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According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the organizational function and set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers...

Written By: Drew Stevens, PhD
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the organizational function and set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. Now that is a lengthy definition that means, get your attention, provide you value and keep you forever. Easier to remember isn't it?

To aid your marketing efforts, capitulate that you are an Insurance Agent. You are a marketing professional. Yes there are numerous denominations for the profession: consultant, trainer, professional etc. However, it is vital that you are marketing. To be a successful professional one needs to learn the value of brand.

Brands offer instant recognition and identification. They are also promise consistent reliable standards of quality, size, or even psychological attraction. Several national and regional surveys typically illustrate that consumers choose brand not because of price but simply name alone! People will make a purchase and choose a vendor solely for brand.

The value of a brand is that consumers will purchase for the brand's own sake and not with the usual amount of analysis, cynicism or caution. Mary Kay Cosmetics gives Cadillac's to top selling representatives with a purpose. I was in Dallas to receive my PhD in 2005. I will never forget the faces, the aggressiveness and the desire of those attendees to receive their Cadillac!

Brands create an attraction to a particular source of products or services and that attraction is often so strong that normal discrimination, skepticism and price sensitivity are subordinated. A great exemplar is Coke Cola. Without its original contents (cocaine) and without selling a can, Coke Cola is worth over 80 billion dollars. That is brand value.

Your ability to build brand offers a host of blessings such as customer loyalty, price inelasticity and long term profits. A loyal customer is nine times more profitable as a disloyal one. Further an existing client who is affected by your brand value helps to obtain new clients for you more efficiently through referral that a new one. Building brand does not arrive inexpensively and without time. Research shows that it costs 200 to 400 times more to build brand equity but the long term effects are worth it.

Work Smarter not Harder
Most entrepreneurs engage in cold calls, direct mail, random networking and other fruitless and frustrating tactics. This frustrating effort leads to nothing if you cannot communicate your message and know if the person can make a decision. Once you know your potential value, you can identify who is likely to pay for it. And once you know that, you can ask yourself what they read, to whom they listen, etc.

Here are 4 of my top 15 rules for optimizing your marketing without much time and resource while also building brand awareness.

Rule #1: Focus on them.
Forget all the rules of features and benefits. From this point forward all that you do and all that you say must focus on results and outcome. Look at your marketing materials and your voice mail, even your verbal message. Secure success with crucial conversations that exist with a focus on your client. End stereotypes and be different.

Rule #2: Stop your ABC's and 123's
Forget about how many telephone calls, brochures and business cards you hand out. The fact remains your success is dependent on who is paying you. Only speak with those that are serious, can write you a check and understand your value; others are just a waste of time! You want to work the business not have it work you.

Rule #3: Network aggressively and remember the 25x30x50 Rule.
Entrepreneurs are horrible at asking for business and they are even worse at asking for referrals. The lifeblood of any business is a satisfied client. Content clients immediately tell others of their happiness. Given the results and your expertise they will be thrilled to offer names, numbers and waist sizes of others that can use you. You must aggressively ask.

One of the best methods for seeking a referral is when a client is completely satisfied and sees the results. Attract a referral when your client is at a high. Do not ask when your service is complete. Ask at the beginning.

Another tool for obtaining a referral is using the 25x30x50 rule. Every 30 days ensure you are with your top 25 clients. You can call or visit directly. If needed spend no more than 50 dollars to thank them for their patronage and previous satisfaction and perhaps referrals. Suggest to them that referrals are the gold bullion of your practice and without them you cannot grow. Satisfied clients will be more then happy to comply.

Rule #4: Bring prospective clients to you
There is a cliche that states for those that follow horoscopes that your moon is in. . Marketing your business works similarly. You need to create a gravitation pull to you so that you spend less time calling and handing out brochures. You need to invent magnetism so that clients gravitate to you. My program in Split Second Marketing Building a Message that Clients Hear contains over 25 different marketing attraction techniques. Listed here is the top 6.

1. Speaking. One of the best methods to introduce your expertise is to tell others about what you do. Rotary's, Kiwanis, Chambers of Commerce are constantly in need of experts. Contact these organizations or others to discuss content to enlighten their members. Participants are attracted by new and interesting content.

2. Writing Articles. There are more newspapers in circulation today then ever before. There is a multitude of newsletters, web sites, regional business magazines, and local newspapers starving for decent material. Articles need not be more than 500 to 1000 words. With good content and a solid byline your message can be in the hands of hundreds or thousands.

3. Website. The proliferation of the Internet allows others to discover your content and determine your value. Fees are inconsequential and the business world requires a website to denote your sincerity to clients.

4. Blogs. Similar to articles having a Blog serves two purposes 1) remaining in constant contact with current subscribers 2) enabling you to reach new clients at relatively no cost. The difference from articles is immediacy of availability and frequency of your content.

5. Lunch and Learns. These concise information sessions last no longer than 30 minutes during a corporate luncheon and feature your content. Benefits are a live audience, interested attendees and low cost of acquisition. The intent is not only delivery but possible business from attendees.

6. Booklets. Typically focused on one topic, these small content rich pieces feature your advice on health, fitness and exercise technique. Booklets can be used for potential clients as handouts or products to be sold at special events.

About Drew Stevens PhD
Drew Stevens PhD is known as the Sales Strategist. Dr. Drew creates more revenues in less time. He is the author of seven books including Split Second Selling and Split Second Customer Service and Little Book of Hope and is frequently called on the media for his expertise.

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