Expanding and growing your business is as much a matter of mindset as taking consistent action steps toward your goals. In this podcast, Nicole Tobiassen, one of the top-ranked coaches in the world, will teach you how managing your thoughts, creating a positive culture, and dreaming BIG will help you create a business that outlasts you and supports the life of your dreams. As the co-founder of ActionCOACH NM, Nicole has helped hundreds of business people achieve and exceed their goals.
Potential customers are used to ignoring your marketing and advertising. Even if they’re interested in your message, they’re inundated by advertising across all of their devices and are more likely to miss your messages as a result. Even if you are able to cut through the clutter, unless you’re a well-known brand, you may not have built enough trust with your customers for them to buy your products or services.
One of the best ways to build trust with your potential customers is to demonstrate the success you’ve had with your current customers. Testimonials provide the perfect opportunity to showcase your skill in solving unique customer challenges that set you apart from the competition. They allow people to relate to others in similar circumstances, creating a powerful draw toward your brand.
However, not all testimonials are created equal. A good testimonial should include the following elements:
1. It makes a distinction between you and your competition
Your potential customers need to know why they should choose your business over others who have similar offerings. Try and contrast your business with a comparable product or service that didn’t work so well for your customer.
- It backs up your advertising message
Your testimonials should communicate specific benefits of being a customer of your business. If there are certain claims you make in your advertising, testimonials are a great way to prove your business really can deliver results.
- It is relatable for your potential customers
You should choose testimonial subjects who reflect your customer base. Taking the time to describe your customer and a specific challenge you helped them overcome can go a long way to making them more relatable to your potential customers.
Successful testimonials give your potential customers the opportunity to understand how they will benefit from doing business with you, assuage any fears they may have, and help them distinguish you from the competition.
Who are testimonials for?
Testimonials are good for any business, but you should especially use them if your results are difficult to quantify. If your business sells complex solutions, you will want to consider creating a case study to explain why your product or service is a good investment.
Getting and keeping the attention of your potential clients long enough for them to understand what you have to offer is critical in any business, but what if you have to stay Top-of-Mind for 6 to 15 months?
Las Ventanas Homes of Albuquerque is an award winning custom home-builder and client of boomtime. They have won numerous awards for design and sustainable home-building and are considered one of the best in the industry. That’s because the owners of Las Ventanas, including owner/operator Scott Ashcraft leave no detail of their business unattended.
With three generations of experience, Las Ventanas understands long sales cycles and the importance of staying in front of their clients from first contact to closing the deal. After all, there are an average of 52 touch-points between a home-builder and a potential buyer before the potential buyer decides to make a purchase. Being a responsible seller requires that they nurture a potential client – for upwards of a year – to give them the resources it takes to make an informed and worthwhile decision.
How does Las Ventanas stay Top-of-Mind during such a long term buying cycle?
Staying Top-of-Mind long-term is not easy. A potential home-buyer requires a lot of information. Most will use every resource at their disposal to learn about the home-builder and building process. After all, buying a home is the largest investment most of us will make in our lives.
For Las Ventanas, Top-of-Mind awareness starts with a beautiful, mobile responsive website. We built a website that captures the feeling of the modern spacious homes they produce. It serves as a 24/7 member of the sales team constantly collecting referrals, and providing important information. Prospective buyers volunteer their contact information in exchange for a valuable home buying guide. This tells Las Ventanas who is interested in buying a home and starts a conversation.
Then, we help Las Ventanas stay in touch with potential buyers through email, educating them about their process and business practices along the way. This is how we help our clients build lasting relationships with their customers. Through a long-term, transparent view of the business, customers learn exactly what benefits Las Ventanas has to offer and what sets them apart.
Regular communication not only educates their potential buyers, but it also puts them at ease, setting the right expectations before the buying process begins.
Want to get more out of your business?
Pick the low hanging fruit – customers who already know you. Stay top-of-mind with regular, valuable communication and easily generate repeat business and create referrals.
It’s what the winners do: when you’re a customer of a major brand, they constantly stay in touch, building their presence, making sure you don’t forget them.
Email is the best way to do exactly that, generating 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined, according to a study by ExactTarget. Everyone has at least one large brand they interact with via email. It is the most desired form of communication by consumers for receiving communications from brands and it is the most effective.
How do you deliver information in a way that keeps you top-of-mind?
First, you will want to put together a content schedule and decide how often to contact your list. A good rule of thumb is to send an email every two weeks. If your sales cycle is more frequent and your customers buy more often, you might want to send an email every week. You will want to pay attention to trends in how your audience reacts. Remember: When in doubt, test. Every now and again try sending an email in the morning instead of the afternoon, on a weekend instead of the weekday, test out different email subject lines. Take note of the results and change your strategy based on the data.
Next, fill your schedule with the information that best meets your customers needs by educating them about what you have to offer and how it differs from your competition. Your current customers are the most likely to be interested in promotions and specials and are your best bet for buying new and improved versions of your products. Just remember to keep your communications benefits based. You know your customers needs and concerns. If you maintain a focus on helping them address those needs and concerns you will be more likely to catch their attention.
Then, share your email across your social media platforms to increase your reach. Social media shares aren’t likely to result in direct sales, but in this age of educated consumers, you can count on your customers scanning your social media to research your brand.
Plan on 3-5 hours to develop each email campaign, including compelling visuals and the right mix of different types of content
Alex Newman was a former construction business owner and private pilot who settled in the Albuquerque area in 1991. He took on a new career, selling water softeners full-time for a big name company. He learned everything about the industry, including the new emerging technologies in his field.
It was during this time that he came across the idea of magnetic water treatment, a new and emerging technology he found interesting. He decided to compare magnetic water treatment with the technology he had been working with. His research quickly revealed the benefits or magnetic forces on water, the plumbing exposed to that water, the people using it, and the environment.
Ironically, Alex and his wife Maggie were still fighting their own battle with hard-water: white film accumulating on their tile that wouldn’t go away with any amount of scrubbing and mineral deposits clogging their pipes. He feared his water heater would fail at any moment. It had been making a frightening noise for some time due to mineral deposits and on several occasions he thought he and his wife would wake up to a flood in their home.
He knew he had to find a solution. A few months later he found GMX, a company who sold magnetic water conditioning systems, at a home and garden show. Despite the fact that, at the time, they were competitors in the water conditioning market, his research into magnetic water treatment was too compelling to ignore. He bought a system for his home. Not only did it solve his problem, but Alex and Maggie noticed other benefits, too: better feeling hair and skin, all from better water.
Alex was so impressed that he partnered with GMX and founded MagTec!
So, how DO you sell magnets to treat hard-water problems?
The product Alex sells through MagTec is not a simple sale. Explaining exactly how magnets can combat limescale and mineral deposits is not easy, especially when your potential customers are already more familiar with your competitors’ well-known, traditional products.
Word of Mouth is the most powerful marketing for MagTec: once you see it working, it’s natural to tell your friends about MagTec. That set the stage for a great Word of Mouth Marketing campaign from boomtime.
We began with an interview with Alex to uncover the motivations of his customers and capture his story. We found out the questions that prospective customers ask over and over again. We turned his website into a 24/7 salesperson that constantly captures referrals, answering their questions by demonstrating Alex’s expertise.
Alex’s Word of Mouth marketing program then builds a relationship with his prospective customers, sharing how he found this solution and how it can work for them. Using third party authority, Alex builds credibility in MagTec. This reduces the risk for prospective customers who then take the company up on their offer of a free in-home walkthrough and trial.
It is much easier to sell educated prospects that understand your business because it’s much easier for them to choose to do business with you when they understand why and how you do what you do. boomtime Marketing Automation can dramatically increase the quantity and quality of your prospective customers.
Now you know how to construct an “Introduction” letter. What’s next? As discussed in the last post, your potential customers know your business on a human level through your “Introduction” letter, now it’s time for them to get to know your business on a professional level. You need to follow-up your “Introduction” with a “Transparency Statement”
The Transparency Statement is usually sent one day after The Introduction in your automation. In the Transparency Statement email you want to lay out the facts of your business, your processes, and your prices (if the latter makes sense for your business). The email should lay out the reality of your business and give your potential client the tools they need to evaluate you. Just like your Introduction is used to build trust, your Transparency Statement is your opportunity to be up-front with your potential clients and build credibility.
An example boomtime Transparency statement might read as follows:
It starts with an in-depth Business Analysis, a proprietary consulting process that uncovers the drivers in your business. We use your time judiciously while your new boomtime marketing team puts in all the hard work to plan out your new Word of Mouth marketing program.
Then, every month your boomtime marketing team analyzes the data, updates your marketing plan and focuses on amplifying your results. Imagine having a whole marketing team, always at your beck and call!
We knew it wouldn’t do any good to build another marketing program that was priced out of reach to small business. With four years of development by one of the best digital marketing teams in the industry, we’ve built the automation that allows us to deliver amazing services at an affordable cost.
Finally, the Transparency statement should have a “Let’s Talk” call to action. Though the Transparency Statement isn’t in itself a sales proposal, your “Let’s Talk”
call to action will open the door for anyone who is ready to contact you. Also, by proposing a conversation you’re creating another level of intimacy with your potential clients by presuming the
right to ask.
Are you ready to take your Word of Mouth Marketing to new heights? Let’s Talk. I’ve got an offer your guaranteed to love, but only if you email me right now.
Your “Let’s Talk” call to action is just that, an invitation to open a conversation about your business. The letter is structured in a way that allows your potential customers to internalize your offering and capabilities and make a series of emotional and mental micro-commitments in the process. Your opportunity to close will come later in the Call to Action letter which I will explain in the next post.