Is There Enough Business to Go Around?

"And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department." - Andrew Carnegie

Once you have decided that there are enough people to support your business, you must then look at what competition already exists that might dilute your market.

Let’s use a golf instructor as an example. What if you’re planning to start a golf instruction business and there are already other golf instructors in your area? If so, you must share the pool of potential students with your competitors. If there are three competing instructors in your area, you have a problem. Unless your competitors are totally inept, your business, fourth in line for the pool of golfers, will have a tough time breaking even.

You may think there’s still room for you to prosper, and for all four instructors to average enough students to make a good living. However, this is very unlikely. There’s one elusive element that upsets the entire equation: the establishment factor. Your top two competitors may have been in business for more than five years, and may have established deep roots in the community.

Marketing Without Spending a Dime

Most marketing sucks. I came to that exact realization one October morning in 1987. What followed was a decision that changed my life forever. After acknowledging that I didn’t REALLY know the first thing about marketing, I rushed to the local bookstore and bought all eight of their marketing books. The first was David Ogilvy’s classic, Ogilvy on Advertising. I was amazed to learn how changing a simple headline could produce a 500% increase in response. How adding a picture of scissors next to a coupon could increase redemption by up to 35%, how reverse type (white letters on black) sharply decreases readership, and so on.

Before I finished the second book, I ordered 20 other books! I was like a man possessed… highlighting, underlining, and taking notes for 30 straight days. All through the Christmas holiday I soaked up marketing information like a sponge. After taking it all in and completely changing my approach, I designed some new ads to run the second week of January. Bingo! The phone rang off the hook.

Want Massive Growth? Then Train Your People How To Sell!

"A minute’s success pays the failure of years." - Robert Browning

Recently I had a call from a major resort asking what one idea I could give them to instantly improve revenue. The answer was easy and would have been the same had the caller wanted to sell more cars, computers, furniture, suits, consulting, or widgets: Train your people how to sell!

Nowhere in this entire blog will you get faster results in terms of pure income than in this and the following section on how to sell. Few people in business genuinely “love” selling. Fewer still are good at it. In many ways, it’s not surprising that most people don’t like to sell. Selling not only has a bad image in many people’s minds, it often deserves it. Telemarketing calls at dinner time, pushy salespeople who won’t take no for an answer, and products and services that don’t live up to their sales claims. These have all contributed to the bad image that sales has today.

In defense of sales, almost everyone sells in their everyday lives. Teachers need to sell students on the benefits of paying attention. Spouses sell their ideas to each other. Children sell their parents on staying up for that special TV show, and so on. Practice with sales will make it more comfortable if you have the right attitude.

Increasing your sales skills by even a few increments can dramatically increase your profits. Imagine if you closed two out of ten leads instead of one—you have just doubled sales at NO cost. Even small improvements in how you answer the phone, handle objections, and close can have massive impacts on your bottom line. Yet few businesses engage in the meaningful and ongoing sales training needed for entrepreneurial success.

A good sales training system must cover the following areas:

• how to get mentally ready to sell

• how to develop instant rapport

• how to qualify prospects

• how to give quality presentations

• how to handle objections

• how to close

• how to follow up

Having a documented sales training system for your business will be the best investment you ever make.

For more great sales, marketing and business growth advice read or listen to

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The 20 Top Reasons Why Most Marketing Fails!

In the TWO minutes or so you will spend reading the next few paragraphs , I am going to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of trial and error by detailing exactly why most businesses fail to reach their marketing goals. This is not subjective; this is not my opinion; it is based on over 20 years of research into the science of marketing and the analysis of several hundred clients.

Here are the 20 top reasons why businesses fail at marketing.

Read them, believe them, and resolve not to do them!

Biggest Database Wins!

Like it or not, that is a fact!

This is a fact most business owners are not really very happy about since the total sum of their data collection efforts over the last 20 years amounts to 750 names and addresses and the 113 emails they collected this year but haven’t yet gotten into the computer!

This may not be you but — trust me on this — I talk to hun- dreds of business owners a month and this example is better than average!

The size and quality of your database is your foundation for the long-term success of any marketing campaign yet the simplicity of this fact is lost on many. When I ask seminar audi- ences full of business owners and marketing executives what’s the first thing they would do to market a new business, buying a database of people who have an interest in that product is rarely, if ever, mentioned. When it is, it comes way down the list of suggestions after running ads, going to trade shows, and even renting billboards.

Golf Course Dress Codes, Cell Phones, and Snobs

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. - Frank Zappa

Every industry has their stupid, unfriendly, non-customercentric policies, but the golf industry in which I often work has more than most. Following are just a few shining examples.

At North Berwick Golf Club (Scotland) on a damp and foggy morning, I was asked to remove my $100 navy-blue, waterresistant sleeveless sweater with the logo of a very high-end club on it as, according to the steward, it constituted rain gear which was not allowed in the clubhouse. I had just stepped out of my car and I protested that it was my only sweater, that it was dry, and that I was cold. To which came the reply, “You’ll warm up in a wee minute as soon as ye get yer coffee in yea.” Which, loosely translated means “I don’t give a damn. Take it off if you want to come in!” I did take it off, but was cold for 15 minutes while I waited for my coffee to arrive and warm me up. Yes, I know I was a guest and should just be delighted to be there, but instead I was cold and irritated.

Gullane (Scotland) is a monster of a course at almost 6,200 yards with the fairways hard as rock after weeks of high temperatures and no rain, thus ensuring that even a missed hit went 300 yards. We were forbidden to play the back tees (very typical in England and Scotland, as they consider it a privilege for the members, and, even then, only in tournaments). So we played Gullane at 5,800 yards or less with a driver and a sand wedge. If I had wanted to play pitch and putt, I could have done that on the free course at the Gullane village green. I felt cheated!