A few days ago I got a call from an advisor, who didn’t get even one response to an invitation he had sent out for his educational workshop. He had sent the invitation to the 300 clients and 200 more prospects, friends and acquaintances on his mailing list, just like he did a year ago, and not one person responded. He was concerned that his educational workshop marketing wasn’t working and wanted to completely change what he was doing. He also thought he’d stop sending out his monthly newsletters, and instead try to set up a new website to attract prospects. Note: Even though he wasn’t getting the response he ultimately wanted from his educational workshops, this agent has seen the number and size of his sales increase significantly, over the past year.
As we discussed his situation, he explained that he had offered an educational workshop several times during the past year and had some success. But now they weren’t working at all. As we talked further I found out that he had completely changed his workshop invitation. He didn’t call any of his best clients and friends to personally invite them to his workshop. He wasn’t doing anything to get referrals. He wasn’t doing anything to become better known as the expert in his niche marketplace. Plus, he had stopped doing many of the things he had done, that worked when he first entered this business five years ago… like being a guest speaker for associations.
During these tough economic times, it’s harder than ever to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
When the economy is strong and business is good, it’s much easier to see the cause-and-effect relationship of marketing. You send out an invitation for your educational workshop and the phone rings. You send a newsletter and guess what, the phone rings! You’re interviewed on the radio and everyone you meet for a week says they heard you and thought you were great.
That’s the way cause-and-effect works during good times, but you can’t expect that during challenging times. Today, you could send the invitation that was a proven winner in the past and not get a single call. Does that mean the invitation is no longer effective? Don’t jump to the conclusion that the answer is yes and that you need to develop a new invitation or maybe even stop doing educational workshops altogether.
Times like these test our marketing faith. When you don’t get amazing results, it takes faith to hang in there and continue doing what you know is the best thing for growing your business and helping more people. Believe me, it tests all of us. I have days when I wonder. The good news, for me, is that because of the amount of marketing I’m involved in, I can see what’s happening in a variety of areas. For example, I can get a call from an advisor who just did a mailer that failed miserably and moments later get a call from a person who had their best response ever from their marketing.
That’s a luxury most of you don’t have, so when you think you’ve done everything right but still don’t get any response, it’s only natural to assume your marketing just doesn’t work.
When do you know if your marketing is working? Some of you won’t like the answer to this question. You will know if it worked after all the marketing activity is over. The length of time it may take to get feedback varies and these days it can be a long time.
For example, if you did a marketing effort today, many people might not react because of the torrential rains that hit the east coast, the increased threat of terrorism or just the troubled economy! These factors could all influence potential clients and cause them to hold back on immediately reacting to your message. It doesn’t mean that your message didn’t work! It may have worked very well, but factors out of your direct control are holding down the response.
It doesn’t mean the marketing effort failed. Your perfect clients may have seen your message and been moved by it and when the time is right for them, they will respond. The frustrating part of this is their timing, which may not be in sync with your timing. People buy when they are ready to buy, not when you are ready to sell.
The only real way to get more measurable data is to do direct-response marketing. That involves creating an offer or some other reason for people to bring themselves to your attention. Direct-response marketing usually involves a coupon, time-sensitive offer or offering a free report. By getting your perfect prospects to call you to take advantage of your offer, you can track your results.
My final thought on this subject is that most people pull the plug on effective marketing campaigns because they didn’t see the results quickly enough. When I first started my company in 2000, I was convinced that after one week of appearing in the top 10 in search engines I would have a line of people wanting my services. Well, that didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, I was in the top 10 of search engines almost 40 out of 52 weeks. It wasn’t until a year later that I started receiving a lot of orders. It would have been very easy to stop after one week, one month or even six months.
Good things come from consistent, ongoing, never-wavering marketing!
“Remember, you’ll solve your sales problems,
once you solve your prospecting problems.”
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