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Shift to Full Power Marketing
By Charlie Cook

Marketing should run like a car's engine. Give it the right fuel
and you'll enjoy steady acceleration when you step on the gas,
but let the tank run dry or put in diesel when your engine runs
on gas and it will sputter and stall. If you're marketing
isn't helping you attract a steady stream of new clients and
accelerate the growth of your business, chances are you aren't
using the right fuel to market your business.

The first step in any successful marketing effort is to get
the attention of your prospects. If they don't know you or
your products and services exist, you won't be able to grow
your business. All too often service professionals and small
business owners think that touting their expertise and the
benefits of their services will get them the attention they
want. Unless you are a well published author or sought after
expert, this marketing strategy rarely works.

Problems Precede Solutions
Prospects' primary interests are solving problems and meeting
their needs. If you can show prospects you clearly understand
their concerns and know the problems they are experiencing
you'll get their attention and have the opportunity to
demonstrate your expertise and the solutions you provide.

When you take your car to a mechanic you don't want to them
to replace parts until they've diagnosed the problem. A good
mechanic will start by asking you to describe the symptoms,
then they may hook your car up to the computerized diagnostic
machine to further understand the problem before they order
that expensive part.

Similarly if you want to sell your products and services to
a prospect they must first have a problem that needs to be
solved or a need to be filled. Despite an understanding of
this fundamental sequence, most firms' marketing efforts
start with a focus on their services, products and
credentials.

Client Problems Fuel the Marketing Engine
Without prospects problems and needs your firm wouldn't
exist. And without the services and products you provide,
you wouldn't have a revenue stream. You need both prospects'
problems and service solutions to keep your marketing
engine running smoothly. Problems are the fuel that provide
the power and your solutions are like the cylinders of an
engine that do the heavy lifting.

Fueling your marketing engine requires a constant focus on
client problems and needs. The more accurate your
identification of client's pressing concerns and interests,
the more power you'll get out of your marketing engine.

The first step to strengthening your marketing efforts is
to clarify your prospects client's common concerns. Do you
know:
- What the concerns of your target market are?
- What problems they have that you can solve?
- Which problems they want to solve?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, don't
panic. Instead, list the questions you could ask your
prospects to get the answers. Chances are you already know
your prospects' concerns and the problems they want solved
but aren't using it to fuel your marketing.

Power Up Your Marketing Materials
Take a look at your marketing materials and or marketing
meetings. Do you start with clients' problems and concerns
or do you start with a description of your services and
products and benefits?

Prospects want to see themselves and their concerns clearly
identified in order to feel confident that you understand
their needs. If you lead with this in your marketing
materials you'll get their attention.

Which of the following describe and focus on prospects'
problems and which focus on benefits and solutions?

- Your one liner describing what you do (Tagline, audio
logo, meme, business card or elevator speech)
- Your positioning page (first page of your web site and
/or brochure)
- Your ads
- Your exploratory conversations with prospects
- Any articles or press releases you write

If you are trying to fuel your marketing with the
solutions you provide, chances are your marketing will
sputter along and you won't attract all the clients you
want. Make the switch to using client problems to power
your marketing engine and you'll be amazed at how quickly
your marketing helps your business accelerate.

2003 In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

========================================
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps independent
professionals and small business owners who are struggling
to attract more clients. He can be contacted at
ccook@charliecook.net or visit www.charliecook.net to get
a copy of the free marketing guide, '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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