Lesson Zero

Hey, I've got a brief little presentation here for you on how to make an effective impact in what many of us entrepreneurs are attempting to do, which is to engage people and to move them from being a casual contact to a converted, committed customer. As you can see here, this is called Drawing the Map, How to Lead Prospective Customers from Why to Buy. And this is a presentation, of course, of CommunIT Solutions. And this is inside of my Small Business Development Curriculum, which is founded on three fundamental success factors of business. That all businesses must deliver consistent quality, predictably, and then replicate the method of those deliveries. So whether you're selling donuts or whether you're providing a service-based product, these are the three components that all successful businesses are based upon. Now before we get started, I'd like to introduce a few more business fundamentals. And as you can see here in the upper left, one of the difficulties, especially in the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey, is dealing with the dreaded S-word, sales. And as we can see here at the top of the pyramid, the one fundamental business precept, whether we like it or not, is that all business indeed is sales. And it's really very simple. As I said, it's mathematical, it's not my opinion, I can prove it in three simple steps. Step one, no sales, no money. Step two, no money, well, we're out of business, and actually, that only took two steps. As you can see here in this sentence, sales is a conversation. Sales is not an attempt to get money. If we're chasing after money, we're doing it wrong. No one likes to be pursued, and you know, you don't like someone hustling you for money. Sales is a conversation. As we can see here, the 21st century sales conversation is a conversation in which the prospective buyer, the person you're talking with, the person you hope to convert into a customer, concludes that the value of what is being offered exceeds the price required to acquire it, at which point they choose to buy. In other words, when they conclude for themselves, not becomes convinced because anything you can be talked into, you can be talked out of, but when they conclude from the conversation that you're having with them, the genuine conversation based on value, that what you're offering them, the value to them of what is being offered is greater than the price for them to purchase it, they're going to make the choice to buy. You're not going to have to convince them. Believe me, if I was that good at convincing people, I wouldn't be making this video. I'd already be a successful billionaire, and I'd be on a yacht or a private jet somewhere. Now, that's the top of the pyramid. In the middle of the pyramid, we have the two fundamental business objectives. All businesses have many objectives, but every business has these two objectives in that they need more customers, and they need to generate more revenue. Without which, they don't make sales. Without sales, there is no business. All of this is built upon the foundation of the pyramid, which are the three fundamental questions we must ask and answer. First, what is your target market? Who are you talking to? If your answer to who is your customer is everyone, then no one is your customer. You have to identify who is it that values what you're being offered. Remember, your business is not based on what you want to sell, but what your market wants to buy. WANTS to buy. Once you've identified who it is that is your potential market, what are you offering them? What is your Unique Value Proposition? Some of you familiar with marketing terms may be familiar with the term USP, Unique Sales Proposition. I choose to use the term Unique Value Proposition inside of the 21st century sales conversation as we've distinguished it. What are you offering them? Not what are you trying to sell, again, what value are you offering? When you truly understand the value that you're offering, and maybe you should start with this question first, when you understand what you're offering, it gives you a better idea of who you're offering it to. Then once you know who you're talking to and what you're offering them, what's your call to action? Especially in the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey, a lot of us make the mistake of thinking our call to action is, hey, you're interested, here's how to order, please buy my thing. No. Your call to action is rarely from finding that initial interest to trying to make the sale. Your call to action should be in some way to continue the conversation. Now, remember, we talk about the buyer. Notice I talk about the buyer. I don't talk about the customer. I don't talk about the lead. I don't talk about the prospect. Here we're talking about the buyer. Why? Because all business is sales, and whether we like it or not, the sooner we wrap our heads around the fact that our conversation is we are offering something, and we're hoping that the person we're offering it to will choose to buy it. So we must be inside the buyer's mindset, not the customer's mindset. After they buy your product or service, they become your customer. They become your client. And this does not happen until they buy what we're offering them. Don't jump the gun. This is why many of us have trouble closing the sale, because we're not inside a conversation of having a sale. We're inside a conversation of trying to get a customer, and that's not the conversation before they've chosen to buy. Now what propels people to buy? As you see here, we call this the buyer's impulse. The first point, people buy what they want before what they need. Now I'm not trying to get into stereotypical gender roles, but however, many of us who know women, we may know a woman in our life, in this case this was my mother and my aunt, who will wear a pair of shoes that is uncomfortable but looks fabulous. I remember when I worked in corporate America, many of the women who worked there would have a pair of flats underneath their desk, because as soon as they got to work with the amazing stilettos that they were wearing with the outstanding outfit that they were in, the first thing they would do is kick those shoes off and put on the flats, and that's how they would walk around the office all day. Now guys, I'm not leaving you out of here. Many of us have known, and I've known personally, that guy that's driving this late model car, arm hanging out the window, leaning back, waving at all the cute young ladies, or gentlemen, looking cool. Now you get back to his house, and he's living on packing crates and, you know, cable spools as his furniture, because all of his money is spent paying that car note. Why? Because in both cases, these people, and it could be the guy wearing a nice pair of shoes, it could be the woman driving a car, let's not stereotype. But the point is, they want to look fabulous. They want to impress people. They want to appear to be something maybe they're not. And they will put themselves out. They will inconvenience themselves. They will spend themselves broke, because people are going to buy what they want over what they need. Think about it. Gyms do not sell memberships by saying, hey, how would you like to lower your body mass index and decrease your likelihood to have a cardiac arrest or stroke. No. They say, hey, summer's coming. Want to look good in that bathing suit? Hey, want to fit into those jeans you haven't even looked at in 10 or 15 years? Sign up to JoJo's Gym. You know, 20% discount. People buy based on what they want over what they need, and they buy based on perceived value. This is important. Again, this is a conversation about value being offered. It's not about what you are trying to sell. It's about what they are wanting to buy. So don't talk about the features, the functions, the things, how great, how wonderful, how impressive your product is, or how well-endorsed your service is. Talk about what they are likely to want. What will they get? What's in it for them? My first business coach put it this way, everyone is always dialed into the same radio station, WIIFM. What's in it for me? In addition to perceived value, buying is usually triggered by an emotional impulse. Now in traditional business speak, in 20th century business speak, this is what's referred to as selling to the pain. Personally, I don't like that kind of terminology. I'm not looking to manipulate people and particularly not from negative impulses, but people are going to buy what they want and triggered by a desire, a need, a want, an aspiration. And when we understand this, we understand what is going to trigger our buyer, the person we are having the conversation with, to make the choice to buy. Now, here's to the crux of what we're talking about today. The reason that I prepared this presentation is because I noticed this myself and I noticed this with a lot of people at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. It's often we confuse these three concepts and very often the first two, Marketing, Advertising and Promotion. In fact, you'll hear it said as this troika, as this triplet, you know, you got to get into Marketing, Advertising and Promotion as if they are the same thing, they are very much not the same thing. And it took me years to distinguish and distill this and as you see here in the slide, I break it down, that we trigger the buy response in a multi-part way. First, Marketing is not Advertising. A lot of people say, how much do you spend on Marketing? My advice, honestly, especially at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, is try to do as much organic marketing as possible. Don't spend money on Marketing, okay? Try to get word of mouth advertising. Try to use all the channels of social media. We are in an amazing age. We've got Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and Instagram and TikTok and various other Pinterest, many other ways. Tell the story of your brand value. That's what I mean when I say the brand story. Matt, we've been in business for 27 years and our qualities include, no, no, no. Don't talk about yourself. Talk about what you have to offer the unique value proposition that you are making to your perspective market. Tell them what they want that you have or actually to put it better, tell them that you have what they want. Speak in terms of what they're looking for. After you tell your brand story, after your marketing, then advertise and advertise your product, not your business. This is another mistake that people make. You don't advertise your business. You advertise your product based on your brand, okay? Your brand should be advertised as embodying the value. I mean, your product should be advertised as the embodiment of the value that your brand represents and offers to the public. That's why Marketing must come first, not just because it spells the word map. Advertising Marketing and Promotion doesn't make any sense because people don't buy products. They buy brands. So that's why they've got to know the story. Think about it. Why does McDonald's still advertise? There isn't anyone over six months old that doesn't know what McDonald's is, yet they continue to have lots of product, you know, out there on television, on radio, on billboards. Why are they doing that? And have you noticed, here's my distinction, that most of what you see McDonald's putting on television, putting on the radio, putting up on billboards is not advertising. It's not about a product. It's not about Big Macs and large fries and shakes and coffee. It's about the brand itself. It's about, ba-da-ba-ba-ba, I'm loving it. They're telling their brand story that you are loving the experience of McDonald's. Personally, I don't get it. It's just hamburgers, french fries, shakes, salads, whatever. But they are the number one food and beverage brand in North America, oftentimes even exceeding Starbucks and none of the other burger chains even come close. But finally, when you've marketed your brand story, when you've gotten the message of your value out and then you've taken the next step and you advertise the fact that your products embody that brand, again, that's why the brand story must come first because they know, oh, that's so-and-so, that's McDonald's, they've got the Happy Meal. Then you promote your business to maintain the emotional connection that has been established by your product delivering the value. So first, we market our brand. This is a mistake that I made, lots of people make in the beginning. It's not about your logo. It's not about your color scheme. It's not about the fonts. It's not, oh, I get it. I had a client years ago, came to me to develop a website for her and she told me that she had spent $1,500 to have someone develop a logo for her business that she hadn't even launched and didn't have a website for and I almost fell out of my chair. Why would you spend over $1,000 to create an image for a brand that nobody knows about? No one is going to, nobody buys Nike because of the swoosh. No one chooses AT&T as their service provider because of the stylized globe image that they have. So ask yourself this, what's the Google logo? Answer, Google doesn't have a logo. Google has a color scheme but that's it because Google doesn't need a logo. Google is Google. Your brand is the conversation that you're having with your market. It's the story of the value that you have to offer. Now once you have your brand message out there, you can embody it in a brand and brand came from branding cattle. That's why we use the term brand. It was an image that said this is my cow, this is not your cow. And then from there, the concept of using an image to signify a particular product and distinguish it from the other products on the shelf or in the market space and that's why we use the word brand. But remember, that image only said that this farmer, this cattle herder owned those cows. It was the embodiment of their ownership. In and of itself, it's just an image, could be anything. So don't get caught up in spending a lot of time and certainly at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, spending a lot of money on a logo. Can an effective logo help you penetrate the market and stay top of mind with people? Sure it can. Is it necessary? Trust me, no one is going to choose to not do business with you because they don't like your logo. No one is going to walk away from a negotiation with you because you don't have one or you don't have a snappy tagline. Your brand is the message of value that you have that establishes an emotional connection. Remember, we're trying to trigger or speak into, we're not going to trigger it, that exists with the person. If we've identified our market properly and we're having the right conversation about the values that they want and need, then we're going to connect with the emotions that drive them, that compel them to choose to buy what we're offering because they're not buying a product. They're consuming a value that they went into the market looking for and we happen to be the best business, the best person, the best individual, the best brand to deliver that for them. This is very important. I deliberately put this in this way when I say that Marketing is not about telling the truth. I don't mean that Marketing is about lying. I know this is a problem that a lot of us have when it comes to sales because we think that sales is about deceit, deceptive advertising is a thing here and again, not advertising. Marketing is what we're talking about, however. What Marketing is, is about telling the story of your brand to those people who are predisposed to believe it, who are looking for what we're offering. You don't try to sell steak to a vegan. It doesn't make a difference that it's 100% USDA prime beef, grass fed, no hormones. They don't eat meat. Similarly, someone looking for a Ruth Chris Steakhouse, you're not going to sell them a wheat grass smoothie. Well, you might. They might drink that as well, but they're not looking for an impossible burger. They're looking for an impossibly good 100% beef burger. You tell the story of your brand. You offer the value to those who are looking for it. The mistake that we often make when it comes to Marketing is we think we're trying to convince people of something. That's not the job of Marketing, and that's why so much Marketing very simply isn't effective. It's not that we're not good writers. It's not that we don't understand our product. We think, first of all, that Marketing is about our product. It's not. Advertising is about our product. Marketing is about our value. Before we get to the product, before I'm interested in what you're selling, I need to know that I'm interested, and what I'm interested in is not a product. I'm interested in what I'm looking for. All a product is is the embodiment of my values. A car is a car is a car. Why do people spend money on Lamborghinis and Maseratis and Rolls Royces? To my reckoning, there's no car that's worth more than $40,000. A very well-made car that's going to last for 10 years, it's got a good suspension, good mileage, that's comfortable inside, that keeps me dry when it rains, and has good traction, stops when I hit the brake, starts when I hit the accelerator. Why do people spend six and seven figures for a car? Because they're not buying a vehicle. They're buying prestige. They want to show the world this is who I am. I can afford this car. I've made it. I've ascended to this level of success and prosperity represented by this car. A lot of times, they're not even driving the car. Think about it. If you owned a Maserati, you're not going to drive it to the local Walmart, but it doesn't matter. That's my Lambo. People buy what they want, so you have to let them know that you have what they're looking for. That's what Marketing does. Speak to the need. You see here, Marketing is not about advertising your product. It is about spreading the understanding to the people who are looking for the values that your brand represents that you have what they're looking for. Talk about values. Let them know how you are going to satisfy them. Remember, people buy what they want first and then what they need. Don't sell them the medicine. Sell them the spoonful of sugar. To be effective at Marketing, you have to understand what it is they're looking for. This is why remember in the Pyramid of Business Fundamentals that the first fundamental question is who is your target market. If you don't know who your market is, how do you know what they value? How do you know what they want? How do you know what they're looking for? You don't. That's why before you even start to answer the question, what is the value I'm offering, you have to answer the question, who am I offering it to? You can have the same product, but based on a different market segment, you're going to emphasize different values. Let's use the example of a car. One person has a family, so they're interested in how much room is in the car, what gas mileage does it get, what's the safety rating. Another person, could be the same car, they're into performance. How does it handle? What's the acceleration? What's the stopping distance? Another person, they spend a lot of time in their car. Does it have Bluetooth? Does it have satellite radio? Does it have a sunroof? Same vehicle, but different values that you would stress based on which segment of your market that you're talking to. Tell the story of how you address the values and fulfill their desires. They don't want you to sell them an impressive product, they want you to satisfy them. Marketing is telling the story of how you're going to satisfy what your market looks for. In fact, let's take a moment to stop and think about it, the term Marketing is called Marketing because what you're doing is you're not talking to a market, you're creating the market. You don't have a market. No one wakes up in the morning looking to do business with you. I wish they did. Again, I wouldn't have to make this video. I wouldn't have to be out here attempting to get more customers of my own or spread the word about Marketing. We'd all understand this. We just have the product that we have and people would say, hey, I want that. They'd come up to us, they'd give us their money, we'd give them the product, it would be that easy. It's not that easy. People want something and we have to understand that that collection of people that want the value we're offering, that's our market. So Marketing doesn't find your market, Marketing creates your market. This is why Marketing is so important. This is why it comes first. A lot of people think that all they've got to do is talk about their product and if you build it, they will come. This is not Field of Dreams. You have to ask yourself, again, that's why it's the first question. Say to yourself, what is the market I'm looking to serve? What's going to tell you what your whole Marketing campaign looks like? Because you know, oh, someone like this and you've heard that they say get your Marketing avatar or come up with the demographics, the psychographics of your market, which is just fancy terms for saying get inside the head of the person likely to buy the product or service that you're offering. And you do that by understanding what are they looking for? What's important to them? What do they want? That is what Marketing does. After that comes advertising. You market your brand and then once your brand is established and your market understands your brand story and your brand value and your brand message, then we advertise our product. And again, we're talking to people about what they want. So stop describing your product. It has this, that, and the other thing. It comes with these five points, you know, our services, our value. Stop talking about yourself. Stop talking about the thing. Talk about what the thing delivers. True story, I'm going to tell on myself. Right now, I do web development for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners and operators. And when I say web development, I don't just build websites, I build web platforms. I build the website, the email campaigning, the funneling, you know, the CRM, all of this, all built into one platform. And when I first started doing this, I talked about the technology, content management systems, open source software. Nobody cares about any of that stuff. I would put people to sleep. In the technology world, there's a term called MIGO, M-E-G-O, which stands for My Eyes Glaze Over. And the effect that I would have on people when I'm trying to pitch them all of this tech took me five years to discover that my pitch, if you will, my unique value proposition is simply this. Would you like to use the technology at your disposal and internet channels of communication to save time, make money, and get more customers? Now, if you're nodding and leaning into the conversation, you're my market. And that's the value that I offer. What I offer is that you can save time, make money, and get more customers using the internet and internet online channels of communication. That's the value. How do we do it? Oh, that's the product. But the value is what it delivers to you. Don't worry about how it delivers to you. You don't want me to get into the nuts and bolts and the megabytes and gigahertz of how it's done. You just want to know that when you're done, you're going to have a platform online that's going to engage people wherever you are and wherever they are so they can get inside of the conversation about the value you're offering to them. Whether they go to a link on a landing page, whether you meet them and send them an email with a link, whether they find you on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or Pinterest or wherever they find you, it leads them back to your platform that will help you engage them as a new customer with much less time and effort on your part that will automate the process of keeping communication with them from the first contact to the closing the sale. How that gets done is not what you're interested in. That that gets done is what you're interested in because people buy brands, not products. People buy Nikes, not sneakers. People buy a Mercedes, an Audi, a BMW, not a car, Tropicana, not orange juice, Coke, not carbonated, you know, soft drinks. So just as the purpose of Marketing is about describing the value of your brand and not the logo or the color scheme or the font family that you chose for your logo text, advertising is about building awareness of what your profit, of what your profit, pardon me, of what your product offers. Advertising is not about the product itself. It's about what the product is going to deliver. Again, we're speaking into what people want. They don't want to know that you have a product for sale. Newsflash, everyone has a product for sale. Join the club. This is not what they wake up in the morning. This is not what they put a search, you know, phrase into Google. They're looking for something. Think about this. When people type something into Google and maybe they'll come up with your website or your Facebook group or your LinkedIn profile, are they looking for you? Are they looking for stuff? No. They're looking to satisfy a need, a desire, a requirement. So if the message that pops up in front of their face when they click your link tells them, hey, welcome, looking for this, come here, let's have a talk. Stay a while. Check this out. But if you start talking about I, me, we, our, we've been in business for 25 years and our values concern, I don't care about you, this is, what is this, a resume, you know, an audition? I'm not, W-I-I-F-M, people. What's in it for me? Talk about me. Talk about what I want. When I see what I'm looking for, I'm going to stick around. But if I see what you're offering, you're just one of 10,000 other people who are trying to hustle something on me, not interested. And most people, this is what I call the triple R, the reflexive refusal response. Most people initial response to a pitch is to say no. That's why when people hear that all business is sales, they get that feeling because sales occurs to them, and it occurred to me, as hard work. Why? Because it's trying to convince somebody of something, but that's not what sales is. That's why I started this with the 21st century sales conversation, okay? It's a conversation about value. The prospective buyer concludes that the value you're offering them exceeds the price required. The price is nothing because look at everything I'm going to get. And then they make the choice to buy because that's what they're looking for. So tell them how your product is going to satisfy them. Obviously you're going to have to talk about the features and the price afterwards, but start by describing the benefits. What you want them to do is to be nodding their head and leaning in and saying, tell me more. Think about telling a kid a bedtime story, and how most children's stories are designed. They're designed to keep, what happened then? And then what happened? And then what happened? Oh, you've got that, and you've got that, and you've got this? Oh, really? Amazing. How much? That's a whole lot better than trying to convince people to buy my thing. Stop talking about yourself. Stop talking about your products. Nobody cares how long you've been in business. How long has Google been online? How long has AT&T been in business? How old is Amazon or eBay? Do you care? Even if you know, do you care? When you buy a product on Amazon, is that why you typed Amazon.com in the browser or clicked the link to go to Amazon? You're looking for what you want to buy. And you know that Amazon, and I don't care how you feel about, you know, them as a multi-billion or trillion dollar business or their business practices, I'm not having that conversation. What I'm saying is, it is a way for you to comparatively shop, to compare the benefits to yourself of a variety of products, to make the decision to pick one and to have it very easily delivered to you. This is why people, even people who don't like the owner, who don't like the business practices, irrespective of that, it's a very convenient way for them to what? To get what they want. This is what Amazon has figured out. And this is why they dominate, not just online buying, they dominate buying. Because they understand that the fundamental thing is give people what they want as quickly and as easily as possible. And that's what we're all looking to do. We're not all looking to become an Amazon. We're looking to identify our market, to know what they want, to let them know that we have it and to make it as easy as possible for them to get it. So our Advertising must be about how we're going to satisfy their needs. As we see here, it's not what your product does. That's afterwards. That's a link, you know, the features or whatever. That's a thing they can click off more information. Click here. Talk about what it does for the buyer. Here's what you get. Here's what's in it for you. Look at how, is this what you're looking for? Here you go. That's what Advertising is supposed to do. It's not supposed to be talking about the thing. And look, I get it, especially if it's a service, if you're a service-based entrepreneur. We're very proud of what we've done. It's based on years or decades of experience. We're highly qualified and we want to let the world know. We want to impress them with the fact that we're credible, you know, that we have integrity and we're going to do our very best job. This is not an audition, okay? They're not interested in that. They're not upset with you. They don't care. They are looking for what they want. Do you have it? And can you convey that clearly and effectively? That's good advertising. You know, there's an expression right here, sell the sizzle, not the steak. Sell them what they want and give them what they need. You may have heard the term under-promise and over-deliver. And the way I like to put it, talk about the glitz and the glamour. If you only give people what they want, then after the afterglow phase, after what's called the honeymoon phase, then they're now going to be dissatisfied. That's where buyer's remorse comes in. So it's not that you don't deliver what people need. Don't mistake what I'm saying. I'm not saying don't give them the functions and features. I'm saying that your advertising shouldn't start with or stress that. You want to stimulate the buyer's impulse. That's why we started with that. People buy impulsively. Should they? Hey, what are you, a therapist? You're trying to get a customer, not put them on the couch and analyze their inner thinking. That's how people buy. So you're either going to get them to buy your product or someone else will get them to buy their product. Which do you want? Now do it with as much integrity, class, honor, dignity, distinction, fine, but do it effectively or you're going to be the best, most qualified, most decent and noble pauper sitting on the corner with a cardboard sign rattling a tin cup. And I don't think that's what you want. Now you see here, don't try to sell steak to people who aren't hungry. Don't try to sell steak to a vegan. Don't try to sell a gas car to someone looking for an electric car. Don't try to sell a bike to someone that's not looking to travel under their own power. Don't try to sell a bike to someone looking for a car. Sell people what they want. And as you see here, this third point, this is very important, and this might seem contradictory. That's why I put it there. Advertising is not about sales. Advertising is about product awareness. The conversation you have with people based on your advertisements, that's about sales. The advertisement is to get them to the point of having that conversation with you. Advertising starts the conversation. Advertising does not close the deal. You're going to close the deal through your funnel, through a phone call, a series of email communications, or face-to-face, whether that's virtually through some form of Zoom or FaceTime. You're going to have an actual meeting with somebody. And this is also very important. Just as I said, in Marketing, spend as little money as possible. Try to get as much organic Marketing as possible. Don't spend a lot of money on advertising unless you know what you're doing. This is another mistake that people make in the intermediate stage of their entrepreneurial journey. They say, okay, I've got the brand message out now, so now, if I spend more money on advertising, I'm going to make more money, right? No, because you don't yet know that you're advertising effectively. Advertise, as we see in the funnel point, advertise to keep making money. And don't pump a lot of money into Advertising. I'm not saying don't put any money into advertising, but you've got to dial it in. Do things like comparative testing. Have variations of the same ad to see which is more effective, because remember, the idea that you come up with, that's going to be your first best guess. You don't really know what the market is going to want or respond to when you first start out. So don't spend a whole lot of time and a whole lot of, you know, focus groups and meetings and all this kind of stuff. Pick something that seems like it makes sense based on what we're talking about here. Talk about the benefits, not functions and features. Sell them what they want. Speak into their desires. We've got you. Tell them how you're going to satisfy them. And then put it out there and see the results, observe the results. And this is why comparative testing is very advisable, because you might be surprised. A way that you think wouldn't be an effective advertising, what if that's the one that people respond to? It doesn't matter what you think. It matters what they think. And then, when you found the advertisement works, then put a little more money in and always keep comparing, always keep testing, always keep checking out and trying a little variations. And as you see what pays off, then you put money into that advertising. But don't just think that if you just put 10 times more money into advertising, you're going to make 10 times more profit, because that's not how it works. Because then you're trying to sell people something rather than satisfy people's desires and requirements and fulfill their needs, which is what's going to draw them to your product. And finally, and many of us, especially in the initial stages of entrepreneurial journey, aren't really ready for this, for Promotion. Now, a lot of people, when they think about Promotion, they think about handing out a little tchotchke. And I tell you, if somebody gives me another key ring with their logo on it, I think I'm going to scream. First of all, I've got a whole drawer full of them. Second of all, I already have a keychain, people. How many keychains do you think I need? Do you think I'm going to take my keys off of the keychain I'm currently using just because you gave me one? What are you doing? And first of all, that's not Promotion. Second of all, when you're just starting out, and you don't have a large brand awareness, and you don't have well-established Marketing campaigns and Advertising campaigns, don't put any time or effort into promoting. Promoting is not Advertising. Promoting is about maintaining the connections with the customers you already have and reminding them of why they chose to do business with you in the first place, and how satisfied they were in having done business with you. Promotion is about repeat business. Promotion is about maintaining the base of your market. Remember we said Marketing is building your advert, is building your market. It literally is Marketing. That's what we're doing. We're making the market. And then advertising is about letting that market know, here's the product that we have. This is why you're our market. This is what we're going to deliver to you. And offering them the satisfaction of their desires and needs, the products that are going to deliver them that satisfaction and fulfillment. Now once you've done that, you've created your market with Marketing, you've offered the thing that will satisfy them with Advertising, then, and only then, you want to keep them. You don't want to create a market just for it to evaporate, you know, like a little oasis in the middle of a desert, and then you come back two weeks later and it's just dry sand again. You want a wetlands, okay? You want this to be fertile and flourishing year round. And you do that after you've created the market and established a product base of people who are buying it. You want them to continually buy it. You want them to recommend it to friends and family. You want to be able to offer them other things, other services, other products, that's the purpose of Promotion. As you see, it's about capturing mind share. If you have a retail store, it's about shelf space. And if you're a vendor, you want to get shelf space on say, Walmart or Home Depot or some big box store, Best Buy or whatever. If your market, which I'm assuming is mostly going to be virtual, especially if you're a service-based entrepreneur, what you want to do is you want to maintain space on the shelf of their mind. When they consider a service like yours, you want to be the first thing, you've heard the term top of mind. This is what Promotion is there to do. It's to keep you top of mind. Don't think that just because they've chosen to do business with you and you've made the sale and you delivered the service and they're satisfied that that's going to stay, again, back to the McDonald's thing. Why do you think McDonald's spends millions of dollars? That's Promotional Marketing. I didn't want to get into that in the beginning of Marketing, but that's what McDonald's is doing. They're marketing to people who somehow may never have heard of them, but mostly what they're doing is they're reminding people how much they liked McDonald's, how much they choose McDonald's, why they prefer McDonald's. Personally, I think Wendy's and Burger King are better burgers, just objectively, but McDonald's dominates. Take Wendy's, Burger King's, Arby's, Market Share, add them all together, you'd have to multiply them many times to equal McDonald's because McDonald's is mastery at all of this, at Marketing, at Advertising, and Promotion. If you walked into a room of 50 people and you said, you know, at least one person is going to echo back with, I'm loving it. That's like, okay, what's the jingle for Wendy's? What's the tagline for Burger King? See, they don't have one. They haven't captured the mind share. Promotion is about your existing customers and clients, so don't promote yourself to a stranger. They haven't had an experience with you. They don't know your brand yet, so what are you doing? Don't buy physical tchotchke and hand it away. A lot of people think this is a thing to do. I disagree. Give someone a pen or a placard or some other promotional bit of whatever have you. Tchotchke, I think, is the perfect term. And here's another thing while we're talking about Promotion. Don't put your logo, your name, your business name on cheap stuff, because since the purpose of Promotion and Promotional items is to remind people of the value that your brand has delivered them, if the value of the thing that you give them is, you know, $1.380, if it breaks, if it falls apart, if you're going to give someone a pen, don't give them the cheap pen that they could get 10 in a pack at the local discount store. If you're going to give them a pen, I mean, don't give them a Montblanc, but give them a nice, good, sturdy pen that they're going to keep on their desk and smack people's hands if they try to take it. That's a good pen. And don't give pens to people that don't do a lot of writing. But if you know that you have customers that write a lot and still have that legal notebook and they like to put their thoughts down in writing, even if they later transcribe it to their computer, that's who you give a pen to. Why? Because then they're going to use that pen, give it something that feels good in the hand, that's got a little bit of texture, spend a little bit of money, and you can find it where you can buy this in bulk and have your logo on it, but don't give them something that's cheap and plastic, because if you give them a good pen, they're going to prefer that pen because they're pen people, and then every time they pick up that pen and hold it in their hand, boom, there's your business name. That's effective Promotion. And subliminally, they're not going to always look and say, oh, Communitech Solutions. But they're going to see it, it's going to put images on, you know, photons on their retina, it's going to lie there on the desk, and subconsciously it's going to remember, that's that pen, that's that pen. This is what we're looking to do. We're looking to keep the fire under, keep the sizzle under that emotional connection. So we not only want them to remember the business that they've done with us, we want them to remember that that's a really good pen. So promote your business with quality items, and if you understand that the purpose of Promotion is to maintain the connection with existing clients, then you'll spend a little bit more money on your promotional items, because you won't have as many of them. You're not looking to flood the world. This is not a giveaway, okay? Don't give promotional items to people who haven't done business with you, or who aren't likely to do business with you. Give promotional items to show that customer how much you value them as a customer. Because it's a relationship. If sales is a conversation, business is a relationship, and you want to maintain that relationship, this is why they will consider doing business with you. You may have a type of business where there's not a lot of frequent engagement. It might be a few times a year, it might be over the course of several years. So if it's a two-year or three-year cycle of your product or service being offered, that's a long time. Do you want them to forget about you since the last time you did business? How are you going to remind them? And promotions isn't necessarily always a physical item. I just use that example as the most obvious. Here's another thing. You've got your, or you should have your email funneling tool. Most of us, notice I say us, are using it simply when we want to have a product push or a service push, invite them to an event, or offer them a product to sign up for a course, to sign up for a service, a workshop that we're offering them. How about creating an automated campaign of just, hey there? Not very frequently, maybe four or five times a year. Just saying, hey, use your CRM, your customer relationship management tool, put people's birthdays in there. If you have clients that are married, put their wedding anniversary in there. You can get this. Don't be obvious about it, but after a while, if you've got an ongoing relationship with your customers and clients, put this in there and then have your campaigning tool to automatically send birthday and anniversary greetings from your business, not selling them anything, not offering them anything, just wishing them happy birthday, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, you know, Diwali, whatever. Remind them that to you, they are a valued customer because the conversation is always about value. Remember at the very beginning I said sales is a conversation about the exchange of values. The value that they get from you is the service or the product. The value that you get from them is not just their money. It could be their loyalty. It could be their recommendations or their referral. Promotion should be about maintaining that emotional connection. Don't think of yourself as a business. Don't think of your product as a thing. Think of it as an embodiment of value. This is the distinction because when we get inside of this, the initial conversation, that's why I started with the 21st century sales conversation, a conversation in which the prospective buyer concludes that the value being offered to them, the value, not the product, not the service, the value being offered to them exceeds the price required to acquire it. It's much more than whatever you're going to ask them. Tony Robbins, last I heard, and it could be more, charges $15,000 to attend his firewalk weekend. I know people who have personally attended it, and there are people who are disappointed because they couldn't get in on the weekend. They're upset because they couldn't give him 15 grand of their money to learn how to walk over hot coals. That's a lot of money. You give me six $15,000 clients, that's a good year for me, I'm not going to lie. He has packed weekends full of people, dozens of people, each paying him at least $15,000. As I said, this was years ago, it could be more. Why? Because whatever that may seem to you, I know to me that's a lot of money, what they walk out of there with is worth more to them. The change and the transformation they find in themselves as a person, as a professional, as someone who's about something in the world, money well spent. He didn't start out charging people $15,000 for anything. He had to first build the brand of Tony Robbins, and if you notice lately, he's not Tony Robbins anymore, he's Anthony Robbins. Because his brand has matured. Tony, Anthony, same guy, not the same brand. Because his brand is the embodiment of the value that he offers to the world. It's not the name, it's not what it's described, it's not what you call him, you can still call him Tony, it doesn't matter. I remember him from back in the days, first of all, I remember him from back in the days when broadcast television used to go off at a certain time of night, remember the National Anthem and then just the white noise, and then local syndicated stations realized they could make some money by selling that dead air. I remember him and I think it was Wayne Dwyer and Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki and all these folks who are now multi-millionaires started out by buying that time because they could buy hours of time for cheaper than what a 30 second spot would cost during prime time, and they put in the groundwork, they put in the hours of establishing their brand. Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad, I'm willing to bet you that more people own that book than have actually read it, but everybody knows, you say Rich Dad Poor Dad, people who haven't even read the book or seen the cover of it, they know what you're talking about. Because that's the brand value. That's the message that he's put out there. Okay, that's my phone going off. I'm home recording this. So it's all about making an emotional connection with people and Promotion is about maintaining the awareness of that so we can continue doing business with people. To move them from brand awareness to brand preference. We don't just want them to remember us as one among many, as a choice in the aisle as they're walking down through the supermarket, maybe I'll buy this cereal instead. No, we want them when they think of our service, when they think of our product, they think of our value. They think of the connection that we've established with them and they don't even consider another brand. That's what Promotion is about. After we've pulled them in as a member of our market and established to them the value that our brand offers them, after we have advertised the fact that our brand and the product that embodies our brands will deliver them the satisfaction they're looking for, Promotion is to remind them that we've done that. Remember how great it was? Remember how much we exceeded your expectations? Remember how pleased and satisfied and fulfilled you were that you chose to do business with our brand? Remember that? So next time that you need something or when you know that someone you know who trusts you and trusts your opinion and recommendation is looking for what we have to offer, you'll consider mentioning our brand because you know our brand delivers the good. That's what Promotion is about and that's why Promotion comes after Advertising and after Marketing. It's neat that it spells MAP but there's a reason that these things come in order because at the end of the day, we are in business with our market, with our customers. There's no business without your market. Your business doesn't just consist of yourself, in the case of solopreneurs, or your staff or your partners. Your business consists of your market, your partners together, partners in the exchange of value because that's all business is. Business is not about the exchange of money. Money is just a substitute. Money is a placeholder for barter. Each of us wants something. I give you the product or service, you give me the money so that I can give it to someone else who gives me the product or service and they get the money and so on and so on and so on. That is the cycle of business. That is the ecosystem. That is the economy. The economy is the exchange of exchange of exchange of exchange. What is it called? The New York what? Stock exchange. It's about the exchange. As we see here, Promotion is the heat that maintains the sizzle, that keeps the sizzle under it so it doesn't go cold. As I said earlier, don't use cheap stuff. If you do have a physical thing, make it represent the value of your brand. Ask yourself this. How much do I consider my brand to be worth? Then look at whatever you're thinking to put your business name on and say, does this represent the quality? Is this a little cheap trinket? Is this what I want people to think of my business? My brand? My value that I'm offering? Am I offering cheap trinket level plastic, breakable, disposable nonsense? No? Then offer something better. And think about if you're not offering a physical promotional item, if you're sending a promotional email, do I want this to sound like a thinly disguised hustle, pretending to be a human point of contact, actual genuine communication? Do I want this to sound like something that was thoughtlessly thrown together in three minutes and just tossed out there? Or do I want this to be a well-considered, genuine, sincere outreach, reminding my valued customers that that's what they are to me, that I appreciate them, and even if I never do business with them again, I genuinely and sincerely am thankful that I did business with them at all. Let's think about this, just as we have no market before we create it, nobody has to do business with us unless you somehow have something that no one else has, and I highly doubt that. There's other people who do what you do, there's other people who sell what you sell. So anytime anyone makes the choice to do business with you, that's a reason to be grateful, and we should genuinely be thankful to that person. And in Promotion, what's wrong with letting them know that? Tell them. I highly recommend doing that, and I'm going to start doing that myself. We've got the tools, we've got whether you use Constant Contact or Infusionsoft or MailChimp or Madmeme or Aweber or iContact or whatever you use, don't just use this to automate the process of trying to turn them into a customer, create a thank you campaign and use it to automate the process of thanking them for being a customer. Promote your business, capture that mindshare, maintain that emotional connection. It takes a lot of work to get a customer, and we've all heard the fact that it's easier to maintain a customer once you've acquired them than to acquire a new customer. Part of maintaining them, that's where Promotion comes in. That's the point and purpose of Promotion, to say thank you, to say we appreciate you, to say we look forward to serving you with more value. Now as you see here, a lot of businesses aren't very clear about their customer engagement strategy, but I think I've pretty much laid it out pretty well. Advertising is confused with Marketing, we've established that it's not. Marketing must become first, must come first. As you see, there's nothing to advertise or promote if nobody knows your brand. People don't buy products or services, they buy brands. Once they know what you're about, as the saying goes, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. So you've got to let them know you care about them, and I'm not saying pretend to be their friend or anything like that, I'm saying speak in terms of what they're looking for. When you show them that you understand what they want, what they need, what they're looking for, what they're yearning for, what's going to satisfy and fulfill them, you've got their attention. That's what your Marketing must establish, and then when you're Advertising, everything's built upon your Marketing. If you don't market effectively, you're always going to struggle. I'm not saying that you can't do business with ineffective Marketing, but if you want to do business better, shameless self-promotion, that is the title of my book, which is available for purchase on Amazon, just letting you know. If you want to do business better, this is what I'm talking about. You can do business any way you want to, you're probably doing business already. If you want to do business better, understand the distinction between these three points. Market your brand, then advertise your product, then promote your business, but make sure that you understand that Marketing is about your brand story, and your brand story is not about the history of your business or the description of your business. It's about communicating the value that you offer, that you will satisfy and fulfill the desires and requirements of your prospective market, because that's what's going to make them your market in the first place. It's not about what your product does. It's about who your product does it for. And finally, as you market, particularly as you market online, webinars, Facebook Lives, recorded advertisements, things like this, speak to them, not at them. You'll notice that I'm doing a slide deck presentation here, but I'm being very conversational and colloquial with you. I'm not coming off you as business 101 here, and ladies and gentlemen, we're going to study the five noted principles for, no, I'm talking to you like a person, okay? Because I want you to talk to your market, to talk with your market as the people that they are. At the end of the day, all business, any business, every business is a conversation between two or more human beings about the exchange of value. That's all it is. I don't care what it is, what product or service you're offering or combination thereof. It's all about communication. It's all about the conversation. I hope you've enjoyed this one-sided conversation I've had with you, and I hope that you take this away. That's why I put this in a recording. I could simply give you the link to the slide deck, but I think by having this conversation with you, it'll put this in context, and it'll be here for you to review any time you want to, as many times as you want to. I hope that you find value in what I've shared with you today. I hope that you download the e-book, Small Business CPR, that's available with this recording, and I hope to see you around, whether we do business together or whether we simply have another conversation. I wish you all the best and the best in all things. Thank you.
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