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In my series of articles in this magazine I’ve been discussing strategic marketing and its importance in helping small business owners to generate more leads and close more sales.
Let me explain the principles behind strategic marketing and how it came about in the first place.
Think back to what I refer to as the days of simple selling – pre-1980’s!
Back in the 60’s and 70’s, when you wanted to buy anything, what were you forced to do? Human nature dictates that every buyer wants the “best deal.” But the best deal is a subjective topic, and it means different things to different people.
For some, the best deal means the lowest price. For others, it may mean paying a higher price but you receive MUCH higher quality. And yet others feel the best deal is something that is more convenient… or perhaps faster delivery. But what it all comes down to is this – people want to know if what they are buying is the “best deal”… and that requires access to information.
So think back pre-1980’s – before the advent of the internet as we know it today. Where did a prospective buyer HAVE to go to get “information” about the product or service they wanted to buy?
There was only ONE place they could go – straight to the salesperson. If you wanted information about a new car, a washer and dryer or kitchen remodeling, you HAD to go and speak with the salesperson. There were NO other options.
In this “forced sales” environment, businesses simply had to place their ad or marketing in front of prospects, and their offer could be a simple one – call us and BUY NOW! The prospect had no other option but to do so. During this era, the salesperson had TOTAL control, and the buyer had none!
Marketing back then was basically one-step marketing. Get the message in front of the prospect and tell them to call for more information… or to buy.
The internet has changed all of that. Today, prospects do most of their “best deal” research online. When today’s consumer goes to buy a new car, a washer or dryer or kitchen remodeling, they already know everything about them… along with the price they expect to pay.
Today, the buyer has total control, and the salesperson is at their mercy. The days of “simple selling” are long gone, and so is that old fashioned marketing methodology where the business offer is “call us.” In other words, one-step marketing is dead, and it will NEVER come back!
Businesses today must rely on multi-step marketing, also known as “strategic marketing.” The initial marketing message must follow a specific format that not only grabs the prospects attention… but also engages them in such a way as to maintain their interest. Your marketing must provide solid proof that what you sell is indeed the best deal in whatever terms are important to each prospect.
And the offer today must be for information so the business has the opportunity to build its case that it does provide the “best deal.”
So, how many small businesses do this these days? Pretty simple answer… maybe one out of a thousand. Just go online and look at ANY website you come across. Show me just one website that offers information. They all contain what we call High Threshold Offers… call us, schedule an appointment, free evaluation or assessment, free estimate, free consultation and so on.
Buyers have NO interest in these “face-to-face” offers whatsoever – too much risk is involved. They know the business wants to hit them with a sales pitch, so they avoid these offers like a plaque. And yet, businesses keep offering them… because they simply don’t understand that the entire marketing and sales paradigm has shifted… thanks to the internet.
That said, this opens up IMMENSE opportunities for those of us in coaching and consulting. But you MUST know and understand “strategic marketing,” and be able to convincingly convey that information to every prospect you meet with.
In future article, I’ll help you learn strategic marketing, and in the process, use that information to close more coaching clients.
So until next time,
About Adrian Ulsh
Adrian Ulsh is the CEO for Leader Publishing Worldwide, the largest online provider of coaching services worldwide. Adrian currently works with more than 500 coaches in 24 countries advising them on building 6 and 7 figure coaching practices.
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