Its target reading client is anyone who owns a business – any size, any sector and it doesn’t matter what is sold.
I was still reading, The 1-Page Marketing Plan yesterday when I applied an ‘OMG, that’s such a great idea’ to some marketing of my own and fingers crossed it pays off. The lesson was: don’t discount (ever) just offer more value. This has been my key take-away from Allan’s book, and there are many many other lessons – so many that I highlighted half the book on my Kindle!
Here are my top 25 lessons:
¯ While no one can guarantee your success, having a plan dramatically increases your probability of success.
¯ Understanding the difference between strategy and tactics is absolutely key to marketing success.
¯ To be a successful small business marketer you need laser-like focus on a narrow target, sometimes called a niche. (This is so challenging for me.)
¯ When you know your niche consider what is the ONE thing they crave above all else?
¯ Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Why should I buy from you rather than from your nearest competitor? What positions you differently, so that prospects are forced to make an apples-to-oranges comparison.
¯ We live in a sound bite, we’re living in the MTV generation – craft your message so that it’s immediately understandable, impactful and important.
¯ Can you explain your product and unique benefit it offers in a single short sentence? E.g. Apple’s iPod – 1000 songs in your pocket
¯ What can you do in your business that’s remarkable? Your clarity around this will have a huge impact on the success of your business.
¯ Fear, especially the fear of loss is one of the most powerful emotional hot buttons you can push. (Talk to the Amygdala part of the brain. If you’re not familiar with this … that will be another book I read for us!)
¯ Make your business name understood – if you confuse them, you lose them. Choose clarity over cleverness.
¯ Exchange value, not products. Become a welcome guest when you communicate, don’t become a pest. (E.g. constant email activity with no value.)
¯ Stop selling and start educating, consulting and advising prospects about the benefits your products and services deliver.
¯ Customer Relationship Management system – got one? Must be more than a spreadsheet or filing system. (I’ve already starting looking into this system.)
¯ Your pricing strategy should be simple: Standard and premium – don’t confuse people.
¯ Close down your Sales Prevention Department – do you have this department?! Make it easy for people to buy from you. (One of my pet annoyances … a handwritten sign “Only cash sales”)
¯ Build a tribe of raving fans – sell people what they want and give them what they need – help customers all the way through to achieving results from what you’ve sold them.
¯ Seek out or become a Voice of Value – you need to have valuable ideas and these can be founds from Thought Leaders, Mentors, Coaches and successful peers.
¯ Products make you money, systems make you a fortune – this is taken from Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth (I must re-read this book.)
¯ Business systems start with documented procedures and processes that allow your business to run with-out you.
¯ Customers can be divided into four categories:
o The Tribe – raving fans, supporters, and cheerleaders – they help you achieve growth
o The Churners – they can’t afford you and you spend too much time trying to attract them which can turn ugly if they leave you when they realise they’ve made a mistake.
o The Vampires – you can’t afford them, they consume all your resources and terrorize your team and suck the blood out of your business!
o The Snow Leopard – whilst you make most of your money from them, they are rare and don’t create growth.
¯ A more formal metric is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is based on one question “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” (There are books and courses on managing the responses to this questions!)
¯ Fire customers who consume your time and don’t pay on time! In other words, ensure you have a strategy for your different types of customers. If you only have a limited supply you can be selective.
¯ Think of your business as a person – consider its attributes and describe its personality - create an avatar to bring it alive.
¯ A small business must focus on sales and then turn them into a tribe of raving fans which will enable you to establish your brand.
¯ Marketing is a process which needs attention daily to deliver massive value to your customers.
¯ Time is not money, value is money. Time is just one of the inputs it takes to deliver value to the market.
Leading my boutique consultancy practice, I found this read so worthwhile. With my one minute of notes, I feel more organised to get my marketing process into a daily system. Whilst I’ve shared my notes, I suggest you read this pleasurable commentary by a local Melbourne guy who’s written his book out of passion for marketing success.