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  • 1. The Technology Marketing Toolkit Session 5: Building A Powerful, Persuasive Marketing Message “People don’t buy because they understand what you do; they buy because they feel understood.” – Joe Polish
  • 2. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 2 This material is copyrighted by Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. No part of this book and accompanying audio program may be reproduced, shared, or transmitted in ANY form, or by any means, electronically, verbally, or mechanically, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written permission from the publisher. Only individuals who have purchased a license directly from Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. to use these materials may use them. This license may not be transferred, sold or rented to another party. Published by: Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 130-472 Franklin, TN 37067 USA Disclaimer and Legal Notices: While all attempts have been made to verify the information provided in this book and accompanying audio program, neither the Author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Before implementing these strategies, you must be aware of the various laws governing business transactions, marketing, or other business practices in your particular geographic location as some of the suggestions made in this book and audio program may have inadvertently introduced practices deemed unlawful in certain states, municipalities, and countries. This book is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice. In all cases, you should consult the services of a professional, licensed attorney in all matters pertaining to the operation, delivery, and marketing of your business and services. STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 3. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 3 The Single Most Important Question You Need To Be Able To Answer To Succeed In Business: “Why should I trust YOU?” 1. If you don’t have a good answer to this question, you’ll forever be shopped on price; and the more plain vanilla your message is, the worse your response will be to ALL marketing communications. 2. Your message should:  Detail exactly WHO your ideal customer is.  Promise a result or benefit your prospect WANTS.  Be tailored to a specific person; a CEO has much different needs, problems and issues than an IT manager of the same company.  Be free from platitudes, generalities, and “geek speak.”  Contain a clear and concise value proposition; if a client hires you or buys your products and services, what EXACTLY can they expect to get in return?  Pass the “so what” test.  Be backed up with PROOF.  Pass the “cross out and write in” exercise. 3. For maximum response, you must have different messages for each target market you serve and for each product or service you sell. You will need:  An overall message of why someone should choose your company.  Specific value propositions for each product or service you sell. 4. The key areas you need to have a powerful message for are:  Your web site (this is CRITICAL)  Business card  30-second pitch (elevator speech)  In each marketing communication you send out STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 4. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 4 Researching and Defining Your USP and Value Proposition Make a list of your very best clients and call them using the script below. It’s critical that you record these calls so you don’t miss any of the comments made and so you can use the recording (with their permission) on your web site. Ultimately, you want to be able to complete this sentence: If you are a <<fill in the parameters. Example: “…business owner in the Nashville area with 10 or more computer users that is frustrated with the current level of service, responsiveness and competence of your current IT person…”>> Then we can help your organization by…  Result #1 (Financial Benefit)  Result #2 (Service, Response Time, Competence)  Result #3 (Emotional: Peace Of Mind) What makes us unique is…<<USP>>. Which ultimately means to you…<<benefit>>. Example… Are You Searching Online For A Computer Consultant Because Your Company’s Network Is Running Slow, Breaking Down And Constantly Causing Problems? If so, we can help… If you are a business owner in the Nashville area with 10 or more computer users that is frustrated with the level of service, responsiveness and competence of your current IT person, and you’re TIRED of dealing with ongoing computer problems, we can help your organization by…  Completely eliminate the ongoing computer problems you are experiencing; we OWN the problem instead of making excuses.  Lower your IT costs by 33% to 72% and increase employee productivity by 16% or more.  Give you complete peace of mind that your network is rock-solid secure from hackers, viruses and other data-erasing disasters. What makes us unique is that we are the only computer consulting firm that takes a PROACTIVE approach to solving computer problems. We guarantee to fix your problems fast and RIGHT the first time so you don’t have to continue to deal with the same computer problems over and over again – as a matter of fact we guarantee it. Plus, we guarantee 30 minute response time to any problem you may have, and often we’ll know about (and fix) problems BEFORE they crop up because we proactively monitor our clients’ networks 24/7/365. This ultimately means you can simply focus on running your business instead of troubleshooting computer problems. We’ll simply make everything work exactly the way it’s supposed to. No one does it better. STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 5. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 5 “Hello Mr. Customer, this is John from XYZ company. The reason I am calling today is because I need your help. Do you have a minute right now?” (Pause and wait for a response.) If no, then say, “Okay, when would be a good time for me to call back and spend about 4 to 5 minutes on the phone with you?” Tell them the purpose of If yes, then continue… your call. “We are working on defining the financial metrics and impact our products/services have had on our clients’ businesses as well as to find ways to improve how we help our customers. Because you are one of our <<newer clients/older clients/best clients>>, your input is extremely important to me. May I ask you a few questions about our services to try and determine the net value of what our services have been for you? May I record this conversation so I can review it more carefully later?” “First of all, think back to when we first started working together…as I understand it, you were having Uncover problems with <<fill in problems and/or situation…your server going down, e-mail problems, slow your performance, you were paying $X for Internet and phone service, you were paying $X for remote backup, customer’s etc., etc.>> Is that correct? Was there anything else? What else? What else?” buying criteria. Note: If you don’t know or don’t recall what problems they were having, then ask, “Think back to when we first started working together; what were some of the problems you were experiencing that prompted you to give us a call?” Then keep asking, “What else? What else? What else?” until they run out of answers.  How were you introduced to our company?  Who was supporting your network at that time?  What made you decide to start looking for someone else to support your network?  Before making your decision to hire us, what did you do to research your options?  What other computer support companies did you call?  Why did you decide to use us over them?  What were the most important factors that influenced your decision to go with us?  Did anyone influence your decision?  What were your expectations when you (bought/hired us)?  Were those expectations fulfilled? Why or why not? STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 6. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 6 Make sure Now that we’ve <<fixed all of those issues and made those problems disappear, switched you over to you DIG XYZ service, etc.>> what would you say has been the single biggest benefit to you and your business? for the (Wait for the answer.) specifics and do the How about in the area of… math for them.  Reduction of Costs? o Decreased costs, tangible (reduction of staff, cheaper solutions, reduction in ongoing support costs, etc.) o Decreased costs, intangible (reduction of manual labor, reduction of unplanned downtime, avoid the need for emergency repairs, etc.)  Increased Sales or Profits? o Increased sales or profits, tangible (example: a client of mine installed a video system in an eye doctor’s office that would play commercials for the various services and products the doctor offered, which produced a measurable increase in sales.) o Increased sales or profits, intangible (processing sales faster for customers, enabling on- the-road sales people to work faster, easier so they can be more productive, eliminating spam, automating manual tasks, etc.)  Productivity? o Do the math!!! X more hours available for work multiplied by salaries paid. Example: If they say their network was going down or having problems that prevented their staff from working at least 1 hour a week and they have 10 employees on an average salary of $19 per hour, that’s 1 hr x 10 = 10 hours a week x $19 = $190 per week or $760 per month and $39,520 per year SAVED.  Customer Service o Faster service/delivery time to customers o Increased loyalty  Competitive Advantage? o Service customers faster, easier (more profit) or more intelligently o Enable them to brag on their systems and/or security o Free up money for marketing and development  Are You Less Stressed, Worried, Aggravated? Time Saved? o Frustration with current vendor o Fear of losing data, being down, looking bad o Fear of not being compliant o Embarrassment (explaining to customers their data was compromised, that you can’t process their order because the system is down, etc.) o Peace of mind “So, if I understand you correctly, we were able to (feedback all answers to questions), is that right?” STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 7. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 7 Okay, just 3 more questions… Look for referrals  What other products/services would you like to see us offer? and other opportuni- ties with  If there was one thing we could do to improve our services, what would it be? this client.  Do you know of anyone who is in need of services now or in the near future? Confirm, Document Their Results And Offer A Gift The reason you want to provide a gift is to induce reciprocity and ensure that they follow through. This gift should be something with value. Don’t be cheap! Think of how much money their testimonial will be worth to you in increased sales! I recommend gift certificates, free products, or gift baskets. You also want to send it immediately. Make sure they get their gift within the week for maximum impact. “So, if I understand you correctly, we were able to (feedback a few of the KEY points on the results you were able to deliver to summarize the conversation), is that right? Feed It Back And Great. I really appreciate this favor because I know how busy you are. With your permission, I’d Offer Gift: like to send you a small gift of (insert gift) just as a token of our appreciation. I’d also like to document this as a case study. Would you mind if I write this up and e-mail it to you for approval? Can I rely on you to send me back any changes and/or an approval?” Wait for answer – get them to agree to a time when they will send this back to you. Do not let them get off the phone without making a commitment or chances are you won’t get your testimonial! Example Of A Good Testimonial: $0 to $67,500 in 6 Months “Robin, if you want either the Toolkit or the Managed Services Marketing Blueprint back, you will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands! I was able to go from $0 in recurring revenue to $67,500 in just 6 months through pure determination and Robin’s smart marketing. Robin, your dreams are helping to make my dreams come true and, for that, my family and I will be eternally thankful.” - David Hodgdon, President, Carroll Computer Services STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 8. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 8 Action Items: 1. Use the interview script with as many customers as possible. 2. Write up the testimonials based on the information gathered, and get your clients’ approval to use them in your marketing materials. Ideally, get your clients’ photos as well and feature them in your newsletter. 3. Revise the copy on the HOME PAGE of your web site with your value proposition. Add the testimonials AND a section that says, “Why Choose Us” (or similar) and post up the reasons why a potential customer should TRUST you. 4. Go through the exercises included in this workbook to determine HOW you are different from your competition. If necessary, secret shop them to see how they respond (IF they respond), what their value proposition is, what materials they send you, how they follow up (IF they follow up), etc. 5. Work on your 30-second pitch and test it out on a few people. Test saying it in a few different ways to see which one gets the best reaction. Once you have this nailed down, add it to your business card. STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 9. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 9 Competitive Analysis Identify your competition and the main benefit they emphasize so you can identify where your strengths stack up. A good place to research your competitors would be on the Internet, the Yellow Pages, or in the newspaper. Direct Competition: Companies who are in the same business as you and go after the same customers. Direct Competition: Main Benefit Emphasized (or their USP): Indirect Competition: This would include companies who target the same customers as you, but who only offer a portion of what you do or who offer an alternative to your service. Indirect Competition: Main Benefit Emphasized (or their USP): Do-It-Yourself Competition: This would include raw material suppliers and do-it-yourself kits. Do-It-Yourself Competition: Main Benefit Emphasized (or their USP): STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 10. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 10 USP Development In each of the categories below, list how you excel over your competition. If you cannot honestly demonstrate how you are better than your competition, ask yourself, what COULD I offer that would be more advantageous, attractive, or irresistible to new customers? Quality: Price: Service: Guarantee: Specialization: Payment Options: Product Innovation: Delivery & Shipping: Other: STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 11. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 11 Feature - Benefit Development List the features of your products, services, and your company that make you unique. Then list the specific benefit it provides to your customers: Feature: Benefit: Feature: Benefit: Feature: Benefit: Feature: Benefit: Feature: Benefit: Feature: Benefit: Feature: Benefit: STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 12. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 12 Using the information you outlined in the previous forms, use the sheet below to come up with as many reasons why a new customer should choose you over a competitor. BE SPECIFIC! Once you have this written out, put it on your web site and in every other marketing piece you send out. Use one of the following headline templates: “X Reasons Why You Should Trust Us To Support Your Computer Network” “X Reasons Why Over X% Of Doctors In The (City) Area Trust Us To Support Their Computer Network” “X Reasons Why (IT Managers) Trust Us To Upgrade, Fix, And Support Their Computer Network” Reason 1: Reason 2: Reason 3: Reason 4: Reason 5: Reason 6: Reason 7: STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 13. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 13 Developing Your 30-Second Pitch Your 30-Second Pitch Should Outline: 1. What your product or service is. 2. Who it’s designed for. 3. What problems you solve. 4. The key benefits you deliver. 5. How you are different. Your Statements Should Be:  Specific  Measurable  True  Able to pass the “so what” test Short Example: “We specialize in providing small IT business owners with marketing campaigns, tools and strategies that are extremely effective, inexpensive to implement, and guaranteed to work.” Long Example: “We make it easy for small IT business owners to increase their sales, profitability and client base by providing fill-in-the-blank marketing campaigns, tools and strategies that are extremely effective, inexpensive to implement, and guaranteed to work. What makes us unique is that we’ve developed all of our campaigns and strategies based on years of in-the- trenches testing with thousands of IT businesses from all over the world, and no other marketing consultant or firm in the IT industry has as many documented client success stories as we have. Plus, we stand behind all of our programs with a rock-solid, money-back guarantee: either you profit from our systems or you don’t pay a dime!” 1. What is your product or service? 2. Who is it designed for? STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 14. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 14 3. What problems do you solve? 4. The key benefits we deliver are… 5. What makes you “unique” or different? (price, quality & service) STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 15. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 15 Competitive Analysis Evaluation Points: How did they answer their phone? Did their web site contain a value proposition? When you search online, do they show up in the top listings? Do you? Use their online “Contact Us” form to request information; how quickly did they follow up? Was it relatively easy to get information? Did they send you marketing collateral by mail? Did the salesperson ask for your contact information to follow up? Did they try to schedule an appointment? Did they ask good questions or did they launch into a pitch for who they are and what they do? How do they charge for their services? Who are their customers? Do they have testimonials and case studies on their web site? Do they specialize? Do they offer a guarantee? Do they offer managed services? What do they offer that you don’t? How does your message and value proposition stack up against theirs? Did they have an offer on their web site to engage you (free audit, report, service call)? Other Tips: Elicit the help of a good client or friend who owns a business and use them to “invent” a scenario to secret shop them. Make multiple phone calls at different times to see if there is more than one sales person, and how they handle your requests. STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT
  • 16. Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc. 16 Example of how to define your value proposition online: STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE * BE DISCIPLINED * STAY FOCUSED * HAVE FUN * BE COMMITTED * NEVER, EVER QUIT