Mission Statement, Core Message, Purpose, Elevator Speech:
Make sure you have a Mission Statement which should be 1 to 3 sentences and clearly states what you do best to bring value and benefits to your Customers. Then make sure that you and your Employees know it as well as their own Name. Then, broadcast it on every piece of your Promotional and Advertising material.
 Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
This is different than your Mission Statement because you determine what sets you apart from your Competition. It could be your Guarantee, your reputation for giving back to your Industry or Community, how long you've held your Pricing while still adding Value, your free Shipping or your Lifetime Replacement or Warranty, etc. Again, broadcast it to the World on every price of Printed material and Electronic communication.
 Provide an Exceptional Experience:
One of Disney's great philosophies was to do what you do so well that everyone that experiences it will want to come back and they will bring a friend. If your Sales and Customer Service to your Prospects and Customers have that same Goal, your Reputation will dominate your Industry.
 Contact List:
Always be looking for ways to add Prospects and Customers to your Contact or Mailing List. You should offer them Something of Value to get them to Subscribe such as a Free Report, Free E-Book and/or a series of weekly or monthly Tips, etc.
 Communicate with your Prospects and Clients:
At least once a month, be in contact with your Clients and Prospects however DO NOT constantly bombard them with Purchase offers. Instead, include items which will Benefit or at least Interest them such as Success Stories or Tips they can use to build their Business. This might be a Phone Call, Email, Fax, a Flyer or Postcard or Letter you mail or even a personal Visit. Many Companies believe consistent Communications provide the best ROI (return on investment) possible.
 Thank people Leaving you:
When I get someone who wants to opt out of our Mailing List, I send them a Confirmation eMail that is entitled "Here are your Good Bye Gifts" and includes several Links to some valuable Free Interviews, Articles and Ebooks. After receiving a Remove Request and sending out our "Good Bye" Email, here is what I recently received back from a Subscriber;
"Thanks! Brilliant Marketing! I have canceled probably 40 Lists that I am on due to traveling. You are the ONLY one to do something like this. I will re-sign for your Newsletter when I return to the U.S."
 A Reason Why:
There are many Rules for writing a great Ad, Marketing piece or a persuasive Sales script however always give them a Reason Why they should make a decision to take action in some way. Always appreciate that your Prospects and/or Customers want to know "What's In It For Me" and why should I do it Now rather than procrastinate.
 A Benefit Summary is Beneficial:
Every good Presentation or Story in an Ad or Commercial or Sales Presentation should end with a Benefit Summary. If someone has invested from 1 to 30 minutes reading, or listening to or watching your Presentation, and you've explained features and benefits, pricing, comparisons to the competition, answered questions and handled their objections, etc., please appreciate that your Prospect or Client may be a little confused and/or overwhelmed. If you wrap up your Presentations by saying something like; "The bottom line is there are 3 critical reasons to move forward today" and then list the main Benefits, you'll be directing your Prospect or Client back to the main reasons for them to place their Order.
 A Call to Action:
At the end of every Ad, Promotional piece, Commercial and/or Sales Presentation, a Call to Action is critical. It's easier for the majority of people to procrastinate than to make a decision. You need to help them by telling them what to do next and you might also explain how easy it is and possible add how great the end result will be after they make a positive decision.
 Free is Great:
I recently had a Client who was spending over $500 a month for Recruiting Ads on the Internet for Salespeople. He was amazed to learn there are dozens of Free Recruiting Sites available. The odds are almost everything you might need is available at no cost somewhere on the Internet.
 Web Site:
Needless to say this is the single most important way to keep you competitive and possibly even set you apart from your competition. Domain Names and Hosting have become dirt cheap and you can use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Software to at least build a single Home Page. Finally, there many Free Sites to educate yourself about SEO (search engine optimization) with suggestions about Page layout, Page titles, Meta tags, Key Words, Navigation, Links and even Search Engine submissions, etc.
 Business Cards:
98% of all Business Cards are blank on one side which is a total waste of usable space. Have something of value on the back of your Card that make people want to keep your Card. It could be a Calendar, a Discount Coupon or some Positive Sayings, etc.
 Press Releases:
If you don't blow your Horn... who will? When you have any News of Value, shout it to the World in a Press Release. Send it to local Newspapers and Magazines, Radio and TV Talk Shows and over 100 Web Sites which publish Press Releases. It's the single most cost effective way to advertise and promote your Product or Service. Start with a creative and attention grabbing Headline. Write the Release in the third party and make it interesting by adding some humor, an analogy and/or some Industry Stats. Always include a Picture and short Bio with your contact information. If possible, include an offer for a Free Giveaway that readers or listeners can request which helps you track your results and build your Email List. You should send out one Press Release each month.
 Articles or Tips:
Offer to provide Articles or even better, a series of monthly Tips to Associations and Organizations in your Industry to publish in their Newsletter, Ezine, Magazine and/or Web Site. Although they aren't directly endorsing you or your Company, you gain the impression as being an Industry Expert. Of course, ask them to include your Bio or at least contact information at the end of each Article or Tip.
 Use Add Ons to Build Value:
In today's environment, many Companies are offering Discounts. Although this can create some immediate Sales it creates a challenge to raise your Price later. Plus if you're constantly giving deep discounts, many Clients will wait and buy later because they know you'll probably be offering it cheaper in the future. Instead, offer an Add On to build value and keep your Pricing strong.
 Swipe and Deploy:
You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, look for Slogans, Strategies, Sales, Themes, Processes, Campaigns and Specials which are being used successfully in other Industries, and then tweak them to apply to your Product or Service. Of course, make sure and avoid Copyright infringement.
 Recognize, Reward and Retain:
Let your best Customers (the 20% that buy the 80%) know how much you appreciate them by offering additional incentives or specials and the odds are that they will stay loyal to you longer. Recognize them with a Dinner, Gift Certificate or simply sending them a personal Note or Letter.
 Don't be a One Trick Pony:
I watched "America's Got Talent" one night and although there was some creativity and a few excellent Acts, most were a One Trick Pony. Most Acts were voted off within one or two rounds because they looked, sounded and performed exactly the same as their first round. Many Salespeople and so-called Marketing experts are also a One Trick Pony. Even though they work with Prospects with many different personalities, levels of education and a multitude of buying habits, they talk or write the same way to everyone.
 Sub-Conscious Computer:
We all have the greatest Computer in the World, our Sub-Conscious Mind. You can give it instructions to do something and then allow it to do it's magic. Ever tried to remember the name of a Movie and the name comes to you in the middle of the night? You can tell it to come up with 5 new Marketing Headlines by next Saturday and then get out of your own way and allow it to do it's thing. It always comes up with the answers you need.
 Don't forget the Sales Training:
A friend recently asked me to Mentor his Daughter who works for a major Telecommunications Company with dozens of Call Centers with thousands of Sales Reps. I was amazed at how lost she was regarding her Sales skills and the Sales process. They put her through 6 weeks of Product knowledge and only 2 days of Sales Training. When I offered to critique her script or Call Guide, she admitted they didn't even have one. When I asked about on-going Training she admitted that her Manager was buried in Reports and Meetings and couldn't spend any time with the Reps. It seems that most Companies hire Sales Reps and assume they already know how to sell. Don't waste money on Advertising and Marketing if your people can't Close a spring loaded Storm Door.
 Use Familiar Sayings:
Your Prospects and Customers are bombarded with hundreds of Ads on a daily basis and your Marketing needs to stand out from the crowd. Why not use a Familiar Saying that most people already know to grab their attention? Remember the old adage; "When Pigs Fly"? Burger King has adapted that to introduce their new Bar-B-Q Bites.
 Reward Card or Frequent Buyer Program:
Reward Customer loyalty with a Reward Card which gets punched (or keep track electronically) with each Purchase and when your Customer buys 5 or 10 or 20 items, they might get 1 free. If that doesn't fit your budget, you might give them a 20% discount on their next purchase when they buy a specific amount. Or you could give them a free accessory with the purchase of a larger item, etc.
 Social Networking:
Facebook has over 200 million Members. You Tube visitors watch 13 Billion Videos a month. LinkedIn has 15 Million Business people networking. Twitter is growing at over 40% per month. So what's your excuse for not using these Free Promotional tools to help build your creditability, your reputation, your List of Prospects and yes, even your Sales? For those who believe you are too small, this is how you become Big. For those who believe you can't afford it, you can't afford not to do it. For those who believe you just don't need it, your Competition will eat you for Lunch.
 Piggy Back your Press Release:
Here's a great way to get more bang for you buck with Press Releases. The original Press Release should provide information about the upcoming Event. Next, put out a follow-up Release a few days, weeks or months later about the success of that Event. Finally, send a nice Letter to the Editor thanking them for their coverage both before and after. Of course, in that Letter you can also plant the idea for a possible interview for a Human Interest Story or a Trend Setting Idea or a Series of Tips for their Readers, etc.
 Offer Up Sells:
A great way to dramatically increase your Sales and Profits is to always offer an Up Sell at the time of Purchase. About 60% of your Customers will buy more if the Up Sell offered is less than 60% of the original purchase price. Don't be afraid to offer a deep discount on your Up Sell Offer since your cost of doing business on that Sale has been significantly reduced.
 Use Adjectives:
I urge you to use an Adjective whenever you use a Noun. Of course, the purpose is to add more information and/or impact the Noun used. An example is that a Dog is a Dog, right? Yes, until you add Big, Scrawny, Scruffy, Scary, Cute, Wild, Lovable, etc. These Descriptive Words "Paint Pictures" in your Prospect's or Customer's mind.
 Promotional Freebies:
Depending of the size of your Company and the volume of business you do with certain Vendors or Suppliers, you could be missing out on some really neat stuff. Many Companies have a Promotional Department and/or they simply want to keep you as a happy camper. All you have to do is pick up the Phone and start asking who you need to talk to in order to get some give-a-ways. Through the years I've negotiated everything from small things like Mouse Pads, Toys, Shirts or Jackets, to tickets to Pro Football Games, Hospitality Tents and NASCAR Races. You can use them for the Owner, a valued Employee or as a prize for a Sales Contest, etc. Don't wait for them to be offered since I've found that many times the Rep I was dealing with didn't even know these things were even available.
If we say it, the Prospects can doubt us. If a Client or Customer says it, then it must be true. Use Testimonials on your Web Site, Brochures, Cover Letters and Product or Service Descriptions. If possible, use the person's photograph. Of course with the new FCC rulings, always make sure you keep a copy of the original Testimonial for your records.
 Write Killer Kopy:
Here are a couple of quick Tips for writing great promotional Copy. Tell a Story and give them every reason to buy and not just a few. Include a couple of Testimonials. Build in Answers to the most popular Objections and/or Questions. Include a strong Call to Action. Give them a Bonus for ordering now or possibly make it a limited time Offer. Also remember that successful Ads mention the most important part of the Offer 3 times.
 Test Long and Short Copy:
The Short Version would normally be the Features and Benefits while the Long Version will get your Prospect and Customers emotionally involved with you, your Company and your offering. The Long version will can outsell the Short version by as much as 40%.
 Promote Holidays:
Depending on which ones you count, there are 10 or more Holidays per year. Many Businesses thrive through them and most suffer because of them. How many can you profit from by starting a promotion using that particular theme? You might have to push the envelope a little like the TV Ad I saw recently promoting a Pap Smear as "The perfect Holiday Gift for the Lady you love". That's a little crazy even for me however it did get my attention.
 Are you Selling or Solving:
Instead of always touting the Benefits or Features of a Product or Service, try appealing to your Prospect's or Client's needs, wants and desires. With a few exceptions, the majority of people are motivated by either Fear or Greed. Recognize their concerns in your Headline, show empathy in your Presentation, offer them a solution in your Summary and of course you should add the all important Call to Action at the Close. If you demonstrate a sincere desire to Solving Problems you'll enjoy a dramatic impact to your bottom line.
Add value to your Customer's experience with you or your Company with Certificates. There is an excellent perceived value when you offer $1,000 worth of Groceries for completing a Survey or a 3 day Vacation to an exotic location for simply increasing their normal Order size or $500 worth of Dining Coupons for providing you with 5 Referrals, etc. These Certificates are available in bulk for only pennies on the dollar.
 A Picture is worth a Thousand Words:
That can be true however what are those "words" telling your Prospects. Rather than just showing a picture of your Product or Service, how about a Before and After example? You see, relevance is more important than ingenuity. Let's say you have a Machine that helps people make a purchase much faster. One Shot shows a long line of 15 unhappy Customers waiting to pay and the Clerk tearing their hair out. The second line has only 2 Customers in it and they and the Clerk are all smiling.
 Produce a Video:
Video is a great way to promote both Companies and Individuals. Consider a Corporate Image Video on your Web Site, a short Video to explain the benefits of a Product or Service, a Video with brief Testimonials from happy Customers or a teaser Video for a new Promotion to email to your Customer and Prospect List. Plus, there are over 100 Sites on the Web to post those Videos for World wide exposure.
 Give Something Back:
You can reap large benefits for months and even years, by giving something back to your Community. It could be as simple as volunteering to keep a Mile of a Highway clean or planting some Trees in a Park. If your budget allows, consider sponsoring a Kids Softball Team or paying to build a complete Baseball or Soccer Field with your Company name plastered all over it. Why not have a Survey among your Employees and get their ideas on how you can get more involved in your Community. At least do some Volunteer work and get some great Press coverage.
 Turn Lemons into Lemonade:
When my Web Site was recently hacked every Search Engine in the world immediately placed a "warning" on over 80 references to me stating that "visiting this Site could harm your computer". Luckily, my Web Host and Webmaster busted their butts to get the Site repaired and the Search Engines started removing all of the "warnings" within 24 hours. While this was going on I sent a Letter of Apology to my Subscriber List explaining everything and offering everyone a complimentary copy of the Manuscript to my Autobiography. I received hundreds of requests from the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, the UK, Norway, India, Africa and Japan to name a few. I also received many nice words of encouragement and thanks for my 30 plus years of helping people become the best they can become and enjoyed a great spike in Sales.
 Kill your Automatic Answering Attendant:
Prospects and Customers call you to speak to a real person. If they didn't want that personal attention they would have sent you an Email or used your Web Site. I'm amazed at Companies that try to save on the salary for a "live" Attendant or an Answering Service and end up creating ill will. Everyone agrees there is no second chance at a first impression however we insist on greeting people with a machine that creates negative feelings and often frustrates our Callers by overwhelming them with a dozen of more options.
 Our Knowledge is a Leaking Bucket:
In other words, we need to keep replenishing it with new Skills, Ideas, Concepts and Techniques. One recent week I studied Brian Tracy, Frank Kern, Brendon Burchard, John Carlton, Justin Blake, Harvey MacKay, John Assaraf and Bob Proctor for at least an hour each. Plus I skimmed through over 150 Newsletters and Ezines and 300 promotional Emails. Would you imagine that I might have learned a few Marketing Gems?
 Become a World Expert:
One of the greatest tips my Mentor taught me was how easy it is to Become a World Expert. He said knowledge is power and if you invest one hour a day to study any one Subject, that within 5 years you would be a world-expert in that particular Subject. It might be the Industry you already work in, a favorite hobby, or even an interest you had many years ago and got away from. Just imagine what that knowledge will be worth to you in the future. You can make money from Articles, Books, Audio or Videos and even as a Speaker, Trainer, or Consultant and take total control your financial destiny. PS: You can speed up that process by investing 5 hours a day and become that expert in only 1 year.
 Characters produce Cash:
Consider a Spokesperson (real or animated) to "front" your Product, Service or Company. This could be an Animation such as the Geco from Geico Insurance, a nationally known Sport figure such as Dale Earnhart Jr. for Wrangler or possible just a Voice Over such as Gene Hackman for Lowes. These images or at least the voice actually demands your attention. You can always start small with someone who is well known in your area of the Country for a lot less money.
 Split Testing:
A great way to determine the success of any Product, Service or Promotional Campaign is to conduct a Split Test to different parts of your Prospect and/or Customer List. Try Long Copy versus Short Copy, try different Price Points, Headlines and even Colors before rolling out the complete Promotion.
Surveys give you a great idea what your Prospects and Clients and thinking. What are their likes and dislikes? What do they want in the way of Pricing, Packaging, Specials, Terms and Guarantees? How do they compare you to the Competition? What do they need this year that they didn't last year? It also truly shows that you care about their opinions, feelings and feedback.
Most people love the opportunity to get something of value at no cost so you might consider this once a year or so. Your Customers could get one Entry for each Order or one Entry for each particular dollar amount they spend. You could Smile giveaway one of your Products or Services or better yet, get a Vendor or Supplier to donate something of value at little or no cost to you.
 Joint Ventures:
A Joint Venture is any combination of Companies where one Company promotes the Product or Service from the other Company to their Client and/or Prospect Lists or possibly both Companies co-promote each other's Product or Service to both Lists. The benefits include reduced advertising costs, added credibility from the other Company's Testimonial plus all of the new found Business you obtain.
 Know your Numbers:
There's a great saying that "If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up someplace else". Allow me to paraphrase that by stating "If you don't know your Numbers, you probably won't go anywhere". With any type of Advertising, you need to know your response percentage, cost per Lead and conversion rate, etc. Once you have accurate stats it becomes easy to know what needs to be tweaked for improvement, When I do Consulting, many times I've found that we only need to improve certain numbers or percentages by 5 or 10% which results in a dramatic 50 to 200% overall positive impact to the Bottom Line.
 Gift Cards:
These add Pure Profit to your bottom line. First they add Revenue before you need to fill the Orders. Second, they build Brand loyalty. Third, they are a convenience for your Customers. Fourth, they can bring you new Customers. Last and most important, anywhere from 30 to 50% of all Gift Cards are NEVER redeemed.
 2 quick Tips for Direct Response Ads:
First, when you instruct the Prospects to call a toll free number, explain they will only be listening to a Recorded Message and not talking to a "live" Person. This puts them at ease since they might be afraid that a "live" person might try to Sell them. Second, ask them to leave their Email Address for additional details rather than their Phone Number. This also disarms Prospects who are concerned about being bombarded with phone calls.
 Media Interviews:
The best publicity is the kind you get for Free. Hundreds of Newspapers, TV and Radio Talk Shows, Magazines and Newsletters are always looking for a good story. It may be your Products or Services, a Donation made, a Community Service performed, a Company expansion, acquisition or additional location planned, etc.
 A Slogan for Branding:
Any Marketing Guru knows the value of creating a Slogan for Branding purposes. Consider Don't leave Home without It, The Greatest Show on Earth, Just Do It, Let your Fingers do the Walking, It's the Real Thing, They're Grrrreat, Imagination at Work, I can't believe I ate the whole thing, Have It Your Way, Put a Tiger in your Tank, So Easy a Caveman can do it or The King of Beers and the odds are you immediately think of the Company or Product behind the Slogan. What can you come up?