“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Marketing a business is not about tactics. If you simply look around at what your competitors are doing and then try to do the same things, only better, you’re going to keep struggling. Chances are, most of your competitors are doing the same thing you are – looking around the marketplace trying to find the right combination of tactics and messaging that will make a difference. The ads all look and sound the same. Everybody talks about their great customer service, or discounted prices, or their years and years of experience. All the while, no one is able to track what they are doing or tell you what kind of return they are receiving. They just keep writing checks each month and hoping for the best.

There are, of course, some businesses that do not operate this way. Your doctor’s office is probably one of them. Have you ever received a direct mail piece from your doctor soliciting exams for sick patients? And when is the last time your doctor called you in the middle of dinner to offer you a special, one-time discount on treatment for sinus infections?

The reason your family doctor doesn’t actively solicit you is because they don’t have to. When you get sick, you find them. They already have your trust and when you are sick, that’s who you call. The medical profession has been very successful at positioning themselves as gurus. They don’t come to you – you come to them.

What if your business operated that way? Instead of salespeople spending countless hours making cold calls trying to set appointments with people that do not want to see them, they could spend their time in front of interested prospects with real problems and a sense of urgency to solve them. Wouldn’t it be nice if customers found you instead of you trying to interrupt them constantly with expensive ads that generate little or no response?

The businesses that succeed in today’s environment are those that draw customers in because they are the perceived experts in their field. They know how to position themselves in such a way that it is impossible to make a direct price comparison between them and their competitors. They know exactly how much revenue they generate for each dollar they spend on marketing and advertising. They know that cold calling for new business is a waste of precious time and resources. And they know that trying to compete by running pricey ads that do nothing more than list features, benefits, and price promotions is best left to inexperienced competitors.

You can change your businesses dramatically – starting today- by making the decision to become the obvious expert in your niche. Here’s how:

  • Write education-based articles, tutorials, and other content that your customers would value and consult when making a buying decision.
  • Create special reports or whitepapers that highlight your expertise.
  • Develop workshops or seminars to train and educate your customers.
  • Collect short testimonial videos from your best customers and assemble them into a DVD that all new prospects receive.
  • Start a subscription newsletter.
  • Create an online forum where customers and prospects can exchange ideas, best practices, support tips etc.
  • Start a blog. Today.
  • Start cultivating relationships with local publications, trade journals, and news outlets – offer to provide tips, quotes, articles, or any other help they need.
  • Team up with complimentary service providers and start a referral program.
  • Create a detailed follow-up plan that happens automatically whenever a lead is generated.
  • Advertise your content, not your product features and benefits.
  • Provide value. Stop peddling your wares.

You have a choice. You can keep running the same ads, in the same places, writing the same checks to same sales reps, and receiving the same results. Or, you can start out on a new path. Are you afraid of change? Is it any scarier than doing nothing?

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