Consultant Marketing A More Powerful Pitch

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It amazes me every time. Coach oriented selling eliminates proposals.

You figure that a consultant would know about and use a Value-Based Presentation.

Only a handful do, the ones that have been around for a while and those bold enough to study some of the masters of selling services. It’s like the refrain from a song in the musical South Pacific, “You have to be carefully taught.” Fewer still are trained in coach-oriented selling.

Most consultants aren’t trained in sales. They are babes in the woods when it comes to the psychology of the deal. Better pitches are built with better knowledge of what a lot of folks today call : “the customer journey.”

Start with a peek at the customer map.

They had a problem or concern about their business. They spoke with friends and colleagues about how to solve it. They queried trusted advisors for names of experts that might help them. With a handful of names they turned to Linked In to review profiles of the candidates to be considered further. They narrowed the search to no more than three. At that point they probably looked at your website to get more of an idea of how you work and to get a glimpse of the expertise you bring to the situation.

Make it easy to meet.

They are still evaluating when they call you to arrange a meeting. They want to get to know you. You are one of at most three candidates. Setting an appointment for what is to them a major concern is probably best made in person. Make sure they can contact you direct, not through an appointment setting app. But if you do use such an app, give them the possibility of stating why they want to talk. What may seem to be dull normal for you is the biggest thing in their world to them. So when that in noted I should be a trigger for you to call them.

The first meeting is all about discovery.

It is a conversation not a commercial. You need to acknowledge their expertise. They will always be more expert in their business than you. Always. Partner with them in a thought-provoking process that allows them to act in away that draws on their experience and your support ot find a way to act. Let them set the agenda. Your mission whether you accept it or not is to do four things:

  1. Engage
  2. Focus
  3. Evoke
  4. Plan

Engage

Establish a mutually trusting relationship based on genuine interest in their situation.

Listen. Focus on their goals, their expectations and why those things are important to them.

Questions you might use:

  • What are your successes?
  • Where are you challenged?
  • What od you know about our work?
  • How do you think we can help?

Focus

Your goal is to collaborate with the prospect, describe the desired outcomes and determine a way forward.

Questions that will allow you to reach common ground:

  • What is most important to you and your organization?
  • What outcome do you expect from our working together?
  • How do you see us working together?
  • What would this mean for the organization?
  • What will it cost if you do nothing?

Strive to define the problem concisely in concrete terms. It is best to zero in on a key single priority.

Evoke

Start by searching for strategies that could solve the problem at hand. Brainstorm some possibilities. Before you suggest an approach ask permission to give them advice.

Helpful queries:

  • What ideas have occurred to you to address this situation?
  • Are there corporate resources you can bring to bear?
  • Have you seen or heard of something that worked in the past that we could put to work here?
  • If forced to come up with one idea, what would it be?
  • What would you do if failure wasn’t an option?

Plan

What you are looking to do now is ascertain if the prospect is ready to move forward and become client. You are not closing. You are merely testing the waters.

Try asking:

  • What are you willing to commit to now?
  • Is there a first step that would be agreeable to you?
  • When can you assemble your team?
  • What’s your timeframe?
  • What are you willing to invest?

At this point, a prospect may ask you to begin an engagement or demur. If they are not asking you to get to work circle back. Engage them. Focus on their view of the problem. Help them imagine a positive resolution and see once more if they are ready to plan.

Some of the most successful consultants use this approach to begin ongoing relationships with clients. Although the information gathered can be used for a Value-based Proposal often the client will forgo that prerequisite just ot get to work now.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Credibility Index

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What is your credibility index?

If you are a consultant it is a pretty good bet that you have a profile on Linked In.

How credible does that profile make you to your prospects? Here’s a simple way to evaluate that will take just minutes.

What to consider.

People, I’ve been told, do not give you a lot of time when they come across your information on any page on the internet. The last research I saw said you have 3 seconds to get their attention and brand yourself. Three seconds!

So you have to first stop them and once you’ve done that maintain their interest and provide the information they are looking for. Here’s the short list of considerations:

  • Stopping Power
  • Maintaining Interest
  • Answering their Questions

Let’s take those one at a time.

Stopping Power

If your Linked In profile looks like this you are in trouble:

We live in a visual world. If you want to stop people you need to take advantage of every bit of visual stopping power Linked In offers. The absolute minimum is a headshot. Consider also:

  1. Using the first panel of your website home page as the background.
  2. A photo in the background that shows you in action.
  3. A photo in the background that shows product(s) you are associated with.
  4. The addition of your company logo to that background
  5. Your name in that background.
  6. A positioning line in that background (like a headline)
  7. Combinations of the above.

Maintaining interest

Why are they searching on Linked In? In all likelihood, someone gave them your name or they came across it looking for an expert in a specific industry or they have heard about a specific skillset you have. You have to speak to their concerns and interests in their terms in order to keep them in your profile.

Your name Start with your name. Use the name you are known by amongst colleagues and people that might refer you. Do not use an initial for your last name. Initials are okay, however, if you regularly use them. If folks call you DJ or JJ or BZ then use that moniker but include your last name.

Your title Since most consultants are independent professionals operating as solos (nearly 70% in our last survey) you can call yourself anything you like. But instead of massaging your ego consider what that prospect is looking for. Do you think they want one of the “normal” titles like President or CEO? Research shows that they want more of a positioning statement that fits with the expertise they are looking for. You have space to use a positioning line, a generic/industry descriptor for what you do and a normal title.

Here’s an example from one of my clients:

Answering Their Questions Whatever brought them to your Linked In profile in the first place will now come front and center. You stopped them with professional looking graphics. You intrigued them with a positioning line that will get them to read further.

There are different approaches prospects take from this point on. Some will read everything on your profile. Others will say, “That’s who I was looking for, How do I get in contact?”  As consultants we know the men and women who have the clout to hire us don’t have a lot of time. So why do so many consultants make it so hard to contact them?

There is a reason the words Contact Us are in blue. Unless you’ve been kidnapped and held incommunicado for a decade you know that clicking on that phrase will get you a way to contact the profile owner.

Yes and no. In a random check of that capability I found that 90% of the profiles did not include a telephone number. Many of them had only the Linked In Profile listed. You need to make it as easy as possible to contact you. Prospects want to know how to connect NOW

Here is what Jim includes:

What you say on your profile is important but these three things will make you one of the few that stand out.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Digital World Speaking

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I spoke live on Wednesday.

It was only the third time this year. My expectation from the run-up back and forth with various staff members was that this would be a well-managed professional event.

It was. The gal at registration recognized me. She was delightful. The tech in the room was completely efficient. His first question was, “Any change in the slide deck?” I said, “No.” He then efficiently got me into a lavaliere microphone, did a sound check handed me a slide clicker and declared me, “Good to go.”

That’s when things went off the rails.

I sat in on a couple sessions before mine. One was being done by an acquaintance. His topic was: How Brands Can Use NFTs To Engage Consumers And Generate Revenue. (an NFT is a Non-Fungible Token, a unique digital asset that utilizes Blockchain Technology)

Like the preceding session the introducer basically read the session topic, the presenters name and their company name from the printed agenda card. That was it.

You have to introduce yourself.

Each of the speakers I watched had to use the first 2 minutes of their 30 minutes on stage to introduce themselves. I was bemused by the way they crammed all sorts of data on a slide: Name, Title, Company Logo, Web address, E-mail, Social media they were involved with, where they were published and seemingly any kind of social proof they felt gave them existence.

The first line of “Sympathy for the Devil,” Rolling Stones (1968) kept running through my mind:

“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a man’s soul and faith.”

Whether you are a Stones fan or not you have to admit these lines are memorable.

An introduction sets the stage.

For some reason events primarily directed to digital professionals eliminate solid introductions and in doing so lose benefits to the speaker and the attendee.

A good introduction sets a positive tone, generates enthusiasm and interest. More importantly, sone properly it can make a clear case for why listening to the speaker is more beneficial than grabbing a cup of coffee. A memorable introduction engages the audience and convinces the audience to listen to the speaker.

A good introduction will accomplish three other objectives:

  1. Focus the audience attention on the speaker transitioning them from their current actions or thoughts.
  2. Enhance the credibility of the speaker personally or by citing social proofs.
  3. Make a promise about the presentation that creates intrigue and a need to “hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

A self-introduction is never as powerful.

Yes, you can introduce yourself powerfully in networking situations. That is what 30-Second Marketing is all about. Or you might like this video.

The fact is, we trust others more than we trust an individual presenter to perform an introduction. Second party information is given more credibility. The human mind does not like hearing someone “Toot their own horn.” And so introducers are used at most speaking events. And in order to accomplish the objectives of a good introduction, most professionals write their own and, in some cases, rehearse the introducer persuading them to read it as written.

Here’s the self-introduction I resorted to:

I’m Jerry Fletcher.

I’m a Master of Consultant Marketing.

You know how people keep telling you that you have to be memorable but nobody tells you how to do it?

Well, what I do is work with individuals and organizations to develop unique trust-based strategies to build businesses, brands and lives of joy.

I’ve been doing it since1990 and stopped counting successful new product introductions at 207 and individual branding for consultants at 147 at last count.

Today I’m going to tell you how to go from Credibility to Cash in the New Normal.

The audience stayed for the entire session laughed at some stories and gave me a hand at the end. I’d like to think this digitally oriented, just give me the bullet points audience learned that no matter how they would like it not to be true, the analog human mind controls all acceptance, belief, trust and purchasing.

Like to see it?

I’ll be doing that speech virtually for IMC NorCal on October 5. Sign up here if you would like to see it.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences to you take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Brand Takes Time

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Brand

Have you got one?

Do you want one?

What does it take to get one?

Consultants take heed

You are going to have a brand whether you want one or not.

Some consultants say that you’re only as good as your last success.

That’s true as far as it goes.

Some believe your brand is about hiring a graphic designer to make you look good.

Not a bad idea but only as good as your brief to her/him.

Others hire branding consultants to find a way to tell their story.

Again, considerably useful but not the complete narrative.

Brand, is not what you want it to be. You can present your case. You can use graphics that set you apart. You can declaim your differences in words that flow gently or stridently. You can muster staff and close ranks. You can posture and pose.

But in the end your brand will be the combined perceptions of all who have been exposed to you.

There are three major phases to your branding:

  1. Brand Identity

Your vision for your practice leads you to select a name. With that in hand you seek out a graphic designer to find typography and art that reflects what you want people to think of you.

You are striving to be memorable. Within 15 seconds of receiving your card or landing on the home page of your website the initial perception of you will be formed as will the language used to refer to you in subsequent conversations with other business people.

With a little luck you can become memorable Just don’t assume it will happen automatically or that the initial perception won’t change.

2. Back Story

You find that you need to build a web site and materials for sales and marketing of your services not to mention report formats and word heavy documentation of what you do. Case histories and client quotes can help tell your story.

Within the curve of your growth as a consultant you will need to establish what makes you and your organization unique. That is done by developing a consistent approach to all the elements that lead to trust. Extreme variation will make prospects question your honesty. Lack of imagination will push them to look for alternatives. Being true to your word will move you toward unforgettable but the major factor in that assessment will come from outcomes desired by clients.

3. Battle Hardened

You enjoy multiple engagements and find that you really can help businesses with the concerns and problems they are having.

Suddenly, you are viewed as indispensable. Clients turn to you for advice on every part of their business. Honesty about the extent of your capability and a willingness to find resources that can solve the problem put a shine on your brand.

And so it goes .

For a few of you that find a way to change the way your clients think your brand will go from Credibility to Cash to Legendary.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Game Change

Change is the heart of consulting.

Without change we would be out of a job. Change is perceived by clients as a problem and they go looking for someone to solve it with expertise or experience they don’t have. We wind up working with them for a single engagement or, over time, for either multiple, linked engagements or just providing services in a single expertise on an ongoing basis.

Most of my interactions with clients are in the latter category. I tend to stay with clients for a while. I’ve worked with a current client now for over 25 years, celebrated a ten-year anniversary with one and I’m coming up on 3 years with another.

I still do singular encounters when I believe I can be of real assistance within the client’s time frame. I’ve come to the conclusion that Contact Relationship Management is no longer an arena I want to work in. Why? Management doesn’t understand it and more importantly does not understand that tasking sales-people with upkeep is a losing proposition.

For the future

I’m shifting my emphasis so that I will offer these services:

  • Marketing Consulting for consultants and coaches (Solopreneurs, Partnerships and Ensembles short and long term)
  • Strategic Marketing Counsel for entrepreneurs and start-ups
  • Speaking on topics that make individuals and organizations more memorable and more profitable. (Keynotes, Breakouts and Trainings for associations and businesses)
  • NEW Products that offer quick and easy branding, positioning and sales development. Example: Consultant Brandr for Linked In which allows you to inject your brand into your Linked In Profile in just one evening.
  • NEW The Credibillity to Cash Junto (named for the group Ben Franklin formed– a continuing conversation about establishing and maintaining your six-figure practice—a mastermind group limited to just 8 consultants that want to take their business up a notch.

Proven Publishing

That means I will continue publishing information on what works and what doesn’t in Marketing in general and consulting in particular.

Blogs I intend to publish blogs both in the USA and internationally on a regular basis every two weeks at a minimum. The topic will continue to be Consultant Marketing and will cover subjects from Practice Management  to promos, PR and Premiums. The emphasis will continue to be branding across all the media available and how to move from suspect to prospect to client.

The Newslog, newly named Credibility to Cash will continue on a weekly basis. The new version will have the same information in an article, a video and an audio as requested by the current recipients. The first quarter for 2022 is in production now

The annual Consultant Marketing Survey is now in the field. This year’s results report will be available by New Year’s day! Sorry, no results tabulated as yet so I can’t provide a single finding! And yes, we will do it again next year.

Speak your Way to Business Riches A step-by-step guide to Get Booked, Get Heard and Build Your Business is in first draft. Look for it as a print on demand book from Amazon about the end of the first quarter. (Junto members and Newslog subscribers may receive webinar invitations as well as chapters in PDFs prior to publication)

 In all we do in the coming year, the emphasis will be on showing you how to move from Credibility to Cash.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Name Change

It is not something to do lightly.

You just don’t wake up one day and decide to change the name of key communications tools that have become familiar to those you have built relationships over time.  

The day inevitably comes.

You think about it. Sleep on it. Have long dialogues within between the emotional aspect and the quiet logical voice. That conversation is one each of us must go through even though we know how it is going to come out.

Visceral wins.

Gut feeling beats the hell out of logic.  Emotion is a body blow to logic. Mood stymies reason. And so it goes.

The decision is made.

Going Forward, the Newslog is going to be called Credibility to Cash.

Why? Because the first time I saw the words written on a torn-out scrap of notebook paper I knew they were right. The right words don’t need graphic embellishment. They don’t need to be presented in new world announcement typography. When they are right, they are RIGHT.

I was in Miami at a gathering of successful speakers, coaches and entrepreneurs. All of us were intent on helping each other find ways to shake off our doldrums and take our businesses up a notch. It’s not like there were any slouches in the group. We would not have been invited if that were the case.

I had scheduled a few minutes with Jeff. His unique ability is in naming things. We talked briefly about what I was doing in my Consulting practice working with elite consultants from Singapore to Madrid to make them more memorable and more profitable. He listened, really listened and then said, “So you guide them to find a way to build credibility and that leads to generating more cash, right?”

I agreed and then he tore a piece of paper from a small notebook and wrote these words in blue ink at the bottom of the page:

            Credibility to Cash Conversion Cycle

            Credibility to Cash Conversation

I circled Credibility to Cash in red and put it in the 3-ring binder I was carrying keeping  notes at that multi-day event. That was late in May of 2021.Now I find myself at the end of the year and just getting around to implementing actions considered when the year was stretching spring-time muscles.

A name is sometimes just a beginning

That’s not to say nothing has been done. I put together a 90-day plan but it was not the one the seminar leader was driving us toward. The objective was to be a complete overhaul of the business shifting to a more powerful approach generating significant new income levels.

My 90 day plan had a physical health component as well as long term scheduling component I had to deal with. The physical component was knee replacement surgery. I came home with a newly strengthened desire to get it done and by fall proceeded to go through all the hoops to get it paid for by insurance. Unfortunately, Covid has filled the hospitals and my surgery ahs now been delayed three times.

Long term scheduling is a delight and a devilment. It is great to know you’re scheduled to speak somewhere and all the details have been taken care of, the flight, transfers, hotels. All that stuff. But Even if you are speaking virtually you need to do all the prep and continue your work with current clients.

I knew what I was going to be doing for 5 months after returning from Miami. So I squeezed what I could into my schedule. I checked off these actions in getting here to the holidays:

  • Logo design (Cristy did a magnificent job)
  • Logo design for transition (You’ll be seeing it next week)
  • Research on building, running and making a peer advisory group profitable for all who are involved
  • Action plan for shifting Blogs and Newslogs from A Different Slant to Credibility to Cash
  • Development of Brandr, a product that makes it simple and easy for consultants to add their brand to their Linked In Profile in an evening incorporating their WHY.os

We are well down the road from Credibility to Cash.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Solo DoubleTrouble

You made the break.

You decided to put your consulting career on the front burner. You decided that it is time to make that side hustle your full-time job.

Two considerations.

You need to think about two things that will make or break you. I’ll bet neither have managed to tap you on the shoulder so far. If you’re like most, you are too excited by the potential in front of you to consider these factors. Those important items that are eluding you are:

  • Team
  • Technology

Before you marshal your arguments, listen to my tale of woe.

Team

The crew you work with was probably assigned to you. Or, rather, you were assigned to it. As your career progressed you were moved from team to team. You may have decided to change companies but once again you were assigned to a team. With experience you were moved more and more into leadership but seldom if ever did you select the people on your team. At best you took on the responsibility of selecting individuals from within the organization to put into teams.

Now you are engaged in building a company. Any business coach or attorney will tell you that you need to have a business entity. No matter what form of business you decide on and no matter what title you assume, you, for the first time possibly, will be the one calling the shots. You will Have to think about teams differently.

Solos don’t have teams

That was my contention until a client pointed out that I had a group of suppliers that I worked with all the time. We were comfortable handling projects together, each of us doing what was needed, each connecting seamlessly to get things done, each a solid member of the unit that wasn’t formal but still functioned by any measure as a team.

Even then I still held that the best thinking came from individuals not teams. I cited all the geniuses of the arts and some of the discoveries in the sciences as “obvious examples”.

 Not long after that I was trying to convince the man who has now been a client for a decade that moving from doing turnarounds as a CEO or COO to Leadership and Management Consulting was significantly different and that he did not have a team in place to handle the shift.

Teams can trump persuasion.

I pointed out that That when you have C-suit initials as your title, employees have to follow your orders. They may resist, citing long standing team approaches, but long  term they must acquiesce. As a consultant you don’t have that power. You have to convince, persuade, cajole and sway them in any way you can to be effective. And the team you have in place whether they work for you full time or on a 1099 can and will impact your efficiency.

Nobody can do it all alone.

 At least not the ones I’ve come across. That was a hard lesson. It took me over 20 years to figure it out. And I was still left with a hole in my knowledge of how to select, build and lead teams starting from scratch. Like a lot of people I searched for answers. I had worried my way through just about every assessment tool you can imagine starting as a beta tester on an early one back when I worked in Denver.

Technology wasn’t the answer.

There were a couple problems with the assessments:

  1. The person you were evaluating had to take the assessment for you to get any kind of real fix on them.
  2. The training requires that you use the labels assigned by the assessment on a daily continuing basis to use it to your greatest advantage.

I found very quickly that I had to become some sort of new millennium astrologer to begin to get any use out of all the time I’d put in studying the assessments. Unfortunately my Mars in retrograde got wrapped around the axle of the conflicting moons and I found myself fizzling out dodging detritus circling Saturn even if I had the code for a people connection.

Maybe their Why is the answer.

I learned of a new piece of Software the other day. It is called the WHYos and will introduce on November 15. I went to the WhyTechnology website to learn more. I tried the free trial and in a matter of minutes was rewarded with the assessment’s view of my Why.

“Why” is associated with Simon Sinek.

He wrote a book called Start with Why back in 2009. He may be better known for a TED talk which can be seen here. He made the world cognizant of what made some individuals and organizations stand out from others. Because of Simon Sinek, a dentist in Texas began searching for software that would allow him to optimize his why.

Dr. Gary Sanchez’s WHY is to find a better way and share it.  HOW he does that is by making things clear and easy to understand.  WHAT he brings is simple solutions to help people move forward. He and his Team have worked with hundreds of thousands of individuals, as well as thousands of companies from small yoga studios to Fortune 500 Companies helping them get clear, stand out and play bigger. 

I didn’t know I was looking for that piece of software.

But I was.

I didn’t realize what a difference it could make.

Now I do. I tested it.

I was never quite sure what drew me to trying to find a better way in everything I do.

Now I understand.

Why.os is changing my life.

It will change my product launching December 15 called Linked In Brandr which guides you step-by-step to inject brand into your Linked In profile in just one evening. It will make it possible to base your brand on your why. The product was good before. Now it is great.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two. Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Brand Sound

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Dave and I had lunch Thursday.

It was good to hear how the little golf product company he founded was doing. He has come a long way from when we met in his kitchen to put together the promotional material for the annual Golf Pro Trade show for the USA.

He had already committed to that show when we started working together. It was only one of the areas he needed advice in. Like most entrepreneurs, particularly inventors, he had no idea of what it takes to start a business from the ground up.

Marketing Consultant/Start up Consultant

I came onboard because he wanted a marketing consultant. Very quickly I turned into a start-up consultant. He had worked through and solved his production problems in way that turned out to be scalable. He was handling fulfillment personally pulling, assembling, packaging and shipping product on an as needed basis.

Sales was how he tested whether the product was something that would work in Golf Pro Shops. On-line marketing was being tested, but not in an organized way.

I squired him through getting a distributor sales organization, acquisition feelers from several companies and finally finding a pro to handle his on-line marketing.

These days he tells me he is negotiating a new distributor deal that includes fulfillment and has come to the conclusion that being able to dial advertising on Facebook up and down to manage sales is what he really wants.

Video is what sells is what he believes.

He asked me to respond to some of his ideas generated by comments on his ads and social media. His ideas (did I say he is an inventor?) tend to take comments about alternatives to the product seriously. None of the alternatives were shown side-by-side with his product in his ideas. Then he kept wanting to add things to the product like speaking digital readouts etc.

What does the product get the buyer?

I stopped him in the middle of how he could measure the degree of deflection between a direct line to the hole and how an individual putted the ball. My response was “So what?” Knowing the degree of deflection doesn’t mean diddly if I don’t know how to correct it. If I read the directions on the current product I’ll be able to see exactly how off I am without having any fancy digital sensors. I’ll be able to correct my putting and practice the perfect stroke. I’ll be able to take strokes off my game which is what I want.

The sound is the promise.

Somehow we found ourselves talking about why golfers would buy his product. It all comes down to sinking putts of any length. We were envisioning a dark screen like a golf course green in the twilight. He talked about a point of view video on the putter and ball as it is stroked, following the ball and then seeing it fall in the hole. I told him that vision was nice but it was no good without the sound effects. The putter clicks when it hits the ball. The distinct sound of a golf ball falling into the cup is unmistakable to a golfer.

The 3 second sale

I pointed out that when someone lands on your web page or clicks on your ad you’ve got no more than 3 seconds to get their attention, become memorable and build desire for your offer. Three seconds.  

The speed of sound

You can recognize a sound in one half of one second (0.05 seconds). More importantly, for branding purposes, auditory reaction time is four times faster than visual reaction time. Hearing is the fastest of our five senses.

Sound is incredibly powerful because of the speed at which you can capture your audience’s attention and ‘cement’ your brand in their mind.” — Gary Vaynerchuk.

I told Dave that the sound of the golf ball falling in the hole should be his singular audio brand component. Sound can sell his product. That sound is why a golfer will buy. That sound is the payoff for every golfer.

Imagine if you will

Video: Point of view (POV) Camera looking down on putter lined up on ball

Putter strokes ball.

Sound: Click of ball being putted (SFX)

Video:  Fade through black to product at same angle as putt.

SFX:    Ball dropping in hole

Video:  POV product demo once with deflection once corrected

            Cut to product logo

SFX     Ball dropping in hole

Video: Super order link

            Product logo

SFX     Ball dropping in hole

All that can be done in less than 15 seconds.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com.

Copyright 2021 Z-axis Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved

Consultant Marketing The Ladder

Gail asked me, “Do you remember how you used to start that speech sitting on top a step ladder?”

“Sure”, I said, “Every business owner has a place they want to get to. For some it is a simple thing but for others it is a full-blown Technicolor dream of a castle way up there in the air…

Do you have the ladder you need to get you there?”

“Do you still do that speech?”

“Not for years,” I said. “If I were to do it today I would shift the focus from CRM to Automated marketing, what you’ve heard me call Automagic Marketing”

What tool do you need to build you business?

If you had to reach the ceiling or get up on your roof or rescue a kitten from a tree you would get a ladder, right?

In business in today’s world that ladder is a mystifying array of ways to connect to potential customers. There’s the traditional advertising and PR stuff that has been changed forever by the internet.

But, some things never change.

  • You will always have to introduce yourself
  • You will always have to get people to listen to you
  • You will always have to tell them what you do
  • You will always have to ask them for their business
  • You will always have to get to trust to keep their business.

Automagic

Automated Marketing software is how to get to the top rung of your ladder these days. It won’t take the place of branding and networking and generating referrals but it can help do all that with clarity and consistency building the relationships that turn contacts to contracts.

It is proven and infinitely practical. And now there are integrated systems anyone familiar with a computer can learn to use to build automated marketing campaigns that capture leads and nurture them into sales. You no longer have to kludge together 5 or 6 different pieces of software as you did when I first started working with this concept.

Everyone that wants to get to their castle way up there in the air needs a ladder and an Automated Marketing system can be a key to their success.

Time and Money

All marketing is a matter of time and money. If you intend to sell beyond your local area and provide services or products you need to have a presence on line. The time you put into your business will quickly move from planning and structuring to selling because if you don’t sell you have no revenue and you will go out of business.

An Automagic Marketing system can save you huge amounts of time in selling on line. The flip side of that is that it can have a steep learning curve and that takes time.

One of the top all-in-one online programs (Kartra) will cost you around $200 a month to get these capabilities:

  • Up to 12500 leads in a sophisticated CRM that keeps track of all your interactions with those leads and allows you to maintain multiple lists.
  • 3 Custom Domains which allows you to Brand 3 different websites and other pages in the system.
  • Unlimited e-mails. Send as many al you like to your lists. Whenever you like.
  • Unlimited Pages. All your website pages. Landing pages. Thank you pages. Form Pages.
  • Unlimited videos. Video is fast becoming the way to reach out to people and now you can use as many as you like.
  • Unlimited products. You can sell as many products as you can invent or purchase whether the product is real world or digital.
  • Unlimited Membership sites so you can set up online organizations that are only for registrants and either paid or free.
  • Unlimited Quizzes and Surveys to continually get to know your customers better.
  • Unlimited Team Members which becomes important as you stretch your entrepreneurial muscles. This allows you to keep developing products and services but have staff handle the tasks of automating your business.

You can use as much or as little of that capability as you like but once started you will quickly take your on line marketing up a notch.

See how it works. We will be surveying consultants, coaches entrepreneurs and independent professionals later this year for the 18th annual Consultant Marketing survey. You can get a copy of this year’s report and sign up for the upcoming survey. Just click here.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Speaking Pay to Play

3 days ago I responded to a call for speakers passed along by a friend. It was for a Summit here in Portland and is a live event. I sent a one sheet on my Trust speech and a link to my speaking demo not expecting a response since I was mor interested in their events in major cities across the USA.

My e-mail lit up with a notation of interest and by the end of the day I was in communication with the event planner in charge of assuring speakers would not be doing commercials.

I’m used to that as these days so many organizations host events where they expect “Thought Leaders” to pay their own way to the event and pick up the cost of the hotel as well. Since most of these people are in corporate jobs that doesn’t present a problem to them.

But what if you are a “Thought Leader” but not affiliated with an organization that will allow you to write of the trip as a business expense? What about those unaffiliated “thought Leaders?”

What about the whole pay to play idea?

These events charge attendees. That is reasonable as the venue must be paid somehow. But it is not unknown for corporate speakers to be pressured to buy a booth and or a sponsorship or both. Failing that, often event planners will attempt to get professional speakers to engage in a commission deal for anything sold as a result of the speech. And it is not unknown for event planners to charge new speakers just for the privilege of taking their stage.

What about business development value?

One of the reasons I do an annual Consultant Marketing Survey is that years ago I wanted to prove the point that trade shows did not have reasonable ROI when compared to other promotional possibilities. Even though Covid has slowed things down the trade show continues. Yes, it has morphed in some ways but it still capture hearts and minds with the promise of being at the center of an industry and having all the players available. Why they might just stroll up to your booth and change your life!

The value is only there if you know how to take advantage of it. One of my clients spent the better part of two years going to shows to sell his software. Two years. No sales. All those out -of-pocket costs could not be recovered. In part it was because he never stopped tinkering with the product going through at least 5 programmers I was aware of. You have to pull the trigger if you are going to offer a product. It has to be real. Or all you get is a bill.

What about a service offering? Easier to make buck there. Anybody can make an offer in or out of a booth. You can set sales meetings with a lot of key players in a short time. You can network with media and other influencers. You can enjoy all the benefits of being there.

The money is in the follow up.

People don’t buy on the first meeting. You will have to build a relationship with them first. One client resisted the idea of sending thank you notes to people they had talked with at a convention. The president convinced the VP to do so. We sent 36 hand written thank you notes out. Three organizations responded immediately. Two asked for presentations. They bought. That put 2.5 Million on the bottom line for the company that quarter.

Speaking increases your visibility.

If you can get in front of part of the attendees at that event a group of them you can begin engaging with numbers well above what you might in any other way. All that stuff you’ve heard about lead magnets is really helpful here. Your personal offer from the stage is more valuable than all the social media you can imagine. Why? You have a relationship with the audience. When they ask you to send them something and give you their contact information you have an open door. More importantly if is with people  that are several steps further along the customer journey.

Is it worth it? Yes. One client who had a Software as a service offering got really tired of paying for a booth and coming home empty. Then he negotiated a speaking breakout with the booth. The speech he developed proved to be crowd pleaser. Soon he was being asked to appear at all the regional shows and he booth became a courtesy. Yes, he had a product that brought digital to an analog industry and his understanding of both made him a sought-after expert. A year in sales of the product were making the company solvent. Two years in the largest analog supplier in the industry saw the writing on the wall. He accepted their offer of north of $7Million.

The advice

Look hard at every trade show/event/convention offer. Can you accomplish what you want ot get out of that time and place without writing a check. Attend once if you believe it is “your kind of people.” Evaluate it and make it a point to meet the people running it if you are going to pursue a speaking position. Then make sure you make your speech all about them. Those that realize you care will reach out to you.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com