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Business Management Tips
Provided By:Author: Benjamin Glass
Copyright (c) 2009 Benjamin Glass
Many entrepreneurs struggle with how to market their goods and services, especially in a weakened economy. The result is a follow-the-pack mentality. The simply copy what others in their industry do, inserting their name for their competitors. Stop reading this article right now and go and pick up the Yellow Page directory for your area. Look at the ads of companies who do what you do. What do you see?
Most businesses do random chance marketing. There is no compelling marketing message which would provoke the prospect to call them first. They then try to compensate for the lack of a compelling message by shouting louder. They think that by making the ad larger or more colorful or by adding a cute logo they are improving their chances of being called. They aren't. With no change in the message they are just throwing their money away. It's sheer luck when they prospect calls them instead of their competitor.
Here are what successful small business owners do to not only improve the return on investment on their marketing dollars but thrive, profit and grow.
Attract attention with an interesting headline. Your business name or "Dentist" is not an interesting headline. Think of how you read the newspaper. You scan the headlines for an article that might interest you. The purpose of the headline is to get you to read the next paragraph. Thus, Local Doctor Shows the Secret to Running Without Pain is much more interesting than Dr. Smith Announces the Opening of his New Office, or worse a headline that says. Tom Jones, M.D. You don't want to be boring.
Motivate Them to Contact You First and Stop Their Search for Your Competitor. Most ads try to make the entire sale—right now. That's asking your ad to do too much. Instead, make an irresistible offer and set a deadline. The goal of the ad is to make the prospect feel that she'd have to be really silly to not raise her hand and make contact with you now. Many businesses use some sort of information premium to attack attention and compel the prospect to start the conversation. Many small businesses have developed a report along the lines of Ten Things You Should Know About Buying XXX before calling any XXX. Again, you need to teach them how to shop for whatever product or service it is that you sell.
Prove That You Are the Right Choice. Once they have initiated contact you have an opportunity to market to them in a competitive vacuum. Now you can make your case that you are the right company to give them what they want. You do this by doing what lawyers do in court: You pile on the evidence. While space and time limitations restrict the message you can deliver in Yellow Pages or TV ads, (which is why we don't ask the ad itself to do all of the work of making a complete sale) there are virtually no restrictions--other than being honest and truthful--on what you can include in a package that you send to a consumer who has contacted you. Use testimonials and success stories. People want to know that they aren't the only ones thinking about using your services. Use full names when you use testimonials (get permission first).
Create a Sense of Urgency. People want what they cannot have. Would you rather be seen as the dentist who needs to chase after patients, or the one who is booked solid for a month? Even the newest dentist can honestly state that he or she can accept only a limited number of patients, and that those patients' needs must meet certain criteria. The "urgency" that is created is that if they want you, they need to make a decision now because there is no guarantee that you will have the time to accept them as a patient later.
BEN GLASS is a Fairfax small business owner and marketing and small business consultant. He runs monthly marketing meetings for Northern Virginia business owners and entrepreneurs. To come to our next meeting for free, and get one of Ben's books, for free, visit www.Glazer-Kennedy-Virginia.com or call 877-IBA-GKIC (877-422-4542)
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/business-owners-can-make-themselves-the-obvious-choice-1044315.html