Getting more bang for your marketing buck

Getting new clients and customers is expensive and not easy. It takes time, effort, energy and money and a great marketing message.Through marketing, you can reach hundreds, thousands or millions of people with your sales story. The “marketing line” is simply moving people from suspects to prospects and then prospects to paying clients and customers. I use the word “people” because even if you’re selling business-to-business, you’re still selling to people.Suspects are those you’d like to do business with. They fit the profile based on certain traits. But are they interested? Do they suffer from the pains your product or service can cure? Do they desire the benefits you offer? Prospects are much different. They’ve expressed some sort of interest in what you have. They’ve taken the first step toward you by “raising their hands” and saying, “I have that pain, can you cure it?” Or, “I want that benefit!”Many businesses waste an enormous amount of money chasing suspects. Those same resources can be focused on prospects. But since prospects are created and don’t just appear, how can you create them? The answer is found in your marketing message. What are you going to say to your suspects so that they can turn themselves into prospects?Let’s use the Internet as an easy example. When suspects surf the Web “looking” for a cure to their pain or a desired benefit and find your site, it’s foolish to think that every one of them will be ready to buy at that moment. In our world of advertising overload, it takes several contacts to establish trust. When suspects find your site, your message must entice them in order for them to become a prospect. You can allow them to leave their contact info in exchange for something of real value. “The 7 Ways to (achieve their benefit or cure their pain)” would be a good start. Once that request is made, they become prospects.

The key is allowing them to take the first step with no real risk.

Now you can move them down the line. You can build rapport. You can follow up with phone calls. These are “warm” calls, not “cold calls.” You can employ more “marketing messages” using a variety of different media. You can include “irresistible offers” to entice your prospects to become clients and customers.

See how this works? Focus on turning suspects into prospects and then use your best resources and your best marketing to convert those prospects into clients and customers.

But is your marketing message too inwardly focused and egotistical? If so, it’s costing you a bundle.

Pay close attention one day to the different marketing messages you hear and read. They’ll be filled with “platitudes” — marketing messages that have no value. A common example: “Serving the Granite State Since 1988.” One key question all marketing must answer is, “Who cares?” Answer honestly – does the above platitude answer it? No.

Instead you can say, “Serving the Granite State Since 1988. You’ll Have Peace of Mind Knowing Rock Solid Dependability & Experience is What You Get.” Longer yes, but much more beneficial. Plus you don’t blend in with the thousands of others that get lost in the clutter by shouting, “Me too!”

To get the most bang for your marketing bucks focus on creating result-oriented marketing messages. Think of the results you provide your clients and customers. Those results can easily be transformed into magic words that resonate with your target market.

The right words can go a long way in getting your business noticed. When you focus on the self-interests of your suspects and prospects, you’ll see your marketing dollars come back to your bank account multiplied.

Mike Dolpies, a business owner, author, speaker and Internet marketing consultant, can be reached at 603-286-4864 or