Marketing is the single most important success factor when starting or running a small business. And yet, for most small business owners, Marketing is a mystery and Sales is a dirty word.
In this short course, excerpted from his mega-course How To Build A Customer Factory, Frank Felker explains how successful small businesses turn complete strangers into Customers and Customers into Clients the same way we attract members of the opposite sex - through courtship.
But unlike the awkward experience of asking someone for a date, today's digital marketing tools allow you to break the ice from afar, nurture the relationship and close the deal systematically without embarrassment, rejection or that smarmy feeling of being too "salesy."
Drawn from his 40+ years in the trenches observing and implementing successful Marketing and Sales techniques, this course gets right to the heart of Frank's approach to business development.
In this lecture I talk about the rise and fall of Groupon and what it tells us about most small business owners' attitude toward marketing.
How did Groupon get thousands of small business owners to sign-up?
Why Groupon worked for some small businesses but not others
Small businesses losing money from poorly structured Groupon promotions
Small business owners will do anything to avoid marketing
Groupon’s success demonstrates the power of marketing
Groupon has never turned a profit
In this lecture I explain how to develop the type of Marketing Mindset employed by successful small business owners.
Successful small business owners understand and implement marketing on a consistent basis
You must focus on marketing
You must be committed; financially, emotionally, chronologically
You must become promotional
You will fail more often than succeed in marketing
You must be both persistent and consistent in your marketing efforts
You must never stop learning about marketing
I started my entrepreneurial journey in 1972 when my mother opened a copy shop
The copy shop was like a barber shop for business owners
I started observing business owners of all kinds
What is the difference between business that succeed and those that fail?
Companies that succeed understand and implement marketing
Marketing is a mystery and sales is a dirty word
People marketing because it involves talking to strangers on purpose
Marketing involves turning strangers into customers
Marketing is based on relationship-building
People are embarrassed to break the ice with strangers
People fear rejection
We don’t have the tools or techniques to talk to strangers
People buy from people they know, like and trust
This relationship requires time to develop
Customer Life Cycle Stages: Stranger, Suspect, Prospect, Customer Client
Definitions of each stage in the Customer Life Cycle
Stranger never heard of you, your company or your brand.
A Stranger doesn’t know if you’re a plumber or a Realtor
A Stranger has no idea what possible value or benefit you could offer them.
We are interested in targeted, qualified Strangers.
A Suspect has seen at least one of your marketing messages but is suspicious of it.
A Suspect is suspicious of all marketing messages.
A Prospect has need of your service and has seen enough of your marketing messages to consider the idea of doing business with you.
The Prospect will do some research before calling you.
The Prospect will look for online information and reviews about your company.
A Customer is a first-time / one-time buyer of your product or service.
A Client is a long-term source of repeat and referral business.
It’s critical to ensure the first purchase experience is exceptional in order to convert a Customer into a Client.
A Client is your more valuable marketing asset
Marketing is very much like dating. You are courting your customers.
You start by identifying a highly-qualified prospect. Don’t kiss on the first date.
Then you break the ice and incent engagement by asking questions
You don’t talk for too long but end by asking for her phone number.
After a couple of days you call - just as you said you would.
Your message remains consistent and appropriate.
Over time you reinforce, build and nurture the relationship.
Trying to turn a networking meeting participant into a new client
Break the ice by introducing yourself and giving your elevator speech
Get their business card / contact information
Send them a follow-up email and notecard
The will receive the email that day and the notecard 2-3 days later.
This is three touches in three days, reinforcing your brand in their mind.
Give them a call a week later and suggest a 30-minute meeting at a coffee shop
At the meeting ask questions and listen closely to their answers
Propose a solution based upon what you have heard / learned about them.
When they buy they become a Customer, a first-time buyer.
Over time I do business with them through several cycles
And then ask for referrals.
Just like Buyer’s Remorse there is an emotional reaction I call Seller’s Remorse
It’s our tendency not to follow-up with Customers after they make their first purchase
Just like a guy who doesn’t call a girl after the first time they sleep together.
I see this happen very often in multi-level marketing companies
Remember that creating Clients is the ultimate objective of this exercise
In addition to ensuring they have an exceptional first purchase experience, you should follow-up with them to reinforce that feeling of being well respected and taken care of.
Cement the relationship with a thank you note, telephone call or email or at least a satisfaction survey.
Frank Felker's 40+ years of entrepreneurial experience have run the gamut from home-based and storefront businesses through nationwide seminar production and international newsletter publishing, to the founding of a tech start-up where he raised over $3 million in seed and early stage venture capital and shepherded the firm to publicly-traded status.
Along the way he has helped hundreds of companies better understand and communicate the essence of their enterprises to their target audiences. From the smallest business to multinational behemoths, Frank's advice and insight have been sought out across the country and around the world.
He has presented at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as at the headquarters and boardrooms of Texas Instruments, America Online, Warburg Pincus, The Gartner Group, Heidelberg North America, Draper Atlantic, Friedman Billings Ramsey and before thousands of business executives, salespeople and small business owners at conferences produced by groups like the Printing Industries of America, Xplor International, The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation and the National Investment Bankers Association.
Further Information About Frank Felker and The Customer Factory
Here are some thoughts from producers and attendees of Frank's live seminars and workshops across the country:
I would have to say your speech made a big impact.Your presentation was very timely, informative and was enjoyed by all. You did a remarkable job.
International Center for Entrepreneurial Development
Hal B. Collins, Executive Vice President
Frank, your presentation and meetings with us here last Thursday, 20 February were a huge success judging from all the enthusiastic feedback I've received. It has been suggested that we employ you further in a consulting role, primarily to give feedback on our product direction. Again, thanks for the excellent work. And please feel free to use myself and Texas Instruments as a reference with prospective clients.
Jim Engiles, Marketing Manager
You did a fantastic job. Not only was the content on target and the handouts true visual aids, but you also brought it in on time! Very professional.
Printing Industries of America
Shelley Goulding, Sections Manager
You are always one of our top speakers and I look forward to having you return again.
Geoff Lindsay, Show Manager
Your participation helped make the Owners Conference one of the highest rated events ever in NAQP history.
National Association of Quick Printers
Dan Dunham, Director of Education
The feedback on your presentation was very good and I hope to have you back very soon.
New England Franchise Corporation
Newport, Rhode Island
G.M. “Mike” Hostage, President
Not only was your seminar well attended, it was also well received by the attendees. I hope you will be available to assist us again in the future.
Printing & Graphic Communications Association
Angie Duncanson, Program Manager
Very good and thorough.
Carmen Scott, GEICO Marketing
All 5s (on a scale of 1-5) Excellent!
Valerie Van Woles, World Bank
Glad that Frank Felker did this seminar
Barbara Plattner, American Red Cross