Joseph Ratliff Writer, Researcher, Thinker

Are You Actually Trying To Profit From Your Marketing Efforts?

You will have a much harder time marketing your business with this mindset.

Here is what I mean…

Automotive shops as an example…use an oil change advertisement as a “lead in” service to offer in efforts to obtain new customers. Not a bad idea at all…except when you try to profit from the oil change.

And many of them try to…

How many times have you seen a coupon in the newspaper with an oil change priced above $10.00 as a “special price?” I have seen a few too many…and with the exception of diesel vehicles and specialty vehicles…this price point is trying to earn a minimal $1.00 in profits so the owner doesn’t feel bad giving the discount. Big mistake.

See my earlier posts for focused articles on retaining the customers you do have, as that is the least expensive and most profitable form of marketing.

But since this post focuses on new customer generation…

We should be focused on one primary thought here…

Lifetime Value of the customer. What is the value of a customer to your business over their entire buying cycle with you? How many referrals can your business earn from this customer? Using the example above…

What if the automotive shop gave away their first three oil changes to a new customer? Most shop owners would cringe at the thought of losing the $50.00 in supplies and parts…and the total of $100.00 in labor over the three oil changes (at most). For a total of $150.00, you can cultivate a lifetime relationship with a customer by providing additional back – end services and products that will enhance the customer’s vehicles (keep paying attention internet marketers).

And a lifetime automotive customer is worth a minimum of $3000.00 over a five year period to an automotive shop! So how many times would you like to trade $150.00 for $3000.00 in sales in your business?

My questions to you and your business from this post…and my challenges to you…are:

1) What is your “oil change”?

2) How many of this valuable service are you willing to part with to gain critical new customers?

3) What back end services or products do you offer that can enhance a customer’s lives and start the profitable relationship with them?

In my own internet copywriting business…I provide 5 hours of free consultation (valued at $1000.00) when a client chooses to use my copywriting services.

And I provide a free website critique (Valued at $295.00) upfront…no matter if a client uses my services or not. That is my oil change.

What part of your front end marketing efforts are you going to change TODAY?

Joseph Ratliff

Does Saying Thank You Help Market Your Business?

I know you are a polite person…and probably say thank you to most of your clients.

But that is not what I am talking about here…

I am talking about saying thank you to the people who refer you new customers!

I mean…referrals are easier to deal with than a brand new customer right? Customers who have been referred to you by someone else already are “pre-sold” by the recommendation made from the referrer.

So why is it that I see way too many business owners take referrals for granted?

You read that right. Too many business owners take referrals for granted. Please allow me to paint you two scenarios, simplified for this post:

1) The typical referral sale. In this scenario we will use a real estate office. One of the real estate agents is an absolute superstar, and finishes showing and selling a home to new clients. After completing the purchase of a new home…the clients are excited. They have just made their dreams come true…and they want to refer one of their friends to their “new best friend” in the real estate business.

Here is where it gets plain ugly…the referred parties come into the office of the real estate agent and complete a home purchase of their own. The real estate agent continues on his/her daily business. This happens daily in almost EVERY business in the USA! One thing wrong…

THE AGENT DID NOT THANK THE CLIENTS THAT REFERRED THEIR FRIENDS!

Big mistake…because here is what could have happened…

2) The “supposed to happen” referral sale. Let’s use the same scenario in #1, but with one exception, the agent sends a thank you card and a gift of some type to the original referring client, thanking that client for making the referral.

The important part here is to make acknowledgment, it is not in the size of the gift. The acknowledgement MUST be heartfelt though, or it will go unnoticed.

Continuing our second scenario…

The original client refers ANOTHER client because this client feels appreciated. It snowballs from there:

Client
refers
Client Client
refers refers
Client Client Client
refers refers refers
Client Client Client Client
refers refers refers refers
Client Client Client Client Client…
Do you get the picture?
And all this costs is a heartfelt “THANK YOU” each time you receive a referral from a client. Cultivating referrals is the best marketing for any business…period.
Now I am going to challenge you:

Implement a policy TODAY in your business that requires a thank you be sent to every person that refers another to your business. Whether the “sale” is made or not.

Your bottom line will thank you…and your marketing budget could be severely reduced.

Thanks for reading.

Sometimes it is the little things that can produce BIG results in our businesses.

Joseph Ratliff

Does Giving Your Customers Something for Free Help Market Your Business On The Internet?

Nope. It doesn’t.

I know what you are thinking…

“But Joe…all of those ebooks and course materials say to offer free newsletters, and free ebooks, and free special reports to gain customers.”

But that is not the entire story…and any good marketer probably told you something else too…

“Give them something of value for free.”

Notice the word in italics…value. That is the key to this technique. Now why I am I typing this post on a valuable marketing tips blog when the technique described above sounds so simple and easy to implement?

Because most of the free newsletters, ebooks, and special reports I read over… have very little if any real value to the reader.

If this includes yours…stop sending what you are currently to your new subscribers! You are losing more ground than you are gaining.

“Well Joe…how do we tell if what we are sending out is not valuable enough?”

Good question. Here is a general “litmus test” to start with:

1) Am I using this in my business currently? Is it a profitable bit of information? How profitable?

Joe: If the information you provide is not very profitable to your business…why provide it for someone else?

2) If the answer to the first part of #1 is NO…have you done enough research to ensure that the person receiving the information will be able to profit from it?

Joe: For example…any of the free gifts I give on my site at http://www.josephratliff.com that I am not using in my own business has been carefully researched by talking with other people using the gift…or knowing how valuable the strategies are from experiences in the past.

3) If you assign a value to a newsletter, ebook, course, or other freebie…does that freebie really live up to that value by applying the freebie to a business?

Joe: An example here…Derek Gehl’s newsletter on http://www.marketingtips.com claims a value of $147.00 for the information contained. It is a free newsletter…but it has MUCH MORE value in practical application of the techniques described.

Probably one of the reasons The Internet Marketing Center is one of the most successful businesses on the Internet, huh?

Well…there you have it. If what you are giving away passes these three items…you have the beginning of a item worth giving away to entice customers to view your other product offerings.

THE CHALLENGE:

This month…give away something that you normally wouldn’t as a freebie. Perhaps because you thought “That is too valuable to give away…”

If you play your cards right…you might get enough repeat customers to justify it. =)

“Isn’t it time to stop playing games with your business?”

Joseph Ratliff