March 25, 2017

Marketing Budgets, Part 2

Previously, I advocated increasing, or at least not decreasing, marketing budgets when financial problems are prevalent. Several networking partners called and emailed regarding this opinion, suggesting some further clarification to the previous comments.

When examining our marketing budgets, we should also examine our marketing efforts. We should also work smarter not harder. Place those two statements side by side, and we see that we should look at our marketing plans and see if we can improve on the efficiency of what we are doing.

We must eliminate what we are doing that results in poor or no business. If we keep making the same effort, with the same tools, what makes us believe that we will not obtain the same poor results? Some people call that insanity. Instead, how do we make the parts that work well work better?

Whatever we did that brought good results may be able to be done more efficiently, with less expense, and easier than before. Just because we got good results, doesn’t mean that we cannot get better results, or the same results, with less expense or even less effort if we work smarter.

New technology may allow us to complete the same task with which we struggled in the past to be done now with less effort and sometimes less expense. What took multiple people to accomplish might now be done by one person with better technology. What was unreasonable to spend on a marketing effort may now be within the reach of more of us.

Perhaps we had a staff of personnel to take the steps to market our business in the past. Now that we may not be able to afford that staff anymore, we need to see what we can do by ourselves, or with a reduced staff. Maybe we still have the same staff, but they need to be performing other tasks. How can we, and they, work more efficiently and accomplish their other tasks as well as our marketing efforts?

Remember what we said previously about businesses that eliminate their marketing budgets or efforts. They literally vanish from the view of their customers and prospects. Their customers move to other businesses that are visible to the public. If our businesses lose their public presence, we will lose the public’s support.

On the other hand, businesses that maintain their public presence through increased or better focused marketing maintain their customers and attract prospects. The public knows that they are still in business, still viable in the marketplace. Those are the businesses that remain in business and may even grow their market share.

Work smarter not harder should be applied to everything that a business does, including marketing. Look at everything that we do and examine how it can be accomplished differently. The two worst beliefs are that any method that has never been tried before should not be attempted or that we must always do something a certain way. Think outside the box, and use imagination.

Like my networking partners who contacted me after the previous post, Gratitude Marketing results in business networking relationships. These relationships provide support as well as questions. That sharing and support should be answered with our gratitude. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 18, 2017

Excuses

We often meet others with lots of excuses. They have more excuses than they have clients, or even prospects. They say that their business is slow or even non-existent, but they are too busy to meet with us when we try to become better acquainted. They may even believe that they are too small to meet and network.

Maybe they are busy with family, or maybe they have to clean off their desk. Perhaps they need to go out of town, or they need to wash their car. We have heard all these excuses. Some excuses are somewhat valid, but many are not. They are excuses for excuses’ sake. Who are these people kidding? They don’t take their business seriously, much less their marketing. They have more excuses than they have clients, or even prospects.

Often these people do not understand that they need to market their business to everyone, not just the people that are ready to buy from them. How anyone might buy from them and not know what they are marketing is beyond common sense. They believe that business will “fall into their laps”. Maybe they were told by someone who brought them into their business that they didn’t need to market their business, and they cannot understand that this “non-marketing” will not work.

It does not matter who we are, what our business is, or what our product or service is, we will need to market to others, either to individuals or to businesses. We cannot continue to exist, grow, and succeed without marketing. We must get over whatever we were told, believe, or fear and market ourselves and our business. Everyone has been at that first step of marketing at some point in their lives. Successful businesses have moved forward while the unsuccessful ones are still trying to step out into the world of marketing.

Maybe we can find someone in our networking that will help us stop making excuses and get on with our business marketing life. Maybe we will see how easy it is by watching others, and learn that it can be fun. It can be easily learned from someone who is willing to “teach” us or “lead” us into this world of being able to reach out to others that we don’t know. Yes, this world can be scary to a novice, but our networking partners can help. Just don’t make excuses when they try to help us.

Ask others how they market their businesses, or ask them what they tried that did not work. Others will help us and teach us from their experiences. If they aren’t willing to share their knowledge, they may not be the partners with whom we need to network. Giving to others is just another version of Gratitude Marketing. “Giving to give, not to get” is a guiding light of successful businesses.

We must stop making excuses and get on with the marketing of our businesses. Reach out to assist others in the building of their businesses. Karma means that whatever we do for others will return to us and our lives. Leave me your thoughts and comments, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Excuses are like anchors, holding us back from the success that we, and our businesses, can achieve. Let’s speak together soon so we can get on with our successful business lives.

Thank you for the privilege of your time.

March 11, 2017

The Future

How would we describe the future a year from now? What would our businesses look like in a year? What would we want our business relationships to be 12 months from now? How would we describe our ideal relationship with anyone when we first meet?

Would we only want relationships where one of us is the customer of the other; would we only want both of us to be customers of each other? Or would our business relationships to be more than that? We never attend a networking meeting where we do not learn something from the others present. We also never meet anyone one-on-one and fail to learn something.

We should establish working business relationships with everyone that we meet. We should look for others that are professional in their business dealings, that are passionate about their business and its workings, and that are personable toward those that their business touches. But, what do we want from these business relationships?

An ideal business relationship may include the possibility of being mutual customers of each other. However, if we are not mutual customers, or even if neither of us is a customer of the other, the business relationship can still be a success.

A successful business relationship includes the following:
Ø  There is a mutual respect for each other’s business, ethics, principles, and methods.
Ø  That mutual respect allows each partner to refer prospects to each other with no hesitation.
Ø  Referrals do not always include customer prospects, but may include those who might assist the recipient in increasing their possibilities of success.
Ø  There is a mutual honesty that allows the partners to be honest and supportive of each other when asked for assistance.
Ø  The partners in the relationship do not hesitate to offer assistance when asked and do not hesitate to ask for assistance when needed.

When we are in networking meetings, we must look for the people with whom we might establish business relationships. Engage each person that we meet in a one-on-one for a get acquainted chat, and determine how we may establish a mutually rewarding relationship. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we look for the possibilities.

Do not prejudge anyone. The person that we first believe is not worth getting to know may be our next networking partner, our next business relationship that will drive us to success. Perhaps this person will be who we can help with our insight, experience, knowledge, and counsel. We may have the opportunity of a lifetime to make someone’s life better.

As we go about our business, try to make our entire future brighter and better. What do we want our business relationships to be in a year from now with each and every person we meet? Look for the great possibilities or opportunities and find them. Recognizing these opportunities and following up with them is practicing Gratitude Marketing. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 5, 2017

Marketing Budgets

We have heard that many businesses decrease, or eliminate, their marketing budgets in slow financial times. In fact, when finances are tight, we all need to expand our marketing budgets.

When we cut our marketing budget, our public presence diminishes, and the general populace believes that our business is going out of existence. When a business increases its marketing budget, the public awareness is increased, and people believe that the business is viable and stable. They become, or continue to be, customers of that business.

Maybe deceasing, or increasing, our marketing budget is not the solution. Maybe we should use our current budget better rather than throwing more money into our efforts. Work smarter not harder. This is a rule that should apply to everything that we do in business, including our marketing. Using the correct tools is working smarter, especially when it may be easier, faster, and make us look better to our clients.

We all need to take an intelligent look at our marketing budgets and how we are applying those budgets to maximize our return on investment. Just as we should maximize the return on investment on all our expenses, hardware, software, furniture, equipment, or other, we need to do the same with our marketing budgets.

So how does Gratitude Marketing apply to marketing budgets and maximizing our return on investment? Sometimes the simpler methods are the most reasonably priced and the easier ones to implement and use. Tom Hopkins, the author of How to Master the Art of Selling, advocates the art of the “thank you”. Simply, he encourages everyone to thank everyone for whatever they may do.

Everyone includes anyone with whom we do business, our customers, our suppliers, our contacts, businesses that we patronize each and every day, and people that we meet, whether on purpose or by chance. How does this help improve our customer base? Maybe these people become customers; maybe they know others that can become customers; maybe they just become our networking partners.

The list of people to thank can be long. It includes our daily contacts, no matter the subject of any conversation. It also includes contacts after a marketing call on our part or theirs. It includes customers after their initial purchase, and after a repurchase. Perhaps a customer sends us a referral who might become our new customer; perhaps they introduce us to a new supplier who saves us money on a product or service. Maybe the recipient of our “thank you” is just someone who has touched us, or someone we know, in a special way.

Don’t forget to include people who we have not connected with in some time, and don’t forget to include the contacts that fail to become customers. They will appreciate our efforts and remember us when someone else needs our service or product. Have we left anyone out of this list? Everyone includes everyone that we know or that we meet or we remember in a moment of reflection.

Isn’t this expensive; doesn’t this cost money, time, and effort? Yes and no. It might replace a marketing effort that costs a lot more and which brings us nothing in return. It might take less time and effort than we believe. Look at everything in our marketing plans with the return on investment question in mind. Then look at the public perception of us and our businesses. What people believe us to be will shape their future business with us.

People do business with those that they know, like, and trust. Maybe we need to use that philosophy in building our client base, retaining the clients that we have, and obtaining referrals from those people that we know. It will make a difference in our business life, and it will make a difference in our personal life. The two are more connected than we think.

Gratitude Marketing means meeting people and enlarging our network and helping others to succeed. Thank them now, and they will thank us in the future, and everyone will reap the benefits. Please leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-869.