Marketing



In times like these one the easiest things you can do to earn more is to make sure you upsell your customers and clients.

Upsell?

Upsell, in case you’re not familiar with the term, simply means offering your customer more than what they originally planned to purchase. When the guy behind the counter at McDonalds asks, “Would you like fries with that?”, that’s an upsell. When reservation clerk asks if you’d rather sit in the VIP orchestra section instead of the mezzanine, that’s an upsell. When the car salesman offers you the super snow-resistant undercoat on your new Hybrid, that is an upsell.

 


Here are three “Marketing Mistakes” that business owners routinely make.  (I saw an article in Direct Magazine which inspired me.)

1. Marketing plans and not aligned with business goals.   For instance, say you have a goals to grow top-line revenues by 50%. (Only 50%?  Well, it is a recession.)  In Formula 5 terms, that would mean a three-part combination of strategies to improve pricing and margins, monetization of each customer, and of course, lead generation.   Most business owners never think this way. They never try to figure out what it will take to reach that 50%, in action-oriented terms.

 


Are there really only three ways?

I’ve been wracking my brain to find a new one, but there’s no way around it.  Although there are hundreds of specific approaches, when you distill them all down, there are only three ways to expand a business.  Three main ways, and only three.  What are they?

1. Sell more to your existing customers
2. Find more new customers
3. Merge or acquire your competitors

You might ask, “What’s the point of talking about three when there are ‘hundreds of specific approaches’?”  That’s a reasonable question – it’s easy to think consolidating them obscures the opportunity.  But in fact, it’s just the opposite.

 


I got an email this morning that asked the following question:

I read your article on Value Proposition and ROI. Your examples deal with physical products. I coach people in so-called ‘soft skills’ – presentations, speaking and listening, enhancing imagination. I can detail many positive outcomes but do not know how to quantify the results of such training. Therefore I don’t know how to use the methods you suggest. Can you help me?

Since this is such an important question, I thought I’d post my response here:

 


Just saw that Internet Marketing education pioneer Ken McCarthy is doing something I think is unreasonable. Ken pretty much invented the internet marketing how-to seminar. Now, since Ken’s first The System seminar, prices on these confabs has gone from $500 a day to $5,000, but without any significant increase in value. Following Dan Kennedy’s lead, these events have been stuffed with “air” – worthless stuff that make the package seem bigger, but no real increase in the impact of what’s being delivered. McCarthy has kept the value strong. But talk about bucking the trend – not only has Ken kept the value strong, he’s actually lowering the price. See http://www.systemintensive.com/

 


Anyone who has read Be Unreasonable knows how I feel about price cutting and the best response to it, so I was happy (and surprised) to read McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc felt the same way.  In 1960, one of his Knoxville franchisee was being hammered by a competitor offering five hamburgers for thirty cents. Can you imagine, thirty cents! Even so, the customers still came over to McDonald’s for the fries and shakes. So the competitor hit harder – with a hamburger, milkshake and fries for ten cents.  The reasonable response would have been to cut prices and at least match the other guy’s offer  – following him down the road to pricing ruin. 

 


I heard this while speaking with my friend Mark Levy, who heard it from some branding guy, he couldn’t remember whom. “Positioning is dead,” the guy said. Since both Mark and I are positioning people this was of major interest.

He said that positioning was dead because the people, the users, the community… they were creating the positions of companies by participating in Web 2.0. He believed that companies’ positions were defined by what was being said about them in the infosphere.

This is total nonsense. While Web 2.0 gives people a voice and amplifies the conversation, you have to ask where the conversation comes from in the first place.

 


All UNREASONABLE ideas violate some accepted wisdom.  Some norm.  Some convention.  Some formality.  Some age-old practice.  Some way of doing things, the contravention  of which would be inconceivable.

That’s what makes them unreasonable.

 


I’ve been wracking my brain to find a new one, but there’s no way around it. Although there are hundreds of specific approaches, when you distill them all down, there are only three ways to expand a business. Three main ways, and only three. What are they?

1. Sell more to your existing customers
2. Find more new customers
3. Merge or acquire your competitors

You might ask, “What’s the point of talking about three when there are ‘hundreds of specific approaches’?” That’s a reasonable question – it’s easy to think consolidating them obscures the opportunity. But in fact, it’s just the opposite.

 


Here’s something unreasonable: a success book that uses the words “cash” in the title and “millionaire” on the cover, not hawking one more worthless get rich quick scheme.

I just got a copy of Loral Langemeier’s new Cash Machine For Life, and it’s pretty neat.  It lays out a step-by-step foundation for building a real business that can provide cash flow and profit for a long, long time. I call it get rich slow – definitely counter-trend.

 


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