A lot of people may have heard the rather frivolous claim that you should strive to work "on" your business, rather than "in" it. Being a far more 'straight to the point' marketer, I've never really taken to that philosophy. Instead, I just want the business to make more money. A subtle difference maybe, but a major difference indeed.
With this in mind - I wanted to share with you 10 of the most important questions any marketing consultant should ask a business owner if they want to identify the gaping holes that are losing money for that business every day!
When I consult, my list of questions can range from 50 to 250 because the financial implications of knowing and understanding the "full-picture" can be both highly revealing and self evident.
I hate seeing promising businesses under-achieving and not delivering the income, security, profit and most importantly the wealth it's owners deserve. Especially, since the remedy is often so easily do-able. Frequently, I see that merely shifting your marketing stance, the strategy you implement and/or the money-making system you have adopted can actually double or even treble profits.
I've created this post to share with you some of the more important questions I ask, but business is dynamic and what works for one business might not work for another - with that said, I invite you to post your favourite and most explicitly revealing questions.
1) How many referral generating systems have you formalized and put into action in your business?
2) Do you keep contact details and brief descriptions of every prospect and buyer your business has had?
3) Do you have any strategic alliances actively in place right now? Strategic Alliance = another business who's clients are the same 'type' as yours, so you are working together to bring their clients to you and your clients to them.
4) Have you calculated your allowable cost of acquiring a new prospect and/or clients and if "yes," do you invest up to that amount in your marketing efforts to acquire new buyers?
5) Do you have a backend sales funnel; meaning, you keep reselling clients far beyond their first purchase?
6) Do you use risk reversal to close sales and differentiate your business from your competitors?
7) Do you really think your marketing makes irresistible offers to your prospects?
8) Do YOU personally talk to your buyers, prospects, and clients regularly to learn what they want and then build a relationship with them?
9) Do you know the top five reasons why prospects don't buy from you? If yes...Do you have a compelling and persuasive way to overcome each of those five objections or resistance points?
10) Do you test every facet of your business and instead of guessing - do you allow the market to decide what they want and don't want?
For those of you who haven't noticed, although I'm confident most of you will have - these ten questions represent ten areas where business growth can be exponential.
In my experience I have never consulted a business where there was no room for improvement in one of these areas. Use these questions as grounding material for probing deeper into the problems and growth opportunities available.
I hope you get as much out of these questions as all of my clients...and I invite you to share your best questions.
Best of success, Michael