Early this morning I came across a website called Business By Results. It is a website and blog by Melina Abbott. I downloaded her ebook which is all about how to attract customers. I thought a summary or review of the ebook would be great for my blog readers given this blog is all about how to get more customers for B2B small businesses. So here is the summary of the ebook.
How To Attract Customers
1. Get Clear On Who You Are Targeting
Summary: Basically, this is determining who is most likely to be interested in buying from you. This can be anything that is common among people who would be interested in buying from you like age, geographic location, hobbies, etc. An example is given in regards to when Melina started her business. In the example, she had decided to do two direct mail campaigns; one to a mailing list of businesses she knew spent money on advertising and another to a generic list of local businesses. The results? The campaign to the business that spent money on advertising, resulted in a 40% response rate. The other campaign (which used an identical direct mail design) resulted in a response rate of 0%. So by targeting she, in essence, received more than a 40 times higher response rate. Targeting is definitely worth while, even if it costs significantly more.
2. Understand What They Really Want
Summary: You need to be able to know how to answer "What Is In It For Me?" for your product or service from the prospects perspective. If you can't answer this then it is clear there is no reason for anyone to but from you. You need to be know how your product or service is going to benefit the prospect (ie. make them more money, save them time, etc). Melina also advises to use emotion over logic as emotion is more powerful. I totally agree and am still working this into my strategies for my customers' marketing campaigns.
3. Give Them What They Want And Stand Head And Shoulders Above Your Competition
Summary: You need to have a unique selling proposition that makes you stand out from the competition, something that makes you different and attractive. A great example is my coffee service customer I often talk about. Their unique selling proposition is all about great service. It is easy to show how they back this up, because they offer free one week trials to prospective customers so that they can experience the superior service. They also are the only company locally that does not operate on a contract basis, which means if ever a customer is unhappy with their service, they are not stuck in a contract and can switch suppliers. This forces Gold Roast to keep their service for their office coffee customers the very best. All other suppliers require offices to sign up for one or multi-year contracts, which allows them to provide lower quality service because they are at no risk of losing the account if one day they provide poor service. In the ebook, Melina also provides an example of an air conditioning company that states they are the fastest. They then back this up by stating that they will have your air conditioning working in less than 2 hours after your call to them or it is free. If you can make strong statements and guarantees like these you will stand head and shoulders above your competition and obtain more customers.
4. Make Them An Irresistible Offer
Summary: Here, Melina discusses how, if you can spend a little money to get a customer for life, it is a great deal. You just need to know the life time value of your customer. If you know how much a customer is worth, you know how much it makes sense to spend to get them. Once you know the amount you are willing to spend, create or offer something that will make it irresistible to the prospect. A great example again is my customer Gold Roast, who provides office coffee, tea and espresso services. By providing free coffee, tea and espresso for a week, it is hard to turn down such an offer. Although this does cost a fair bit of money, if the prospect chooses to continue to use Gold Roast's service, it is well worth it.
5. Promote Your Offer
Summary: In the ebook, Melina touches on 3 ways to do this; advertise, implement a referral system and set up a joint venture. There are many other ways to promote an offer and multiple different ways to execute the 3 methods she has provided. This really all comes down to having a marketing strategy to communicate your offer. For example, for the customer I mentioned above, we have sent out direct mailers with the free coffee trial offer and also implemented Google adwords, Linkedin ads and emails to communicate the offer. Depending on your business, there will be different methods that will work better than others, but I would recommend that all plans should include email as part of the mix. Email marketing is very effective and is extremely low cost. As always, I would recommend using Aweber or Constant Contact if you are not already. Both systems are competitively priced, easy to learn and very effective to use. If you don't know the first thing about email marketing read my article Email Marketing Guidelines.
6. Test Everything - Never Make A Major Marketing Mistake Again
Summary: Here, the idea is don't spend on marketing activities you think will work. Test your marketing ideas on a small scale and see what results you get with actual prospects. It is better to make decisions based on what prospects think, then what you think. By testing, you can then spend money behind the initiatives you know really work well for better results. From the test, you will be able to see how much it costs and how much money you generated from it. This will completely take the guess work out of marketing and make sure you don't ever make a large marketing mistake again... Instead you will makes mistakes on a very small scale for learning purposes. I could not agree with Melina more here where tracking all marketing initiatives and testing on a small scale allows for great results instead of blunders. The key is to have good tracking so that you know what is generated from each initiative.
7. Generate Additional Sales Through Your Existing Customers
Summary: Getting a new customer costs six times more then selling to an existing customer. This is why it is critical to maximize your selling to your existing customer base. Melina also makes a great point that just because a customer is currently buying from you does not mean there are not big benefits in marketing to them. Just because they buy from you, does not mean you are top of mind or they will think of you the next time they make a purchase. You want to continually keep your name and products/services in front of them, in case they are looking to make another purchase. The key here is to send them information that will help them, instead of always trying to sell to them. A great way to do this is through an email newsletter. Using Aweber or Constant Contact makes creating and managing a newsletter very easy. The amount of time it takes to create it will be minimal and the newsletter can drive a significant increase in sales.
Overall I found Melina's ebook a fantastic resource. It was a great review for me, as I definitely use a very similar approach in the marketing I do for my clients. And the best part was that it was free.
Here are some more articles related to this topic if you are interested.
My name is Chris R. Keller. I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. If you are interested in generating new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button. You will then receive free updates from this blog.
I hope this article on how to attract customers which was based off of Melina Abbott's Business By Results free downloadable PDF was helpful for your business. If you are interested in reading more of Melina's articles go to her blog at http://www.businessbyresults.com/. Thanks for reading. I am always interested to get feedback from my readers. Let me know if there is a particular topic you want me to write on. Just contact us, put "Blog feedback" in your subject line, and in the email describe what you would like me to write about.