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Professional Marketing: In-Office Lectures

You know about them, you love them – but you don’t DO them.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to generate new business (on a regular basis) is to host
lectures in your office.

I’m sure you have presentations on a shelf somewhere…
or maybe on your desk RIGHT NOW that you can use to generate
new patients/clients/customers.

You know I’m right!

So, take ACTION today.

1. Set a date 3-5 weeks from now to host your lecture. (Wednesday nights work really well)

2. Decide the topic.

3. Put a flyer and e-mail invitation together that advertises the 3 – 5 most compelling “things” they will learn from you.
(i.e. How they will benefit from your information – “What’s in it for them”)

4. Include RSVP instructions and a deadline (about 1 week before the lecture)

5. Have your assistant call each patient/client/customer you e-mail an invitation to…to make sure they received the invitation and if they have any interest in attending…AND, what guest they will be bringing with them – ASSUME this on the call.
(This 1 step will help generate plenty of attendees and NEW business!)

6. Follow up and confirm all registrants 2 days before the lecture.

7. Teach the lecture and sign them up!

Any questions?
Did I leave out a step?

Let me know.

DO THIS – it works!

Dr. Len Schwartz
Pres/CEO of Pro2Pro Network

Are you a Financial Advisor who needs help with your Financial Advisor Marketing? Check out Pro2Pro Network!

Financial Advisor Marketing: Dinner With Clients Generate Huge Referrals

I’ve got a great financial advisor marketing idea for you! I say it’s a great idea because you can find out so much information by simply talking to your clients. I want to talk about dinner with your best clients.

What if you were to take 7- 10 of your best – I mean your absolute best clients – out to dinner?

During the course of the dinner, you might talk about your practice/business, your services, your products or whatever it is that you do or sell. After dinner, right as dessert is being served, you take the opportunity to stand up, and maybe in front of a white dry erase board or an easel with paper on it, you ask some very leading and provocative questions.

You’ll ask questions such as, “Are our hours of operation convenient for all of you? Then, you go around the table and everyone has a chance to say yes or no and why. Is my staff friendly, courteous and attentive to your needs? Then you get feedback from your dinner guests about that. What would you like to see different? What would you like to add to our business/practice in terms of services or products? And so on. Basically, you’ll ask your clients about what you always wanted to know but could never ask. That may be different for everyone, but I bet there are similarities in the types of questions you would ask.

So what I would ask you to do is to sit down with your staff and think about the types of things you’d really like to know. Then, throw a dinner party quarterly, or twice a year, and ask some very special, VIP clients for their honest opinions concerning the questions you really want answers to.

I can’t begin to tell you how much information you’ll receive from these people, and how it will help you and your practice, office or business to flourish.

Dr. Len Schwartz
Pres/CEO of Pro2Pro Network

Maximize Results from Radio Ads

This marketing strategy focuses on radio advertising. Admittedly, this is one of the more expensive marketing initiatives, but if used correctly, you can generate more leads then you can handle.

Let’s start with some of the basics. You need your ad (dialogue) and offer to focus on one “solution” – a product, service, or special offer. You simply cannot be everything to everyone and you do NOT want to offer every product and service to the listeners. So, it’s one product OR service, and one call to action. You also want your dialogue to satisfy your prospects needs and wants. As part of a lead-generation-only-offer, you could offer a book, special report, downloadable e-book, a special CD, etc., that helps them solve a problem to bring people into your funnel.

Once you decide on your offer (product, service, etc.,) you need to focus on your target demographic. Which radio station(s) in your town serves the target demographic/market that you want to tap into? Is it baby boomers? Is it senior citizens? Is it college-aged kids? Pick the best radio station(s).

The #1 mistake that business owners with a limited marketing budget make… is spreading their commercial over too many radio stations. Less “plays” over more radio stations means that your message gets diluted. That is NOT the best use of your money OR the commercial. It is better to invest your marketing dollars on one radio station where your ad plays more frequently then to spread it over more stations. In this case, less is more!

A concentrated effort like this is the most cost effective way to advertise on the radio.

Dr. Len Schwartz
Pres/CEO of Pro2Pro Network

Dentist Marketing: Social Networking That Produces Results

Let’s talk social networking. Not the big sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, but instead about Linkedin and Plaxo.

If you haven’t heard of these social networking websites, you’re in for a treat.
If you have heard of these websites, and haven’t taken the initiative to go and fill out your profile, you’re leaving a lot of money, new business, fame and name/brand building on the table.

The greatest part about the Linkedin and Plaxo network is that 80% of your network will be local to you and your practice/business.

So, go create a profile on Linkedin.com and Plaxo.com, start “friending” as many of your friends, colleagues, patients, clients or customers, co-workers, neighbors, etc. as possible, and then start tapping into some of their networks/friends, in order to create a huge presence in your community.

(You can start with me http://www.linkedin.com/in/drlenschwartz)

Ten people can turn into thousands of people very, very quickly, and of course, that effort helps you build your name, brand and fame with people who live and/or work right there in your city/community.

There’s a lot of new business waiting for you on those sites. All you need is a little time to create your profile and then you can begin friending and/or networking with as many “friends” links, networks, sites, etc. as possible. This is a dentist marketing initiative that will yield years of dividends (i.e. new business).

Dr. Len Schwartz
Pres/CEO of Pro2Pro Network

Create more Publicity Opportunities

This professional marketing & doctor marketing strategy is a press and publicity opportunity that is generated from other press and publicity opportunities.

If you ever get interviewed on a radio or television show and/or for your local newspapers and magazines, I have one question you should ask at the end of that interview that can help you turn that one interview into many interviews (more press and publicity opportunities).

The question is very simple: “Who else do you know that might be interested in this topic or this story?” Then, just wait and see whom they can connect you with. The interviewer will most likely give you names, phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of reporters/journalists, which then gives you the ability to connect with those people and name the person that referred youthat gives you instant credibility.

In other words, name names! When you call the other journalist, say the following, “I already did an interview or story with “Mary Jones” at NBC and she thought you might be interested in this story as well.” You’ll enjoy instant respect and credibility because you named one of their colleagues/friends. You are 95% more likely to get that story on the air because you mentioned their friend’s name, than if you had just called out-of-the-blue and pitched your story.

Also, if they know you already did the story, they’ll want to tap into that story and offer it to their audience as well. It’s a fantastic way to get plenty of interviews, press and publicity. Remember, press and publicity = more business, leads, sales, interest and credibility. This is simple and VERY effective. DO IT!

Dr. Len Schwartz
Pres/CEO of Pro2Pro Network

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Create a Marketing Plan

Today, I want to talk about the importance of creating a marketing plan.  At this point, I’ll talk about a general marketing plan.  Although I admit that specificity rules, I want to just give you the guidelines.

So, let’s talk about some important details…and things YOU have to decide.  Where are you? Where do you want to go? What does your product(s) and/or services look like? What does your competition look like? What do they sell that competes with you?  You should look at your competitors’ prices – for reference only – and not necessarily to change what you sell, what you offer, your prices, etc. I want you to make this a part of your marketing plan.

You want to write down all of the strategies and tactics you will incorporate, implement and/or facilitate in order to take you from where you are, to where you want to go. And, you’ll want to write down all of your goals (strategic objective) with your marketing as well. After all, not having a goal is a goal.

I’m going to provide you with different marketing strategies and tactics that you will be able to use to explode your business. But again, you’ve got to know where you are now, and where you want to go before you launch. You also have to embrace why you are better / different then everyone else.  What makes you, your practice/business different?

When you have this entire general marketing plan laid out, you can start to take note of what works and what doesn’t work, because marketing is all about testing… and we’ll talk about that later. But with a PLAN, you’ll have some sort of a guideline, and this guideline will serve you well as you grow. PLUS, you will be able to document whether  your marketing strategies, tactics, press and publicity initiatives produce results, and   you’ll be able to measure your growth accordingly.  Do this. It’s important!

Action Steps:

  1. Answer: Where are you? Where do you want to be?
  2. Compare yourself, your products and/or services to your competitors.
  3. Determine what makes you different/better than everyone else.
  4. Write down your goals.
  5. Write down strategies or tactics you would like to launch first.
  6. Study what works and what doesn’t.

Determining Your Marketing Budget

Today I want to talk about your marketing budget.  Now admittedly, this may not sound like a marketing strategy or tactic, BUT it plays an (obvious) important role in your marketing plan.

Things to consider:
You may be a start-up and have very little money for marketing.  You’re obviously going to want to take advantage of the no cost / free marketing efforts, press, and publicity activities available to you.  You may have a million dollar practice or business and have two hundred thousand dollars per year to spend on marketing.  All of this ties into where you want to go and what you would like to accomplish. Do you want to double, triple, or quadruple your business? Or perhaps you just want to grow by ten percent.

Knowing what your desired end result is (of your marketing efforts), is as important as determining the budget. This will help you determine how much you want to spend per month/per year on marketing.  Again, this will take a little bit of time to figure out. Most people don’t think/know the answers to these questions.

Get your calculator out, start typing or writing some numbers down on a piece of paper and figure out what you’re willing to invest. And, you must invest in yourself and your business in order to get from where you are to where you want to go.

Time is a big factor. If you are a start-up without a lot of money, you’re going to want to spend more TIME on your marketing then dollars. And, there are plenty of marketing strategies and tactics to help you do just that.  So, figure out what you’re willing to spend (in time or dollars) and get started.

Action Steps:

  1. Determine where you are in your business.
  2. Figure out what your desired end result looks and feels like.
  3. Decide what you’re willing to invest.
  4. Set aside time each week to do it.

Marketing is About Testing

This marketing strategy is VERY important…although it will likely not seem like a marketing strategy to you.

It’s a foundational understanding about what marketing is.
If you don’t test your marketing…you should plan on spending and losing A LOT of money.

You need to realize that every time you market yourself/your business, remember, you are simply testing a specific marketing initiative to see how well it produces. The results of your test will tell you several things:

  1. the number of responses
  2. the number of  sales (from responses)
  3. the quality of the leads/sales
  4. whether you should roll-it-out and “go big” with the same marketing strategy
  5. how well received the marketing piece/event/initiative was
  6. how much traffic it drove to your website
  7. how many requests for more information you received
  8. how many calls with questions (and the types of questions they are asking)

Marketing is not an emotional event (although many of you react to it as such) and you should not allow yourself to become emotionally attached to the outcome. It’s a test. However, there are certainly more predictably successful marketing initiatives that you can launch that will always produce good results…you just won’t know what kind of results until you launch.

Split testing is where you create similar or completely different ads (for example) and send them each to different databases, segments (or areas) of the population, or even split the ads up when sending to your patients/client/customer base, etc. The purpose is to see which ad produces a greater response (in numbers, quality leads/sales, etc) and which one you should use moving forward.

Once you have this data, you should use that marketing initiative/strategy over and over again until it stops working.  I once sent the same email to the same list for six consecutive months, on the same day at the same time every week, because it produced the same exact response.  When I received 20-25% fewer leads, I changed the e-mail and started over.  For some reason people think they have to change their ad every  day/week/month in a particular newspaper, in a direct email campaign, whatever.  My advice is, use it until it stops working,   That’s smart marketing.

Action Steps:

  1. Embrace every marketing effort as a test.
  2. Use the “split test” strategy.
  3. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
  4. Keep using a strategy until it stops working.

Plan of Attack for Marketing Strategies

This marketing “strategy” is more of a marketing plan or a way to attack all of the marketing strategies, concepts, tactics, and ideas.  Many of these marketing strategies will resonate with you at a very high level…and some – not at all.  That’s fine.  With that in mind, you should prioritize all of the strategies in an order that makes sense to you (launch date or preference, etc). This will require some time BUT your work will be rewarded. Trying to implement/launch as many marketing strategies as you can all at once is a plan to fail.  It’s impossible to do, and you shouldn’t try to do so. Why? You simply cannot focus your attention on all of the details of each specific marketing strategy all at once.

You want to know where you’re going to start and where you’re going to finish. And, you must think about the strategic objective of each marketing effort. That is to say that you have to know what you want to accomplish as a result of each marketing effort. For example, new business, referrals, greater traffic to your website, brand recognition, etc.

Know exactly what’s going to happen (test, split test, results, etc) along the way. You’ll want to plan this out for each marketing strategy.  Prioritize accordingly and you’ll maximize results with each of these different marketing strategies and ideas.

Action Steps:

  1. Eliminate marketing tactics that don’t appeal to you.
  2. Compile a list of marketing strategies that resonate with you.
  3. Number your list to coincide with the order of implementation.
  4. Don’t try to do it all at once.
Track Your Marketing

This strategy will help you generate more new patients/clients/customers than just about every other marketing strategy. This strategy is all about tracking. It’s detail-oriented, and if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably not going to like this recommendation.

But, this is something you have to push through and do. Why? Unless you track your marketing, and know the results that a specific marketing initiative produces, how will you ever know to roll out with OR suspend a specific marketing campaign?

Make it a point to track and of course test, every single marketing campaign, initiative, idea, strategy, etc., so that you know what to expect.

When you want to launch a marketing piece/campaign, consider marketing to “100”.

Or, if possible (and cost-effective), 500 or 1000. See what kind of results you get “out of” 100 or 1000. And if you do that same mailing again, and it produces the same or better results, you now have a tested, tracked, marketing initiative that will give you, or produce for you, predictable results.

Tracking is as much a part of marketing as any marketing strategy you could ever launch.

So, make sure you keep detailed notes, and track everything you do – you’ll maximize your time, energy and of course, money.

Action Steps:

  1. Track all marketing initiatives
  2. Keep detailed notes
  3. Learn from your marketing efforts
Building Your Brand

Most business owners spend very little time on building their brand. Yet, it’s one of the most important factors in maintaining top-of-mind-awareness with your patients/clients/customers who live and/or work in your community, your city or your town.

Most professionals/business owners do not think of themselves as a brand. This is a tremendous mistake. For example, if I were to ask you to think of a Cola company in the U.S., I am fairly certain that you would think of Coke or Pepsi rather quickly.  And, when you think of Coke, I’m sure that you immediately think of their red logo and one of their popular slogans – I always think of “Coke it’s the real thing”. You might think of Coca-Cola classic, new Coke, diet Coke, etc. But, if you think of Coke you’re going to think of that red logo and your going to think of one of the more recognizable taglines that go along with that logo – their brand. They have incredible top-of-mind-awareness.

When you think of Federal Express, you almost can’t help but think of their slogan – “when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight”…which also doubles as their USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

If every “big” company / corporation does everything possible to ensure that the public recognizes and/or remembers their brand, you should too. The biggest companies in the world have logos, sayings, or taglines that they want the public to know and embrace. You should too.

Ok. I hope I’ve convinced you to work on this. What to do first?
You’ve got to start thinking about yourself, your business, or your practice, like a brand.  Do you have an effective logo in place that truly reflects or represents your business or practice?  Do you have a tagline that effectively identifies your business and/or what you “do”?
How are you better than everyone else? What makes you or your business, product or service different/better? These are things that will help you create slogans, taglines, and/or a USP.

Let’s revisit Federal Express and their tagline/USP that says “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”  You know exactly what you get when you deal with FedEx.  You should make sure that your logo and tagline accurately represent your business or practice, so the viewing public understands exactly what they get when they think of (or use) you.

Now, step 2 – and the eventual goal of your branding initiatives – is for everybody in your community, your city, town, state, nation or the world to think of you when they need you.
You want to be the person/business they think of when they need whatever you do.
Start to think of yourself and your business like a brand. Get your logo, tagline, and USP together and do whatever you can to penetrate your market with ALL of it. Use your logo, slogan/tagline/USP on all of your envelopes, letterhead, signs, website, etc.

Action Steps:

  1. Think of your business as a brand
  2. Create a tagline, logo, and “unique selling proposition” that reflects your company
  3. Penetrate your market
  4. Apply logo, tagline, USP to all materials/products (letterhead, website, etc.)
Generating New Referrals
From Your Existing Client Base Without Asking

So many entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals fail to “tap into” their existing customer base in order to grow their business.  They suffer from the “what’s next” or “who’s next” syndrome and only focus on new business.

Now, I’m not saying it’s not important to go after new business in your community, but there is a ton of new business just waiting for you in the minds of your existing patients, clients, or customers.

My first question for you is:  how many different ways do you give your patients/clients/customers a chance to refer to you?  Do you provide them with multiple opportunities to refer throughout the month/year? After you answer that question, it’s important for you to evaluate all those different ways, and over the course of this 100 day series we’ll talk about lots of different ways to stimulate referrals from your existing customers.  But for now, once you’ve identified all of the different ways in which you can enable your customers to refer, dissect those different ways; break them down and figure out a turn-key, staff-driven, automated solution to get your clients/customers to refer more.  Generally speaking, if you don’t make it easy for your customers or patients to refer to you, then it’s likely they won’t. So, education is essential.  It needs to be about how and why you are better and/or different than everybody else. That’s your foundation!

It’s important to mention that you don’t actually say that you are better than everyone else – you demonstrate it through what you say. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken talks about their 11 secret herbs and spices. They do this so you will think that because their chicken has those 11 secret herbs and spices – and no other chicken does – that their chicken is better than everyone else’s.  If you don’t have this type of client education as part of your ongoing marketing initiatives – you are missing a huge opportunity for referrals/new business.

Make that rule or initiative number 1.  After you educate your customers about how and why you are better/different than everybody else, make it easy for them to refer to you, but don’t hound them, don’t pressure them and don’t harass them, there’s no need to.

So, for today, dissect all of the different ways in which you give your patients, clients, or customers a chance to refer to you.  Break it down, review it with your staff and come up with turn-key solutions, so that your existing customer base has an easier, more effective way in which to refer to you.  You have hundreds of referrals waiting for you right now.

Action Steps:

  1. Establish ways to get your current client base to refer to you.
  2. Educate clients/patients about how you’re better/different.
  3. Sit with your staff and create a plan for consistent implementation so you enjoy a steady flow of referrals.