New 12-Week Series Dedicated to Finally Overcoming Unpredictable Cash Flow and Stagnate Business Growth
Spend the Next 90 Days (With My Help) Establishing Those Business Systems That Are Specifically Designed to Bring in the Cash…Predictably, Repeatedly and Easily
As business owners, we’re familiar with accounting systems, payment systems and inventory systems. Not only are these functions important, they’re also among the fundamental underpinnings of a well run, efficiently managed business. And while most small businesses and consulting practices have these basic systems in place, unfortunately that’s often where the efficiency and management ends. Far more important areas of the business are run by gut instinct, with only random attention. Spur-of-the-moment marketing… emergency sales efforts… an outdated website… lackluster new business development… these are the results of critical drivers that all too often go unplanned and unmanaged. Yet marketing, sales, new business development and similar measures are the only business activities that actually bring in the cash. Wouldn’t it be a relief to have pre-programmed, scientifically developed and intentionally planned systems (just like the ones that handle your accounting and inventory) looking after the cash-flow activities of your business? Over the next 12 weeks, you CAN put these kinds of systems in place. And this newsletter is where you’ll find guidance on how to do it. In fact, I’m offering to become your cash-flow strategist and Income Advisor. Each week, I’ll detail one cash-flow system—and give you the steps for setting it up in your business. I’ll even give you a homework assignment to get started on the steps. You can delegate these steps to your staff… hire an outsource vendor to help you… do them yourself… or simply incorporate them into the existing functions of your business. It’s up to you. What can you expect once these systems are in place?
- You’ll easily attract prospective customers and clients who want to spend money on the products and services you sell
- You’ll convert these prospects into eager buyers—now and in the future, as you present new offers
- You’ll know whether your prospecting and lead-generating efforts are working
- You’ll discover new distribution channels, ideal strategic alliances, and a whole new world of dealers and retail outlets for your products and services
- You’ll be on your way to becoming a leading authority in your field—interviewed by the press and written about in important trade publications
- You’ll identify the ideal employees, vendors, and managers who are committed to making you money
- You’ll have a website that’s ready to sell products and services to qualified visitors
You can expect all this and so much more over the next 12 weeks from the Instant Income Revenue Report. Ready to get started with the most important system of all?
Your Prospecting and Lead Generating System: Bringing In the Customers Who Bring In the Cash
Imagine how much easier it would be to make income whenever you want—if you had thousands of potential buyers just waiting to hear about your next product or service offer. Think how easy it would be for your sales force to generate new customers—if you had a ready list of interested parties who had already been educated about the benefits of doing business with you. Imagine sending an email, mailing a letter, or making a phone call to thousands of likely buyers—then sitting back while dozens or hundreds of orders flood into your business. Maintaining a ready reserve of future buyers is what prospecting—or lead generating—is all about. When you set up a system that constantly drives new names into your business and educates those people about your product or service, your future effort of turning these prospects into buyers becomes so much easier. Additionally, immediate sales are a predictable by-product of all prospecting campaigns.
The Checklist for Setting Up a Prospecting System in Your Business
To begin with, you should know that there are actually two different prospecting systems—offline and online. This makes sense since generating leads on the Internet requires unique technology and different types of methods for broadcasting your message.
This week, let’s start with your Offline Prospecting System. While there’s some work involved with setting up an offline prospecting system, the steps are fairly simple.
1. Schedule major company events on your marketing calendar. Whether you are a solo consultant, manufacturer, retailer or other type of business, you have “events” that you can anticipate such as trade shows, the time when your new seasonal inventory will arrive, annual sales, holiday shopping days, speaking engagements, and so on. Since you know you must do marketing around these events, make it easy on yourself by starting a calendar where you can schedule each “event” and the related marketing campaign you’ll execute.
2. On separate paper, list the products or services your business sells. This is a fairly simple process, however, a few words of advice are in order. First, if the products or services you sell are large and expensive and you can identify them by name or model number, you should have separate marketing activity for each of these items. However, if you are a retailer with hundreds or thousands of smaller items, consider bundling several of them together to create a seasonal kit or other package you can market with a unique offer. If you own another type of business that doesn’t have fixed product and service offerings — such as a consulting practice, doctor’s office or day spa — why not create fixed product and service bundles such as a one-hour consultation plus written tutorials… or an initial assessment of a client’s needs… a bundle of five aromatherapy massages and detox sessions for summer rejuvenation… or other “packages” you create. 3. Create specific offers for each product or service. Once you have identified each product, service or bundle, begin creating offers for each. These offers will be the major theme behind each marketing campaign you’ll plot out on your annual calendar. Here are a few examples:
- Winter boat cleaning and storage — just $499 if you book by November 1st.
- Holiday gift baskets at 20% off when your company orders by September 30th.
- Retool your company’s website during the “down days” of summer.
- Every customer gets our “trade show special” even if you can’t attend Widget Expo.
- New Year, New You: January weight-loss program with Dr. Smith-Jones.
- 2012 Strategic Planning: We’ve set aside October to transform your bank.
4. Schedule the “drop date” of each offer in relation to the major company events on your calendar. When you know the dates of each major “event” in your business — even if they are sales or other events that you create in order to better market your products and services — you can easily determine a fixed date when you’ll mail the sales letter, run the newspaper ad, start making telephone calls, initiate the voicemail broadcast, and execute other offline marketing activities.
5. Plot out the complete campaign on your calendar. The drop date in #4 above is merely the culmination of all your preparation efforts. Every marketing campaign takes advance planning which you should also schedule on your calendar. For instance, trade shows require about 16 weeks of lead time from the day you reserve your exhibit booth… to the day you send an advance invitation to registered attendees… to the actual dates of the show… to the date you set to begin following up with visitors to your booth. Other campaigns also take time:
- Three weeks for a lettershop to print, process and mail a sales letter.
- One week to prepare scripts and train salespeople for telemarketing.
- About six weeks to write and print a new two-step literature package. (More here.)
- Ten to twelve weeks to reserve and produce a magazine advertisement.
6. Plan all follow-up marketing to the leads generated from each campaign. Whether you plan to make a telephone call to any leads generated or send them a follow-up literature package or product sample — or handle these non-buyer leads in any other way — you must plan in advance what your response will be. All marketing — whether online or offline — generates a certain number of prospects who do not purchase immediately. Plan in advance (as part of the planning of each marketing campaign) how you’ll follow-up with these potential customers to convert them into buyers.
THIS WEEK’S HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: You can get started with a simple week-by-week calendar that helps you plot out your company’s major events and the individual tasks required to run marketing campaigns related to those events. If you would like your own copy of the calendar I use at my own company (complete with space for delegating tasks and keeping track of key profitability indicators), click here to read about the Instant Income Business Enhancement System. It’s the in-depth, fully documented course I developed to help you establish cash-generation systems in your business. The included Cash-Flow Calendar helps you plan and execute, plus it’s contained in a handsome zippered portfolio you can keep right on your desk.
Until next time, Janet Switzer