Category: Small Business

What Privilege Has Taught Me

dale gibbons bailing hay as a teenager

What Privilege Has Taught Me

Lots of enlightened, smarter than me folks barking on the news have reminded me that I’m “privileged”. So, I decided I might as well count my blessings and the special gifts my privilege has given me. Here’s what I have so far:

I am privileged to be born to teenagers who didn’t finish high school. I listened as they talked about money while inside our home but using their outside voices. I cried myself to sleep wondering what I did to cause their problems. In time, it taught me that better choices mean better outcomes.

I am privileged to have grown up in a mobile home in rural America. I was called “red neck” and “trailer trash”. It taught me to never allow an insecure person’s opinion of me to define who I am.

Only I am allowed to do that.

I am privileged to have been so broke, just walking past a bank would set off the alarm. I saw the fear in my wife’s eyes when we had no money, and no food for the baby. It taught me that no work and no job was beneath me. I spread pig manure, cut tobacco, put up hay, and drove a truck to pay the bills.

It also taught me that my struggle wasn’t because someone else was prosperous. It taught me that if it is to be, then it’s up to me.

I am privileged to have a high school guidance counselor tell me I was “not college material” and would never be accepted into a four year degree program. It taught me that if I accept other’s limiting beliefs, I get to keep them. It taught me that hard work beats talent when talent won’t work hard.

I’m a first-generation college grad.

I am privileged to have been stopped by the police, suspected of transporting drugs, fined and threatened with jail time. It taught me that “yes sir” and respecting law enforcement was wise, even when they were wrong, and even when my ego had other plans. I got to go home and have dinner with my wife and children.

I am privileged to have had an alcoholic dad. It taught me the power of non-negotiable boundaries, unconditional love, and forgiveness. He was able to be the grandfather our two sons needed.

I am privileged to have been born in the United States of America. It has taught me that democracy is not perfect, and that we should love our country, learn from our mistakes, and support those who fight for our freedom and our safety while holding them accountable to high standards.

I am privileged, while traveling abroad, of being threatened with jail and deportation and separation from my wife and child–unless I paid a bribe. It taught me that I won the birthplace lottery.

Yes, I suppose it’s true. I’m privileged. It has taught me that, if we change the way we see things, the things we see will change, too.

May God bless you and continue to bless our great nation.

Dale

Other helpful articles:

The Conversion Equation

To Grow Your Business, Change The Way You Answer This Question

Complimentary book: Download a complimentary copy of my book, “The 90 Minute Business Breakthrough”

How To Use Sales Navigator To Find Your Dream 100 Clients

How To Find Your Dream 100 Clients Using
Linkedin Sales Navigator

After you build your market-dominating message, it’s time to put it in front of your ideal clients.

Start by selecting a list of 100 “dream clients”.  You can find them easily on LinkedIn sales navigator: 

If you’d like to learn more ways to improve your business and find $50K to $250K or more in new revenue and profits in less than 90 minutes, without spending more money on advertising or cutting costs to the bone, join me for my next Business Breakthrough Focus Group.

May you be in a constant state of victory,

Dale

Other helpful articles:

The Conversion Equation

To Grow Your Business, Change The Way You Answer This Question

Complimentary book: Download a complimentary copy of my book, “The 90 Minute Business Breakthrough”

 

How To Implement The Conversion Equation, Part 1

How To Implement The Conversion Equation, Part 1

I wrote recently about how critical it is that if you want to influence others to buy from you or hire you, you must enter the conversation that’s taking place in your prospects mind and, in general, this internal dialog revolves around two major things:

1. There’s a problem they have and they don’t want
2. And there’s a result they want but don’t have

The person who solves the problem, wins.

I also shared a simple formula for doing this. It’s called the Conversion Equation, and it looks like this…

1. Interrupt
2. Engage
3. Educate
4. Offer

In this series of posts, I’ll use examples to help you implement this formula, build your market dominating position statement, slice through the noise like a hot knife through butter, and bring in more customers.

Remember, 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.

Now, let’s use this new knowledge to create a sharp, attention grabbing Market Dominating Position Statement to interrupt the current flow of noise and move their attention from the news headlines and toward you and what you can do for them.

Let me show you a website for a child psychologist so you can see what I mean. Here is the child psychologist’s original website:

This is typical for this profession, and 99% of his colleagues’ websites look EXACTLY like this. Notice the generic headline… 

Parenting Advice and Resources From Dr. John Smith

He has a headline like that because he’s attempting to be all things to all prospects. Basically, this doctor helps parents deal with adolescent problems. Look at the 9 areas he services…

  • emotionally disturbed kids
  • behavioral problems
  • teen pregnancy
  • peer pressure

…and so on. 

So, let’s improve this site with the fundamentals we just discussed. 

First, you MUST create a market-dominating position. This doctor could actually create 9 of them by simply positioning his specialty in each of his 9 individual areas of treatment. 

There’s a problem they have that they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but they don’t have. This is where we implement the first two components of the Conversion Equation… Interrupt and Engage. The headline is the Interrupt and it must address the problem they have and don’t want. 

Here’s new page for this doctor that that both interrupts and engages:

Notice the headline… Are You Sick And Tired Of The Yelling, Screaming And Belligerent Attitude Of Your Child? Does that address the problem these parents have and they don’t want? 

Would you say that’s a 100% bullseye? 

Now for the Engage which is the sub-headline. 

It MUST address the result they want but they don’t have. 

Notice it says… Now You Can Discover The Secrets To Controlling Your Child And Instantly Restore Peace And Quiet In Your Home. 

Would you say that’s bullseye number two?

You bet it is. And these simple changes have generated thousands of dollars in new revenue for this doctor.

If you’d like to learn more ways to improve your business and find $50K to $250K or more in new revenue and profits in less than 90 minutes, without spending more money on advertising or cutting costs to the bone, join me for my next Business Breakthrough Focus Group.

May you be in a constant state of victory,

Dale

Other helpful articles:

The Conversion Equation

To Grow Your Business, Change The Way You Answer This Question

Complimentary book: Download a complimentary copy of my book, “The 90 Minute Business Breakthrough”


The Conversion Equation

Use The Conversion Equation to Increase Lead Flow

An important part of successful marketing is that you MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the mind of your prospects.

Or another way to look at it is to be able to address the number one question on your prospects mind at just the right time.

So how do you do this? It’s actually quite simple when you know and understand the fundamentals of marketing.

The conversation that’s taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points:

1. There’s a problem they have and they don’t want
2. And there’s a result they want but don’t have

The person who solves the problem, wins.

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…

1. Interrupt
2. Engage
3. Educate
4. 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 sub-headline – 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 I refer to as a market-dominating position.

In the absence of a compelling reason to do otherwise, consumers will always default to price as their top criteria for making a purchasing decision.

You MUST give them a compelling reason, other than price, to choose you. 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 grown numb to most marketing.

Following my 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.

More on the importance of follow-up and how to do it correctly in a future post.

If you’d like to learn more ways to improve your business and find $50K to $250K or more in new revenue and profits in less than 90 minutes, without spending more money on advertising or cutting costs to the bone, join me for my next Business Breakthrough Focus Group.

May you be in a constant state of victory,

Dale

Other helpful articles:

To Grow Your Business, Change The Way You Answer This Question

How To Implement The Conversion Equation
Complimentary book: To download a complimentary copy of my book, “The 90 Minute Business Breakthrough” visit https://your7figurebusinesscoach.com/

When Small Businesses Should Forget Branding and Do This Instead

Marketing is not the numbers game you were taught
Marketing is not the numbers game you were taught. Here’s the one to play instead…

You’ve heard this one many times before, right?

“Marketing is a numbers game.” They said.

“Spend enough on advertising and get your name out there, and you’ll eventually succeed.” They said.

They were wrong.

Mostly.

Marketing and sales are not simply a “numbers game”.

At least not the game you might have been taught to play.

And spending a lot of money to just “get your name out there” can make you the most popular bankrupt entrepreneur in your city.

This is where marketing to build a brand vs. marketing to build better sales sometimes starts a fight among die-hards in brand marketing vs. lead generation (direct marketing) camps.

With brand building, your goal is to change the way people think and what they feel and say about you and your company. Important stuff, for sure. However, the time and distance between money invested and money returned with friends attached can be long and hard to measure.

Money spent on this type of marketing is usually allocated as a percentage of revenue and fits into the category of “get your name out there” marketing.
With lead generation marketing, your goal is to motivate people to respond right now, this very second, to something you are offering them. The distance between money invested and money returned with friends attached is much shorter and easier to measure.

Money spent on lead generation marketing is allocated based on return on investment. If you send a dollar out and it comes back with another dollar attached, you dig into your pocket and find more dollars to send out.

No more guessing about how much to spend on marketing.

Spend as much as you can and stop only when the return is no longer there, or you’ve got all the business you can handle.

For small businesses, it’s almost always smarter to invest in generating leads and getting new business coming in the door than it is to build a brand, at least for now. Let your brand building happen as a consequence of the fantastic experience you create for your new customers.

There is an important place for brand building marketing, for sure. Just remember to think like an investor. Think return on investment and the time it takes to realize that return. Take great care to measure the pacing, sequencing and mixture of lead generation vs. brand building you decide to invest in.

Want to generate more leads and increase sales for your business? Join me online for my next revenue and profit recovery focus group. You can learn more and register here: https://your7figurebusinesscoach.com/focusgroup/

The 5 Ingredients In Magnetic Advertising Copy

the 5 ingredients in magnetic ad copy
There Are 5 Ingredients in Magnetic Ad Copy. Are you including them in your ads, emails and websites?

There are 5 major ingredients in magnetic advertising copy: (The order of these is essential to success)

  • Command Attention
  • Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
  • Prove the Benefits
  • Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
  • Call to Action

Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.

Let’s look at each ingredient:

  1. Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
  2. Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer.
  3. Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You must banish any doubt in their mind that you can deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance, like written and video testimonials, Google reviews, Linkedin recommendations, etc.
  4. Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Remind them of the problem they’re dealing with and why now is the time to do something about it. If possible, create scarcity. This will enact your potential customers to realize they have to act now. Which leads into the last component.
  5. Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something.  Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them realize they are getting an amazing deal.

Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. We can help you with this too. Try our GUIDED TOUR to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.

Kick Start Your Marketing

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way.

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores. The basic concept is this: You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to. Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses. As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base. So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success. LV = (P x F) x N – MC Here’s what it all means:
  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers. So, here’s your step-by-step process:
  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

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.

  1. 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.

Also consider:

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.

  1. 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) ☺ 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 great people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. 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.