Buyer's Guide

Our purchasing experts provide exclusive, impartial advice to guide you through your buying decision.

Step by Step Guides
Business Advice

Steps to Marketing On a Tiny Shoestring Budget

Four powerful ways to market on a shoe string budget...

Written By: Chet Holmes
Marketing On a Tiny Shoestring Budget (top expert reveals 4 powerful ways)

No. 1: The Best Buyer Concept

There's always a smaller number of ideal buyers, rather than all buyers, so ideal buyers are cheaper to market to and yet bring greater rewards.

I took over the advertising sales of a magazine and they had a database of 2200 advertisers that they sent promo-pieces to each month. Of those 2200 advertisers, 167 of them bought 95% of the advertising in the competitor's magazine (not ours). We started "The Dream 100 Sell," a concept where you go after your "Dream" prospects with a vengeance. We sent the 167 (best buyers) a letter every two weeks and called them four times per month.

Since these were the biggest buyers, the first four months of intensive marketing and selling brought no actual reward. In the fifth month, only one of these Dream clients bought advertising in the magazine. (Top management of the magazine became nervous thinking that maybe this guy Chet Holmes wasn't the man his reputation said he was.)

In the sixth month 28 of the 167 largest advertisers in the country came into the magazine all at once. And since these are the biggest advertisers, they don't take quarter pages and fractionals; they take full pages and full color spreads. These 28 advertisers alone, were enough to double the sales over the previous year. We went from number 15 in the industry to number one within 15 months.

Who are your best buyers? If you sell B2C, chances are your best buyers live in the best neighborhoods. If you are a dentist, accountant, real estate broker, consistently go after the folks who live in the best neighborhoods. They are the wealthiest buyers who have the money and the greatest sphere of influence. If you send them an offer every single month without fail, within a year you'll have a great reputation among the very wealthy.

If you sell B2B, it's usually fairly clear that your best buyers are the biggest companies. So what are you doing, every other week, no matter what, to let these companies know who you are? As I always say, there's no one that you can't get to as long as you constantly market to them, especially after they say they're not interested. People will not only begin to respect your perseverance, they will actually begin to feel obligated. This doesn't happen right away, but even the most hard-bitten and cynical executive or prospect begins to respect you when you just will not give up.

Who are your DREAM prospects? And how committed are you to getting them as clients?

No. 2: Educational-based marketing

You can attract far more prospects to take a look at what you have to offer by offering education than you'll ever get by offering your product or service. For example: I had a client that sold telephone systems. They would call hundreds of companies per day and ask if they were interested in talking about a new telephone system (product offer). But when they started calling and asking folks if they wanted to learn: "The nine ways you're wasting money on your voice and data spending," they were able to increase their appointment setting ten fold, from three appointments per week to 30 appointments per week. This tripled their pipeline in the first three months alone.

What kind of a free education could YOU offer that would make your prospects want to meet with you? Bad offer (using real estate as an example): "Let me teach you why you should list your house with me." Much better offer: "Let me teach you the five mistakes every one makes when they go to sell their house. No matter who you list with, you'll need to know these things." This offer will get you a lot more appointments.

I've helped many a company double and even triple sales using just this one concept. I've even helped clients who were in deep trouble experience a total turn-around on their falling profits. I had a client that owned newspapers that had fallen 40% in gross revenues and all of their profits.

They used to call up clients and say: "Hi, we'd love to come and talk to you about advertising in our newspaper." They were quickly shut down and shut out.

I convinced them to provide a "community educational service to help our local businesses succeed," which resulted in a significant increase in not just getting in to see prospects, but in sales as well.

No. 3: Superstar strategy

No matter how small you are, you would be surprised to learn that you can get others to grow your company for you-all you have to be willing to do is share the wealth.

When I got into a position to hire my own salespeople I swore I'd hire nothing but top producers. Those who have tried to hire nothing but top producers know what I found out.

They are a rare and elusive creature.

There are 19 year-old future sales stars out there that have not yet discovered that they can make millions per year. They are very inexpensive to retain when they are young, some even free.

Here's a sample ad that has pulled some of these superstar types. Put the ad under "sales" in your local paper or online:

Sales Superstar wanted: Must be fantastic at selling, presenting, bonding with clients and closing. Earn up to $XXXX per year if you're a real star. Young or old, if you have the stuff, we'll know. Email resume or letter to:

Obviously, you cannot advertise for young folks. That's illegal. But you can say what we've said here: "young or old, if you have the stuff, we'll know." But the reality is that if the person is a real star, you probably can't afford them. But that statement tells the younger folks that you'll recognize their greatness. And make no mistake; the type I'm talking about has a deep feeling that they can do anything. That "psychological profile" is in fact why they do things others don't. They believe, so they achieve.

And an ad like the one above calls to the type of person I'm talking about. They believe in themselves when all else doubt them and they are looking for someone who will see their greatness when they maybe not yet have proof.

The next trick to attracting these future superstars is to create a compensation plan that rewards them for great performance. And make sure you put the range in the ad. I had a client that paid $9 per hour, plus commissions. So he would put "$9 per hour plus commission" in his ads. He had one sales rep that was so good at his job that he actually earned close to $100,000 per year counting his commissions. So I asked this client: "Do you want more $9 per hour folks or would you like someone who can even outsell your top producer?" The answer is obvious. So we put "earn up to $100K per year for real star performance." That changed the entire quality of candidates.

What kind of candidates do you think an ad like that would draw?

No. 4: Zero to $100 million learning curve

95% of companies will never reach even $1 million in annual sales. If you've done that, you are in the top 5% of entrepreneurs and you are rare and to be congratulated. But of those that get that far, 95% won't ever make it to $5 million. And of those that get that far, 98% won't get to $10 million. And think of the tiny, tiny percentage of companies that make it to $100 million in annual revenue. So what makes the difference between Arnold's corner coffee shop and Starbucks?

Answer: It's not the product or service; it's the skills of the entrepreneur. What kind of person builds a company? A person who is dedicated to improving every area of his or her company and who works wit  a talented team.

Even by his own auspicious standards, Chet Holmes's success in sales and marketing is nothing short of extraordinary. Unofficially dubbed "America's greatest sales and marketing executive," Holmes has a unique track record that few others even dare to dream of achieving. He has doubled the sales volume for a variety of leading national companies and businesses, granting him the kind of rarified and multifaceted industry expertise that comes along but once in a generation. A best-selling author whose sales and business tomes have topped the best-selling lists of both the New York Times and, Holmes is an unbeaten results-producer, proving that success and strategy are two things no one in the industry understands better.

Find Pre-screened Vendors

Compare top rated vendors in more than 80 categories. Minimize the risk of hiring unknown contractors

Visit the Vendor Center now or select a category below:

Related Articles
Compare Top Rated Vendors
Grow Your Business with High Quality Referrals