’re doing something that:

  • is “simply not done” in your industry
  • customers will make a remark about (remarkable!)
  • goes against conventional wisdom (I call this “uncommon sense”)
  • others (including your competition) think it is “crazy”
  • others (including your competition) will actually be AFRAID to copy

Get silly. Get crazy. Get an attitude. Get noticed. 

Let’s conclude with a recap of the 5 Marketing Moves:

1. Move Up = Get more valuable

2. Move In = Get closer

3. Move Ahead = Get smarter

4. Move Aside = Get specialized

5. Move Alone = Get noticed

Taken together, these will also help you make the Ultimate Move = Get insanely great.

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