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Market To The Regular Guy Inside That Executive

Sep 8, 2008
I see things from a different perspective these days, regarding marketing. I have another business that focuses on coaching entrepreneurs on how to take massive leaps in growing their businesses in the shortest amount of time. I do this in face-to-face setting via mastermind groups and also to the targeted category of VAR's (Value-added Resellers).

Working with business owners in different fields as well as the VAR channel helps me keep perspective on what works in running a business.

One of the biggest management mistakes I am seeing in businesses has to do with their position on marketing. They can tend to have a negative opinion about marketing, seeing it as an expense rather than an investment and a necessary part of doing business.

From my experience, the business owner or president's most important job is figuring out what the most powerful, most effective marketing and sales activities are, and how to apply them to the business. There is nothing that is more important because what marketing and sales do is keep cash flowing. All other mistakes or management problems can be fixed, operational or otherwise. But if revenue stops or slows down, then a business can go down quickly. Therefore it is my opinion that revenue/cash flow and the activities that generate it is Priority Number One.

Related to this are the three marketing things that business owners of a reseller business need to do:

* Understand the power of marketing and how doing it effectively will bring in more revenue and make the business more valuable

* Take control of marketing (you abdicate this to your vendors, distributor, etc. at your own peril). Feel free to get help from partners but always control how cash gets generated. You are the captain of the ship; take control of your destiny. Take control of your marketing.

* Create an internal marketing budget (do not depend solely on RDF); again, depending on distributor/vendor funds only can be disastrous. Always control marketing and sales activities. If you are not able to make enough margin to pay for marketing activities with internal funds, then you have a serious problem.

Truly valuing the power of marketing, staying in control of it and not abdicating/delegating it away are two important ingredients for success. But I also want to say that we can ascribe too much pressure and stress to our marketing ventures. Sometimes I think we make it too hard for ourselves when we try to market and sell. So I try to keep this phrase in mind: "work with human nature and not against it."

For example:

* Research tells us that it is easier to use strong headlines in your marketing material because as a society we are trained to read and react to headlines. Are you spending enough time crafting good headlines in your email, direct mail campaign, or advertisements?

* Research shows us that people read and respond to stories and articles vs. straight advertisements. Are you crafting your ads or marketing material like news articles (or at the very least using case studies)?

* Studies show that buyers already know their objections to your product or service on your first sales call. Are you addressing the sales obstacles up front in your first sales presentation?

* Studies also show that buyers distrust sellers. Are you building trust with your customers through "social proof" such as testimonials?

There are many other examples of working with human nature vs. against it. Basically, keep in mind that, as a society, we are all taught to react a certain way to a given situation. Therefore, why not use this knowledge to your advantage? Most astute and successful entrepreneurs, sales and marketing people do this naturally, or have learned it.
About the Author
Ramon provides more marketing information, especially created for the IT VAR industry but also applies to everyone who wants to improve their sales. Stay up-to-date at StreetSmartVAR.com and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for Ramon's popular, no-cost online marketing course!
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