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Are You Using a Chess or Checkers Small Business Marketing Strategy?
Until the day I learned to play chess I loved playing checkers. Both games require a strategy that maximizes a player’s ability to capture her opponents pieces without first losing her own. Checkers was fun. But the complexities of chess lead to more satisfying victories and defeats.
Chess is a more complicated game than checkers as there are more variables. Therefore, much more thought and concentration is required to win a game of chess than is required to win a game of checkers.
Like chess, marketing your business is a complicated endeavor. A successful chess player anticipates future moves and will position his pieces in such a way that each piece helps add strength to other pieces already in place.
A successful marketing strategy is no different than a winning chess strategy. Every move you make must reinforce previous and future moves. Instead of rooks, bishops and queens the moves made in the game of marketing are made with advertisements, web sites, marketing messages, brochures and so on.
As a small business owner you don’t risk losing pieces to your opponent you risk losing business to your competitors.
Great chess players have a strategy that helps them win with consistency. Here’s a marketing strategy you can use to consistently win new business.
Focus Your Marketing
Target your market with a marketing message that speaks directly to the population you serve. A marketing message is a phrase or sentence that clearly demonstrates who you help and the problems you solve.
Develop and use your marketing message as often as you can. Doing so will help get your business get noticed by those most likely to buy from you. Use your marketing message in your marketing materials, your website and any and everywhere your business comes in contact with potential clients.
Effective use of a marketing message can be a small business owner’s best friend. A good one will work hard for you to generate new business and will never ask for anything in return.
Once you’ve used your marketing message to grab hold of your prospects’ attention, be it at your website, after reading one of your ads or an article you’ve written, be sure you clearly instruct them to take the action you want. It doesn’t matter what the action is as long as it requires them to provide you their contact information so you may continue marketing to them.
Offer something useful and free in exchange for their information. Give away free recipes if you’re a caterer or tips on designing bouquets if you’re a florist. Just be certain to give clear directions about what should be done next to move your sales process along.
Build a Relationship
After you’ve successfully culled from your prospects’ their contact information it is now time for you to develop a relationship with them. The nature of the relationship you develop should be one that makes it clear that you know your prospect is out there, that you understand your prospects’ problems and that you can help solve your prospects’ problems.
Common methods for developing relationships with prospects are distributing articles, publishing an ezine and conducting surveys. Be sure to include your marketing message with every article, ezine or survey.
Over time you will become the obvious solution to your clients’ problems when they decide to take action to solve what concerns them.
Move Your Marketing forward
Using each of the above methods will help you position your business much like a champion chess player positions his pieces. In the end victory and more sales will be yours.
Copyright 2005, Jeremy Cohen and Better Marketing Results
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