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Simple Holiday Marketing

Nov 29, 2007
Tis the season for parties, gift giving AND marketing. While many small business owners think December is a time to put marketing on the back burner, we think otherwise.

Holiday gatherings can be a good time for small business owners to market. Why? A key Guerrilla Marketing tactic is networking, and networking is a natural during the holiday season. You'll see old friends and colleagues, discuss how the year went and share goals for the upcoming year. Your holiday networking is a time to lay the groundwork for future business opportunities.

The key is to adopt a marketing mindset. Your marketing goal is to increase sales. Networking is the ticket to make that happen. When you establish a deep connection with customers and prospects and
"touch" others so that they know, like and trust you, you'll set the stage for establishing a relationship and converting more sales. Customers typically want to buy from those they trust. Networking is a key Guerrilla Marketing tactic to build relationships and trust.

And it's easy.

Simply caring about your prospect will establish trust. The following tips will help you connect with prospects and customers, develop rapport and close more sales, even during the rush of the holidays.

1. Be prepared. Before attending a holiday event, find out who will be there and how they are connected to the host(s). Mentally prepare some questions that you can rely on to create an interactive conversation.

2. Greet others warmly and sincerely, using eye contact. Don't come on too strong. Allow the other person some time to to talk so you know what is important to him/her.

3. Skip the elevator pitch and hand out business cards only when requested. Keep in mind that holiday gatherings are different from business networking meetings. While a guest may be from a firm you've been wanting to work with, pitching him or her in the midst of a holiday gathering may not be in your best interest.

4. Spend more time asking questions and listening than talking. This is a key Guerrilla Marketing tactic. Learn something about the person to whom you are speaking. Maybe you'll strike up a conversation with, "How has business been going? What kinds of clients are you looking for these days? What's up for the New Year?" You want to make your prospect feel unique, cared for and heard. If it's a good potential relationship, this will be easy to achieve.

5. Be prepared with your own reply to "What's new?"-- something concise but intriguing, such as "I just heard back from my graphic designer about a project I've been working on." If the person's eyes glaze over, move on to another topic. But if they ask questions, continue the conversation with short bits of information, keeping it a give-and-take exchange.

6. Even though you are selling, don't think of yourself as a salesperson but rather as a partner to your prospect. Realize that while this is a holiday gathering, you still have the opportunity to educate your prospects. As soon as possible, learn what it is that they want to succeed at in the New Year, then show him/her how you can help them achieve that goal.

7. Develop a strategy to stay in touch after the holidays. Maybe you'll meet for lunch. Maybe you'll have a formal meeting. When appropriate, get their contact information so that you can follow up. If it's truly someone you'd like to stay in contact with, say, "I'm doing a new monthly newsletter with red hot marketing tips for small business owners. If you'd like, give me your card and I'll put you on my list."

8. Be friendly, outgoing and curious. But, most important, be yourself.

9. Take advantage of automation to remain top of mind. Easy, effective systems are readily available to make follow up a snap.

10. Have fun! If you're in the right place at the right time, you'll not only enjoy the company and conversation. You could make some very profitable business connections for the New Year.

Happy Marketing!
About the Author
Certified Marketing Spitfire Leslie Hamp is creator of the 'Fast Track to Marketing Mastery' program. To learn more about the step-by-step program, and to sign up for your *FREE* Marketing Mastery Success Kit, visit www.boostyourbottomline.com
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