Allison Bliss

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Here are the most important basic rules of Marketing.

Five Basic Marketing Rules

It's a simple formula: if your company closes sales faster, you'll ramp up your revenues without spending as much time doing marketing or making sales calls. Turning a lead into a sale is the critical purpose of marketing. And although techniques differ for various types of businesses, basic marketing rules apply to everyone. Here are five of the most important basic rules of Marketing:

First, be sure you are staying in touch with prospective clients or customers on a frequent, consistent basis. Don't spam them every week, or even every month. But if you want to keep their mindshare, it is critical to stay in touch monthly or quarterly - on a regular schedule with clear, concise communications.

Studies show we are subjected to 10-20,000 promotional messages each and every day. From toothpaste that guarantees "whiter teeth" in the morning to TV spots that tell you how to lower your cholesterol during the late-night newscast, we're all barraged with messages. Thus, if yours doesn't stay in front of those you want as clients (called "prospects" in market-speak), you're very likely to lose the business you would have had if you'd kept the lines of communication open.

One of the most common mistakes I find is that business owners simply do not believe that they have any competition. Sure, no one provides the exact service or sells the exact product that you do. But I've yet to find a business that doesn't have a competitor that your target market perceives to be pretty much just like you.

Face it: your competitors probably have their information in front of your prospects already. Worse still, the prospects you thought really wanted and needed what you have could easily have forgotten your name, misplaced your phone or email address, or otherwise can't find you when they need you. Consider what happened the last time your roof was leaking: you'd met a great roofer five months before, but had lost his card, you had no idea how to reach him, nor could you remember his name (even though you were quite impressed with him when you'd first met). Just like the roofer, you'd be doing people a favor by periodically reminding them youre still available to help them out.

If you plan the messages you need to deliver to your prospects over the next year, know exactly how to write marketing materials that bring response, and know which form of communications works best to get their attention, it will be very easy to stay in touch with every one of them. This process is called planning an "editorial calendar".

You can try this yourself, or you can hire a marketing expert to help you understand how many calls to make, what messages work at different times of the year, and how to avoid the most common marketing mistakes.

Many companies don't have a large sales force that can meet with prospects, or call them on a regular basis to close a sale. Entrepreneurial owners usually have great intentions of making these calls. But, due to the countless distractions inherent in running a business, they often don't stay on top of following up with their leads.

Keep this rule in mind: "The follow-up is what gets you the sale."

The most successful companies keep their sales pipeline active by staying in touch via email, advertising, articles, brochures, or other promotional pieces. And yes, it is important to pick up the phone to check in with prospects. You must ask for the sale in order to close it!

Hiring a marketing firm do your marketing right the first time can save you spending needless hours or dollars. (In fact, seeing so many businesses doing it wrong is what motivated us to start our business!) A good firm will offer the right strategy for you, as well as a talented staff of award-winning writers, designers, web teams, publicists, and even film, event, or television production professionals to communicate your message.

Allison Bliss is the Founder and CEO of Allison Bliss Consulting, one of the top full service marketing & communications firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her company rebels against misleading, pushy, spam-filled marketing offering Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs customized business and marketing services which clients say brings incredible, measurable results.

The company's website at Allison also has a tool for businesses explaining 'how to write a company profile'. Instead of paying a writer $500+ for a profile, this tool (under $25) asks a series of questions and assembles answers into a complete, professional company profile.

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