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Do you know the impact of relationship marketing? Let's say you went to a neighborhood barbershop for the last two decades. You never went elsewhere, and you've built a mightily strong relationship with the barbers there. Now let's say the barbershop moved twenty miles away, and a new barber comes in town charging 20% less. Where would you be inclined to get your haircut? For most of us, we'd hit the road, take the twenty mile hike, and visit our favorite barbers. That's what building a relationship with your customers is all about. Relationship marketing will help your company endure long-term success. Now, it doesn't take twenty years to build solid relationships. Most are built much shorter. Once you've established relationships with customers, you've found the secret to marketing. Most successful businesses over twenty years old will say this: The success of your organization will depend on the level of relationships you build with your customers. Ask yourself: Would you pay a $10 haircut at the new mega chainstore, or would you spend the $15 at your neighborhood barbershop that you've going to all your life? Having a strong relationship with your customer will let you charge a premium to your customers, and have them for life. If you're just beginning, start a strong relationship with your first customer, and then see it grow from there through word of mouth. For small businesses, this type of patience is vital to your company's success. You probably won't have a big advertising budget, a marketing partner, and a sales team to help you; so don't bother with conventional methods that you hear. True, you could advertise and get a customer transaction, but when you build relationships, you get a customer for life. At the basis of all your marketing activities, focus on relationship marketing with your customers. For us, and many of our clients, that's been the smartest way to build a solid organization.
Posted on February 18

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These are some of the best tips helped us get the most out of your sales and marketing productivity. Listen. Don't talk. Listen, respond. Listen, respond. Repeat this process. That way, you'll understand what your client needs. Offer a guarantee with teeth. We call it a "guaranteeth." It's an offer that you'll stand by your product no matter what. No questions asked. Importantly, it eliminates risks for the buyer. Offer value. Give, and you'll receive. Give more, and you'll be rewarded extra. Help the client succeed, and they'll increase your sales and marketing productivity. Give something for free. Create baby steps. Chances are, you won't be able to create a sell on first contact. Lessen the risk, so you can get the product in the customer's hands. Get referrals, exponentially. Get two from a customer that loves your service. Make them love you, then ask for multiple referrals again. Your firm will grow quickly. Focus on repeat customers. It's ten times easier to market to past customers than it is to get a new one. Do well for customers, and they'll come back to you. It's as easy as that. Emphasize benefits. Don't talk about how great you are. Nobody cares. Customers want to know what you'll do for them only. Stress this fact. Be genuine. Don't be fake. Don't front an enthusiastic smile. Customers will see right through you. Be who you are. Play to your strengths. Integrity. If a customer doesn't need a certain service, don't provide it to them. Sure you can profit big time, but it'll catch up to you in the long run. Remember, good business is about making good and consistent decisions. Build relationships. If you're great at building relationships, you'll succeed. Period. Learn it, use it, and adapt it to your business. We assure you that these tips alone will increase your sales and marketing productivity.
Posted on February 18

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Sales training is baloney. At least that's what most programs are. If they train you to be the stereotypical salesperson, walk away. If they show you a video of a "successful" salesmen who will exploit customers for company interests, run away. No, sprint away. Being a good salesperson requires you to forget everything you've perceived about the subject. Want the good news now? Anyone can become a successful salesperson with the right sales training. You won't need a particular persona to become effective. You won't need charisma, the ability to hype products, or even being able to generate as much BS as possible. What's you'll need is integrity. To be customer-centric. To treat your customers as if they were your grandparents. Great sales training focuses beyond short-term gain. It looks to the fourth sale. It looks to the needs of the customer. It begins with listening. It begins with telling the truth. It begins with giving value. Ultimately, it starts with building a relationship with the customer. At the heart of any client interaction, it starts with a solid relationship. It's the basis for all great marketing strategies, and it's the foundation of great selling. Remember, you can never sell the traditional way to a customer and expect long-term success from it. You can only start to build a solid relationship. Your sales with take care of themselves. That, we've found, is the greatest sales training of all.
Posted on February 18

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It's much easier to sell to a previous customer than a new customer. Too many small companies focus their entire marketing campaign around getting new customers -- whether it's an ad copy in the local newspaper, or an advertisement on TV. Too bad these companies could have attracted 90% more customers by simply calling their previous customers to build stronger relationships with them. Heck, they would have saved a lot of money too. Campaign around your past customers.
Posted on February 18

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Here's a great small business marketing solution. If you ever took a business marketing class, your professor probably taught you that marketing begins with identifying a target market -- then revolving the product's needs around an imaginary person. We're telling you to erase that thought. It's bad marketing. You don't know the person's needs, emotions, and psychological mind when looking at your product. It could probably take some guesswork, but those odds are bad. There's a better way.

Good marketing begins with yourself.

You can pretend to market to an imaginary person, but you'd be more effective if you marketed your stuff to yourself. Chances are that with five billion people roaming the planet, somebody out there is just like you. Once you target yourself, you'd be targeting a million others. Your marketing will be efficient because you'll discover what the target market likes and dislikes from first-hand knowledge. The stellar marketing campaign will develop as your passion overtakes you. Oh, and you'll have tons of fun doing it.
Posted on February 18

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The worst small business marketing advice we ever received when we started our own companies? Find a USP, otherwise known as a "unique selling proposition," and watch the money roll in. Well, it never did. This could probably work for the bigger, more established, companies, but not for us little guys. What's the main key to great marketing then? Build relationships.

Think Long-Term

Start a strong relationship with your first customer, and then see it grow from there through word of mouth. For small businesses, this type of patience is key. You probably won't have a big advertising budget, a marketing partner, and a sales team to help you; so don't bother with conventional methods that you hear. True, you could advertise and get a customer transaction, but when you build relationships, you get a customer for life. Use this guide to market your business quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
  • Relationship Marketing: Marketing begins with building relationships. Cater to the Believers: Love the evangelists, and they'll do many great things for you.
  • Marketing Strategy: Learn the basics of marketing correctly. Market to Yourself: Use this unconventional approach.
  • Unique Selling Proposition: Learn why having one will not make you successful.
  • Marketing Program: It's useless without doing this. Make your marketing unique: Be different in an unoriginal world.
  • Use guerilla marketing tactics: These simple, effective, and affordable small business marketing tools level the playing field with your larger competitors.
  • Employ viral marketing: Learn how you can use the same tools that made Hotmail and Google a household name.
  • Be Remarkable: Stand out from the boring business industry marketing world.
  • Marketing Technology Solutions: How to use technology the right way. Market online the right way: It's not as easy as putting all of your company's information, and wait for customers. You'll need proven techniques to make your web site a key marketing tool for your small business.
  • Sell your goods online: You'll have a new, global audience when you use the tips in this section to provide your products and services online.
  • Sales Training: You'll learn the best lesson in 1 minute. Find quality leads: You'll learn various techniques to find the correct customers in this section.
  • 10 Tips to Increase Sales: Quick advice to improve your small business marketing.
We encourage you to use the concept of relationships as the basis for all of your marketing activities, as you read through the small business marketing guide.
Posted on February 18

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Most web designers can build an eye-catching site; but if you ask them to produce successful web site marketing, they wouldn't have a clue. That's because it takes more than using spiffy graphics to build a popular website on the internet. (There, we just saved you $5000 in resources.) Then, what's the key ingredient to successful web site marketing? Build content. Lots of them. Search engines love content, and will rank content-oriented pages ahead of commercial sites (i.e. your competitors). Build lots of content, get lots of traffic. That's the foundation. It's that simple.

Then, Build Upon the Foundation

Atop of that foundation, build pages that you can win in the search engine game. You probably couldn't win the keyword "bookstore" when you're starting. The supply of that keyword severely outpaces the demand. You wouldn't want a general term like that anyway. The more effective approach would be to focus your pages on more narrowed niches (e.g. Atlanta bookstore, business books) that you can win. Remember: if your page is not within the first three pages in a search engine for a particular keyword, it doesn't exist in the customers' eyes. How do you find a narrowed niche where you possibly have a chance of winning? Head over to Nichebot.com to begin your campaign. Type in a few keywords you have in mind that relate to the theme of your site. The lower the ratio (i.e. usually under ten), the better your chances at ranking well. Go ahead and build a page with that keyword as the focus. Of course, that's just a rough framework to use. When in doubt, always use your best judgment.
Posted on February 18

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Here is a startling fact: you can have the greatest unique selling proposition, but it won't guarantee you any success. The problem with USPs is that it focuses on eliciting feedback from your customers' left brain -- their analytical side. According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman however, people make their buying decisions based on 95% of their unconscious mind. So if you've spent thousands on developing a unique USP, you'll only be able to influence 5% of a person's mind. Those aren't the greatest odds to build your business. It seems that the basis for good marketing according to entrepreneur gurus is to find where you can be unique. The theory goes that if you can differentiate yourself from your competitors, you'll be the crown jewel of your industry. Too bad this didn't happen to many companies clinging onto their unique selling proposition -- and trying to influence a measly 5%. The companies that are mega successes today did not have a USP when they started. Instead, they opted to build great fundamentals into their companies -- attracting customers' unconscious minds of providing tremendous value. Such is the case for Wal-Mart. Sam Walton focused on the fundamentals of building a great business. He focused on good customer service. He focused on building an innovative company. He focused on providing well for his employees. By simply concentrating on building a business with great fundamentals -- thus providing value in the customers' eyes, Walton succeeded in jumpstarting the biggest and one of the most successful businesses in the world. To attract customers, understand first how they think. You'll be much more successful doing that than wasting your days finding a unique ability.
Posted on February 18

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Viral marketing took little-known companies such as Hotmail, Yahoo!, and Google, and turned them into household names. Not bad for companies spending minimal marketing dollars. If you're on a budget, as you should be, use viral marketing to increase customers effectively. It works this way: Most people have a network of 8-12 people in their close network of friends, family, and other associates. Depending on their status, people can also have several hundred or thousands of acquaintances in their extensive network. By tapping one person, you can tap the entire network. It Multiplies To illustrate, imagine this: A company builds a relationship with Sally. Sally loves the company, and recommends its products to 10 of her friends. The company then builds a strong relationship with those 10 friends. The 10 friends too love the company, and each recommends it to 10 other associates. The list grows to 100. And so on. How do you run a viral campaign? It depends on your industry. For some, it's as simple as giving something for free -- such Hotmail advertising free e-mail at the footer of all e-mail messages. For others, it takes more patience such as spending time to build relationships with customers.
Posted on February 18

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Many small businesses, or businesses in general for that matter, don't have an effective web site marketing strategy. They don't use the internet wisely to grow their business. They usually develop a web site, packed the contents with how great they are, and expect money to roll in. Well, that never happens. Unless you're a multi-billion dollar company, you need better methods to use the internet effectively for your small business. Information is Key First, understand that web surfers don't look for you. What then do they look for? Information, information, information, information. Remember when we said the top marketing priority for small businesses is to build relationships? When you provide your advice, tips, e-zines, you're building a relationship with that customer. Build your sites with quality information about your topic. Make it theme-based, so you'll provide good information from different angles. Your visitor will reward you with repeat visits, and search engines will give you greater listings as you develop more theme-based content. If you focus your site on delivering quality information, you'll have a better web site marketing strategy than 99% of web sites out there.
Posted on February 18

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