No Magic Bullet

Posted by on July 23, 2008 in Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

I was talking to the owner of a new laser clinic that helps people quit smoking. He just opened his doors a month ago and like any new business, he needs an infusion of cash.

He knows the exact number of clients he needs for the next couple months in order to pay the bills and he wanted to talk about what he could do to make money fast.

This guy is a fantastic salesman – you intuitively trust and believe him, and in him. He had an assistant cold-calling businesses for him to make “lunch & learn” presentation regarding his service and quitting smoking.

He wanted me to give him one marketing idea that he could throw his last few bucks at that would result in guaranteed customers.

Of course, there isn’t one.

If he was in business longer, had a regular clientele and needed to make some cash fast, I’d suggest some kind of sale or up-sell to his current customers. However, with him just starting out and no client list yet, there’s no real quick fix. Except what he was already doing…getting out and pounding the pavement and putting his sales strength into full use.

Marketing is all about creating trust and credibility with an ongoing relationship – something that doesn’t usually happen quickly. That’s why it’s so important for all of us small business owners to consistently market and start marketing from day one – it takes time to build a list, a reputation, a solid customer base.

I suggested a few ways he could start building up his marketing, right now, that didn’t cost much money or time – two things he’s short on at the moment.

Some ideas are:

  • identify local doctors and chiropractors who have a client ezine or newsletter, where he could add a little blurb about his services and start building awareness and credibility using someone else’s list (strategic partnership)
  • add some reports, articles, how-to lists (quickly and easily put together from all the material he has laying around his office) to his website that people can access for free – give people something to keep coming back for and start building credibility and value
  • have his website design person quickly add a sign-up box to his website to start gathering names and email addresses so he can start doing email marketing
    • he’ll use one of his free reports to give in exchange to people for their contact information
  • do up a letter of introduction, enclose the brochure he already has printed up, and drop off at doctors, chiropractors, wellness centres, massage therapists, etc. in the surrounding area – anyone who may be interested in referring their clients to his laser clinic

This new small business owner left our lunch feeling good and more in control of his efforts. He realized he is already doing the best thing to make some short-term revenue. Plus there are some things he can start doing now that he will build on and be able to develop further once he’s got some money coming in.

He realizes there’s no magic bullet in marketing but that there are lots of strategies that he can use. Now he’s excited to make money fast – to keep his doors open but also to fire up his marketing machine!

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