Marketing Guide for A Players
7 Actionable Steps to Rapid Growth
Big Ass Fans… a raging success out of Lexington KY that makes huge fans for big industrial
buildings, sports stadiums, and warehouses has experienced 30% to 40% growth each year for
many years because of its memorable name and great marketing.
In his former life, the owner, Bill Buell published a trade journal. To subscribe to the trade
journal subscribers had to fill out a 2 page application.
This application collected detailed information about the subscriber. The subscriber list created
with this information was highly sought after by marketers who wanted to target his clients;
however, Bill always refused to sell it or rent it.
Ultimately, a vendor bought Bill’s trade journal for a significant amount of money because they
wanted to own the list.
In any business… especially the service business, your company’s number one asset is your list.
What kind of list?
Your client list. Your past client list, as well as your warm and cold prospects list also have
significant value. But, your current client list rules supreme.
Not your systems, procedures, key employees, or equipment… none of these ‘assets’ carry the
same value as your list. Your current list, your past customer list, and your prospect list all
determine the value of your business and the ‘number’ of future dollars in your pocket.
The fastest way to grow your business (and its value) is to grow your list. This list determines
who you ultimately sell to via email marketing, belly‐to‐belly selling, tele‐marketing, etc.
You know how to sell… so let’s focus on how to drive more high quality leads to your business so
you can grow your client list fast.
Actionable Step #1
Work To Build Your Client List Every Day.
Gather as much information as possible about the client or prospect. As a guide, Harvey Mackay
publishes a great list of questions to help you learn about your client. His list is called the
MacKay 66. It is available for FREE at http://www.harveymackay.com/pdfs/mackay66.pdf.
Each time you speak with your client gather another piece of data to populate the list. When
you first meet the client get as much information as possible. Periodically survey your clients to
With an easy‐to‐access and growing list, you can go to it at anytime to produce additional sales
by promoting new services and engaging in joint ventures with others who will sell to your client
list (and possibly even your prospect list). Consider the idea of negotiating a deal to share the
commission with a JV partner who offers a product or service to your clients and prospects
based on your endorsement.
Nurture the list and stay in touch with your clients and prospects by regularly sending frequent
newsletters, making personal phone calls, sending thank you cards, special gifts,
announcements, loyalty campaigns, voice blasts, periodic videos or CD’s, case studies, personal
Take Action: Create a comprehensive Excel spread sheet to store the information that will make
up your list. Hire a contractor to build a simple program or, better yet, purchase a CRM system.
Give thought to the type of information that you want to collect and retain about your clients
and prospects. The more you know about them the more valuable the list becomes.
Actionable Step #2
Build Your List Off Line.
There are multiple ways to market offline:
Examples include postcards (of varying sizes) and letters. Direct mail is still one of the absolute
best ways to generate leads and build a list.
Often referred to as lumpy mail. Something as simple as a sales letter with a peppermint candy
attached (which gives bulk to the envelope and therefore invites intrigue) qualifies as a
dimensional mailer. In B2B marketing three‐dimensional packages and UPS or FedEx overnight
packages are effective at getting past gate keepers like secretaries and mailrooms.
Stay away from brand advertising or image marketing and focus on measurable direct response
marketing. Brand marketing is more suited for selling commodities and for companies with
massive advertising budgets.
In most cases, TV or radio broadcasting is an expensive way to reach the prospect. It is also
more challenging to measure the effectiveness of broadcast marketing. If you cannot accurately
measure your marketing ROI in a particular media do not make the investment.
If done right, picking up the phone and calling a prospect, especially a warm prospect, can be a
Trade Shows and Events
Events can be very expensive. Unless the trade show you are participating in is serving a vertical
market you may not find the event cost effective. Simply setting up a trade show booth and
handing out business cards is rarely an effective strategy. A lot of money and time goes into a
successful trade show or event.
Regardless of which media you use to market to potential clients it is extremely important to
market to the same target audience multiple times. You are far better off marketing to 10,000
people four times than 40,000 people one time.
For example, if you have 500 companies or homeowners that you absolutely want to secure as
clients you would market to this group continuously.
A minimum of three touches is recommended. However, if you sent multiple mailings and no
one responded you may have a bad prospect list, a bad marketing piece or some other problem.
Do not continue to market to the same list if you are receiving a very poor response. It is
unlikely that a bad list or a bad marketing piece will ever achieve success regardless of the
number of times you put your marketing in front of the prospect.
If you are marketing with some success and the ROI works… continue your efforts.
Prospects (people) forget fast; therefore you must mail frequently. Many business owners
never achieve success with their direct‐mail campaigns because they do not mail frequently
enough to cement their message into their prospects’ conscious awareness.
Though the research varies … it clearly shows that you must have three exposures a month for a
minimum of six months to get your name into the conscious awareness of a prospect. If you are
mailing to a brand new group of prospects, test mail one marketing piece per week for eight
weeks. Thereafter, mail three pieces per month until you decide this prospect is not for you.
You should continue mailing until the ROI of the entire campaign no longer justifies marketing to
the remaining prospects that still have not purchased.
Clearly a marketing campaign of this type, with this many touches can be expensive. However,
ROI is what matters. Continue your efforts as long as they are profitable.
Also, the key is touches… the frequency at which your message is in front of your prospect. This
practice makes the most economic sense when targeting a group of highly valuable prospects
that are high probability buyers. Consider mixing up the media and using direct mail, lumpy
mail, email, fax, voice blasts, and any other media available to stay in front of and touch your
For example, you might mail a postcard this week and send an email next week and a fax the
week after. Be creative. But, above all else… test. A particular media or advertising message
The same research shows that if you mail one piece per week for eight weeks, 40% to 60% of
the prospects you are targeting will know your name. In fact, even if your business is new to the
area they will assume you have been around for years.
Take Action: 1) Find a high quality list you can rent. A large portion of your success will be
based on selecting the ideal list of prospects hungry for what you have to offer. 2) Create a
sales message. If unsure how to create the best message possible, research and study direct
response marketing. Your message must, at a minimum, contain a headline, compelling offer,
deadline and over whelming reason why the prospect must drop everything they are doing and
contact you immediately. 3) Choose the media: letter, postcard, email, ValPac, magazine, etc. 4)
Hire a printer or produce in house. 5) Distribute. 6) Track, test and measure.
Note: Almost every one of these tasks can be outsourced to experts. However, if you hire a
sales or marketing copywriter you must demand written copy that follows direct response
Actionable Step #3
Build Your List On Line.
There are multiple ways to market online:
Keep the attention of every visitor to your site by offering them something of interest for free.
This imperative step will allow you to continue marketing to them. Your offer must be
compelling. Consumers are becoming savvier by the day and numb to most marketing. You
must stand out and offer something of value that is worth their time and effort or they will
Also known as Pay Per Click marketing. Search engine marketing involves bidding on key words
or popular search terms to capture the traffic of users searching the internet on a specific topic.
The most popular PPC provider is Google Adwords. Microsoft, Yahoo and many other search
engines have competing PPC programs. Even social networking sites such as FaceBook now offer
similar functionality. For example, using PPC you can bid on the keyword ‘lawn mowing service’
and place your advertisement in front of every user that searches on this keyword.
Also known as search engine optimization or organic search. A lot of work is required to make
sure that when a prospect types a search term into Google your website comes up on the front
page at the top of Google’s search results. The process of accomplishing this and optimizing
your site is called SEO. If done right, this traffic is free and potentially highly valuable.
Rent Email Lists
filtering. Furthermore, consumers have grown tired of all the email they receive, especially
spam. Many emails are never delivered to the intended recipient. Although quite inexpensive,
the ROI for this type of marketing is dropping significantly. There are also legal ramifications to
JV Email Lists
Partnering with a colleague who owns a list of individuals and businesses that make up your
target market is a highly lucrative way to achieve success rapidly. For example, do you have a
colleague with a large list of clients that respect his company that you might be able to sell your
services too? Have him email his list on your behalf and offer your services and product. If his
list has been well nurtured and your offering is of high value to his audience you might find this
to be a very lucrative means to reach an otherwise unreachable audience. Make it worth his
while to help you; pay him for each sale that results from contacting his list.
The key to online marketing is to drive traffic to your website, sales page or landing page. Once
the prospect is there you must capture their information so you can continue to talk to them on
a regular basis. Otherwise, all the money that you spent to attract the prospect has been
wasted. Give tremendous thought to what you will provide the prospect once they arrive at
your site. Further, give thought to what they are viewing when directed to your website. Rarely
is it wise to simply send a prospect to the home page of your website. Rather, send them to a
custom video or a custom sales message that speaks directly to the reason why they are visiting
your site and that speaks directly to the subject or problem they are looking for more
information about or a solution to.
Take Action: 1) Determine who you want to attract to your website. Who is your target
audience? When they arrive what will you give them that will be of great value to them? What
would be of value to you if you were in their shoes? 2) Find someone to enter into a joint
venture with who already has the clients that you want to attract and who, for a commission,
will allow you to speak with their clients? 3) Create the website, sales page, landing page, and
free offer to incent the user to provide you with their contact information.
Actionable Step #4
Don’t Forget About Your List.
Now that you’ve got a list… feed and water it. All of your offline and online prospects and
existing clients need to be placed into a systematized process so that you can communicate with
This will involve frequent offline communications such as direct mail and should also include
online communication such as email.
Unless you are using a sophisticated software system to remind you when to mail what piece to
ambitious typically leads to never actually implementing the system. And if implemented, the
system can quickly become overwhelming and ultimately abandoned.
Start simple. You can always add additional offline marketing steps later. Just get started.
Implementing online marketing follow up is actually far easier. There are many great,
inexpensive systems called autoresponders that will manage the process for you.
A few examples include: www.aweber.com
Keep your leads warm by communicating with them often.
This includes all of the leads that you have not been able to sell to yet. Continue to
communicate with this group as they may one day convert to a client.
All too often we bring in a lot of leads and… we get busy and they go cold before we properly
exhaust all options for converting them into a client. We ultimately end up ignoring them or
forgetting about them. You must create a system to follow up with these leads.
Systems and autoresponders offer the best means possible to ensure that you continue to
invest in and follow the very lucrative practice of frequently communicating with your list.
Without a system in place the task of frequent marketing will become too overwhelming for you
to manage manually.
Take Action: 1) On a regular basis, send new messages to your clients and prospects to stay in
front of them. 2) Purchase a software package to manage complex, multistep offline marketing
campaigns. 3) Purchase an autoresponder product like AWeber to automate the process of
communicating with your clients online. Actionable Step #5
Timing & Segmentation
Action Step’s 5, 6 and 7 reinforce action steps 1 ‐ 4. Follow these steps and you will significantly
increase the ROI of building and caring for your list. As you nurture your list it will become
easier to sell them additional products and services.
Timing… you must cross paths with your prospect at just the perfect moment.
Your prospects and clients buy when they are ready. Not when you are ready to sell them
Marketing rarely creates need. It is very much about timing. For example, if you drive a Toyota
the F150’s on the road. Before, you were somewhat oblivious to all the Ford F150’s that you
would pass every day. They were always on the road but your subconscious mind chose to
Marketing works very much the same way. For this reason, it is wise to market when your client
is in the most pain (that is, has the most need). For example, if you know that a prospects
service contract with another company will expire within three months this is an ideal time to
market to the prospect heavily. The prospect is about to make a decision between continuing
with the current provider and selecting a company. During this period of time finding a service
provider will be at the top of their subconscious mind. Your marketing, arriving in their mail box
at this time has the absolute best chance of being noticed. Sending a direct mail package, no
matter how great, one week after they signup and pay for service with another company is
The dilemma is that we often do not know when the prospect will need what we have to offer.
Hence, the reason for a relentless, preplanned, systematic marketing campaign. You will never
create need. You can’t afford to. You must present yourself and your solution at just the right
moment. That’s timing.
Note: Frequent marketing to old leads, cold leads and past clients is a very wise strategy.
Segmentation… Bob doesn’t want to be sold or educated on how to cut his pool cleaning costs if
he doesn’t have a pool. List segmentation is about speaking to prospects and clients about a
subject that is relevant and meaningful to them.
In Action Step 1 we discussed creating a system to store information about your list. This
information must be stored in a manner that makes list segmentation quick and easy.
Organizing the list correctly will make it possible to stay in contact with your list with a targeted
and meaningful message that speaks directly to them.
For instance, if your list consists of homeowners and commercial clients, do you really want to
speak with all of them about the same thing? Do they all have the same concerns?
Of course not.
The individuals will not care… much less know what you are talking about. The individual policy
holders need to hear about products specific to them. If you send mail to them or send email
marketing to them that is consistently boring and that is pushing a product that is meaningless
to them they will ignore you. In the online world they will opt out of your mailing list. You
cannot allow this to happen. All communications with your client need to be relevant to them,
interesting to them and, most importantly, highly beneficial to them. Otherwise they will turn
To segment your list you need the ability to sort and extract information from the list. For
example, you might want to query your list for all clients who have dental policies coming due in
the next 60 days and who also have Blue Cross for medical. Or you may need to know all clients
with 15 plus employees in Kansas City, MO.
As you build your list, store it in a way or within a computer system that makes list segmentation
Take Action: 1) Store as much information about your client or prospect as possible. Store it in
a manner that makes it easy to filter and query the exact information you will be looking for. 2)
Craft a unique marketing message and communication for your list specific to as many segments
as possible. 3) Market frequently. If you know exactly when the prospect will be encountering
increased need, increase your touch frequency appropriately. If you do not know, consistently
market to them so that you will be at the top of their mind when the need presents itself.
Actionable Step #6
Educate Your List.
So often we receive a lead. We call the lead and try to close the deal. For some reason the deal
does not close so we make a note to follow up at a later date. Something happens between that
moment of good intention and follow‐up. We postpone or neglect to follow up. The money
spent to acquire the lead becomes wasted.
Your prospects want important information. They want to trust you.
Not every communication with your client or prospect needs to be a sales pitch. However,
every communication should have a specific goal. Thank you cards do not necessarily generate
revenue. However, they build a relationship. And they also count as a touch and keep you and
your service at the top of the client’s mind.
In the online marketing world communicating with the client is so inexpensive that sometimes
there is value in simply communicating something educational and highly beneficial to the client
that does not contain any sales jargon or offers. Its sole purpose is to educate the client.
It might be something as simple as information about HIPPA compliance or something specific
to their industry (requires list segmentation). These communications remind the client you are
Some of the most successful sales people are not those you would consider a salesperson.
Rather, they are successful because they truly care about their prospects and position
themselves as advisors and consultants based on their actions.
You have the same opportunity to educate and advise your prospects and clients via marketing.
Look for ways to reframe the relationship from a salesman selling a product to a trusted advisor
who happens to offer a solution to their problems.
Repetition in marketing is king. The more you educate your prospect, the more frequently you
communicate a quality, beneficial message to them the more they will trust you and look to you
for solutions to their problems.
Take Action: Look for creative ways to give freely to your clients. What can you give away for
free? They will wonder “if she will give me all of this for free I wonder what she would do for
me if I was a paying client?”
Actionable Step #7
Change the psychology of the deal. Rather than being the aggressor, become the educator, the
teacher, the advisor… the solution provider. Let the prospect feel they discovered you. Allow
them to feel in control of the sales process.
Step 7 reinforces Step 6 regarding the education of your client or prospect.
Positioning yourself as an advisor and in such a way that the prospect feels they discovered you
will reduce rejection, resistance and price shopping.
Draw prospects to you… stay in front of them… educate them… and allow them to buy from you
when they are ready, when the need presents itself. This requires timing (frequent marketing)
and education‐based marketing.
Cold calling a prospect is a completely different experience for the prospect than a situation
where the prospect receives four marketing pieces from you and contacts you. They feel in
control of the buying process.
This way of thinking and marketing allows you to spend more time working with HOT leads
rather than chasing down uninterested prospects that might not need you.
Marketing and sales should work hand in hand. Marketing’s job is to bring in leads and sales
should close them. But whose job is it to warm up the leads and whose job is it to revive cold
Both marketing and sales.
However, frequent online and offline marketing can do the heavy lifting to warm up the lead,
thus saving you or your sales team a tremendous amount of time.
Take Action: 1) Send relevant, valuable information to every prospect regularly, relentlessly and
If these seven keys to building a highly valuable list… which means you are building a highly
valuable company and significant income seems overwhelming… we understand.
Take comfort in the fact that very few business owners will take action as described above.
Many will read this guide and agree with it. However, few will follow it.
It is a lot of work. However, the rewards are significant.
If you are just getting started … start with a simple plan of action and implement just a few of
the ideas. Once working, implement a few more. In a relatively short period of time you will
look back and be amazed at the success you have created.
Be one of the few that actually implements and creates a successful business to be admired.
Wishing you rapid success,