Working Your Marketing - Or Is That Called Selling?
by Alfred Lautenslager

The workday starts. We do one of two things.

No.1, we check the orders that have been received, products/services sold, hits, sessions, inquiries, etc. In other works, we get the "pulse" of the business.

Secondly, if the "pulse" is lacking or not at aerobic speed, we then tend to the pulse. It is this thing we call marketing.

"Working the marketing" is what we do each day to develop the business that we will take the pulse of tomorrow.

Just what is entailed when "working the marketing?" For that is what an entrepreneur does when owning an on-line business. The non-electronic version of this can also be applied to the "working of the marketing" for and off-line business, as well.

Assuming you have a plan, a direction, goals and objectives, the following items will ensure the execution of such and a long living pulse for the business, another day.

E-mail In-Box

We are always shocked at the number of items in our e-mail in-box. This is true whether there are too few or too many items. Some of the items are junk, some are good information and the most important are prospect contacts or customer contacts.

a.) Delete the junk.
b.) Save good information in the appropriate folder.
c.) Respond to prospects with new information (either with a standard form letter or a personalized, custom response direct to their specific request or comment.
d.) Save prospect contact information in a follow up database, (more on this under e-mail marketing/ follow-up).

Forum Participation

a.) Go to your favorite on-line forum or discussion board related to your business. See what topics are of interest. Post a response where appropriate. Save the email, if available, of the person you are responding to. Do this daily.
b.) Post a question every 4-6 fays. One reason is for your personal development and continuous learning effort. Secondly, is for exposure of you, your business and your areas of expertise.
c.) Contact those individuals (when their e-mail is available) directly for specific requests for your product or service. For example if a prospect asks about the benefits of a press release and you are involved with an on-line PR business, you would e-mail them, one of your sales letters or a personal, unique specific e-mail response.
d.) Save this contact in a separate database for follow up. This becomes a very rich, permission based database for ongoing contact and selling.

Thank A Customer or Give A Customer Attention

Our best prospects are current customers. Most customers leave because they don't get proper attention. Take this moment to thank them, email them an article of interest or generally make contact with them.

E-Mail Marketing - In A Very Proactive Sense

After orders have been collected, prospects have been answered and customers have been thanked, its time for the proactive part of your communication process to begin. Up to now, all communication has been more reactive in nature. Actually at this point in the process it's more like "e-mail selling". By now you have at least two types of databases being created and perhaps many more; those that have contacted you for more information/free reports/quotes on services, etc. and those you have communicated with through forums. Other types might be purchased databases, other collected newsgroup databases, past customer databases, etc.

For each database, send an email sales letter. A letter campaign should be a series of 6-8 letters and offer information that the customer/prospect can use. Your sales message is indirect until the end of the letter where special offers can be made and contact information is listed. The series consists of this many letters because it has been proven that the highest probability of a prospect acting occurs after 6-8 points of contact. Many sales efforts stop after 3-4 tries, leaving a vast, untapped potential available to those that are consistent and persistent.

Always mention, "Hope the information supplied previously was helpful" or "What other information do you need to decide on one of our offered solutions?"; something that ties in previous communication and continues or progresses a relationship.

To the other databases, the same selling effort continues with even the same sales letters.

Keeping track of what databases get and when is paramount. This will ensure consistency and efficiency and prevent duplication.

Responses to the proactive marketing will require the communication and "working of the marketing", described earlier as reactive. The whole process then repeats.

Marketing vs. Selling - Working on the business

Where do all of the contacts come from? What drives the traffic? That is the last part of the process of "working your marketing".

At this point, advertising is planned, search engine placements are managed and other marketing is put in place. Things like press releases, feature article submission, and re-crafting of sales letters are all part of "working on the business".

Depositing checks from your Internet business takes more than building the site and watching the hit counter spin. When selling a product or a service, you have to "work your marketing". You have to sell to the customers. You start relationships. Helping others grow their business with the help of your products and services will eventually provide you with the return that will fulfill your business dreams.

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