Category Archives for "Marketing"

January 2, 2012

Testimonials: The Key to Boosting Sales!

Hey, we all know that business owners think their product or services are the best thing going, but it's what the customers think about it that really matters to you and me.  Yep, they're the ones who see things from our point of view… what they have to say about the business has an impact on us.

Testimonials play an important part in advertising – especially for small businesses.  Yeah, big businesses with well-known names don't have to worry about it, but small companies can use testimonials as marketing tools to build credibility.

Think about it…how else can we gain credibility than by creating a group of satisfied customers and shouting what they have to say?  Let's look at some ways we can make testimonials an effective part of our marketing campaigns.

Collect Them
It would be nice if customers just wrote out wonderful testimonials on their own, walked into your business and slapped them on the counter.  Yep, that would be too easy…it just doesn't happen that way.  So what you need to do is pay attention to your everyday conversations with customers.  Set up a file of the positive comments you hear – both in person and on the phone.

Why not fish for compliments?  Send your customers and email or postcard that asks them what they think about your product or service.  You'll be pleased at the positive comments that are out there just waiting to be netted!

Mix it Up
Different things appeal to different people.  Yep, it's different strokes for different folks.  If you want to catch the attention of a varied audience, use a variety of testimonials.  You'll be showcasing a spectrum of benefits that your business generates while putting different “flavors” out to attract a wide range of customer tastes.

Get Specific.
I liked this product a lot…is a nice thank you, but tells absolutely nothing to the readers you're trying to capture.  Yep, you want to be a little picky about the testimonials you use.  Choose testimonials that are specific…I used your product for 2 weeks and now I'm acne free…or I used your weight loss product for 30 days and I'm 14 pounds lighter and feel sexy again…Yeah you want to pick testimonials that will motivate the readers to pick up the phone or get in the car!

Identify Customers Giving the Testimonial
How do you feel when you see your name blazened across a newspaper advertisement or across a web page?  Yeah, most of us puff up a little bit…you know, the ego thing.  Your customers will be happy to let you use their name and comments as part of your advertising campaign and will be only too happy to show it off to friends and family.

Don't forget that when you are gathering permission that the city, state, and occupation of the customer adds interest.

Hey, businesses like to find themselves in print just as much as an individual…a bit of free advertisement, right?  If you sell to a business don't be afraid to include their testimonial in your advertisements along with the type of industry and location or anything else that might be of interest to your readers.

Testimonials Should Stand Out
Once you've gone through all of the effort to gather up interesting testimonials, you might as well make them shine.  Yeah, highlight, use bold text or italics, quotation marks …whatever it takes to make them outstanding.

Web pages are great for highlighting testimonials.  It's easy put them in attention getting colored boxes, or accent with clip art.  You might want to even spread them out in groups to add interest to your page.

Think about this…testimonials are like pure gold for marketers.  Yeah, the time you spend digging them up definitely pays off.  Marketing research has shown that testimonials can increase sales by as much as 250%!  Yep…testimonials really are worth their weight in gold!


The Cutts Group, is a marketing company located in the Lehigh Valley, PA. We have been serving local, regional, and national companies for more than 12 years, we have a vast knowledge of *What's Working & What's Not*. There is a tremendous opportunity for businesses today… Since only 26% of businesses have invested any time or effort in online marketing, the market is wide open for those businesses that take the time to discover what the Cutts Group can do for them. These days, since 97% of consumer's research local companies online before making a buying decision, it is critical that businesses have an outstanding online presence and reputation, and are prepared when their prospects reach the zero moment of truth.

Contact Information:
Cutts Group, llc
www.CuttsGroup.com

(800) 250-9510 | phone
(610) 441-7390 | fax

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December 16, 2011

Four Marketing Myths That Steal Sales

How many times has bad advice gotten you into trouble?  Yeah, everybody's saying and doing it, so you jump on the band wagon… and guess what… you get the same results as they get.  Maybe it's a comfort to know that you're not the only one who played the part of the fool, but when it comes to marketing…you may not have enough leeway to count the loss and go on.

Yeah, there sure are a LOT of ideas out there about what will and what won't skyrocket sales numbers and profit margins!  And to be truthful, a lot of those ideas are just a bunch of bunk.  Yep, you've got to be on your toes and know the truth about marketing tales.  Here are a few of the lines of misinformation that you've probably heard before…

You've Got To Have The Cheapest Prices In Town To Be Competitive

Let me ask you this…Do you always buy the cheapest product on the shelf, or always shop at the store that has the lowest prices?  No, I don't either.  What you and I know that these people don't is, that value counts for a lot.  Oh yeah, sure… there are a few people out there who only buy the cheapest things in town, but most of us understand that the cheapest isn't always the best buy for our buck.

How does this apply to you?   Here's something you can try…make it a little test to see just how true this myth is.  Find a low-cost way to enhance the perceived value of your product or service, then raise the cost a little.  See what happens!  Don't be surprised if your sales and profits shoot up!

Advertisements Need To Be Changed To Keep The Public From Becoming Bored 

This one reminds me of one of my cousins.  He's famous for breaking things that are fixed.  Yeah, he'll go out and buy a perfectly good running car, but every time you see him, he's under the hood tinkering with something.  Before long…you guessed it…the car won't run and has to go to the garage for repairs.

It makes no sense to run a business like Cousin Jim and his cars.  Hey, if it's working why try to fix it?  Think about it…what's the goal for advertising?  Yeah, to attract new customers.  Once the new customer comes through the door, the advertisement has effectively done its job.  Does that customer need to be affected by the same ad? No, so let the ad do its job for the rest of the people out there who haven't seen it yet.

Now, I'm not saying that you should never change your advertisement… just never abandon a winner midstream.  A good rule of thumb is to spend 80 percent of your advertising money on proven methods, and to risk 20 percent on experimental advertisements.  Keep the tried and proven working for you, while you test the waters for new ideas that might work even better.

The More Choices A Customer Has, The More Likely He Is To Buy 

Yeah, yeah…they say variety is the spice of life and all that, but too many choices can lead to procrastination.  We all know what happens when we procrastinate.  Yep, we never get back to it!

Do you know what happens when a customer can't decide?… you lose a sale that you already had in your pocket.  Yep he came in to get it, saw more options, stopped to make up his mind, then walked out still thinking about it…maybe to never return.

A tip for the wise marketer – limit your customer's decisions to either yes or no.  Let them decide either yes I'll buy or no, I won't buy.  Don't risk confusing them and losing the sale.

Everybody Needs My Product/Service So I Don't Need To Advertise 

Hey, building a business is a lot of hard work!  There aren't many free rides along the way.  Chances are, your potential customers need to be convinced that they NEED to choose your service/product.  Yep, finding the customer, convincing him to use your service/product, then closing the deal is a process that can't be easily bypassed.  Don't be fooled into thinking you're any different!  It could be hazardous to your profits.

A friend of mine owned the only dog grooming shop in her town.  Hey, no competition means you don't need to advertise…right?  After an initial anouncement of her grand opening, this lady did no advertising.  Business slowly trickled in and barely covered the overhead.  Finally in a desperate attempt to get business off the ground she began putting flyers in all of the local veterinarian clinics and ads in the local newspaper.  Bingo!  Business began pouring in… and most of the people said, “I didn't even know you were here!” or “Fifi's been needing groomed for quite some time.  When I saw your ad, I decided to go ahead and get it done.”

Let's face it, people are often….well, lazy.  They don't always go out of their way to find the phone number to contact you, even when in the back of their mind they know they need to do something.  Yeah, advertisements are often the little prod they need to get motivated.  Don't shortchange yourself by neglecting to advertise.

How about you?  Have you ever driven by a business for a long time without even noticing it?  Yep, we all get too busy to pay attention sometimes.

Hey, you've learned a few of the misguided marketing myths that many people are fooled by…now you can apply the REAL marketing concepts to your own advertising campaign and watch the results!

September 22, 2011

Cutting Edge Selling Today Means Understanding the ZMOT Revolution

Right at this moment, yet another revolution is taking place in the world of shopping, buying, selling and marketing. Since the explosion of the Internet into our lives not so many years ago, it seems a “new revolution” happens every few years.

But one of the latest and most exciting shifts in the way we do business is something no one can afford to ignore. It's a critical factor smart marketers need to understand now. It’s called ZMOT, (pronounce it Zee-Mot), and it stands for Zero Moment of Truth.

To understand what ZMOT is, let’s provide a bit of background and some info about beste anti-spyware software. The term has its origins from a similar term called FMOT, which stands for First Moment of Truth. The term was coined by the marketing gurus of Proctor & Gamble. Here is what FMOT describes:

A customer is shopping in a grocery store, say, and they are standing in front of the frozen food section looking at a wide selection of frozen pizza brands. There is a lot to choose from. The customer has a decision to make. This is the First Moment of Truth, or FMOT.

Marketers realized that FMOT is a critical moment in the buying decision. What will make the customer choose one pizza brand over another? The label? The brand name? The overall attractiveness of the product? Well, the pizza brand that wins this decision game in the mind of the consumer is the one that prevails in the First Moment of Truth. It was clear then, then if sellers could successfully manipulate the FMOT, they would beat their competition more often, and sell a lot more products.

Now enter an all-new level of the game: The ZMOT!

This all new, even more critical level of marketing was enabled by the advent of Internet search engines, and also by smart phones. That’s because consumers now have an incredible new way to make a decision about what they want to buy. No doubt, most people reading this article are already doing this.

Here's how it works: You see a product you might want to buy – but first you jump on Google and do a quick review to get more information about the product, and to see what other people are saying about it. You instantly find scads of information, including what dozens or hundreds of other people are saying about their experience with that product. If a lot of other people loved it, you’re probably going to buy it.

And now that people can bring their Internet-enabled smart phones right into the store with them, they can look up information about product at the very moment they are in front of them as they decide to make a purchase. That is the ZMOT, the Zero Point of Truth!

Just as sellers were eager to “win” the mind of the consumer in the First Moment of Truth, they now realize that they must prevail in the ZMOT, the Zero Moment of Truth. This means that what consumers find out about your product when they search for information about it online – with a computer or a smart phone – must be positive information.

So the question for sellers of any and all kinds of products today is – what is my ZMOT factor? What are people finding out about my product when they go online to gather the information they need to make a buying decision.

Understanding ZMOT Rob's guide, and knowing how your product can prevail in the incredible new ZMOT revolution, is now perhaps the most critical factor in selling and marketing today.

July 19, 2011

Ten Google+ Tricks

10 Things You Never Knew Were Possible On Google+
By now, it's obvious that Google+ is growing like crazy. It may even reach 10 million users soon. And those users are pretty dedicated… (read the full story)

Why You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore LinkedIn
Discover how to harness the secrets of LinkedIn to attract high quality clients, drive targeted traffic to your site or land the career opportunity of your dreams… (see the full story)

Make sure you take the time to go through both of these… We have is our business, and it's been worth it.

May 16, 2011

Overcoming Information Overload

We have been talking about the key components of success and now I'd like to share with you my final one. It is the ability to process information.

There's more information and a review stockpair and paths to process than ever before. There's more stuff to know. There's more stuff to read. There's more stuff to listen to. There's more stuff to sort through in order to succeed in business.

I really can't call it a skill because I really didn't develop it wholly as a skill – but some may say one of my talents is speed reading with good comprehension. It is becoming increasingly important over the years. It's very valuable to me because I can get through a ton of stuff and I see the amount of stuff increasing year after year, month after month and as you get involved perhaps in more and more things and the more successful you get the more information you'll have to process. I subscribe to trade journals and newsletters and magazines today that I didn't know existed three years ago that I've got to get through to stay current on the things that we do. So there's more information than ever before to process so you've got to be a great organizer.

Kind of tied in with that is the organization of people resources. Your ability to get the most out of people and that really is a coaching kind of thing and this is just an incidental piece of information but it kind of shows you how big business prizes this.

An example of getting the most of your resources is utilizing webinars for a conference or seminar. That kind of thing does exist and will eventually become a key factor in how we distribute information.

In fact, many companies have taken advantage of that today like for their annual sales meetings. So that instead of the expense of putting all the sales people into one place they let the sales people go to 200 different places and they have the meeting anyway and in many cases that works fine.

You can even use this type of resource for coaching sessions. Executives from many of the Fortune 500s and many companies of all different sizes and types often come together for conferences to listen to coaches' talk to them about coaching techniques and how to apply them in the business environment and that is of supreme importance to you if you will be highly successful today.

So far I've shared with you what successful people are getting better and better at such as keeping control in today's overwhelming technology and being a great organizer of resources of people, of time, of money, of energy. In your next Amazing Marketing Strategy article, I will be sharing with you the greatest success commonality and the greatest success characteristics that spans all eras.

Dedicated To Your Further Success.

May 2, 2011

The Biggest Success Secret of All Time

In this article I want to talk with you about what is perhaps the greatest success commonality and the greatest success characteristic that spans all eras. You will find it heavily riddled through Napoleon Hill's work going all the way back to the 1930's and before. You will find it in today's business leaders and I am convinced we will find it in the next century's business leaders.

In fact, several years ago at a political function that I attended, one of the things that I had an opportunity to do was to observe President Reagan up close speaking and I tell you this and ask you to sit aside whatever your political preferences are for a second, not that I make mine a secret, but it really doesn't matter what your political preferences are, but we would all probably agree that he did an amazing job under crisis.

Yes…the greatest success characteristic is the ability to handle crisis.

This characteristic if you think about it is common of all super successful people – super successful pro athletes, super successful coaches, super successful business people, super successful sales people.

Who succeeds best in sales? The person who does it the same way whether it's immediately after having made a sale or having lost a sale – the person who's performance doesn't deviate.

You see that quality we find it's an ability to recover from adversity so rapidly that the observer doesn't notice the recovery. You'll find that in all of the training in the Napoleon Hill books. You'll find that in just about anybody's book you want to open up, about any texts, any material, about being successful you're going to find a discussion of the necessity to overcome adversity.

Why?

Because everybody fails on their way to success. It happens. Try to find a highly successful person who hasn't actually had more failures than they've had successes. Try and find one. You won't. And so that's why everybody talks about this ability but what many of them don't point out is a related characteristic that is perhaps even more important that I will reveal in the next Amazing Marketing Strategy article. Read more here http://candosuccess.com .

Dedicated To Your Further Success.

May 2, 2011

The Real Reason I Hate Computers

I've been talking about what successful people do in the last several articles. Now, I want to share with you two very important key factors in their success.

First, let me start with my favorite… keeping control!

We are finding that highly successful people are doing a better and better job of blending new technology with keeping control. Now there's a lot of businesses and a lot of people who get trapped, being controlled by the technology and that's why many of us often sound anti-computer, for example. But the truth is the reason that I don't like a computer is because I can't get it to cringe.

You know the staff's out of the room now so I can say that. Most of the staff people, even though they are family, it only takes me about five or six minutes to totally intimidate them but that machine just sits there and blinks and I emotionally don't like that. But beyond that we are very, very careful and very, very picky about technology controlling us or are we controlling the technology?

You know one of things I find when people get computers is they begin to use them for more than they ever intended to use it for just because it has the capability to do it. The Xerox folks are constantly in our office saying, ?You know you're not using this system to its fullest capability.? I say, ?I know, I know. We're not ready yet to use that capability.? We start doing that now we are going to lose control of what's going on like you guys. That's why when we call you we can't get service because you have plugged so much into your system that nobody knows who we are.

But the successful people have faced the fact that they have to use technology. We talk about Federal Express you see that system couldn't exist without highly sophisticated technology. One of the reasons they are so successful is they can track their packages. Within minutes they can tell you where any package is in their system ? millions and millions and millions of packages a day and they can tell you where that thing is within minutes but that's technology and that's technology properly managed. And so we have to do a good job.

You know I say I'm semi-computer illiterate and I am. I used to be completely computer illiterate and probably some of you in the room are completely computer illiterate and are technology illiterate. Those times are gone. You're going to have to get with that in order to keep pace but control it not let it control you. And successful people and successful companies are able to do that.

The 2nd key factor in what successful people are getting better and better at is the organizer function ? being a great organizer of resources of people, of time, of money, of energy. Organization is so much more important today for a number of reasons:

First of all there's the costs of doing business today ? you may have noticed this has sky rocketed and they are continuing to go up. It costs twice as much to mail a letter as it did just a couple of years ago. Costs a lot more to make a personal sales call than it did five years ago. It costs a lot more to put out a brochure. It costs a lot more to hire staff people. The wage level in this country, in case you didn't know it there's a formula for calculating wage levels in real household income, which I won't bore you with but real household income has outpaced inflation. Those are people in sort of middle level jobs and us entrepreneurs have to run and build empires have to hire and have to have around us. They're doing better than ever economically and that means that the cost of doing business is higher than ever.

You know Domino's Pizza ? Tom Monahan told me he said, ?You know we could have 9,000 units instead of 3,000 units just as easily. The only thing stopping us is we can't get anybody to work to deliver the pizzas.? And they pay a premium in some market areas to people to deliver a pizza.

But look at what that has to do with cost of doing business in that business. And so it is more important than ever before to really be organized in your use of all your resources and your time and your money because you can't afford to waste anymore. You can't afford the slump. A little bit of waste will kill you. Margins are tighter than they have ever been so that's one reason that it is very important. The second reason it is very important is because if anything, what we do in our functions as motivators of people, you and I, whether you have yourself to motivate, one person around you, a small staff or a big staff that's tougher than ever before too. Why? Because it's so easy to apparently do well doing so little.

Take for example the psychology that existed with the first round of great industrial and business empires that were built in this country ? what was the psychology of the people who worked in those empires? The psychology of the people who worked in those empires was the American work ethic. I do the job LED Hut specialists in dimmable LED bulbs well no matter what ? that existed. The psychology existed that it was a sin, it was a sign of weakness, of poor character to lose a job. The psychology was to stay in one job; one career with one company for a lifetime wasn't it? See those psychological factors don't exist in today's marketplace.

For those reasons and others there are more demands than ever on your time. If you are or as you develop yourself into a leadership position in business you will find that the demands on your time are very pressing so use your time well. You know there are some people for whom a desk is a wastebasket with drawers and there's a problem with that. And many times we joke about that kind of thing and we think that's funny and we say that a clean desk or clean office is the sign of a sick mind.

We see those kind of posters and that's kind of comical and we kid about that but I'll tell you something I defy you to find a highly successful business leader who is not supremely well organized. There aren't too many of them around any more because the demands on their time have forced them to eliminate that waste too. We got to be a little sharper than we ever had to be before.

In the next Amazing Marketing Strategy article, I will share with you my final key component of success.

Dedicated To Your Further Success.

May 2, 2011

Why You Need to Study Money

In a previous article I gave you an example of what Bill Glazer, a very successful business person is doing with marketing and how he competes with BIG retailers. Now I would like to share with you something else I found out about what successful people are doing!

We found out that very successful people have become, by necessity, great students of money and finance. There used to be a time where you didn't have to be a great student of money management, unless you were way up there in the income brackets, because there weren't a lot of money options available to you in the first place.

Pretty much everybody used a savings account if they used anything and that is about it. Well today you walk into your local savings and loan and they've got a menu that is more complex than the airline fair schedules to get from point ‘A' to point ‘B.' You got all sorts of options of what to do with your money don't you? Just in selection of checking accounts you've got more options than you can possibly deal with.

Making money is such an important part of our total approach to success we have to become great students of finance. Not only do we have to become great students of money but of money management and investment strategies. And I believe that it's important to be more advanced as a student of that than you are even prepared to use at this moment.

I think that's another way to apply the principle of creating a vacuum. I began to study the stock market and penny stocks and mutual funds and all that several years before I was prepared to spend any money on it. I got the knowledge even before I needed it and I think that's important. I think you need to be creating the ability and the money to use it will follow.

A marvelous book I strongly recommend teaches you the philosophy, the philosophical importance of getting involved in all of this is called, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon.' If you haven't read it you certainly should. There is also a book called, ‘The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need.' It is a pompous braggadocio title that is not true but it is still an excellent book. It is written by a guy by the name of Andrew Tobias and he is an investment writer has written for Esquire Magazine, for Playboy magazine, and occasionally for Fortune Magazine. He's a very good investment writer and his book, ‘The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need,' literally does a good job of simplifying every type of investment alternative that is available to you.

You should also be reading Money Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. That does not necessarily mean you need to read them like someone who is a heavy investor. For example, I'll tell you how I read the Wall Street Journal. They stack up in my office for as long as three weeks at a time. I don't look at them everyday because I'm not that active in the type of investments that require daily monitoring. I don't get it for that purpose. I read it for exactly what we're talking about today – the stories and the articles about companies and CEO's and leaders and new young companies that are on the way up and what are the commonalities behind their success stories. What marketing method is this company using in this industry that we can use over here in our business? And so for that purpose it's well worth reading. You'll also begin to learn a lot about what to do with the millions when you get them. So you don't have to read it everyday like somebody who's active in the stock market but you should subscribe to it and you should read it.

We've been talking about what very successful people do with marketing and money investments so in the next article I will share with you a few other big things they do!

Dedicated To Your Further Success.

May 2, 2011

How to Compete Against the Big Guys and Win

In a previous article I started talking about how Bill Glazer's retail business has continued to thrive because of how he competes with the BIG retail chains through marketing. I would like to share with you one of the examples of the smart things he does with marketing … in fact, it's my favorite.

He very diligently makes certain that every customer that walks into one of his stores never leaves withOUT his sales associates asking them for their complete contact information (name, address, phone, email, etc.)

Now, depending on their spending, he communicates with them often. In fact, certain customers will receive from his store yearly:

18 mailings
4 personal calls from their sales associate
4 Voice Broadcasts
52 weekly emails

Now in marketing, this is what we call ‘marketplace dominance.' It doesn't matter how many expensive TV spots the big box retailers buy, they can NOT compete or make the impression that Bill's store makes with his customers.

As most of you know, now Bill teaches his marketing savvy to thousands of retailers worldwide. What separated him from all others? It's because he understands the overall importance of marketing.

You maybe asking yourself how can we apply a marketing idea that works in his retail business that has never been used in my business, how can we do those kind of things?

We find that that's what successful people are doing today. They are out there looking for and implementing great new marketing ideas.

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