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By Charlie Cook

Seeing the results of advertising your business can be like
watching a roller coaster. The day you run your ad you see a
flurry of activity; your ph0ne starts ringing, your web site
traffic increases and/ or potential clients visit your
store. Your hopes soar. sales go up. Two or three days pass
and the response goes down. You look at the bill for the
advertising and your jaw drops. Your hopes descend.

Nancy called me from Portland, Oregon with just this
problem. Every time one of her ads appears in a local
publication, customers start walking in the door of her home
furnishing store. A few days later the number of prospects
and sales goes down. Her advertising gets results, but the
thousands of dollars she is paying each month is killing her
profits. What can she do?

Whether you advertise your consulting business in The
Harvard Business Review or your interior decorating service
in the Penny Saver, your ad will cost significant dollars.

How can you make your advertising pay for itself?

How can you use advertising to create a STEADY stream of

Write Your Ad to Sell and To Generate Leads
Of all the people who could benefit from your products and
services, what percentage is likely to buy today? Hopefully
a few, but the majority are more likely to need your
services tomorrow, next week or next month.

Write your ad to prompt people to buy and if they're not
interested in making a purchase, to contact you. When you
write your ad:

1. Sell your products or services by selling your solution.
2. Prompt prospects to buy. Include a call to action.
3. Motivate prospects to give you their contact information.

For each person who responds to your ad and makes a purchase
today, you should be able to get ten qualified prospects to
contact you. Once you have their contact information, you
can send them a regular email or postcard for far less than
it would cost to run your ad on a weekly basis.

Follow Up On Your Advertising
An ad can be the first step in marketing your products and
services but unless you follow up, it may be the last. Its
what you do after your ad runs that determines whether
you're able to make it pay for itself in the days and months
to come.

Let's say your ad works in getting people to visit your web
site, call you or come into your store. What's the next
step? How can you follow up to increase your sales?

1. Make sure you get their contact information so you can
follow up.

2. Whether people stopped by your web site, left a ph0ne
message, emailed you or visited your store follow up
promptly. Get back to them within the day, if not sooner. A
prospect is most likely to buy or start a profitable
relationship when he/she is looking for a solution. Let your
leads linger and they'll go stale. If you wait prospects may
contact other service providers or stores, and you've given
them time to make their purchase through someone else.

3. Respond immediately. Use a ph0ne call or an email to let
them know you understand the problem they want solved and
that you can help them. Even a personalized autoresponder
message will do the job.

4. Market to your in-house list of contacts. If you want
people to remember you when they have a need and are ready
to make a decision to buy, make sure they think of you as
the solution provider. The best way to do this is to
regularly provide ideas, tips and information that your
prospects want.

5. Create opportunities for personal contact, whether
through your print mailings, ezine or web site, you want to
prompt prospects to contact you to discuss their needs and /
or place their order. Ask them what they want, what they are
looking for. When they send you an email, follow up with a
call. Tell them how to contact you, how to schedule a
personal conversation and then follow up with a call.

Advertising is an expensive ticket to marketing your
products and services. Use these strategies to make sure you
get your money's worth and you'll find your advertising
paying for itself over and over. Instead of getting your
thrills from watching your business go up and down, you'll
find yourself enjoying the excitement of watching your
profits steadily move up.
2004 In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and
small business owners attract more clients and be more
successful. Sign up for the Free Marketing Plan eBook,
'7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business'

This article was submitted by - Charlie Cook Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends

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