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Get Business Now: 
Play by the Marketing Rules

By Charlie Cook
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Marketing a business is like any game. If you know the rules 
you are much more likely to win. All to often small 
businesses spend their limited time and money on advertising, 
networking, making calls, mailings, meeting with prospects, 
yet only achieve middling results. The problem isn’t that 
they don’t know their business or provide high quality products 
and services, its that they don’t know the rules of the 
marketing game.
 
Marketing To Win
To win the marketing game, you need to know the rules. The key 
rules to getting the clients you want are:

1. Market Solutions
2. Target Your Market
3. Demonstrate Value
4. Build Your Network 
5. Stay in Touch 

1. Market Solutions
Most service professionals focus their marketing on their 
expertise, their approach and the products and services they 
offer. While competence is a key to doing the work, most 
clients' primary concern is getting problems solved and having 
their spoken and unspoken needs met. Instead of marketing your 
credentials, your processes and methodology, market your 
knowledge and the solutions you offer. 

Marketing is about making connections, specifically between a 
client's unmet need and the solutions you provide. The best way 
to impress clients is to show them you understand the problems 
they are experiencing. If you want to leverage your credentials, 
mention past clients when you provide examples of how you solved 
similar problems. 

2. Target Your Market
Are you getting a positive response to your marketing efforts? 
If not, then you may not have targeted your market and their 
specific needs and interests precisely enough. Independent 
professionals or small business owners often try to do the 
impossible and be everything to everybody. Instead define your 
niche market and get the attention of this group. 

3. Demonstrate Value 
Actions speak louder than words. If you want clients to be 
aware of the value of your products or services, you will need 
to give them a test drive. Open the door with newsletters, 
workshops, a free session or articles found on your web site. 
Over time demonstrating the value you provide will convince 
prospective clients of your ability to solve their problems and 
help position you as a trusted advisor.

4. Build Your Network
The objective is to know who is interested in your products and 
services. Networking is a good idea because people like to buy 
products from people they know and trust. If they’ve met you or 
been referred to you they are more likely to trust you. 

Depending on the business you are in, you can build your 
network of prospects through conventional networking or through 
your web site and email. Either way the more qualified prospects 
you have in your network the better.

5. Stay in Touch
Memories are short. Once we hit middle age most of us can't 
remember what we had for dinner two days ago, much less the 
host of services various firms provide. In most cases its safe 
to assume your target market has forgotten about the range of 
solutions you offer, if they remember you at all. 

Stay in touch with your target market on a monthly or, at a 
minimum quarterly basis. When you contact people be clear about 
the action you want prospective, existing and past clients to 
take.

Win the Marketing Game
Once you know the rules to marketing you can apply them to map 
out your marketing strategy, and to select marketing tactics 
that will leave your competition in the dust. 

2003 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
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The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, has developed a 
marketing guide for independent professionals and small 
business owners who want to improve their marketing. In it he 
shows you how to attract the clients you want. Get a copy of 
the free marketing guide now: 
CLICK HERE ==> http://www.charliecook.net
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