What Is Your Signature System?

Your “purple cow” is also known as your signature system, your unique selling proposition, or USP.  It is a sentence or phrase that explains what makes you special. It gives your prospects a reason to do business with you rather than your competitors. A good USP that is properly used makes your marketing a lot more effective, because it gives you dominance over a market niche.
It can be one of the most transformational shifts in your business right now and can be done at little or no cost. So how can you do this?

The Discipline of Market Leaders

No company can simultaneously excel at delivering market leading performance in all three value disciplines. This is because each disciplines requires completely different operating processes, different ways of thinking and behaving. When a company choses one ‘lead’ discipline to excel in they are placed to become market leaders.

Conversely, when a company attempts to excel in all three disciplines they become, at best, mediocre at all and will oscillate in the market. Which market discipline is the right one for your company?

Still Using A Spreadsheet to Track Leads?

While spreadsheets are relatively easy to use and widely known, it’s definitely not the most efficient or effective way to collect, analyze, and manage business data, especially if you’re a company that’s hoping to grow in the near future.

There are clear distinctions between the features of a CRM versus a spreadsheet. If you have to manage multiple leads coming in and have a multi-step sales process, using a CRM system may be a step worth taking, and need not cost much.

Are you an Ant or a Grasshopper?

Like the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, it is the ant that survives the winter because he spent the nice summer weather gathering food in preparation, while the grasshopper spent his time singing.

That’s the same problem if you have no marketing strategy in place. There is a habit of many business owners in the trades to just take what the market dishes up and not put some proactive systems in place to generate work. “I get all my work from word-of-mouth”. That’s great when WoM is working, but what if it isn’t? What’s the back-up plan? Usually there is none. This is particularly true when you are busy, or the market is stronger and the perceived need to generate leads is less. But as the title of this post suggest, I recommend people to dig the well BEFORE you are thirsty….

How to make your emails look professional

People these days expect your business to have a domain name and a website. An email address like jsmith@yourcompany.co.nz tells people you’re serious about your business. 

Free email services, such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo, are great for personal use, but when you use a free email account for business purposes, people will start to doubt your professionalism and credibility.  If you want your prospective clients to take you seriously and you don’t have your own domain name email address, I recommend you….

How to stop wasting money on advertising

There was a classic statement from a company executive I read once (can’t remember who) that said, “I know we waste 50% of the money we spend on advertising, I just don’t know which 50%”.

That might be okay, but not ideal, if you are a big company with a big marketing budget. Most of my clients don’t fall into that category, so I am insistent that money spent of direct advertising is as effective as possible and is intended to generate an action or response by a prospect.

Catch More Sales Leads

When you are out fishing and only have one line over the side, you limit the number of fish you can catch in the time available.  The same applies when marketing your business.  Use only one marketing channel and you still may catch a customer, but if your channel goes unnoticed, you can come up empty handed.

The answer, just like when you are fishing, is to use several baited hooks in your marketing.  Also, make sure the bait is enticing and kept fresh.

How successful companies think

No company can be successful today if it attempts to be all things to all consumers. Rather, the most successful companies — the Market Leaders — select a unique value that they alone deliver to their chosen market better than anyone else.
The big question is, “where will you focus your business’s Vision and Value Discipline for the future?” Pick one corner of the Value Discipline triangle and make it your anchor point, then develop your business processes to deliver on it. Read on to find out more about the different value Disciplines.

Marketing 101: Horse before Cart

I often see small companies approach their marketing on a random, suck-it-and-see approach, therefore waste a lot of money and time going nowhere.  They will try one channel, after being approached by a slick salesperson with a “deal”, put a quick campaign in place and more often than not, be disappointed by the results.  Thinking…