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Putting Your Marketing on Automatic

By: Robert Middleton

Robert Middleton, of Action Plan Marketing in Palo Alto, Calif., has helped hundreds of professional service businesses attract new clients and get paid what they're worth.

His website is a resource for marketing professional services. Visit it at Action Plan Marketing.

Isn't it enough that you need to think about client projects, getting invoices out and improving your professional skills without having to think about attracting new clients? I'm often asked how to make the marketing process easier so it can be fit into a busy schedule. 

And I have bad news and good news.

The bad news is that it takes a certain investment of time and energy to develop a marketing strategy that works. The good news is that once you have got it working, you can repeat it indefinitely with predictable results.

Unfortunately, what I see is a far cry from that. Professional service businesses tend to "shoot from the hip" when it comes to marketing, never developing a real strategy, never fine-tuning a marketing method, never validating an approach and never getting their marketing to "run on automatic."

One of the obstacles, of course, is not knowing where to start. The answer is, believe it or not, that you can start anywhere. You can start with any aspect of the 5 Ps of Professional Service Marketing and create a simple system out of it.

I recently got a much-appreciated testimonial letter from a past client. She said, "You helped me to craft a sales presentation which works 100% of the time. It's incredible, but in the past four years, the only two searches which I have not won have been the two times when I deviated from Robert's materials. That is a success record which is unmatched even by my own colleagues in my own firm." Ann Peckenpaugh, Executive Recruiter

Several years ago we worked on and perfected her strategy for in-person selling. She's asked me not to give away the specifics (but that's OK, everyone needs to design their own strategy). Essentially we created a one-page sheet that listed all the features and benefits of her service. When she meets with a client, she gives them this sheet and goes down the items one by one, building a case that her services can meet the prospective client's needs.

A simple system but a very powerful one -- it's gotten her EVERY CLIENT she's used it with! Not a bad track record. It's made her tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now Ann had to go through some hard thinking, change her mindset, develop some materials, practice her presentation and pay for me, her coach. That was the investment she made in her strategy. Was it worth it? Judge for yourself!

Now ask yourself if you've made this kind of investment to create one or more marketing systems that yielded consistent, superior results. Are you starting to get the idea that failing to invest in this crucial area could be the most costly mistake you're making in your business? If you don't make the investment, you'll never see the returns.

Now, I'm not saying that every marketing strategy or system you develop will yield as great results as Ann's did. After all, she's an intelligent, highly professional business person, which also has a lot to do with her success.

But what have you got to lose from investing some time, energy, brainpower and money into developing some marketing strategies that you can put on automatic and watch the returns come in? I suggest that you have very little to lose and a great deal to gain.

What will you start with first? An improved "Audio Logo" or introduction statement? better marketing materials? more effective promotional activities? refined selling or service strategies? 

The choice is yours, but don't wait 'till "tomorrow" to invest. The opportunity is NOW!

© Copyright 2000, Robert Middleton

Other Articles by Robert Middleton

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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