Posts Tagged ‘Revenues’

13 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Soaring With The Eagles – Part 3

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

And now…the final 5…reasons your Marketing Isn’t Soaring with the Eagles.

You don’t make it easy enough for people to do business with you

The easier it is for people to do business with you – the less complicated, embarrassing, time wasting, expensive, etc., etc. – the more business you’ll do.

I can’t tell you how many beautifully-sculptured, clever ads I’ve seen and read, with wonderful, compelling sales messages … and no proper call to action, and/or specific directions as to how I should go about buying the damn thing.

Oh, it’s there all right but, by the time you get the pen, the commercial is over, or you have to navigate your way through the ad TO FIND THE PERSON WHO’LL TAKE YOUR ORDER!

I repeat: The simpler you make it for people to buy from you, the more you’ll sell.

Your marketing efforts are dead-set BORING!

No need to labor this point, I’m sure. You’ve all seen so much stultifying, uninspiring rubbish yourself, and wondered:

“Who do these people think they’re going to impress with this load of bs?”

Then you toss it where you toss your orange peel.

Of course, nobody says this about your marketing material, do they? Yet, there’s a strong possibility that this IS the case.

You have to work continuously to ensure not only that you’re not boring people, but that you’re actually inspiring, exciting, captivating, or seducing a significant number of your target audience. That said, make sure that you assess the market’s perception of your marketing efforts, and don’t judge things on how you feel. Many a business has “pulled” a successful marketing effort because they were tired and bored with it, when, in fact, the market audience was not.

One of the most famous, and successful, newspaper advertising headlines ran for 30-plus years. It was, They Laughed When I Said I Could Play The Piano – But They’re Not Laughing Now!

You fail to test – test – test

Not every marketing effort will work. In fact, most will fail! The real savvy marketers test and test until they find two things: what works … and then, what works better. Along the way, they document and evaluate their results. They have absolutely no intention of repeating their mistakes.

So, before committing yourself to that big advertisement or mail-out, test your propositions, test your headlines, test whether your ultimate benefits are compelling enough.

Put another way, you have an obligation to conservatively test and let the market tell you what it wants.

You’re a small-town thinker

There’s a huge difference between having enough confidence in yourself, your products, or your services to think nationally, or even globally, and being too big for your boots.

Have you got a great product or service that would be appreciated by a wider market than you’re addressing now? But, you don’t have the budget to capitalize on the situation? OK. That’s understandable. But, at least you can start working toward a bigger audience. It’s the old power-of-positive-thinking thing.

Send your literature to a few selected people interstate and overseas. We’re truly entering the doorway to the global marketplace, so start adopting a mindset that will have you right at the front of the queue.

Maybe there is no market!
Let’s look at an example … one that is played out every day – unfortunately.

Frank and Francine have lived in Smalltown all their lives. Smalltown is a remote township of some 10,000 people. Frank, for many years, worked as the manager of the largest hardware store in town. He knew his industry well and, for that reason, he could hardly wait to open his own hardware business.

That day did arrive (courtesy of an inheritance left to Francine) and so, the Double D Hardware store opened amid a blaze of “Opening Sales.” The first two weeks of sales looked promising.

But then things started to go flat… despite Frank’s attention to marketing and advertising. You see, apart from the large franchise hardware shop, there were four other competitors … and the “Double D” made it six hardware shops in all. Six months after the opening, Frank held his last sale – regrettably, it was a closing-the-doors sale.

Ok, let’s take a “helicopter view” of what happened here.

If Frank had done a bit of homework before the event, Francine would still have her inheritance, her health and her marriage, because these, too, were the casualties of the “Double D” disaster.

Yes, Frank should have realized that the Smalltown market for hardware is finite. True, it can be ramped up slightly by good selling and marketing … but essentially it does have a defined size.

Stuart Street-Smarts, owner of the “Yards 10” franchise hardware store, knows this. He knows that the Smalltown market for hardware products is around $2,000,000 – and he owns 60% of the market. Plus, he also knows that old Sam Davies, the proprietor of Sam’s Hardware, has around 20% – leaving only 20% or ($400,000) for the other three competitors… and the “Double D.”

Stuart said that Frank wouldn’t last any longer than six months, and he was right. When Stuart did his sums he figured that even if Frank could get 10% of the market – that’s only a turnover of $200,000 – he would make less than $20,000 profit after expenses. Well, Stuart used to pay Frank a salary of $40,000.

Simple example, but the moral of the story: Make sure that a genuine market exists before you dive into the business.

So, what do you do if you are faced with a “Frank” situation? Sell! Get the heck out before it’s too late. Take the money and invest in something more profitable.

Simple message: Your business is a money-making-machine. If it isn’t, your job is to fix it. If, after considerable effort, you don’t believe it’s fixable, sell it!

There is one more mistake … and it’s a biggie, so please note it well. It is: Failing to monitor the results of your marketing campaigns.

Most business leaders and owners have absolutely no idea of the success or otherwise of their advertisements and other marketing efforts. They just go on “gut feeling.” This is absolute lunacy. As a business leader, you should never, ever run a marketing campaign unless you have a way of monitoring the results.

It’s interesting to note the elaborate systems people put in to monitor their cash, their stock and their other valuables – yet, nothing to monitor their investment in marketing.

For those who say or think, “Just keep your name out there and you’ll get results”… take it from me, you’re dreaming! At best you’ll get deferred results of which you’ll never, ever know. And, just perhaps, you could have got much, much better results if you knew what worked and what didn’t.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2016. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler

 

 

13 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Soaring With The Eagles – Part 2

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Continued from last time – 5 more reasons – Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working…

You’re not persistent enough

Very rarely does any single marketing effort – one ad, one mailing, one promotion – produce a dramatic result. If you’ve got your two feet on the ground, you’ll look for long-term, solid, predictable returns.

Plan your marketing to produce realistic results, and rejoice when something works better than you expected.

Test your propositions (As a matter of fact, test everything).

And keep at it. Marketing is not a function that should be performed by the weak-at-heart, the impatient, or the imprudent.

You forget about the people who have bought from you before

It’s much cheaper, and often a lot easier, to sell to someone who has bought from you in the past – at least so long as it was a pleasant experience for the buyer – than it is to try to attract new customers.

So, why, oh why, do most businesses concentrate almost all their energies on trying to drum up new business?

Have you got something against the people who have bought from you, or used your services, before? Were they rude to you?

Then, why are you neglecting them?

Here’s the order in which you should be directing your marketing:
• Getting existing customers to buy more, and/or more often.
• Going back to people who have bought from you in the past and reactivating them.
• Enticing new customers.

You don’t get back to your customers often enough

See above, then consider this:

People need to be constantly reminded what you can do for them … how you can help them – at least every 90 days.
• Do you believe that it annoys your customers when you do this?
• Are you embarrassed about doing it?
• Don’t think it’s worth the effort? Think again.
You have to create a regular program for communicating with prospects and existing customers (don’t give them a chance to turn into “past” customers), and you have to keep it up until;

… they buy from you, or
… you have no option but to give them up as a lost cause.

You don’t move your customers up the loyalty ladder

Once someone has bought from you, and you have followed them up to make sure that everything involved with the sale went smoothly, then it’s time to move that person up the loyalty ladder.

If he or she has other problems to solve, and the money to solve them, you’re the man! (or woman, of course).

Every time you successfully conclude a deal with a customer, that customer grows a little closer to you, and becomes increasingly easy to sell things to. So, you keep moving him or her up the loyalty ladder:
• From a prospect to a customer,
• From a customer to a regular customer,
• From a regular customer to an advocate of your business…
• and from an advocate to a raving fan!

You don’t get to the point
The best marketing is simple, precise … and straight to the point. No beating around the bush. … no cutesy-cutesy pandering. You find out what the prospect’s problem is and, in the simplest, most direct terms, you tell the prospect how you’re going to solve that problem.

Marketing isn’t about art … it isn’t about winning literary or design awards.

Ultimately, it’s about selling – successfully, efficiently, and economically. Get to the point. Tell them why it’s in their best interests to pick up the phone right now and buy whatever you’re offering … before it’s too late. And the only way to do this is to tell them what’s in it for them.

And an extension of this issue is this:

Answer the “why” question.

If your product is higher priced than your competitors’, tell them why. If your product is better, tell them why. The more factual, credible and believable the reasons you give, the more likely they are to give you the business.

Consider this: I am the customer and I want to know … FAST!

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2016. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler

 

 

13 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Soaring With The Eagles – Part 1

Monday, July 11th, 2016

I’ll take it for granted that your product offering, price, and customer service, etc. are all at a standard which ensures your customers will be delighted with their purchases. However, before you can become an Elite Marketer dispensing Marketing Magic, there are two things you MUST do:

A) Resign yourself to the commercial reality that business is 90% marketing. As a business owner or manager, you must concentrate your efforts on getting your marketing tactics and implementation 100% right.

B) Know the basics of marketing. This is one area where rank amateurs abound, wallowing in blissful ignorance of the money they are needlessly squandering and the opportunities they are “burning.” Oh yes, the most dangerous animal in business is the amateur marketer.

Now to those 13 Reasons Why Your Marketing May Not Be Soaring With The Eagles – the first 3:

You don’t have a marketing plan

You must have a clear and very precise sales and profit objective – over any given period of time, but usually a year – for every one of your products and/or services.   Then you have to address the three specifics:

  • What are all the means available to you to reach your dollar objectives?
  • What marketing alternatives can you use, how can you use them, and how often should you use them?
  • How can you convert prospects to customers, and convince your existing customers to buy more, and/or more often?

You don’t know your customer

Hey, this violates the most fundamental rule of marketing: “Know Thy Customer”. You have to be customer-oriented.   Elite Marketers can give you chapter and verse on what their customer looks like. They have a mental image of the customers’ business, their age, sex, educational status, income levels, and other pertinent demographic information. They know their buying patterns, and they understand what makes them tick.   For now, ponder these two questions:

  • How does the successful marketer gather all this information about his/her customer?
  • Who is your customer? (If you can give an accurate answer to this question, congratulations… there are very few of your kind around.)

You don’t know what compels your customers to buy something

People don’t buy things because you want them to. They need their own reasons – very good reasons – to buy.   And you and your staff have to understand fully what these reasons and their motivations are, and then cater to them – as many of them as possible – in every marketing and selling situation… in every customer or potential customer contact … in everything you do.   People don’t buy products or services:

  • They buy benefits … benefits … benefits!
  • They buy solutions to their problems
  • They buy other people’s opinions of you, your business and your products
  • They buy credibility and believability
  • They buy your promises and guarantees (don’t ever let them down)
  • They buy your business and product “reliability”
  • They buy “value”… and, please, don’t confuse value with price
  • They buy certainty, honesty, convenience, and timeliness
  • They buy hope, comfort, success, wealth, security, love, and acceptance
  • They buy expectations of being pleased
  • They buy product selection options
  • They buy freedom from making a wrong buying decision
  • How many from this list can you line up against your product or service?

Let me ask you this simple question:   Why should I buy your product or service?   Come on … can you tell me right here and now why I should buy from you? (More on this next time)

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2016. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler

10 Steps in Buying a Business – Part 3

Monday, March 16th, 2015

This week we look at the final 6 steps to consider when buying a business.

5. Intellectual Property. Is ownership on favorable terms for access to all intellectual property that is relevant to the wellbeing of the business included in the sale price? Are patents which have been valuable in providing market exclusivity in the past, about to run out? Does the business retain the capacity for innovation or personnel that may have been instrumental to its market position in the past? Do you have what it takes to continue provide such innovation?
a. IP may include websites, designs, and other items essential to the business being recognized and found in its market. Check to ensure that the site has not been written and maintained by someone who will not come along – leaving your great marketing machine without a driver, and quite possibly, leaving it in a state that is impossible to be transferred to your marketing people.

6. Non-compete agreement to not allow your seller to become your next competitor. What restraint conditions also apply to your seller – and to the key staff you may be taking on?

7. Facilities. Is the seller going to be your landlord? If so, ensure that you agree on third-party valuations and lease conditions no more arduous than you would face from an unconnected landlord. Ensure you have clarity around your rights to alter the premises to meet future needs. It may be advantageous to include an Option to Buy if the real estate deal makes sense in its own right. Avoid taking on an “obligation to buy” under any circumstances – unless you have carefully assessed value and it is too good to miss.

8. Brains. Is it worthwhile retaining the seller as a consultant for a transition period? If so, make this a formal, paid arrangement (you could carve the projected fee out of the sell price and pay it piecemeal over the period). Utilize a formal agreement as to who does what in terms of results and outputs and for how much. Make sure the termination process is crystal clear.

9. Study is Cheap – Experience is Expensive. Educate yourself on the ins and outs of buying any business before you go ahead and do it for real.

10. Insurance. Work with a professional Business Coach with a proven track record of producing results with their clients across a wide range of industries (including the ones you are looking into) and use them to guide you in:
a. Evaluating the business and how well it fits what you really want from a business.
b. Clarifying your exit strategy. Yep, before you buy, work out how you will get out and when.
c. Negotiating the price.
d. Ensuring a smooth transition so that you retain key staff, customers and suppliers.
e. Installing the systems and processes that will take your new business to a new level, realize its true potential and provide you with a low-stress high-return investment.
f. Developing the coaching skills to lead your management team to success in a way that leaves you with the time and energy to enjoy the quality of life that you desire.

Well that does it. Not for the faint of heart, so make sure buying a business is a necessary ingredient to your future growth and success.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Start here to gain that competitive edge: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Has Your Strategy Become – Too Predictable?

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Business Strategy can take two forms: (1) the direct approach and (2) the indirect approach. The former consists of a direct advance to the competition, culminating in a powerful marketing frontal attack designed to overpower them. The indirect approach involves coming at the opponent from a round-about direction that he is not totally prepared to resist. Business history also reveals the advantages of the indirect approach. Marketing failures have often resulted from head-on attacks against the entrenched positions of stronger marketing rivals. Even brute force and having sheer resources are often not enough to insure the right outcome.

Throughout history, most great generals have consistently chosen the indirect approach, risking almost anything to catch the enemy with his guard down. Hannibal led an army of 50,000 Carthaginian infantry and 9,000 cavalry on his famous march across the Pyrenees and Alps. He emerged in Northern Italy to defeat the great Roman commander Saipio’s troops on the bank of the river Ticinus. In a snowstorm, he crushed two Roman armies along the river Trebia. Two more armies under Roman consuls Flaminius and Geminus were raised to block Hannibal’s path to Rome.

Hannibal followed a shorter, but more dangerous route through treacherous marshes to come out on Flaminius’s unprotected flank. Hannibal chose to face the most hazardous conditions, rather than the certainty of meeting his opponents in a position of their choosing. He followed this by hiding his light and heavy infantry and cavalry in gulleys near the road, so they could not be seen, and then taunted Flamininus into a foolish attack by making camp a short distance down the road from his army. As the unsuspecting Romans marched into battle, the Carthaginians poured out of their hiding places and attacked from all sides, decimating them.

Surprise has been called “any commander’s greatest tactical weapon.” Confederate General Stonewall Jackson’s maxim: “Mystify, mislead, surprise your enemy.” Clausewitz, the Prussian General maintained that to one degree or another, surprise is, without exception, the foundation of all military undertakings.

Surprise follows the course of least resistance. The most stunning surprises are the result of a novel, creative idea. Creativity many times consists of merely connecting two or more heretofore unrelated ideas or things. Napoleon gained a decisive surprise by connecting cannon and manure. He ordered a rocky mountain road covered with horse droppings to muffle the sound of the wheels of his artillery carriages. This allowed him to move under the cover of night and to surprise his opponent by being in a completely new position in the morning.

In warfare, a preliminary bombardment might weaken the enemy’s lines, but also eliminates any advantage you might have gained by surprise. The use of intensive market surveys and market tests practically give away any hope of sneaking up on the competition. Choosing the element of surprise, a company may quickly enter a market, with the intent of a decisive victory. The idea is to strike quickly and adjust the marketing strategy and tactics as you learn from your encounter.

Guerilla warfare advocates a sudden assault, ferocious fighting, and then an instantaneous break of contact before the larger opponent can exploit his strength – substantial resources, technology and power – and bring the weight of his material and numbers to bear. It builds upon the element of surprise.

All corporations, are trying to fight wars of quick decision – get to the marketplace first and avoid costly, protracted warfare with competitors. Small guerilla firms, more so than their larger competitors, need to make certain they win quickly. They cannot afford not to.

The element of surprise helps one to achieve a quick and favorable decision. Meticulous preplanning and preparation is the first condition of a quick win as Israel exhibited in its successful, lightning-quick six-day war.

Five guidelines for a quick guerilla attack:

• Seize the opportune moment

• Concentrate superior forces in a segment or area of expertise where you are the leader – act with your entire army

• Outflank the competition

• Operate on favorable terrain – ground of your own choosing where a relatively few determined people can stall an army (remember the 300 Spartans)

• Attack the competition where it has not established its position

The element of surprise has worked successfully throughout history, regardless of the field of play. As the mighty Goliath, in his battle array, lay on his back after being hit between the eyes by a small smooth stone launched in a sling by a shepherd boy named David, he no doubt wondered what hit him. By then it was all over, he had lost the battle and the war.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Start here to gain that competitive edge: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

10 Steps in Buying a Business – Part 2

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Last time we started looking at factors to consider when buying a business. Here is another very important step focused on the financial aspects.

4. Track Record. 5 years of tax returns and their attachments will tend to tell the worst-case story as the owner will have attempted to minimize their tax by minimizing their stated earning. Tax returns tend to provide you with a test for any written back charges that the seller or their accountant may have entered into the P&L and Balance Sheet provided to substantiate their asking price.

a. Attachments will include the Aged Receivables, Inventory and Assets, and will show you the book value of these assets. Those will generally be less than the client is asking since they’ll have written down as heavily as they can to maximize tax advantages.

b. Plant and Equipment and Depreciation Schedules can tell a story. If there is a steady history of updating equipment – leases, rolling over equipment, replacement items, then you know you are unlikely to be taking on too many equipment “time bombs”. Conversely, if the picture these documents paint is one of little equipment upgrading (check the P&L expense items for equipment maintenance) you may find that you are buying into a business that has a massive need for fresh capital investment very shortly after you take over.

c. Reading between the lines of the Aged Receivables will tell you a fair bit about how well this business has been run from a credit and cash flow control perspective for the last few years. This area alone can reveal stress and reasons for your seller to sell. Remember, if their Receivables Ledger shows a bunch of free loading clients, you are about to inherit those, and changing their behavior and habits is likely to be hard, and to result in loss of business as they go elsewhere looking for easy credit. Looking at Current Customers over time will also give you some insights into the average lifetime of a key customer, their lifetime value, profitability, etc. All vital information for the future if you buy, as these will be the lifeblood of the business.

d. Customer Contracts. Assess whether the business has any forward commitments from its customers in the form of 1, 2 or 3 year service or purchase contracts. Assess how sound these are, and how profitable they are. They may be great for bulking up sales numbers, but do they yield profit? You will be asked to pay a factor of their forward value; you had better make sure that value is there.

e. 5 years of Aged Supplier Lists will tell you lots about cash flow within the business and about the relationships you can expect from the suppliers you inherit with the business. Ask for any evidence of recent changes in credit policy by major suppliers as these alone could be the trigger for cash distress and sale, indicating an underlying issue of profitability or management in the business.

f. Supplier/Distribution Contracts. Check to see what on-going and transferable contracts may give you an immediate and on-going advantage in your new business. What is the term of these? How long do they have to run? How advantageous are they? What obligations go with them?

Next time, we will look at the remaining 6 steps.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Start here to gain that competitive edge: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

10 Steps in Buying a Business – Part 1

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Thinking of buying a business? Then you have come to the right place.

There is probably no situation more pregnant with opportunity – or risk and loss – than buying a business. You can lose by buying “the wrong business” or even buying the right business at the wrong price.

So, if you are thinking of buying a business, here are some key steps you can take to accurately quantify their potential for risk and reward in your hands:
1. Are you looking at businesses in a market in which you already have domain or commercial experience, or will you be an amateur in a market new to you? If the latter, you will need to ensure that:
a. The business comes with a stable, moral key team whom you can grow to like and who can grow to like you as their new owner; or
b. You have access to expert advisors/consultants/coaches who have experience in your new industry and market along with a track record of assisting their clients to succeed.

2. Market Research. The time to do this is before you become a member of a new market by buying a business. If you have a business in mind, compare them and their competition and see how they stack up from the customer-experience point of view. Include such interesting information as market share; relative pricing; quality of service; marketing clout. Tapping into reps from one or two key industry suppliers and asking them for their ideas on the relative ranking of the key players can provide useful insight.

3. Value. Warren Buffet’s rule for buying businesses (besides a track record of strong cash flow, excellent management and a good market relevance) is that they be priced at least 20% below their market value. It means 20% below what you think – and have calculated – they are worth, it does not mean 20% below what other people thing they are worth.

Stay tuned, we are just getting started. We will cover more steps you need to take to assure you are on track.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Start here to gain that competitive edge: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Customer Satisfaction – the New CXO

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Everything starts with intention…. we intend to carry through on our projects, plans, and goals. Otherwise, we wouldn’t set them, right?

But how many of us actually put our intentions into practice? This is where knowing exactly what to do really matters. It’s like anything else… losing weight, assembling a product, learning a new skill. You have to know what you are doing in order to save time, money, and frustration.

As a Business Owner or Executive your time is valuable. When you are spending time with your customers and discovering what it is that they want you to deliver, you are hopefully tracking and making plans to deliver these. If you don’t follow through, everyone’s time is wasted… yours, the customer’s, your team’s.

However, you need to take the next step moving from from intention toward implementation.

The ultimate Customer Experience doesn’t just happen. It takes some planning to design service into your processes. So who is responsible within your organization to ensure that the plans and ideas you have don’t languish without implementation? When there is a leader for who is responsible and accountable for these plans, the likelihood of success increases all around.

Your Customer Satisfaction Officer should be the one to help keep your operations focused on the customer and to ensure that all customer centric projects are kept on track. This person will also ideally have the authority to assist in any way possible and/or obtain the resources necessary to accomplish your goals.

They would also be the one to address the area of customer centricity during your team meetings. Customer issues, service, satisfaction and training need to be an integral part of your team meetings. This can best achieved by beginning your meetings spending 10-15 minutes on the Customer Experience.

Customer satisfaction, often overlooked, can be an integral element to maximizing your profitability and success. More thoughts to come on giving it the attention it deserves.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2014. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Attracting Your Ideal Customer

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

You’ve probably already determined that the “wrong” customers can make you broke. They are the ones that want top quality at the lowest price. These people are not interested in working with you for your mutual benefit; they’d probably be happier if slavery were re-introduced and if you were their first body.

So how do you find a sufficient number of good customers to build yourself a strong and profitable business in which it’s a joy to work?

The first step in the process may sound a bit simple, but it is as easy as drawing up a list of the characteristics that your present (and past) best customers have in common.

Here’s a simple step-by-step process for winning great customers whenever you want them:

1. Define the essential common attributes of the very best customers in your industry. Those may include:

* Annual sales value

* Number of employees

* Corporate structure (private or public company, Government body, etc.

* Management mindset (progressive, oriented towards investing in their people, etc)

* Location

* Market sector

2. Where do they gather:

* Do they frequent certain associations, events, conventions or clubs?

* Do your ideal clients tend to locate their businesses in certain locations?

* Where might your advertising or promotions be more likely to be seen by your ideal client base?

3. What do they read or watch:

* Magazines, newspapers, blogs, eNewsletters

* Certain TV or video channels or sites

4. Survey candidates to discover what they are looking for in an ideal supplier:

* Once you have identified your ideal client, select the cream of the crop, put together the 10 most important questions you could ever ask them, and survey a sample of them. You’ll probably get some “bites” in the process, as well as some invaluable data on what type of information, products or service you should be promoting to these folks.

* Resolve to advertise in the media that your ideal client is most likely to use – and nowhere else!

5. Create a contact system that is low effort, easy to maintain:

* In this age of information overload you don’t gain “mindshare” for your brand or product until you have had at least 7 varied contacts with an individual person. You also need to establish a process whereby your best prospects will be contacted by you on a regular and varied basis, so that when they are actually ready to buy (or consider buying), you are there in their field of attention?

* If you find your target is not ready to buy, a follow-up frequency or sequence should be established and not exceed every 10-12 weeks.

6. Create a fast response system:

* No point in creating a great contact system if you the blow the opportunity when someone responds.

* Define what to do and say before you get your first response then make sure that anyone else in the business that is likely to take an incoming response, knows what this is to heighten the likelihood of success for both you and your new client.

7. Keep your promises!

* Last but not least: Make sure that whatever experience, service, outcome or feeling you promised during your marketing and promotional phase, is delivered intact, perfectly and completely. You might read this and say to yourself, “Yep, that sounds right, but who’s got the time to do all of this?” The answer is simple: Those business owners or executives who have realized that working for the wrong customers just keeps you busy and broke, and have decided to do something differently will make the time to create the type of process I’ve outlined here; and then make the resolution to apply it.

If you choose to become one of those, stand by for a whole different customer experience!

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2014. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.