Here’s the key to successful marketing. You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospects. Or another way to look at it is to be able to address the number one question on your prospect’s mind at just the right time.
The conversation that’s taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points. There’s a problem they have and they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but don’t have.
Now believe it or not, there is actually a marketing formula we follow that takes these two points into account… and spits out a message so compelling it practically forces your prospects to buy what you sell.
It’s called the Conversion Equation, and it looks like this… Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer. The Interrupt is your headline – which means it’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your website, read any of your marketing collateral… or hear you speak. When someone asks you what you do, it’s the first words out of your mouth. That’s your headline… and it MUST address the problem your prospects have that they don’t want.
The Engage is your subheadline – which is the second thing your prospects see or hear. It MUST address the result your prospect wants but doesn’t have. The Educate is the information you provide… either verbally or in writing… that presents evidence to your prospects that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition.
Unfortunately, MOST businesses aren’t different from their competitors, and that’s why you MUST innovate your business to create what we refer to as a market-dominating position.
You MUST make your business unique… it MUST stand out from the crowd. It MUST make your prospects say to themselves that they would be absolute idiots to buy from anyone else but you – regardless of price. And finally, the Offer. You MUST create a compelling offer that makes it so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down. But here’s another critical fundamental of marketing.
Because of the saturation of marketing messaging these days, most prospects have become numb to most marketing.
Following our Conversion Equation can dramatically overcome this, but even with this powerful tool in play, it will still take multiple “touch” points before your prospects will buy what you sell.
For most businesses today, it takes anywhere from 20 to more than 100 touch points before a prospect makes their buying decision. Following the Conversion Equation reduces the touch points to somewhere between 5 to 12 points of contact.
But here’s the key… most businesses don’t follow up with their prospects at all, and this provides a HUGE window of opportunity for ANY business that does follow up… to position themselves as the dominant force in their industry.
But in order to have the opportunity to get your message in front of your prospects 5 to 12 times, you MUST find a way to collect their contact information, and that’s the purpose of your Offer.
Most businesses offer something that only appeals to prospects we call NOW buyers… prospects ready to make an immediate purchase. Unfortunately, NOW buyers make up less than 1% of the total number of prospects that are in the market to buy what you sell.
These businesses typically offer prospects a free consultation, a discount, a coupon, a free assessment, a complimentary quote… or the biggest mistake of all… “CALL US!”
For most businesses, all of their marketing material… their website… their business card… all list their phone number as their sole offer… and that ONLY appeals to that 1% of NOW buyers. The remaining 99% of viable prospects are “investigating” and gathering information about what you sell. For more articles, tools and useful information, visit http://www.dreamprofitsprogram.com and http://www.dreambusinessbydesign.com
What are Quality Leads?
Potential customers are potential customers, right? Anyone who walks into your store or picks up the phone to call your business could be convinced to purchase from you, right? Not necessarily, but this is a common assumption most business owners make. Quality leads are the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. They are the qualified buyers who comprise your target market. Anyone might walk in off the street to browse a furniture store – regardless of whether or not they are in the market for a new couch. This lead is solely interested in browsing, and is not likely to be converted into a customer. A quality lead example would be someone looking for a new kitchen table, and who specifically drove to that same store because a friend had raved about the service they received. These are the kinds of leads business owners need to focus on.
10 Things That Make Your Business More Valuable – Often 70% Higher Than That of Your Industry Peers!
10 Things That Make Your Business More Valuable – Often 70% Higher Than That of Your Industry Peers!
If you are like most small business owners, a majority of your wealth is tied up in your company. Increasing the value of your largest asset can have a much faster impact on your overall financial picture than a bump in the stock market or the value of your home. Building value in a business creates more profit now, but it can result in a significant return when you decide to transition out of your business. This article provides you with some tips on what creates value and what drives value in your company.
The value of your company is partly determined by your industry. For example, cloud-based software companies are generally worth a lot more than printing companies these days. However, when businesses in the same industry are analyzed, major variations exist with respect to valuation. Because of the large number of Baby Boomer owners within the small business community, it is crucial for these business owners to consider building value now so they can obtain higher competitive offers when they transition out of the business. Here are ten things that will make your business more valuable than its industry peer group:
1. Recurring Revenue
The more revenue you have from automatically recurring contracts or subscriptions, the more valuable your business will be to a future buyer. Even if subscriptions are not the norm in your industry, you should be able to find some form of recurring revenue that will make your company much more valuable than those of your competitors.
2. Something Different
Buyers buy what they cannot easily replicate on their own, which means companies with a unique product or service that is difficult for a competitor to knock off are more valuable than a company that sells the same commodity as everyone else in their industry.
Acquirers looking to fuel their top line revenue growth through acquisition will pay a premium for your business if it is growing much faster than your industry overall.
Tired old companies often try to buy sex appeal through the acquisition of a trendy young company in their industry. If you are the “darling” of your industry trade media, expect to get a premium offer.
If you have a great location with natural physical characteristics that are difficult to replicate (imagine an oceanfront restaurant on a strip of beach where the city has stopped granting new licenses to operate), you’ll have buyers who understand your industry interested in your location as well as your business.
Buyers will pay a premium for companies that naturally hedge the loss of a single customer. Ensure that no customer amounts to more than 10 percent of your revenue and your company will be more valuable than an industry peer with just a few big customers.
If you’ve mastered a way to win customers and documented your sales funnel with a predictable set of conversion rates, your secret customer-acquiring formula will make your business more valuable to a buyer than an industry peer who does not have a clue where their next customer will come from.
8. Clean Books
Companies that invest in audited statements have financials that are generally viewed by buyers as more trustworthy and therefore worth more. You may want to get your books reviewed professionally each year even if audited statements are not the norm in your industry.
9. A “2iC”
Companies with a second-in-command who has agreed to stay on post-sale are more valuable than businesses where all the power and knowledge are in the hands of the owner.
10. Happy Customers
Being able to objectively demonstrate that your customers are happy and intend to re-purchase in the future and consistently make referrals will make your business more valuable than an industry peer that does not have a means of tracking customer satisfaction.
Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, your industry typically defines a range of multiples within which your business is likely to sell for; but whether you fall at the bottom or top of the range comes down to factors that have nothing to do with What You Do, but instead, How You Do It. Consider the following eight value drivers:
(a) Financial Performance: Your history of producing revenue and profit combined with the professionalism of your record keeping;
(b) Growth Potential: Your likelihood to grow your business in the future and at what rate;
(c) The Switzerland Structure: How dependent your business is on any one employee, customer, or supplier;
(d) The Valuation Teeter-Totter: Whether your business is a cash suck or a cash spigot;
(e) The Hierarchy of Recurring Revenue: The proportion and quality of automatic, annuity-based revenue you collect each month;
(f) The Monopoly Control: How well differentiated your business is from competitors in your industry;
(g) Customer Satisfaction: The likelihood that your customers will re-purchase and also refer you; and
(h) Hub & Spoke: How your business would perform if you were unexpectedly unable to work for a period of three months.
By working on these value drivers, your business can build significant value over time and, with the right tools and resources, you may be in the position to get offers of over 70% more than your industry peers. And, the sooner you start, you can not only expect a more valuable business, but a much more profitable one in the short term.
Are you interested in finding out where your business stands in terms of value now and how it scores against the Value Drivers?
Get your free VALUE BUILDER SCORE by going to www.endgamebydesign.com
The link on the home page will lead you to a short questionnaire to complete to get your score.
You can also get a Value Builder Assessment and meeting with a Certified Value Builder who will go in detail over your score and specific scores per value driver. You will come away with new solutions and a detailed report. See details on www.endgamebydesign.come
Every business owner knows the importance of profitability in their business and they all want to have as high profits as possible. But what about growing value in a business? Business owners often do not think of the importance of growing value, which one day in the future can greatly impact a business and what the owner wants to do with that business.
Business owners who take the time to learn what specifically adds value to their business can receive a very positive result with multiple outcomes. By knowing what adds value and implementing specific activities to build value, owners will build more profit as well. So what are the ways to build value in a business?
One of the main ways to build a valuable business is for the owner to develop systems and processes that enable the business to become less and less dependent on the owner. We call this value driver the “hub and spoke” part of the business. Other ways are to be focused on growth in other areas of the business (new products/services to existing clients, expansion into new geographic areas) and setting up a system within the company’s accounts payable and receivables to generate more consistent cash flow. Also, a business should not be in the position to be overly dependent on a few customers, vendors, or even employees.
One newer method for creating value is to develop a recurring revenue model (think the “Automatic Customer”) in the business, and there are opportunities for doing so in every business. If a business owner wants to eventually sell or transfer his/her business for the most competitive and possibly highest amount possible, starting right away with building value within the business is crucial. And your bottom line and bank account will be thankful!
By Sandra Munier, Owner, EndGame By Design, LLC
Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.
It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.
We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.
Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.
- The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.
Who can help me meet my goals?
Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?
Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.
- Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) J What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?
If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.
There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:
- Business cards
- Company message
- Your picture
- Your wording
Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)
You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.
- The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.
You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.