by Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
Of all the horrific revelations of the BP Gulf Disaster, to me, one stands out more than any other. When all the top oil executives were testifying at hearings in congress, a starling fact was revealed:
All the oil companies' disaster plans for spills were identical.
No, they weren't similar, they were complete clones of each other. Every detail, every paragraph, every reference (even to one consultant who had died several years ago) were exactly the same - to the letter.
It's as if they'd gone on the Internet, looked up "oil spill disaster plans," found one, copied it, put it in a binder, and stuck it on a shelf. Satisfied that they actually now had an official disaster plan, they then proceeded to drill more oil wells, never thinking of the plan again.
The result: The worst environmental disaster in history.
If they had planned, really planned, it would have taken an enormous amount of time and money, but that amount would pale in comparison to what the oil spill will cost BP, not to mention the cost to you and me.
But guess what? Right now you and I can't do much about that.
So please don't send me emails telling me how much you agree (or disagree) with me about BP. My purpose is not to condemn BP. They will be condemned for generations to come.
This eZine is about our own flagrant disregard for planning.
Let me ask you a few pointed questions:Do you have a definite, written plan to attract clients this year?
Do you have a proven methodology to attract clients?
Do you know what your cash flow will be in the coming year?
And if you don't have plans in these areas, do you have, at least, plans to make plans?
I've worked with clients to help them attract clients for over 25 years. What was missing for virtually all of them was a plan of any kind. Or if they did have a plan, they were not implementing it.
So if you are wondering why you don't have as much business as you can handle, there's really just one place you need to look:
Your Marketing Plan!
If you break it down to the fundamentals, your plan must have the following three components.1. A Package - In other words, a definite, tangible offering to your clients. And no, coaching, consulting, training, accounting, etc. don't count. You can't buy those. You can buy a "Six Month Product Development Acceleration Program."
And once you know exactly what you are selling and to whom you are selling, you need to package those services: A great web site full of valuable content, a services page outlining your offering in great detail, and supporting materials such as articles, recordings, presentations, videos, etc.
2. A Marketing Strategy - These are the specific step-by-step actions you will take to attract clients. And the most important element is that they be organized and systematic, not random. And to implement a plan like that, you need to know what you are doing. You can't just "invent" it.
No less that the systematic implementation of well-designed strategies will produce the results you want. If you don't have that, it's all accidental and dependent on outside circumstances you have absolutely no control over.
3. A Selling Process - A good service package and effective marketing strategies will generate interest from highly qualified prospects ready to explore doing business with you. But you still need to turn those prospects into paying clients.
Only the Selling Process can do that. And virtually nobody has a selling process. Again, it's random and accidental, based on hope and good intentions. Do you know how to reliably convert a qualified prospect into a paying client? If not, you're sunk!
So how hard can all of this be?
Well, depending on how you look at it, it's either simple or impossible. The best analogy is a combination lock. The combination might be 5 - 29 - 13. If you know the combination, then not problem. But if you don't know the combination, (and the average combination lock has about 117,600 possible solutions) it can take you a V - E - R - Y long time to figure it out!
And remember, there are virtually infinite combinations in marketing. And most of the combinations are dead wrong!
So not only do you need a plan with those three components, you need information, training and coaching (from someone who has cracked the code) to effectively develop those plans in the first place.
Many people have part of the plan. But if you want to produce results at a whole different level, you need the complete plan and the skills to implement it.
Don't be like B.P.
Take the time to learn the components of the plan and then commit to mastering them. More Information Here.
The More Clients Bottom Line: A Marketing Plan isn't a luxury to get around to one day; it's the master key to attracting clients. To develop a plan will take some focused time and effort but it is the best investment you can possibly make in your business.
What stops you from creating and implementing a marketing plan? Please share your answer on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.