revive a floundering business)
week I talk with business owners who tell me how excited they are about
their new product, service or business opportunity. Usually, their comments
include something like, "Everybody needs it. I know I'm going to make a lot
of money with this."
sincerely believe it will be easy to generate hordes of customers standing
in line to spend money. I really hate bursting their bubble. But, it's not
going to happen that way.
Building a successful business is hard work. Most of that work will be
devoted to finding customers. Finding customers will be your toughest job.
You need a detailed strategy to attract the number of paying customers
required to meet your financial goals.
trial and error over many years, I've developed a 6 step marketing strategy
that enables me to launch a new product or service profitably every time.
You can copy this system to launch your own new enterprise or to revive a
1: Identify your Target Market
first step in developing your strategy is to isolate the best target market
for your product or service. Your sales efforts will be most effective if
you focus on a group of prospects with common characteristics and similar
by defining on paper your ideal customer or client. List all of the
characteristics you expect to find in good customers or clients. Be sure to
include characteristics that make your product or service valuable to them.
Then, use this list to identify a target market. Define your target market
2: Find your Most Appealing Customer Benefit
what is the most compelling problem you can solve for prospects in your
target market? Why is your product or service the best solution to their
problem? Your answers to these 2 questions reveal the customer benefit(s) to
stress in your sales approach.
3: Develop a few Motivating Offers
2 or 3 offers that motivate prospects to take buying action immediately. For
example, can you use a special discounted price offer with a deadline? Are
there bonuses you can add if prospects order or sign up before the deadline?
Can you combine both into a "special price plus bonus" offer?
which offer on your list is the most powerful and use it in your sales
material and/or your selling presentation.
IMPORTANT: A special offer providing obvious value always increases your
sales volume. It's a proven way to overcome buyer resistance and
procrastination. A special offer also provides a logical reason in the
buyer's mind to justify what may actually be an impulsive decision to buy
4: Decide how to Publicize your Business
will you introduce yourself to prospects in this market? Will you use
classified or display ads in print publications or on the Internet? Will you
use direct mail? Is broadcast media such as radio or TV appropriate and
cost-effective? What networking can you participate in locally or on the
Internet to draw attention to your business? What other methods of promotion
can you use?
Prioritize each method on your list and develop an action plan with
deadlines for implementing them.
5: Establish a Plan to Promote Customer Loyalty
what you will do to cultivate customers so they continue to do business with
you and give you referrals. For example, write or call your customers or
clients immediately after a transaction and thank them for their business.
Ask them if they're pleased with what they received. Most will express their
satisfaction. That's the ideal time for you to follow up with a request for
be afraid to uncover an unhappy customer. When you do, take whatever action
you must to leave them feeling good about you, even if your only recourse is
issuing a prompt refund. Most dissatisfied customers won't take the trouble
to contact you about their problem. They'll just take their business
elsewhere and tell other people about their negative experience with you.
That will cost you a lot of future business.
6: Backend! Backend! Backend!
a backend? A backend is basically something that you sell to your
customer after they make their first purchase from you. This is really where
you make your money because the cost of acquiring this customer is now zero.
You have already got them to your site, gained their trust, and persuaded
them to buy!
sold them a good quality product and provided excellent service, you will
find it extremely easy to sell to them again. Did you know that some people
even lose money on their first product, with the intention of making it back
through the sale of their "backend" products? Many marketers believe that
this is really where the BIG money is to be made!
give you an example.
recommended one of my client to offer a tiny book “Hypnotism Tips & Tricks”
to new customers for only $5 - he was actually not making profit with this
sale. However, of the 5,000 people who bought this book for $5, nearly 1,000
came to get the basic training of hypnotism for $200 or more. But it gets
even better. Three months later, he emailed the 1,000 people who got
training, and convinced nearly 200 of them to get advance training of
hypnotism for $400!
are selling a product, you MUST develop a backend! If you cannot think of
anything related to your product, then you might consider splitting up your
current product somehow. Your other option is to start your own associate
program. Associate programs are a great way to backend your product. I’ll
discuss them later.
used this 6 step process successfully many times. It reduces risk by
replacing guesswork with a proven strategy that gets results. You can follow
this system to successfully launch a new enterprise or to revive an existing
business that isn't growing.
Reasons of DOTCOM Business failure
(Mistakes to avoid & Success Rules)
know that between 1999 and 2001, online shopping grew a staggering 500%?
It's true. Forrester Research reported growth from $8 billion US in 1998 to
$42 billion US in 2000.
what's going on? While online spending is growing at fantastic speeds all
we're hearing about right now is failed dotcoms. If online shopping has
increased by a enormous 500% in the past 2 years, obviously the whole story
is not being told.
not as hard to figure out as you might think. First, let's take a critical
look at the failures of DOT COM. You can learn a LOT by analyzing the common
mistakes that were made...
TOP THREE MISTAKES MADE BY DOTCOM FAILURES
MISTAKE #1: Tried to be everything to everyone
Consider Pets.com, for a moment. Their target market of pet owners was HUGE!
But so were the problem they needed to overcome to turn a profit -- "pets"
is a very general market.
Marketing to and meeting the needs of all these groups of people, with all
these different products and services, is no small undertaking. I'm not
saying it can't be done, I'm just pointing out that it costs money... a lot
this leads us to the next mistake...
MISTAKE #2: Threw millions of dollars of venture capital at an unproven
business plan that takes years to reach profitability.
Creating a nationally recognized brand requires deep pockets and a whole lot
of patience, and that means you need investors with really strong stomachs.
Many of them became frustrated as the dotcoms continued to vacuum up
millions of dollars of investment capital without any sign of turning
these companies have succeeded with a continued infusion of capital? For
many, definitely. But when investors withdrew their support, they never got
finally, we arrive at...
MISTAKE #3: Invested lots of cash in unprofitable advertising.
simple truth is, banner advertising just isn't as profitable as it once was.
Ads that once pulled 5 to 10 percent click-throughs are now lucky to pull
0.5% to 0.8%.
Unfortunately, many dotcoms just continued to blindly throw millions at
unproven, often untargeted, advertising, which pulled extremely low returns.
Sadly, they might as well have been lighting piles of cash on fire.
LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES AND BUILD LASTING, PROFITABLE SUCCESS WITH THE
#1: Focus on a well-defined niche market.
than trying to dominate a huge, general market like pet owners or car
owners, narrow your focus to a targeted "niche," like parrot owners and
people interested in saving fuel consumption for their cars.
truth is, running two or three web sites that each target a specific niche
market is the EASIEST WAY TO MAKE MONEY on the Internet. Everyone is looking
for the "big money" makers so, all too often, niche markets are ignored.
a niche market. Figure out what they want. Develop the product. Offer it to
them. Automate the business. Then start another and diversify. There is a
LOT of money to be made this way.
#2: Develop a strong Unique Selling Proposition
have a lot of competitors in your specific industry, then you need to
develop a unique selling proposition (USP). You need to emphasize what makes
you better than competitors.
to your customers exactly how and why they'll benefit from doing business
with you as opposed to someone else. What do YOU bring to the table that no
one else does? For example:
- Your product/service might
cost less than others.
- You may have a higher quality
product or service.
- You offer a better guarantee
than anyone else.
- You target a specific
age group, industry, or person.
- You provide special knowledge
not available anywhere!
- You offer special incentives
that no one else does.
- Your customer service
is better than your competition's.
Whatever your angle, the key when promoting your product or service is to
EMPHASIZE WHAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL OR UNIQUE. Adjust your company
or product to meet a specific need. Then specialize!
#3: Spend your advertising budget wisely
you have defined your market and developed your unique selling proposition,
figuring out who you're advertising to and where they hang out online
suddenly becomes way easier. And this means that you can strategically place
your ads where they'll pull the most targeted potential customers.
e-business owners get tired of spending their limited advertising dollars on
high priced CPM (cost per thousand ad impressions) that pull pitiful
results, the demand for more performance-based advertising continues to
increase. Pay for customers - not overpriced, unproven advertising.
#4: Model success
Obviously, there are a lot of steps
involved in building a profitable e-business. You need:
q a strategically designed web site
q a quality product or service
q killer sales copy
q a perfect sales process
q a cutting-edge marketing campaign
designed to compete your competitors
reinvent the wheel when you can learn from someone who has been there, spent
the cash, researched the techniques, and made the mistakes for you?
RULE #5: Have a well-developed business
plan that includes a clear definition of how you plan to profit
idea is NOT a business plan. It's just that... an idea. It becomes a
plan when you've researched it, defined your market, figured out exactly
how you're going to market yourself, and planned to profit within a
set period of time.
WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
there still money to be made on the Internet? Definitely!
shopping having increased by an incredible 500% over the past two years, now
is an excellent time to be starting or promoting your e-business. Think
about it... Now's the time to get online and literally make a fortune.