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Selasa, 19 Mei 2009

Hold the Front Page!

Do you know the difference in marketing response between an article on the front page of a national newspaper and a smaller list of people who know and like you and are ready to buy?

Here's a little marketing quiz for you. Imagine you are being offered two marketing opportunities.

Option 1 is the chance of a positive front page news story on a national newspaper that will be read by millions of people first thing tomorrow morning.

Option 2 is permission to communicate on an ongoing basis with 1,000 people who know, like and trust you. Which would you choose? I hope you said the list of 1,000 people.

I know that's what I would choose. But why? Whilst at a first glance the chance to have your business seen by millions may appear to be the better opportunity, it has a few strikes against it when compared with the list.

The first point is relevance. An audience of millions may sound impressive, but how many of them are really potential prospects for your business? More to the point, how many of them are actively looking right now? The second point is timing. A one time blast of your marketing message is only likely to get results with the people who have an immediate need for what you are offering. What about the people who are interested but for whatever reason not ready to buy your service right now?

Unless you have a system in place for capturing the details and following up with the 'interested, but not right now' group, you've just missed a huge opportunity. The third point is trust and credibility. Whilst the endorsement of a national newspaper will lend you some weight, there will still be people who hesitate to act. It takes time to cultivate a relationship with those people that culminates with them handing over their hard earned cash.

'Getting Known' is important - but it's not enough to guarantee your success. Or, to put it another way, fame does not necessarily equal fortune. While 'getting known' will be one element of your overall business success, it's important to be known by the right people. By that I mean people who are a good match for the product or service that you offer, or have access and credibility with groups of people who do. And even then, being known by the right people isn't enough.

If you want that relationship to translate into sales revenue and profit, those people also need to understand what you offer and trust you enough that they are willing to take you up on it. In short, while the newspaper coverage is a one-time opportunity that may or may not generate business, an ongoing relationship with 1,000 people who know, like and trust you is the foundation of a successful business. Serve them well and not only will they become buyers - but repeat buyers and raving fans who will recommend you to others. Want to launch a new product or service?

Think how much easier it will be when you have a ready made group of responsive prospects to offer it to. A list is like an insurance policy for your business. When I work with clients who need to generate cash windfalls for their business, the first questions I ask are 'What sort of list do you have? How many prospects? How many clients and customers?' That's because a strong offer made to a list of people who have some experience of you will always yield better results than trying to go out and find and sell to new prospects. If you're asking yourself 'where's the business going to come from this month?', you really haven't yet tapped into the power of cultivating a list.

Start TODAY. Compile records of past clients and prospects and put them into a database. (I like ACT!) People who have some previous experience of you are ALWAYS more likely to buy than people you contact 'cold'. Is there some offer you could make TODAY to generate business or interest? Then do it! Next brainstorm what you could do on an ongoing basis to maintain and cultivate a relationship with your list.

HINT: it's better to send something little and often, than one major mailing 4 times a year.

About the Author
(Bernadette Doyle, 2008. Reprints welcome so long as by-line and article are published intact and all links made live. Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at


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