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Unlocking Sales Potential in Paralyzing Times

They freeze. That’s what happens to some owners and managers when the economy slows down and prospects become harder to find and convert to buyers. Market conditions and fear of what’s happening out there causes them to stop doing these three things:

  1. Marketing actively to generate inquiries
  2. Converting every qualified prospect into a site visitor, then to a buyer
  3. Communicating to customers that their business is thriving

Is this you? If so, you may be inadvertently diminishing the potential you have to build new sales and repeat business.

Here’s the good news. These times are exactly when savvy business owners and managers are taking advantage of the growth opportunities in a challenging economic market. They keep marketing when their competition has slowed or stopped. They seek new target audiences, and use creative, cost-effective methods to gain exposure and generate inquiries. They learn proven marketing and sales skills and practice them. And they initiate customer attention activities.

People still seek quality in their investments, lifestyle, and purchases. But since the markets took a nosedive, many investments seemed to vanish in thin air, and recovery is predicted to be slow, they are reassessing what else they need in an investment. Most are looking for the best value, a sure thing, and someone they can trust. They are carefully determining what is important to them in their purchase decision.

This means now is the time for you to be keenly aware of what your prospects – and your customers – want or need and how you can assure them you can deliver it.

- Know who your target is, where they go for information, and what needs they have which you can meet. Adjust your marketing messages and promotions according, always communicating your unique niche. Start with your website. Is it unique, easy to navigate, up to date, interactive?

- Be visible in your community. Increase community marketing in your draw radius. Choose cost-effective activities that will put you in front of groups of your qualified prospects and opinion influencers. Generate good publicity.

- Sharpen and practice good sales conversion skills. Now more than ever, every qualified inquiry counts! Get the training you need and then make it your goal to do what it takes to convert every real prospect to a buyer. Their first purchase may not be huge, but with good customer follow-up, these customers could well become repeat buyers.

- Increase customer focus. Initiate regular activities to make contact with your customers, communicate important aspects of the business, involve them, and assure them of your stability and value in helping them be successful.

There’s truth to the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” By making sure you keep moving forward with your marketing and sales efforts, you can turn tough times into terrific sales and business building opportunities.

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Are You Making 2010 Your Best Year Ever?

You began 2010 by saying goodbye to the challenges of the past year (maybe even decade), and looking ahead to the opportunities that lie ahead. With the first quarter behind us, what have you done thus far to make this your best year ever? These five actions can launch you onto a path to more success in your future.

Reflect on your marketing and sales efforts over the last year. What have you done – not just intended to do – but really accomplished? What has worked and what has not? To what can you attribute the success (or lack of success) of select efforts? Make a list of changes you need to make in 2010.

Get your attitude together. It is said that we only use 12% of our brain power. Beyond that, I believe the height of your success depends significantly on the altitude of your attitude. What you think about tends to come about. If you think you are going to convert each qualified prospect inquiry into a sale, you start with a big advantage. Likewise, if you think it is going to be hard to convert them, you start with a severe disadvantage. Thinking positive can help jump-start your success.

Make a marketing action plan. This plan is the action roadmap part of your overall marketing plan. For each marketing effort, list the actions you will take, the timelines involved, the people responsible for each task, the budget you need to allocate, and the method you will use to evaluate the results. Plan at least one activity per quarter – monthly is even better. Layer marketing efforts, meaning you go beyond advertising to include publicity generation, community and industry marketing, and customer relations activities.

Work your plan. Putting it down on paper or in an electronic file is only a step in the right direction. To reach your sales goals, it is absolutely imperative that you complete the activities you listed in your marketing action plan. Though you may need to revise your plan as your situation and market conditions dictate, execution is key.

Reward yourself. When a marketing effort has yielded the qualified leads you had hoped it would or when you have made that sale, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. It does not have to be something huge. Maybe you get that small piece of equipment you have been wanting or celebrate with a good bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers. Rewarding yourself is part of making marketing fun, and it can help motivate you to get busy on that next activity in your marketing action plan.

Market like you mean it in 2010! May this year bring you more qualified prospective buyers than ever.

-Julie Wassom

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Welcome to Wassom’s Marketing Wisdom

I wanted to start off the blog by telling you just a bit about who I am and what I do. So without any further adieu let’s jump right in!

Julie Wassom is a speaker whose message means business. As president of The Julian Group, Inc., she has proven consistently that a creative, continuous sales and marketing program is vital to the success of any business. The results of Julie’s philosophy have earned her a highly respected position in the business community and are reflected in her company.

The Julian Group, Inc. is a Denver, Colorado-based training and consulting firm, specializing in helping progressive businesses market and sell with comfort, confidence, and a competitive edge. Clients range from small companies to associations and multi-million dollar corporations worldwide.

In over twenty years of professional speaking, Julie has established herself as one of the finest trainers available today. With high energy and ideas that work, she has motivated audiences in industries as diverse as finance, advertising, early care and education, livestock, and eldercare. She is author of a series of books, audio programs, and a monthly newsletter on marketing, sales, and customer relations.

“A key strategy in new business development is to think in the prospect’s perspective,” states Wassom. She distinguishes herself as a speaker and trainer who delivers with Relevance, Originality, and Impact. Her firm takes pride in delivering the customized client services that are The Julian Group’s trademark.

Julie holds a Masters Degree from the University of Denver, and is active in professional and community organizations.

Some of Julie’s most-requested programs are:
• Magnet Marketing – Drawing Prospects to You Until They Buy
• Turning Prospects into Buyers – Five Non-Negotiable Sales Skills
• Exceptional Customer Service – Creating Loyal Customers and Lifetime Referrals

Julie Wassom can be contacted at 303-693-2306, or