Do you have 20 minutes to work ON your business instead of IN your business? If so, reading this article will give you hands-on tips to double your sales.
In his fantastic book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes (the late Marketing Guru), wrote about a strategy called Best Buyer, which he calls the “fastest, least expensive way for doubling sales.” This article adapts that strategy to small-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that serve their local community.
Before we get into the meat of it, let’s quickly review the market for your product/service at any given time.
These numbers have been proven many times over. That means your direct sales efforts only address the top 3% that are ready to buy now. Consider the immense amount of money and energy that is spent weeding out the 97% that aren’t ready to buy now. There is a better way.
Best Buyer Strategy:
Here’s the Best Buyer strategy in a nutshell: There is always a smaller number of ideal buyers (clients) vs all buyers. Most of your efforts should be directed towards going after your Dream 10 clients in a direct, hard way.
Who are your Dream 10 clients? These are the top 10 (or 20 or 30), potential clients in your area that would bring you enough business to keep you happily operating with no other clientèle. These are the big players that, individually, will bring you a lot of business.
A few examples of Dream 10 clients:
Pest Control: Hotel, a restaurant chain, or condo/apartment complex owners/landlords Physiotherapist: Workers union, hospital or a retirement home Driving School: College, high school or YMCA Travel Clinic: Travel agency, airline, passport photo shop Countertop Refinishing: Apartment Landlord, landlord association
Take a few minutes and consider who are your ideal clients, your Dream 10 that could bring you the most business.
How To Go After Your Dream 10:
First, you’ll need to develop a Core Story for your business. In our online course, Local Marketing Using the Internet and Social Media, we’ve created an 8-minute video outlining how to create a Core Story. That particular video from the course is free, so you don’t need to buy the course to watch it. Just click on it and learn how to prepare your own Core Story. This is important because your Core Story will appeal to 100% of your target audience, not just the 3% ready to buy now.
Once you have your Core Story, you’ll want to create an “Executive Briefing” based on it, which is education-based marketing teaching valuable information to your Dream 10, which you will then advertise it as a “Free Report” to your Dream 10 clients. This advertising will combine physical mailings, PPC advertising, email, and phone calls. You are targeting your report to the owner/top person at your Dream 10 company, not an operations manager or other middle management that won’t be able to pull the trigger on your proposal. You want to get the decision maker that doesn’t need to ask someone else to decide on the phone. Either they call you responding to an ad, mailing, or email about the free report, or you call them to offer it. Some examples:
How to get the decision maker on the phone:
Using pay-per-click ads, you advertise the free report resulting in one of your dream 10 calling you.
You call your Dream 10 top-level person and say something like, “Hi, Jer here from Coutts Pest Control. We’ve recently commissioned a fantastic free report on the Top 5 Reasons Hotels in Oshawa Are Under-Occupied. Are you interested in decreasing your vacancy rate? (of course). Well, that’s where we can help.”
Your email or snail mail (physical mail) a short letter saying something like:
RE: Hotels in Oshawa Are Under-Performing
It’s a fact that hotels in Oshawa are performing much poorer than they should be. Here are the facts:
– there are 5% fewer occupants year over year
– the average hotel has a vacancy of 25% of all of its rooms on any given day
We’ve put together a fantastic Executive Briefing on the Top 5 Reasons Hotels in Oshawa Are Under-Occupied. Call us at 905-444-4444 to receive this report (note – these facts would need to be accurate and pulled from part of your core story).
Now you may need to follow up many times to get the decision maker on the phone and get them to receive the report. It may take months to get actually to talk with your Dream 10 contact. Be persistent, and don’t give up. Some marketers have called every week for 6 months or longer before finally getting the Dream 10 person on the phone. Get creative and alternate phone, email, and physical mailing. Mailing them trinkets, so you stand out, or various techniques that can get you noticed.
For example, you could send the following letter to a Dream 10 client along with a dollar-store stop-watch:
Every second that you do not get our free Executive Briefing, The Top 5 Reasons Hotels in Oshawa Are Under-Occupied”, you are losing money.
This Executive Briefing has more than $3 million in research, boiled down to a bullet-style, fast-paced fantastic education on how to increase business in this challenging period of rising competition and decreasing tourism.
Call for your free Executive Briefing today.
The clock is ticking, and you’re losing money.”
Call, mail, email that same person something different again and again and again (every other week) until you get their business. The Digital Marketing People can work with you to brainstorm ideas on your local marketing efforts and help strategize with you about how to reach your Dream 10.
The idea with the multiple calls, emails, and mailings is to get your Dream 10 client to go from:
“I never heard of this company,” to:
“Who’s this company I’ve been hearing about,” to:
“I think I’ve heard of that company,” to:
“Yes, I’ve heard of that company,” to, ultimately:
“Yes, I do business with that company.”
You should plan this campaign strategy of mailing and calling about 6 months in advance so you have everything you need to be calendared and ready to go. (You don’t want to get stuck 3 months down the road and give up and/or run out of inexpensive trinkets to send as part of your creative mailing.
You can apply this same Best Buyer/Dream 10 strategy to affiliates. An affiliate is a business that is not competitive that has the same clientèle as you’d like that you have also sell your products/services for you. The business could be complementary or completely unrelated. For example:
A Pest Control company might develop an affiliate relationship with a local Home Hardware store that sells mouse traps and other pest control products. When someone buys that product, they could include a brochure of the local Pest Control company – and perhaps get 5% of sales. A Physiotherapist might create a relationship with a sporting goods store or pharmacy that sells braces and exercise equipment and partner with them to offer free in-store clinics, which will bring more customers to both the sporting goods store and result in new long-term clients for the Physiotherapist A Driving School may establish a relationship with a video game store and offer a 5% discount to anyone who buys a car racing game.
So, your Dream 10 may be affiliated, and you’ll want to use these strategies to get in contact with them and develop a Core Story around how, say, braces can cause further injury if misused.
Once You Get The Dream 10 Contact On The Phone:
Once you actually get your Dream 10 contact on the phone, say something like this:
“Hi, so you’re looking for the free report? Let me tell you how we deliver the report. It’s got $3 million worth of research and over 700 pages of data. We know you’re not going to read 700 pages of research, so we’ve reduced this down to a fast-paced, streamlined, graphically illustrated, fantastic Executive Briefing that we can deliver to you in just 32 minutes right in the comfort of your own office. As a matter of fact, I am on a tour right now, I’m going to be seeing all the other Hotel Owners just like you in the area, and so we’d like to get you set you up with that.”
Note that at no time have you mentioned anything about what your business is about. This is a strategy for educating them, not a sales tactic. If they ask what business you are from, be completely honest and say something like, “I’m from Oshawa Pest Control. We’ve found it’s in our best interest to make sure that hotel owners such as yourself are maximizing their business because we end up getting a lot of preventative maintenance business when your hotel is running full-steam, so we’ve taken the time to compile this information and deliver it for free to help ensure you’re operating at full capacity.”
Remember that the numbers used in this example (3 million dollars and 700 pages of data) are based on the research used to create your Core Story. For example, when you pull together your Core Story, you may use information gathered from a statistics agency that may have spent $400,000 to gather information on hotel occupancy in general, which you can then apply to your city. All in all, once you’ve gathered all of the data for your Core Story, it likely adds up to millions of $$$ worth of data, and the raw stats would easily be 700 pages.
Actually Delivering The Executive Briefing:
Make sure your Core Story is ready to go. You can give a brochure and go through it with them, deliver a webinar, or simply present the information live. Make sure you are WELL PRACTISED in delivering the Executive Briefing. Role-play and practice until you deliver it VERY well.
Remember you are not selling a product in this strategy, you are delivering education that establishes you as an expert.
The Executive Briefing will touch on 1 or 2 of the points that cover your product/service. When the briefing is over and you have established yourself as an expert, having driven home the need for what you offer, ask for their business and handle any objections at that point.
The Digital Marketing People can help you with this process as we specialize in helping you market your local business to your community.