Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Only 15 More And Then They Are Gone

Someone Purchased One!
List, Content Phone The Whole Deal.
A Plan That Can Net You 100% ROI! 

If you are a small to mid-sized company and happy with the results you are getting out of your current marketing campaign, great! But if you're like 9 of 10 businesses, doing what I call fluff and puff marketing or branding and not highly targeted direct response marketing, keep reading. For every $1.00 you are spending on marketing if you are not getting back back 100% to 2000% (did I really say 2000%?) back from your marketing you really need to be using us.
If I were to sit down with you over a nice hot cup of coffee and ask you where your customers come from or what is the cost of each new customer, and how did you get them, could you tell me? Was it an email, a direct mail piece or social media or that hard working sales person walking door to door passing out business cards?

The whole idea came about at Jim Hugh's One More Customer Networking event over in Carpentersville IL. He has one up in Island Lake IL but this knock on the side of my head happened at the one in Carpentersville. I have been a la cartingmy services like every other marketing company and feeling I could be serving my customers much better if I could just roll all the key elements all into one program so a person or company could afford what actually works from list procurementto direct mail to content writing to email blasts to teleprospecting to bloggingI did that and you get everything for just $2019 a month. 

So, while the podcast rolled on I spread out my napkin, a technique I learned at Ricardo's (all you Chicago Advertising People should remember Ricardo's the place on Rush Street that it's outdoor tables overlooked a seedy part of the Near North Side) and wrote out this entire plan on one little white napkin. Really I worked out a million dollar marketing plan on a napkin. I have found that if a plan is larger than a napkin it is too complicated to put into action and nothing ends up happening. 

The 11 Rules For 2019

1. You will only market to the best kind of customers for your business!
2. Each marketing piece will have a call to action!
3. There will always be a reason to buy NOW!
4. There will be clear, simple instructions.
5. Everything. Every dollar will be tracked, analyzed, measured and be held accountable.
6. If branding happens it will not be at the expense of the Direct Response message.
7. There will be follow-up, follow-up and more follow-up.
8. There will be a strong call to action in all copy.
9. It might look a little like mail order advertising.
10. Results Rule (say that 100 times!)
11. Good design takes a back seat to copy that sells!


So what are you waiting for? Really?

Vincent and I are sitting drinking a cup of coffee waiting to manage your plan like a conductor in front of an orchestra

Bruce and Rob are looking over compiled lists, ready to do a list sort for your ideal customer.

Vicky is sipping tea (yes I have a tea drinker in the company can you believe that?) ready to turn copy into pointed message of action.

Elizabeth, Janice, Connie and Brenda, those darlings of the phone lines, all have open time to be teleprospecting for you.


There is just 1 problem
We are only taking on 16 of these projects, well now only 15 because someone bought one and when they are taken they are gone! And we will not compete against ourselves so in any given market area we will not, I repeat weWILL NOT take on competing companies. So call right now before your competition does. Just phone 847-991-1294 or email to howard@larsonassociates.ws NOW and just say 2019. 

Larson & Associates

Making Good Companies Great and Great Companies Even Better

Monday, June 3, 2019

You Really Want To Pay Me $2019

This Is About the 2019 Marketing Plan That Can Net You 100% ROI! 

If you are a small to mid-sized company and happy with the results you are getting out of your current marketing campaign, great! But if you're like 9 of 10 businesses, doing what I call fluff and puff marketing or branding and not highly targeted direct response marketing, keep reading. For every $1.00 you are spending on marketing if you are not getting back back 100% to 2000% (did I really say 2000%?) back from your marketing you really need to be using us.
If I were to sit down with you over a nice hot cup of coffee and ask you where your customers come from or what is the cost of each new customer, and how did you get them, could you tell me? Was it an email, a direct mail piece or social media or that hard working sales person walking door to door passing out business cards?

The whole idea came about at Jim Hugh's One More Customer Networking event over in Carpentersville IL. He has one up in Island Lake IL but this knock on the side of my head happened at the one in Carpentersville. I have been a la cartingmy services like every other marketing company and feeling I could be serving my customers much better if I could just roll all the key elements all into one program so a person or company could afford what actually works from list procurementto direct mail to content writing to email blasts to teleprospecting to bloggingI did that and you get everything for just $2019 a month. 

So, while the podcast rolled on I spread out my napkin, a technique I learned at Ricardo's (all you Chicago Advertising People should remember Ricardo's the place on Rush Street that it's outdoor tables overlooked a seedy part of the Near North Side) and wrote out this entire plan on one little white napkin. Really I worked out a million dollar marketing plan on a napkin. I have found that if a plan is larger than a napkin it is too complicated to put into action and nothing ends up happening. 

The 11 Rules For 2019

1. You will only market to the best kind of customers for your business!
2. Each marketing piece will have a call to action!
3. There will always be a reason to buy NOW!
4. There will be clear, simple instructions.
5. Everything. Every dollar will be tracked, analyzed, measured and be held accountable.
6. If branding happens it will not be at the expense of the Direct Response message.
7. There will be follow-up, follow-up and more follow-up.
8. There will be a strong call to action in all copy.
9. It might look a little like mail order advertising.
10. Results Rule (say that 100 times!)
11. Good design takes a back seat to copy that sells!

 

So what are you waiting for? Really?

Vincent and I are sitting drinking a cup of coffee waiting to manage your plan like a conductor in front of an orchestra

Bruce and Rob are looking over compiled lists, ready to do a list sort for your ideal customer.

Vicky is sipping tea (yes I have a tea drinker in the company can you believe that?) ready to turn copy into pointed message of action.

Elizabeth, Janice, Connie and Brenda, those darlings of the phone lines, all have open time to be teleprospecting for you.


There is just 1 problem
We are only taking on 16 of these projects when they are taken they are gone!And we will not compete against ourselves so in any given market area we will not, I repeat we WILL NOT take on competing companies. So call right now before your competition does. Just phone 847-991-1294 or email to howard@larsonassociates.ws NOW and just say 2019. 
 
Larson & Associates

Making Good Companies Great and Great Companies Even Better

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The 2019 Marketing Plan


Tired of Marketing That Does Not Work?
You're not alone.

With so many different options available, it’s hard to decide when, where and how to advertise to get the best return-on-investment. Yes money not clicks and likes.

I am talking about marketing as a real tool to grow your business to get a response. Not a look. Not a like. Not a click. But a sale!
 
NOW
For only $2019 a month 
You can get new customers! 
This is a plan that works. It is not new but uses new elements in marketing you might not be aware of. It is process of taking key elements in marketing and weave them in and out. The big guys use them so why not you?
 
  • Email Marketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Content / Blog Management
  • Teleprospecting


    Marketing has many doors. But which door do you open and when? What order do you open the doors and how many times do you need to go thou the door on the right of the door on the left to attract customers?
     

We Know!
Larson & Associates can help you to design and develop a unique campaign,  and run it for only $2019 a month. We have been doing this for over 44 years. Larson & Associate’s knowledgeable project management take your company through each step of the way.
Larson & Associates
Direct Marketing services including
teleprospecting, direct mail, promotional marketing, email blast and fulfillment services.
Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
679 N Eagle Lane    Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Way For Double Digit Business Growth

Double Digit Growth Built Thru
Multi-channel target marketing!

Social Prospecting + Outbound Prospecting = A Powerful Combination

There are 1440 minutes per day…and there are approximately: 1,209,600 new data producing social media users each day. 656 million tweets per day! More than 4 million hours of content uploaded to Youtube every day, with users watching 5.97 billion hours of Youtube videos each day.

There is the problem facing you. Content, content, content. So what can you do? Combat it with Consistency, consistence, consistency. Familiarity breeds opens and opens are the start to reading. Reading brings you to the start understanding. And reading is the start to understanding. Andunderstanding makes knowledgeable customers. So yes it might be getting harder to stand out from the crowd  (which is why the social channels are making so much money selling sponsored posts). If you are starting from scratch with no followers or a very small audience on the social platforms like Linkedln, Twitter, Brandergy or a Facebook business page it can take from six months to two years to create enough traction to pull prospects in to you. (fyi Larson & Associates has a follower growing plan to help fast track this for you)

That does not mean you should not be doing a targeted, narrowly focused social selling strategy to fit in with your targeted, narrowly focused marketing plan. The more nitch directed you are the more positive your results will be. It does not mean it will require money but it might require more effort to get a to get the kind of marketing traction you need to get a positive return on your investment.

So what’s a poor marketing guy going to do?  Combine inbound and outbound prospecting strategies and get double focus with your planning

Outbound prospecting and inbound social prospecting are natural partners. Social selling impacts familiarity, is an excellent tool for prospect research and awareness, and will create inbound leads even in the business to business setting. It is, however, a long-term, passive strategy that requires patience and is unlikely to produce immediate results or to ever scale to a size that generates enough inbound leads to allow you to reach your sales and income goals.

Outbound prospecting, on the other hand, is an active approach designed to fill the pipe line by engaging prospects in person, by phone, by e-mail, by direct mail, through social inboxes, or by text. It is the art of interrupting your prospect's day, opening a conversation in 15 seconds, setting an appointment, or gathering information.

When combined with social prospecting, outbound becomes enormously more powerful. The combined benefits include:
•             Building familiarity, which increases the probability of engagement
•             More targeted prospecting lists focused on the highest-qualified prospects and individual buyers
•             Leveraging triggers to open buying needs at just the right time
•             Nurturing and educating prospects ahead of expected or projected buying time
•             Research to gain contact information
•             Influence the buying process as a coach
•             Qualifying and self-qualifying
•             Refining and making your outbound -prospecting message relevant
                Once again, it comes back to balance—balancing your prospecting channels, methodologies, and techniques to be efficient and effective with your scarcest resource: time.
Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better
 
Larson & Associates
679 N Eagle Lane    Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Be The Guy And Sell For Profit

How do you sell, price or service?

When going after new clients selling on service alone can can be a hard nut to crack. What do you or can you say that everyone else is not saying? If you don't have a really good hook, you'll be the one yanked off the stage.
So is there a way to Compete on Service, Not Price?  


I say yes!
 
Selling by service alone is hard work. What do you or what can you lead in with that everyone else is not saying? Can you pass the "So What?" test?

Before you ever give your pitch or fancy Power Point presentation ask yourself So What? If it was me I and I were to tell you: I've been in business for 44 years. You would say So what? I have helped thousands of people succeed. So what? We have great team of people working here. So what? Get the point? 
 
Now ask yourself what you want to be doing. Maybe you are happy selling for pennies on the dollar just to stay busy. If your a printer do you sell at cost just to keep the presses rolling? The problem is when you get busy they still want your low pricing and if you don't the next very hungry salesperson or company will undercut you. That is unless you are THE GUY! When you are THE GUY they will not move your competition on price alone because you are part of their team. They will stay for your knowledge. They will stay for your service. They will stay to keep you part of their team. Are you competing by selling at a lower price or are you getting deserved high profit margins? 

That's a tough assignment. My answer is to ask you: What if you mixed in diagnosing and then solving customer problems as an advisor as a way to earn more sales and to differentiate yourself? And what if you grew long-term high profit sales by translating customers' needs to fulfillment from you as an advisor first and a sales person second?

 Imagine educating customers to make the right decision. Can't you see yourself as the resource guy. Transforming yourself into the person they turn when they need advice.  Sure you can. The hard thing is to BE that person all the time. You have to actually put the customer 1st , all the time, every time. Do you think that might just create even more demand for your products and services? Can you imagine helping customers improve their outcomes because of you? Coming up with solutions to the problems that keep them up at night. Think of the gratitude. Think of what they will do when you say, “Yes that I can do for you!” You think they will believe you? Do you think they will need "3 quotes"? Do you think they will ask you to sharpen the pencil? No because you have become THE GUY or do you say THE GAL?
 
They might just start to discover new reasons to do more business with you? Are you now better than your competitors? I think you know the answer.
 
For instance, let's say you sell marketing services. Think about having classes to teach customers how to improve their marketing focus and in doing so makes them better and more profitable. Who do you think is the person they are going to reach out to when the hard lifting in marketing starts? You guessed it. In this case me.
 
You design the curriculum to teach your methods to passionate buyers everything from how to redesign their content strategy using email blasting to direct mail, to helping companies to build a multi-targeted multi-channel plan built for growth, created to get over a 38% better ROI. Consider your own business and how powerful it would be to define what your customers should know, at what pace, and why. Imagine being that close to the person who makes the decisions, and if they are already hungry to get better at what they need to do in your area of expertise? OMG! Think of the power but remember with power comes responsibility. Responsibility to do what is right for the customer even when they would or might follow you blindly.
 
Do you sell insurance? Is your opening line to a prospect that you to a FREE analysis of there current policy. Really? Can you get much more lame that that? You and a thousand other agents in the city want to do that. Say that and you will never be THE GUY.

Let’s pretend you sell automated CRM software. You are up there doing your thing teaching customers all about the ins and outs of how to organize and run an effective sales program with CRM software. Your curriculum includes teaching customers how to write good sales letters then work the calendar for scheduled call backs. Even if you're selling products like painted canvas for needle pointing or replacement batteries for sump pumps, think about how you can bring out the educational aspects of your product, and think about how you can do this as a long term (marketing) project. Clients need continued advice and education and how they could benefit from continuous informational interactions with you. Remember education is good but don’t waste their time.

 So sit down with a cup of coffee (or do you do tea) and think in terms of your business. What are the little-known facts, tricks and tips of information that you may take for granted but customers might find empowering and use? Write them down and ask yourself, "What are the three major obstacles preventing our customers from selling more to their customers? This question works for my company, you have to think of a specific question for your industry.  How can you be helping them address the challenges that from your expertise day in and day out are able to educate, help and when necessary put into action.



Making Good Businesses Great
and Great Businesses Even Better

Should we be helping you?

We know and understand business to business marketing plans weaving together. emails, direct mail, trade show, content development and blogging and how to put it all together and cement it up tight with a follow-up phone call.

If you need targeted lead generation marketing help I would be happy to talk about our approach. What we do and how we do it is not for everyone. 

If you want to be great or you only want to be better than great we are
 YOUR GUY
Larson & Associates
678 N. Eagle Land     Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
www.larsonassociates.ws

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Get Stronger Sales In 2019 Starting Today

Do You Have A Plan Of Action For 2019?

If you are like almost all businesses, marketing is an afterthought. Leads come in. Sales happen and life is good. That is, until they don’t.

For over 43 years, Larson & Associates has helped businesses just like yours grow into the companies they want, selling millions of products and services.

Get a strong start for 2019 with great a marketing plan and execution.


Our team will:

  • Generate New Customers
  • Increase Repeat Business
  • Improve Your Customer's Experience
  • Converted More Sales

You are unique, so should your plan be.

We can craft a marketing plan for your unique business and not give you a cookie cutter off the shelf plan that was used for Joes Salvage Yard or Dorothy’s Dinner.  Please reply to this email, and give me 22 minutes of your time. Thant right 22 minutes to interview you so I can go back to my cave with my cohorts in crime and figure out what you need to be doing to take you to the next level for you and your business.

Larson & Associates
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

Thank you,
Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
678 N Eagle Lane
Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Beating The 7 Unforgivable Business Mistakes

So you have a nice little (or is it big) business humming along

Yet, no company (or individual salesperson) should ever be on cruise control. To that end I sat down and came up with 7 deadly business curses.

The 7 Unforgivable Business Pitfalls

Every day you learn something new when you’re a business, if you don’t you’re sleeping or not in the game. Sometimes you learn the hard way, sometimes the lessons are easy.  So to give you a little short view point here are seven tips to help you avoid falling into some of the more common business traps.

1. Manage the stress



Being in business can be very rewarding but you are on the hook for everything, especially if it’s you are a sole proprietor. While working on your business dreams, you work long hours and have the stress that your business isn’t making any money. Or that if you are not a roaring success you doing something wrong and your friends and family will look at you as a failure

We get it, it’s stressful. But handling the pressure becomes second nature when you know how, and there’s plenty you can do to help ease the burden:
 
  • Take time out when you need to - retain a balanced lifestyle will help you focus better when you need it.
  • Be sure to make time for family and friends – they all want to help you succeed.
  • Don’t let initial setbacks get you down – keep a long term view and don’t put unrealistic pressure on yourself.

There's also no need to do everything yourself. Remember to Delegate. Using outside advisers and services make you stronger and building business networks for helping you manage your business effectively.

2. Lock in revenue streams


Many small businesses suffer peaks and valleys in their revenue streams. One month you’re flat out on a project but broke, the next month the projects over and you have money but no work.

A small business owner has a lot to consider in regard to money and cash flow

The business might be expanding or taken on staff or moved to bigger premises quicker than planned. As a result you now have a bigger payroll and greater overhead. In severe cases this extra load can cause the business to fail if you out pace your cash flow.

Here are some solutions to help you keep afloat:
  • Keep your focus on continued cash flow, even if you have to delegate other responsibilities.
  • Continue marketing at all times – especially when you’re busy.
  • Be wary of expanding too quickly – have sustainable long-term revenue streams locked in first.
  • Think about contracting out instead of taking on permanent staff and overheads.
  • Create good systems to ensure your business runs efficiently.

3. Do market research


Many businesses fail simply because they haven't done their homework – and that means market research.

It may be fine to go with your gut instinct, but sooner or later you if you are really going to grow proper research is the only way.
 

4. Target your market


Once you know that you even have a market for your business, the next step is to target your marketing to that audience. Yes my personal favorite, find your NITCHE.

Customers can’t buy from you if they don’t know about your product or service. You can waste a lot of time, money and effort marketing to people who are not likely to buy from you no matter how good you and your product or service is.

A good TARGETED marketing plan will help you avoid that and get the best return for your marketing dollar.

Case study: marketing choices

A start-up cartridge recycling company decided to spend $10,000 a year marketing through various media including (in order of spend): newspaper, leaflet drops, shop signage, vehicle signage and online.

The business then decided to take a 'How did you find us?' survey, which revealed:
 
  • 36% were existing customers
  • 22% were referral
  • 21% came in as a result of online ads (mainly Ad Words) (I caution you on using Ad Words but sometimes they do work)
  • 10% saw the shop front
  • 7% came from the leaflet drop
  • 4% responded to newspaper ads. In fact, almost the opposite to their priority of marketing spend.
They have now changed from newspaper advertising (sorry Daily Herald) to a customer loyalty and referral campaign, and a bigger focus on online ads and social media and moving to organic search and way from Ad Words.
 

5. Retain your customers


You work hard to attract customers, so doesn’t it makes sense to keep hold of them. Some businesses fail because they spend all their time attracting new customers, while ignoring those they already have.

To retain your valuable customers and to also gain referral business put a customer retention plan in place. Think about the lifetime value of your customers and how to get them to spend more.

6. Make your website work for you


Online marketing is an important tool for almost every business - and a key part of that is your business website. It doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg or even your 1st born but, you just need to be smart about the way you use it.

From selling your products and services to enabling your business to be found by new customers, being online is a must. Here’s why:
  • Your website is ‘open’ 24/7 - so potential customers can browse, research, and if you have the facility, buy online from you whenever they want, not just during your ‘physical’ open hours.
  • Reach people worldwide - a website also means you can attract international customers, giving you worldwide opportunities.
  • Better customer experience – people like buying products or services online, the option of an online booking system, and even if you don’t sell your product or service online, customers like researching before they buy.
  • Reduce costs – this is especially true if you’re doing all your business online. For example, if you’re selling a skin-care range, you’re saving on shelving, displays, rent and rates.
  • Develop a customer database – you can use your website to build up a database of leads. Providing you have the right privacy statements and opt-in functionality, you can use the contact details you collect to send e-mails and to profile and analyze your customers – another valuable marketing tool.
  • How to build a website for your new business is a useful article to check out.

7. Build a successful culture


Think about how you motivate employees and stakeholders to get them to help you achieve your business goal.

Remember that your people - including you - are your biggest asset. Keep your people happy and they’ll ensure you stay competitive – and attract more great people to your business too. It’s a win-win.

Ensure your business has a vision that everyone can believe in, and offer their input. Give them responsibility, recognize and reward them when they do well.

You might also consider providing key staff with either a profit sharing, or some attempt to reward consistent effort. Even setting short-term goals and rewarding people with a half-day off can work wonders.
 

Maintaining or starting a business should be one of the most exciting and satisfying journeys you’ll go on.

If we here at Larson & Associates are able to help you with a Targeted Marketing and Teleprospecting plan using email, direct mail, content development all the a powerful phone follow up system give me a call at 847-991-1294 or email athoward@larsonassociates.ws

Larson & Associates
Making good business great and great business even better