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 Adland Digest FREE Edition #576
  Friday, Oct 26, 2007

Information Your Business Needs RIGHT NOW

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Creating Sales Conversations
Copyright 2007 by Charlie Cook

You've got a great product or service that beats the competition by miles. Once you get in front of people or get them on the phone, they're sold. The only problem is you're not getting enough of those initial conversations with prospects started so you can convert them to clients. Instead of having your phone ringing of the hook with requests, you feel like your firm is the best kept secret in your industry.

Sound familiar?

Bob called from Alabama with just this problem. His company manufactures creative, attractive and safe playgrounds. Lately, sales have been flat, at best, and despite having an outstanding product, his company isn't generating as many sales as he'd like. Bob wanted to know how to start more conversations so he can jump start sales.

Want more conversations with prospects so you can sell your products and services?

The first step to starting a conversation with someone is to get his or her attention. In school, you raised your hand and eventually the teacher called on you -- of course, that is what the teacher was paid to do. When you're marketing your products or services, you can't just raise your hand and expect prospects to call on you. Running an ad or having a web site that describes your products or services is the equivalent of raising your hand. It may have worked in the classroom, but it doesn't work in the marketplace.

When you focus your marketing on yourself, your firm or your products, it rarely works to get attention or start a conversation. To engage prospects and get them to contact you, you need to focus on their needs and wants.

Bob explained that he had three different markets: day care centers, municipal parks departments and architects and each has different concerns. Parks departments concern is durability and the safety of the materials used, day care centers is the creative design.

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As Bob clearly understands, each target market has their own unique set of interests. These interests should be the focus his marketing effort, not the company name, credentials or product production techniques. Bob could be using these insights to create a marketing message or set of marketing messages to get the attention of prospects.

Through your experience you have a good idea of your prospects' and your clients' concerns and interests. Take a minute to jot down the top three concerns of each of your target markets. Use this information to engage prospects in conversation.

If a stranger walked into your office, what's the first thing you'd do? You'd say something like, "How can I help you?" Not surprisingly, the same technique works wonders when you combine it with your knowledge of prospects' concerns. Instead of touting your credentials or describing your products, lead with a question to start a conversation.

Bob could ask, "Want to learn more about improving the safety and durability of your playgrounds?" Or a marketing coach might ask, "Want to learn more about attracting a steady stream of clients?" Or the line that suckers me every time as an audiophile is, "Want to learn how to make your stereo sound like a live performance?"

When we're one on one, face-to-face, starting a conversation comes naturally to most of us. Beginning with a handful of questions, you can quickly learn what someone wants and how you can help them. Focus on your prospects' concerns with a question or two and you'll get their attention. Offer them something they want and they'll contact you.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in marketing their business is to over emphasize closing the sale. What you want to do is open the door to new prospects, start a conversation and help them get what they want. Focus on starting more conversations with your marketing and you'll end up closing many more sales.

About The Author

2004 In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the Free Marketing Plan eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com



3 Steps To Effectively Increase Your Marketing Response
 by: Eva Browne-Paterson

It's well known that internet marketers are in the business of marketing. To become successful in business, it's crucial to actively promote your business to gain new customers. Let's face it... No promotion, no new customers. It's a simple as that.

If you've ever spent money on advertising before, you will know that it can be a costly process. Whether the cost is measured in time, effort, money or a mixture of all three - the one thing that counts the most is the results. A lack of results from a marketing campaign can be a real disappointment.

More often than not, it is a case of hit-and-miss which leads to frustration and a wasted advertising budget.

This article will explain three steps that you can take to gauge how effective your marketing campaigns are and to rapidly improve the response rates of future campaigns. It also brings to light some relatively unknown tactics that some advertising companies are employing to rip-off their customers. I hope you're not one of those customers... But you might have been already without even realizing it.

Step 1: T&T

You may or may not work out a proper campaign for your promotions, but let me make a suggestion to you if I may? You really should be Tracking and Testing. If you don't know how responsive a particular ad is, how can you possibly gauge the ad's effectiveness? Not by guessing, that's for sure! It is essential that you T&T because this keeps you in control of your earnings.

If your campaigns aren't creating the desired outcome - signups, sales, opt-ins etc., something needs to be changed. By T&T, you can make changes, retest and gauge the results to repeat the process until you do generate the necessary effect and therefore increase your profits.


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Step 2: Tweaking

What areas need looking at? Here is a short list of questions you can ask yourself. The answer to these questions should be " Yes". If the answer is "No", then simply tweak the item and T&T to produce a better response.

Ad Copy:

Does it have an eye-catching headline? Is it well written with the correct grammar and punctuation? Have you edited it over and over to create what you'd consider a perfect advertisement? Does it use hypnotic words and phrases that grab the interest of the reader? Does it make the reader want to click through to your web site while pulling out their credit card? If you wouldn't respond to the ad yourself, a rewrite is a must.

Product Demand:

If you truly aim to make sales, your advertising needs to be put in front of the people who will want to purchase your product. Have you carried out or have access to market research data on the product you are offering? If it's a niche-target product, are you targeting the appropriate audience? Have you polled your list or web site visitors to find out what they really want? Feedback is precious and should be taken into serious consideration.

Sales Page:

Does your sales page load quickly? Does it look good to the naked eye without making you frown or close the site in pain? Does it have an eye-catching headline? Does it appeal to the reader's sensibilities and rouse their emotions? Have you used short paragraphs? Have you included bullet point lists? Have you refined the copy over and over again to make it as sharp as possible? Have you made it so there are no unanswered questions for the customer to ask?

Order Page:

Have you included a guarantee that removes the risk taken by the customer? Have you provided several payment options where applicable? Have you made the purchasing process as quick and simple as possible? Have you included your contact details?


If everything else appears to be set correctly but you're still not receiving the response you need, consider revising the price and T&T. Use a split tester if possible to see which price receives the better response (and it's not always the cheaper price surprisingly). 100 is a good number to use for split-testing. ie: If you're testing two pages, the first to receive 100 responses is the one to adopt.

Step 3: QA

Usually QA stands for Quality Assurance and it still does, but in this instance, it also means Quality Advertising. T&T and Tweaking can be an ongoing process that you continually carry out using free or paid advertising.

There are many forms of advertising available on the internet. Free advertising methods are excellent for T&T because they can illustrate how well an ad pulls through an ezine or solo ad. You can also gauge how effective your sales page is by click-thru statistics in traffic exchanges etc. But for now, let's concentrate on the effective, paid advertising methods. Why? Because paid advertising brings results... Well it should -- but it doesn't always!

It is imperative that you gauge the effectiveness of the advertising vehicle that you are utilizing through T&T. If you don't, you could be throwing your hard-earned dollars straight down the drain.

If you have paid for an advertising campaign through a company and the results are less than you hoped for, you need to look into why the results were dismal. How do you do that? It certainly pays to ask questions and dig deeper to see exactly how your advertisement is being delivered.

In fact, I can save you some time and really open your eyes to some marketing methods that you probably didn't even know existed! These are methods that are being used quite frequently by some online companies who provide traffic and advertising services.

You really need to know about them now so you don't fall into that trap. Most of us have already and didn't even know it, until now...

Click here to download my free report, "What Every Marketer Should Know Before Paying for Advertising".

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If you utilize the 3 steps I've described above, you'll discover that your hard work really does pay off. Increased profits can indeed be yours with the right work ethic and the right quality advertising vehicle.


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About The Author

Eva Browne-Paterson lives in Australia and has been marketing online for over 12 years. She has been publishing EvieB's New-Z since 2001, is the CEO of InstaPay and partner in the JVMoneyMakers.com group.


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