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I spent the evening of Thursday with a fellow golfer after the weekly league talking about local business promotion and how I was just a naive newbie.

I am newish to the offline marketing world with but a dozen of clients to my name and only 3 of them recurring. I did a great job with all of them where they rank top 3 in their market for their main keywords and I also changed most sites from static HTML to well optimized WP sites.

As the evening progressed and the beers went down, this fellow golfer who owns 3 local businesses shared with me his views on advertising, the Yellow Pages and the new kid on the block...aka the geek with the pc.

The whole thing started when after the round of golf we sat around large tables to enjoy cold beverages and discussions went from golf to weather to politics then business and someone asked me how my "thing" was going. That was reference to my offline marketing business. I shared some details on how some of my clients were seeing increase in sales and profits. That's when James asked me about how I managed my clients accounts and how I could help his businesses.

I told him how I did what I do. To that he replied, "I don't care how you do it. What's your numbers?" "What's the audience, in numbers?" "What's the increase in profits?", "What's my return on investment?".

When I told him I did not know these exact numbers, he told me that when he speaks with the reps at the media providers that he gets answers for those questions. Might not be the best results, but it's professional and he knows the outcome and that if I ever wanted to have any part in his advertising budget, I'd better act like a pro and know my numbers.

I reflected on that for a long time and I do agree, that getting is half the battle and that knowing what those results generate in ROI and other metrics is something a lot of business owners understand.

It's time to follow up and learn one more skill to this trade I've chosen.
#check #hard #marketing #numbers #offline #reality
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by NiagaraLocal View Post

    he gets answers for those questions.
    and speaking from experience, about half the answers he does get is complete bulls***

    and also from my experience, dealing with people exactly like him,
    they say those type of things, because they DONT understand, internet marketing confuses them. so they cling to what they think they know.

    I am not saying you should not learn everything you can about your craft.

    but that conversation sounds to me like a guy with a few beers, trying to hold his success
    over yours. Not like a guy that was interested in what yo do, or even what you could do for him.

    the term "bully" comes to mind

    Selling Ain't for Sissies!
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    • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      and speaking from experience, about half the answers he does get is complete bulls***

      and also from my experience, dealing with people exactly like him,
      they say those type of things, because they DONT understand, internet marketing confuses them. so they cling to what they think they know.
      It's true. Unless you are getting a peak at his books you won't know about his increased ROI in fixed numbers. The next time the Yellow Pages guy throws out some stats he needs to dig deeper and ask them how they came about that data. When I worked in a similar field we knew exactly what the green clients would ask and we gave out the canned responses which usually worked. We didn't dare pull that crap on the more saavy ones however.

      Some basic search engine data before and after will help you. There are other things too like does he have a good call to action on his website? Does he build a customer list and regularly follow up with it? Does he measure how often his customers buy, how much they spend on average and who his best customers are? Using all of this data is useful for his marketing campaigns, much of which are IM related.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pierre!
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      and speaking from experience, about half the answers he does get is complete bulls***

      the term "bully" comes to mind
      THIS is most often the truth...

      I know this guy who worked for a Financial Advisor Firm for 13 years - They could NOT tell you how much each client was worth on average! They also had *no clue* about what it cost to MANAGE each client.

      It's a wonder they are still in business.

      I like the 'What's the value of a new client' as a response to the question... you will see just how 'on top of their game' your potential client really is.

      Keep doing what you are doing NiagaraLocal! Sounds like a solid start to me!

      Patrick AKA Pierre!
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      • Profile picture of the author LongTail Silver
        Originally Posted by Pierre! View Post

        Keep doing what you are doing NiagaraLocal! Sounds like a solid start to me!
        I agree. Your services are valuable. You are the prize.

        They're trying to use a power frame to intimidate you. You just need to reframe the question to put them on the spot and make them qualify themselves to you. Easier said than done, when you're being put on the spot, I know. But with practice, you'll will get good at deflecting this kind of alpha male behavior with a few pointed questions that put you in the driver seat.

        I would recommend you check out "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff. Deals with these kinds of situations and how to turn them to your advantage.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Business owners are all about the bottom line, assuming they are smart. I've found that not all business owners are smart though!

    A way that I've found is easy to counter the ROI question is to specifically ask how much each new customer is worth to them. It obviously varies by the business, but a lot of times it will only take a few increased sales to pay for a mobile site, which I primarily sell.

    Let's say I'm meeting with an attorney and we begin to discuss pricing of a mobile website and QR Code, I'll first ask him or her how much a new client is worth to them. Then I'll say, "That's great, we actually have this at a very reasonable price. We've tried to price it so that if you only get 1 new client out of this, it will pay for itself."

    When you phrase it like that, it's easy to get a business owner to see the potential without using specific numbers.

    Best of luck moving forward-- there are always objections that come up in sales, but almost all of them can be overcome if you are prepared for what's coming!

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  • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
    It's ALL about the results you get for clients. You need to be tracking what the effect of your efforts are with them.

    In any business you have leading and lagging indicators.

    The leading indicators are the ones you implement at the start. i.e where they are on google, links to the site, youtube vids etc etc... these are tangible to you, but not to the business owner.

    Then you have lagging results. These are the number of sales linked to the work you did for them.

    It's really not as clear cut as that, but if you can get some kind of output measurement from your clients, then you'll have some great case studies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg Stack
    Niagra Local,
    Great post! I agree.
    Originally Posted by NiagaraLocal View Post

    "I don't care how you do it. What's your numbers?" "What's the audience, in numbers?" "What's the increase in profits?", "What's my return on investment?".
    We have to realize, we are not selling/offering SEO services, Google Places services, and ESPECIALLY "Offline Marketing" (to our clients, we are offering online marketing, of course.)

    I've read some fairly harsh comments concerning business owners because of their lack of appreciation for the technical details of what we do. (Excluding Ken Michaels' comments. I get the feeling he is right on the money.) What we are offering are solutions to their need for more leads, higher retention of current customers, acquisition of new customers, and ultimately higher sales/profit. The last thing that they want/need is to learn the tech details. Remember this: One does not buy a 1/4" drill bit because they want a 1/4" drill bit, they buy a 1/4" drill bit because they want a 1/4" hole.

    I used to own a temporary staffing company, and I would receive calls daily from ad sales people: radio, paper, billboard, bus, TV - you name it. I never blew them off because I was doing the same thing. Approximately half my time was devoted to sales or training others. The only ones that I ever worked with were the ones that could show me the reach. The best salesperson I ever worked with was from a local NBC TV affiliate. When I met with her, she spent the first 30 minutes asking intelligent questions about my business and what my needs were. Based on that information, she developed a plan, and returned a couple days later to review it. I did not seriously believe that I would accept it and do business with her.

    As it turns out, the expense was much lower than I expected, and was actually less expensive per eyeball, than some of the other methods I was using at the time. I dropped them, and began advertising on the TV station. The demo that we needed to reach tended to watch the shows that were cheap. No primetime spots. She offered me what I needed, not what she wanted to sell me. Most salespeople start off a meeting puking all sorts of useless information about themselves, their company, and what they want to sell, having no clue what the prospect actually needs.

    The sales process should be a collaborative effort, where both parties come out ahead. We have services that can truly help people. Many businesses and business owners are hurting and need the help.

    With some research, the numbers can be found. Google has an immense number of tools. I used to shy away from Google. I don't like slaps, and I do not like monopolies, but they have a lot to offer. Just dig around a bit.

    Below is a link for some great info. Below that are a couple videos.
    Buy Gitomer: Sales training, books, seminars, and consulting - sales techniques to motivate your sales force

    Asking Powerful Questions - YouTube

    Beginning The Engagement - YouTube
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    All of the other media outlets that are trying to sell your golf buddy advertising can only give him print or distribution numbers and demographics of their readers/viewers.

    They can't offer an exact number of leads or traffic, however we can.

    Without knowing your friends marketing niche beforehand, you really couldn't offer an exact priced solution without doing some keyword and competition research.

    Whenever I meet somebody in a casual setting and the conversation leads to what each of us do for a living and they're interested in seeing if there is anything I can do for their business, I start by finding out who they think their customer is, what they feel they do better than their competition and I also try to get a sense for the lifetime value of a customer in their niche.

    Then I explain to them that I will put together a package of products "one time expense" or services "re-occurring fees" that I feel will increase their sales, reduce their expenses, and provide trackable results.

    When I do present my packages or products to them, most times I will have a three tiered pricing structure. Low price, medium price, and higher priced.

    Once you have done you research, you should have a good idea of how many people are searching for his product or service in his area; and the strength of their competition.

    Assuming they have no internet presence or a very weak, not properly optimized presence, then I explain that there is currently "insert number here" people a month searching for your product locally online; and currently you are missing out on 100% of that traffic.

    If they still see no value in your offer after your presentation, you can do one of three things.

    1. Keep them on your warm list with a few touches, "email, phone calls, in person visit" over the course of the year.

    2. Give up on them all together as you can't save some people from themselves.

    3. Offer them a challange or experiment. I like to do this because everybody likes to prove that what advertising they are currently doing is working for them.

    This works well for people who do newspaper ads or those weekly and/or monthly coupon mailers.

    The goal here is to show them exactly how many leads/calls are being generated for them by the ads they are currently running.

    Have them either obtain a google voice number, "I recommend you do this for them as an added free service to help them with your challange" or have them purchase a cheap pre-paid phone from the store.

    The purpose of this is to use these unique phone numbers in their next newspaper ad or coupon mailer to show them exactly how many leads or calls are being produced by this form of advertising. "They can also use another phone number to their business if they have more than one phone line, the problem with this is many times they will forget to keep track of the calls, with google voice or a pre-paid number, you will have exact figures."

    Usually, once they realize how few calls are actually being generated by their current form of advertising, they will be more than happy to transfer a percentage of their advertising spending on your products and services.

    One client of mine didn't want to change his phone number in his ads for this challange, I said no problem just run a coupon ad then.

    He spent his usual $450 on his weekly newspaper ad and ran a coupon with it; 10 days later he had a whopping 2 coupons redeemed and I had a new client.
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