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Stop Your Marketing Leaks

By Catherine Franz
Posted Thursday, September 2, 2004

Thirty percent of all the drinkable water that runs between the plant and your faucet is lost to leaky pipes. In marketing, thirty person of our business is lost to leaky follow up. Even professional sales people have leaky follow up when they stop after one or two contact points. How much business are you letting get lost to your leaky pipes. Here are some ways to tape them up or you may have to replace some fittings:

1. Do a check up of your follow-up system from the time of precontact to six months later. Since only 2% of sales occur after a first contact and does not go up until the fifth contact -- it goes to 80% then -- what is your follow- up plan of action between the first contact point and the fifth? This means that if you e-mail them once or twice there is less than 2% they will read it. People are very busy and even if you put the same message out week after week, there is less than 13% chance that they will even notice it's the same message. And they will need to see it at least 5 times before they will "really" read it. Follow- up is an easy plan, that is, once you sit down and plan it out.

2. I read a book this weekend, Marketing Outrageously. In it, Jon Spoelstra, puts it so well, "Prepare yourself in writing." Another favorite saying I keep on my wall is, "If it ain't written down, it's a wish floating in the wind." I don't remember the author. Create a plan. Even if it is a struggle to do so, create one the best way you can, yet it needs to be in writing. Creating a marketing plan is not something that comes by osmosis. I have read plenty of books on creating a marketing plan, however, until I worked with an expert I just could not make it simple. And until I made it simple, I would do it -- catch 22. Find an expert, hire them, and learn it. It will make the difference between success and struggle.

3. Never stop marketing -- not even in the good times. Never be too busy to market. There is a time lag in any marketing between the time of first contact and the buy. That lag time can be devastating to a business operating on the edge. It also causes a feast or famine roller coaster ride for the business. If you are too busy, leverage your resources by outsourcing.

4. Find your rhythm and make it work with productivity. Are you a morning person or does your energy crash around 2 PM? Tony Robbins taught me an exercise a long time ago that still works to this day. I read all my research material, write down all the questions, and then go to sleep. When I wake up the plan is outlined for me and most if not all my questions are answered. You can use this same exercise by doing this before you talk a walk or exercise. A few of my clients told me they do it before they get in the shower or are taking a long drive with someone who doesn't talk much. When the answers or plan is not answer in the morning, it usually presents itself within a few days all on its own. What I like about this method is how more innovative methods show themselves that can be completed with fewer resources. My last leak pursuit began with 20 steps and missing pieces that ended up with five steps and no holes. The unconscious mind is a power tool we forget too often that is on our side.

5. Stop all unproductive marketing activities that are not boosting your profits. If the ROI isn't there almost immediately, rethink it and adjust or eliminate. You must be able to measure your marketing efforts in some form. Most people just don't like doing it, so they jester it off as impossible. Know where your clients come from. If you only have a few, then trace them back to their origin. If you do not know, ask them, and then record it. Then ask the question, "What can I do more to attract clients in this same method?" A client in New Zealand just recently learned that her ad in the local paper is productively attracting clients. Originally, she wanted to change it. It wasn't delivering the 5 to 1 ratio I recommend for her industry -- coaching -- yet it is attracting a 3 to 1 ratio. A good ratio for a country that is just learning about coaching. Shoot for a 5 to 1 ratio -- for every $1 you spend, you need to make $5.

6. Market more frequently to your current customer base - much more often. Very few professionals that I have talked too stay in touch with existing and past customers often enough. They think they might be "bothering" them by telling them about new products or opportunities you have. Guess what, this is a fable. The easier you make it for them, the more they will appreciate it. There is so much hype of "too much e-mail." Some people are going to be offended if they get one a month from you, do not be concerned, let them go. Staying in touch is must for keeping your name in front of people. And if you don't, people are too busy to remember you when they need what you offer again. They will always use whatever is easiest to remember at the time. Even if you were dynamic before.

7. Leverage your time by outsourcing whatever mechanical tasks you can. Hire a virtual assistant to help manage communications. The lag time between the time you hire them and the ROI (return on your investment in them) is about 2-3 months (before the dollars follow your leveraging). Always hire others that you can pay less than yourself. If you are paid to write at $75 an hour, hire a typist at $15 an hour. Stop wanting it all. Keep the money flow going and you will attract more. It is also good for the economy. If errands are not productive for you, hire a high school or college student part-time to do them.

Well, here are six great ideas to check for leaks in your business. Don't let the fish get away, fish with the right hook.

About the Author
Catherine Franz is a 30-year marketing industry veteran and Marketing Strategist, a Certified Business Coach, Certified Teleclass Leader and Trainer, speaker, author. Additional eNewsletters, tips and articles are available at: ( 703-671-5677


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