Successful promotion is a reliable process for telling people about the solution you have to their problem. The small business marketer must learn how to use time and imagination in place of money. The key is to feel confident enough about your marketing story to tell it with enthusiasm. People react positively to others who show enthusiasm about their products and services.
How to Start
To be in position to produce effective promotion for your product or service you must first:
1. Create a written plan describing the level of quality you will provide with your product or service;
2. Answer three key questions.
- How does what I do benefit those I want to serve?
- What do I have to offer that is special?
- How will I spread the word about these benefits to those who need them? –
3. Double-check the following decisions:
- Do I have attractive pricing?
- Am I at the appropriate location?
- Am I prepared to provide excellent service after the sale?
Regardless of which promotional techniques you use, keep in mind a little abbreviation to help you remember the goals of effective promotion — AIDA, which means:
- Attract Attention
- Stimulate Interest
- Create Desire
- Request Action
Whether you are creating a promotional flyer, a catalog or a seminar remember that to be successful you must move your customer through the above steps in order to get them to buy.
Ten-Step Promotional Plan
- Create and rehearse your sales message – a 25 word commercial for your product or service.
- Develop a written presentation of the benefits of dealing with you – use as a "leave behind", for example, a flyer, brochure, computer disc, etc.
- Use your marketing research to locate groups of prospects.
- Produce a memorable business card – essential for networking.
- Get yourself known – As a speaker, a seminar-giver, volunteer, sponsor, etc.
- Attend networking groups.
- Learn to ask what others do and look for needs you can satisfy. But be careful, don’t oversell!
- Follow up quickly when you do meet someone.
- Ask for referrals. Don’t forget to say thank you.
- Use publicity to broaden your story.