Author: Bernard Keavy

How To Increase Your Lead Conversion Rate & Transform Your Profit

Many small business owners could improve their lead conversion rates dramatically by focusing on it.  You need a sales conversion process or system.  Here is an example of how a 10% and 30% increase in conversions can impact your total profit.

Starting Point 10% Increase 30% Increase
Leads 4,500 Leads 4,500 Leads 4,500
Conversion Rate 30% Conversion Rate 33% (10% increase) Conversion Rate 39% (30% increase)
Customers 1350 Customers 1485 Customers 1755
Transactions 1.3 Transactions 1.3 Transactions 1.3
Average £ / $ Sale 140 Average Sale 140 Average Sale 140
Revenue 245,700 Revenue 270,270 Revenue 319,410
Margins 24% Margins 24% Margins 24%
Profit £/$ 58,968 Profit £/$ 64,864.80 Profit £/$ 76,658.40

What is the average conversion rate for your business?

To work out your conversion rate, choose a specific time period (day, week, month, campaign) and then divide the total number of sales transactions by the number of people who inquired about your product or service (leads) and multiply by 100. This is a percentage value of your conversion rate.

For example, 50 transactions / 150 leads x 100 = 33% conversion rate.

Now, if I wanted to look at conversions over a specific time period, the rate would vary:

  Leads Sales Conversion Rate
Day 150 50 33%
Week 910 286 31%
Month 4050 1196 29%

 

If you’ve been tracking your leads over the past few weeks, you’ll find this is easy. All you may have to do is look at your lead tracking sheet, and divide into it your total number of sales over specific time periods. You’ll be able to analyse what your conversion rate looks like over the course of ad or direct mail campaigns, as well as over various weeks in the month.

If you haven’t started tracking your leads, you need to start in order to understand what your true conversion rate is. In my experience, many business owners overestimate what this percentage actually is, so this is an important step in the process.

Keep track of the following items in your conversion rate measurement sheet:

  • Start date and end date of the measurement period (by ad campaign, week, or month)
  • Total number of leads (divided by source – telephone, in store, online, etc.)
  • Total number of sales transactions
  • How trust and qualified lead generation impacts conversion rates

If you’re starting to track leads and sales today, by the end of a week you’ll have a reasonable understanding of where your business stands.

How do you evaluate if your conversion rate is “good” or not?

Once you know what your conversion rate is, how can you tell if it’s “good” or “profitable”?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a black and white one. The truth is that conversion rates vary and depend on the product, service and customer base. Different businesses can have dramatically different rates, yet both rates can mean the respective companies are highly successful.

For example, a thriving poundland or dollar store may have a conversion rate of almost 80%, while a profitable furniture store may have a conversion rate of 30%. Other businesses might have rates of anywhere from 4% to 99%.

So, instead of focusing on how close your conversion rate is to 100%, you need to think of conversions as relative to your break-even point – either for a campaign or for regular business operations. To do this, you need more information than the rate itself. You need to know how many leads you need to convert into customers to see a return on investment. You need to know how much money each lead costs you, on average how much they spend, and how much of their spend is actual profit.

For example, if you have £/$ 4,000 to spend on advertising and you want to see £/$ 20,000 in sales, will a 20% conversion rate be enough to do the job?

To answer this, you need more information on other measures in your business. You need to know your average dollar sale and average customer acquisition cost. In this example, let’s say your average sale is £/$ 42 and your average customer acquisition cost is £/$ 2.50

If you take your 4,000 advertising budget and divide by your 2.50 customer acquisition cost, you’ll expect to generate about 1,600 leads.

So 1,600 leads with a 20% conversion rate would equal 320 sales – not bad. Now, take the 320 projected sales times the average dollar sale of £/$ 75, and you’ll get £/$ 24,000 in revenue. That’s a reasonable ROI for a £/$ 4,000 investment!

But is the 20% conversion rate a ‘good’ one? To answer this, you’ll have to factor in your profit margin to determine the answer. You wanted to achieve £/$ 20,000 from your £/$ 4,000 advertising investment.

Let’s say your average profit margin is 45.3%. So, on each £/$ 75 sale, you made£/$ 34 profit. So, let’s look at your actual profit after costs:

320 sales x £$ 34 profit per transaction= “/$ 10,880 in take home profit.

So, when the rest of your business measures are factored in, you actually only achieved a 272% return on investment, which is about half of what you were targeting. Therefore, in this case, a 20% target conversion rate isn’t necessarily a strong one for your business.

Now, before you dive into any conversion rate boosting strategies, focus on building trust and generating qualified leads – the cornerstones of a profitable conversion rate.

You likely already know that trust is a huge factor in any exchange with a potential customer. When you first learned about sales and the selling process, you learned about building trust and rapport with the people who are giving you their money.

So, trust is therefore a big factor in having a healthy (and profitable) conversion rate. Your prospect needs to trust in the value of your offering, as well as the credibility of the business and the knowledge of the people who work there.

The issue here, of course, is the length of time it takes to truly establish trust, or credibility. With all your new leads – practically strangers – walking through the door and picking up the phone, you need to establish instant trust and credibility in order to make the most of the time you spend with each prospect.

The other important point I want to make is about the role that qualified leads have in your conversion rate. It’s one thing to have hundreds of leads contact you on a daily basis, but if they’re not qualified leads, they’re less likely to buy from so, and thus potentially wasting your time and squashing your conversion rate.

Here are five ways you can boost your conversion rate with little improvements to your business.

  1. Build instant trust.

Use testimonials. Ask happy customers to write testimonials about their experience at your business. Use their words (or even their whole letters) in your marketing materials, or post them in your place of business. Testimonials boost confidence in what you’re offering and establish trust in the eyes of prospects.

Showcase your good news. Post awards, accolades, media articles and other ‘proof’ of your credibility around your business and on your website.

  1. Create an image of quality.(Known as “Moments of Truth”)

Consider the appearance of your staff. How do you and your staff members dress? Does your appearance communicate the right message to potential clients about your offering? You don’t need to show up in a suit every day, but make sure everyone’s appearance is professional and appropriate for your business.

Improve the perception of your business. This includes the physical state of your place of business, as well as the quality of your marketing materials and the quality of the service customers’ receive when they purchase from you.

Give merchandise displays a boost. Can you make your products look more attractive through the way they’re displayed or arranged? Put complementary products together, and create feature product displays to create variety and interest.

  1. Train and develop your staff.

Give staff conversion targets and incentives. Remember that you’re not the only one who can contribute to an increase in conversions. Involve and support your staff in tracking and boosting conversion rates. Give them individual targets, and incentives for meeting them.

Review and improve sales process. Everyone can improve their sales skills, and refine the process they use to close sales. Take an opportunity to watch and give feedback to your staff members, or hold a brainstorming session to discuss what techniques, phrases, objections are most effective when selling your product or service.

Develop and continuously update scripts. If you’re not using scripts, it’s time to start. If you are using scripts, make sure you’re revising and improving them on a regular basis based on what you and your staff experience during the sales process.

Focus on customer education instead of sales. Face it, no one likes to be ‘sold’ to. Focus your sales process on building a relationship with and educating your customer on the benefits and solutions of your offering. The more they learn, the more they’ll believe what you have to say, trusting the business enough to make a purchase.

  1. Improve your offering.

Increase quality, exclusivity or range. Can you improve the quality of products or services that you offer? Carry a more exclusive product, or extend your range of products? Take a look at your merchandising mix and service menu and identify areas where you can expand or specialize.

Make great offers. Strong offers can also serve as an incentive for a potential customer to complete the sale. Offer great perceived value, or exclusive and time-sensitive products or services, and you’ll see a spike in your conversion rate.

  1. Take away purchase risk.

Provide free trials and demonstrations. Allow your customers to test out your product or service for free, with no obligation to purchase. Or, offer free demonstrations so your customer can see the benefit or solution your product or service provides.

Guarantee product or service performance. Take away the purchase risk from your potential customer, and you’ll have a powerful strategy for closing sales and increasing conversions. This is also an immediate trust and credibility booster – you are so confident in your product or service’s results that you’re guaranteeing them.

Work with your staff on a daily or weekly basis to consistently measure and increase conversion rates.

Post a calendar in the staff room or common area, and track your targeted and actual conversion rates on a daily and weekly basis. This will give you and your staff a visual reminder of the company’s goals, as well as an indication of how the team is performing.

You don’t work in your business alone, so involve and motivate your team to support you in growing your business. Give them incentives and help them develop their sales skills, and I promise you’ll see an impact on your conversions.

The next step is about customer loyalty – how to keep your clients coming back to make new purchases, instead of continuously trying to buy new clients.

“How To Transform Your Profitability By Improving Your Pricing Strategy”

The easiest way to boost your profit margins is something most business owners are scared of, increase your prices.

Many small businesses haven’t changed their prices since they opened. They set their prices based on the cost of the product or service, the competitors price, and a modest profit margin. Now, like many, they’re fearful that they’ll lose some customers if they increase their prices.

We’ll they’re right. You’ll absolutely lose some of your sales volume with a new pricing strategy. However, as long as the increase in price makes up the initial difference, you’re on your way to a bigger bottom line profit.

In this article I’ll cover:

  • How to boost your margins by adjusting your pricing strategy
  • How your prices affect your business beyond the bottom line
  • How to develop a pricing strategy for your business
  • Types of pricing strategies
  • How to test and measure your pricing strategy

The price tag you put on your offering affects your bottom line through more than just your profit margin.

Your pricing strategy is not only important to your revenue stream, but also to the image you project to your customer base about your business and the quality of your products. It can make or break you when you’re trying to tap into new markets, or when you move to a new location. Your pricing strategy is so important to your business that it can clearly make or break your success.

Given its importance, deciding how much to charge for your product or service is a challenging task. You need to factor in your own costs, the product or service’s perceived value, and the going rate. Ultimately, you want to be able to charge as much as possible for each item, without overpricing yourself out business.

Pricing strategies are often overlooked in favour of other marketing strategies, but their impact can be far reaching.

  • Profit margins.The price you establish for each product or service has to have a large enough profit margin built into it. This includes fixed and variable costs,
  • Business objectives.What are you trying to achieve with your product or service? Of course your objective is to make money, but how you price your goods can contribute to strategic business moves. Are you moving into a new market? Trying to out-price a competitor? Increase your market share? Your pricing strategy can enable you to do these things.
  • Product or service (and business) positioning.You can say a lot about the quality of a product or service with its price. You can also say a lot about your business with your pricing strategy. If your pricing is low, customers may believe that the offering is of low quality.  If your pricing is high, a customer is likely to think that the offering is of high or luxury quality, and that you have a high end business.

Work through this process to evaluate and update your pricing strategy so you can optimise your revenue stream and profit margins.

  1. Gain a good understanding of your current price structure and profit margins, as well as your business objectives.
  2. Make sure you have a working understanding of your profit margin on each product or service you sell.

Know how much the product or service costs you to offer before you establish a price. Do these costs remain consistent, or do they fluctuate? Restaurants that offer high quality meat and seafood often price their meals at “market rates” as opposed to fixed rates. Calculate the fixed and variable costs associated with your product or service. You will want to work the cost of the product or service, a percentage of your overhead, and your own profit into the cost of each item.

Do you have mostly high margin, or low margin items? Have your variable and fixed costs increased since you set your prices? Have you added items to your product or service mix that have impacted the sales volume on the rest of your items?

  1. Establish what your business objectives are, and how your pricing strategy can assist you in achieving them.

Your pricing strategy should be purpose focused. What exactly are you trying to do by setting your prices at certain levels? Are you looking for:

  • Short-term profit increase
  • Long-term profit increase
  • Customer generation
  • Product positioning
  • Revenue maximisation
  • Increase margins
  • Market differentiation
  • Survival
  1. Review your corporate values and how you are planning to position your company in the market place.

How do you want your target market to view your business, and your products? Are you trying to create an image of high quality? High value? Reliable service? Make sure your pricing is consistent with the image you are trying to project. If you are operating a high-end spa – you’re not competing with the budget beauty “nail salon” down the street, so your prices should be considerably higher.

  1. Create a list of the factors that influence your prices

When you worked through the exercise above, you probably identified a number of factors that ultimately helped you determine where you set your prices in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s never quite as simple as product cost plus margin equals total cost. You have to take an overall look at your costs in order to price each item. There are a number of things that will influence what the final price is:

  • Fixed costs.Overall, this will affect how much you charge for products and services as you’ll have to build a percentage of this total into the cost of each item.
  • Variable costs.This will affect pricing primarily on an individual product level, as each product will cost a different amount, or take a different amount of resources to produce.
  • This is obviously a big factor in your pricing strategy. Depending on the size of your competition, and the number of competitive businesses in your area, this may be the primary factor.
  • Company objectives.As I mentioned above, your business vision will help dictate what your pricing strategy will be. If you are trying to penetrate a new market, or move old product, your prices will have to be set accordingly.
  • How unique is your product or service? Highly unique offerings will have less competition, and more freedom in terms of pricing.
  • Similar to your company objectives, how you want your business and your product to be viewed plays a part in how much your offering costs.
  • Target market and willingness to pay.The amount your target audience is willing to pay for a product or service is also a huge factor. If they can’t afford to buy your products when you’ve accounted for costs and a healthy profit margin, you’ll need to look for a new market or reconsider your offering.
  • Factors beyond your control.This includes government and industry regulations, as well as professional associations that regulate services.
  • Create a new price structure based on those factors and using these pricing strategies:

Once you know what you want to do with your pricing, and what factors you need to consider, it’s time to decide what strategies are the most appropriate for your business.

Remember that you don’t have to use the same strategy for your entire product or service line. You may be trying to compete with a competitor on one line of products, and position yourself as a high-end reseller of designer goods with another. The best approach here is to group products or services into sections, and apply a pricing strategy to each group.

  1. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when creating your overall strategy:

Price higher than cost. This may seem obvious, but ensure that your pricing not only covers your costs, but potential fluctuations in sales volume and in the marketplace. If you sell half of your order, will you still make a profit?

  • Include expenses.If you price to cover your costs, will you also be able to cover your expenses and still see a profit? Your margin needs to pay for your expenses, leave you with something to live on, plus some working capital for the company.
  • Consider the ‘fair’ price.What do your consumers think is ‘fair’ for each service or product? This is impacted by your competitor’s price, your company’s image (high quality or high value, low cost), and the perceived value of your product or service.
  • Avoid the lowest pricing strategy.The days of the lowest price guarantee and pricing wars are over – especially for small businesses. The “big players” in the marketplace will quickly put you out of business if you try to compete on price. Their pockets are deeper and they have lower operating costs due to their sheer size. They can afford to – you can’t.
  1. Here is an extensive list of potential pricing strategies for you to use as a reference:

Cost Plus Pricing. This is the most basic pricing strategy. Set your price at a number that includes the total cost of goods or services (based on a specific sales volume), a percentage of total expenses, plus a mark-up, or profit margin. This is the opposite of competitive pricing. Instead of looking at the market, look at your own cost structure. Decide the profit you want to make and add it to your costs to determine selling price.

Target ROI Pricing. Determine your price based on a targeted ROI. For example, if you need to make 10,000 from 200 units ($/£ 50 per unit) then you’ll need to set your price at $/£ 50 more than cost (including expenses).

Value Based Pricing. This is where you price your product or service based on a benefit or value that it will afford the customer later. For example, for an item that costs you $/£ 35 to product, but will save the customer $/£ 1500 to $/£ 2000, a $/£ 100 to $/£ 200 price tag will seem reasonable.

Positioning Pricing. As I discussed above, the level at which you set your prices will say something to your customers about the quality of your products and your business. What message are you trying to send the customer?

Competitive Pricing. Set your prices using your competitor’s prices (retail or wholesale) as a benchmark for your own. Depending on how you are trying to position your product, price slightly higher or lower than theirs.

Loss Leader Pricing. This is where you sell an item at or below cost to draw customers, who will then buy additional high-profit items. This is a short-term strategy, usually used as a promotion, when you know your customers usually buy more than one item at once.

Close Out Pricing. Use this strategy to move old or excess stock. You can sell these items at a discount to avoid the cost of continuing to store or display the items that were slow moving or over-ordered.

Versioning Pricing. This is where you set the price of the base model, and then offer several other “versions” of the same product with additional upgrades and features. This is how most car companies sell their product.

Penetration Pricing. If you’re trying to increase your market share, this is the strategy for you. Typically, the business would set their prices very low to attract customers and build their database. Then, once the customers have been converted, the prices begin to rise, justified with high value and customer service.

Skimming Pricing. Most technology is priced this way. A new product is released at an initially high price, and then the price is slowly lowered to include a larger market base. You’re trying to get as much profit from each market “layer” as possible. The initial high price is not sustainable, but is initially justified by the product’s novelty.

Premium Pricing. If the product or service has a high level of uniqueness, or additional value, price the item accordingly high. You’ll need a competitive advantage for this strategy to work, or your competition will take your business with lower prices. This is the strategy to use for luxury and designer goods or services.

Economy Pricing. This is your basic, no frills low price. Works well for economy brands. The cost of making or purchasing the product is kept low in comparison to other products available.

Captive Product Pricing. If you sell items that require exclusive consumable parts (like razors or printers), set the price of the original item low, and charge a premium for the consumable parts. For example, the latest razor model is priced around $/£10, but replacement cartridges are priced at $/£12 for four.

Geographical Pricing. If you import products from different parts of the world, your prices will need to reflect this increased cost and your marketing will need to position the product as unique to justify the increase in price. Also called rarity value.

Be sure to test and measure your pricing strategy, and make changes where necessary.

Inevitably, when you increase your prices you’re bound to lose some sales volume. However, as long as your price increase makes up for the lost volume in the short term, your strategy is a success. On the other hand, if you have increased some of your prices and those products are still flying off the shelves, you may want to consider a second increase in a few months.

If you have a purpose based pricing strategy, like a penetration pricing strategy, you will need to evaluate if you are achieving your objectives. In the case of penetration pricing, you will need to evaluate if you are increasing your market share with the price you have set. In this case, you would be able to measure the success of your efforts by looking for an increase in sales, as well as an increase in customers who have come to you from the competition.

Let me know if you have any questions!

For further help go to www.bernardkeavymentor.com

How To Write Sales Letters That Sell

A well-constructed sales letter is still the most powerful weapon in a marketer’s arsenal, because a letter allows you to make your sales presentation to thousands of people at once . . . without you ever having to leave your office or sofa.  These ten rules apply both to old fashioned mail and letters you put on the Internet. If you follow these ten rules, your success is practically assured:

  1. Craft a great first sentence that creates intrigue.      Leading off your letter with a question is often a good device to engage the reader. Here’s a good one:  If I can show you how you can double your income by giving me just 30 minutes of your time a month, would you like to learn more?Questions can be effective lead sentences because you’re immediately engaging your reader in a conversation. You’re asking your reader to give their opinion. You’re putting your reader in charge of the conversation. And you’re doing so in a way that gets your reader thinking and imagining.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Or here’s another way to start:  I’m writing to you because your business may be having financial problems, and I think I have a way to help you.  This is attention-getting because you have just told your reader that you know something damaging about them.

    You have inside information about your reader. It’s a bit of a shocker. Who would not keep reading after being hit on the head with such an opening line?

  1. Explain all the benefits of what you’re selling, and promise your most important benefit first. 

People don’t buy things or products. People buy great results. You’re not buying leather seats for your car; you’re buying comfort, beauty, and prestige. Am I selling drivers to golfers, or am I selling long straight shots guaranteed to take balls an extra 20 yards down the fairway?

Before you start writing, list on index cards all benefits (results) you can identify that your product or service will achieve for the prospect. Then organise them in order of priority. Ask others to organise the cards in the priority they think is right. Take a kind of mini-poll—because what you think is important might very well be wrong. The larger your poll sample, the better your data will be. Ask as many people as you can to help you prioritise your benefits on index cards.

If you can, find a ‘hidden benefit’ that can further strengthen your appeal. Anytime you can share a secret or show people something ‘hidden,’ their ears will perk up.

A hidden benefit of aspirin is that it helps diminish the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes by thinning the blood and thereby unclogging arteries.

A hidden benefit of the time-management program you’re selling is that not only will it make your reader more productive and their business more profitable, but they’ll have a lot more time for family, golf and for doing the things they love doing.

In almost every product you sell, you can find ‘hidden benefits’ that might be even more attractive than the obvious benefit. ‘Hidden benefits’ are like ‘hidden treasures.’ They are so much more exciting to read about.

  1. Describe your most important benefit in detail.

Your readers must be persuaded that your claims are true. You must prove your claims.

You do this by going into a fair amount of detail about how and why your product will achieve the wonderful benefit you’re describing. You don’t do this with a lot of hype. You don’t do this by using empty words like ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible.’ You do this with facts, reasons, and interesting little-known details.

Here is a famous marketing case study.

The great advertising writer Claude Hopkins, back in 1919, was hired by Schlitz beer to craft an ad campaign that would rescue the company. Schlitz at the time was running about fifteenth in beer sales and was in deep trouble.

Hopkins made a trip to Wisconsin to visit the brewery. He needed to learn more about how beer was made. Hopkins knew that it was impossible to sell without a thorough knowledge of the product being sold.

The people at Schlitz showed Hopkins the entire brewing process, step by step. They showed him how deep they had drilled their wells to find the purest water. They showed him the glass enclosed rooms that kept the water pure, the kind of yeast they used and where they got it. They showed Hopkins the place where the bottles were cleaned, re-cleaned, and sanitised a dozen times.

‘My God,’ Hopkins said, ‘Why don’t you tell people in your advertising about all these steps you are taking to brew your beer?’

But, answered the Schlitz people, ‘all companies brew their beer about the same way.’

‘Yes,’ Hopkins countered, ‘but the first one to tell the public about this process will gain a big advantage.’

Hopkins then launched an ad campaign for Schlitz that described in detail the company’s step-by-step brewing process for making the beer. Within six months, Schlitz jumped to number 1 selling beer.

Hopkins proved with his ad campaign that there are no boring subjects, just boring writers. ‘Who wants to hear a story about the step-by-step brewing process of making beer?’ one might wonder. It turns out those who love beer are fascinated by the subject.

They want to know exactly and precisely why they should pick this beer above all others. Claude Hopkins understood this law of marketing and went on to turn the brewing process into an exciting story, full of detail—and of riveting interest to beer lovers.

  1. Tell readers exactly what they will get. 

Your customers want to know exactly what they will be getting for their money. 

When you buy a car, you want the exact specifications, so that when you compare prices with other dealers you know you’re comparing apples to apples. When you buy a computer, you need to know the specifications: How fast is it? How much memory does it have? How big is the screen? How clear is the resolution?

Include all the information. If the information is highly technical such as with computers, you should include this on a separate insert, perhaps along with a beautiful and impressive photo of the computer you’re selling. Technical specifications make for boring copy, so the complete list should not be included in the letter, just the highlights. But a complete list should be included somewhere.

If you’re selling a seminar on tape or a study-at-home course, you should include an impressive photo of all the materials that will be arriving in a box. Your letter, your sales package, is like a show-and-tell presentation. Provide all the information—if not all in the letter, on separate inserts and enclosures. Give your reader a lot of great material to study.

  1. Provide third-party testimony and social proof for the truth of your claims. 

Anything the salesperson has to say is going to be met with scepticism, no matter how compelling the story and claims, and no matter how exact the details are described.  You need others—preferably famous and respected people—to confirm that what you’re saying is true.

If you’re selling a cure for muscle pain, you should have endorsements by top doctors—perhaps doctors who work for professional sports teams.

But it’s also important for endorsements not to be just hype. Endorsements are best if they are mini-stories—a mini-story on how the recognized expert discovered your product and then a fairly detailed description of exactly what your product achieved for them is an effective, believable testimonial.

The more testimonials you have the better. If possible, include an entire booklet of testimonials with your mailings. You can never have enough testimonials. Try to secure testimonials on audio and video and put them on your website. Include a CD, DVD, MP3 with your mailing that includes all your testimonials, accompanied by the printed version (because most people will not take the time to view the DVD).

  1. Tell readers what bad things will happen if they fail to act now.

Your readers must be given good reasons to act now, not tomorrow. People buy more out of impulse. If your prospect puts your letter aside, thinking they will get to it later, your offer is probably doomed. Your reasons to act now, not tomorrow, must also be credible, not hype. Scarcity and limited time offers work very well.

Last chance’ arguments for acting now is a proven formula for success. But, as with all your sales letters and presentations, the claim must be believable and should be genuine.

Avoid using clichés such as ‘Supplies are limited, so act now.’ Everyone knows you probably have a warehouse full of it. Stronger more specific wording would be more credible,

We’re down to the last few books, and it could be many months before we go back up on press with another printing.

So I encourage you to get your order in today. Calling us at xxxxxxxx or ordering online at www.website.com is the surest and fastest way to secure your book.

This says almost the same thing, but it’s far more precise. The reasons are solid. And there’s no hype, just good solid facts and reasons for acting now and not waiting until tomorrow.

  1. Rephrase the most prominent benefits in the close and in other parts of the package.

Repeating your message is crucial in all successful marketing. But don’t repeat the same words all the time or you will bore your reader. Look for new, fresh ways to underscore what your offer is and what the benefits are. This is where brainpower and creativity come in.

You do this in your lead. You back up your claims in the body of your letter, in the enclosures and testimonials.

Summarise your offer, restating the principal benefit in the P.S. and on the order form.

What you’re offering, what you’re selling, must be crystal clear in about three seconds. Your reader must never need to search for what you’re selling.

  1. Include a risk reversal money-back guarantee.

This is absolutely essential, because you’re asking your reader, who may never have met you, to trust your claims and send you money. And, as with everything else in your letter, you must make your guarantee believable. Your reader must feel absolutely certain that this guarantee you’re describing is real. It must be unconditional, no questions asked.

Always put the buyer in charge of the guarantee and the decision as to whether a refund is called for.

  1. Offer instant gratification. 

In the 21st Century, the age of high-speed Internet and overnight delivery, you must offer instant gratification. People today are not patient. They aren’t willing to ‘allow four-to-six weeks for delivery.’ That’s like waiting until the next life.

So when your sales letter is mailed, be sure you’re ready to fulfill orders instantly.

  1. Always include a PS

This is the second most read part of any letter after the heading.

To find out more and get some free resources go to https://www.bernardkeavy.com

 

 

Kick Start Your Marketing

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way.

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores. The basic concept is this: You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to. Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses. As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base. So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success. LV = (P x F) x N – MC Here’s what it all means:
  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers. So, here’s your step-by-step process:
  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) ☺ What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you great people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.