There is a BIG Difference between a List & and Tribe

written by john c ashworth

There is VAST Difference between a list and a tribe

First, let’s get one thing straight. I can almost guarantee you’re not leveraging your house list the way you could be for maximium engagement and sales. Surprising as it might sound, most businesses fail miserably at this.

Why?

Well, we could spend a lot of time on that question so let me just identify for you what I believe to be the top three reasons.

  1. You’re just too busy and/or you don’t have the expertise and don’t even know where to begin. Not having time is not an OK excuse, but I do understand it. The truth is, however, that there is simply no more important thing you could be doing right now than cultivating your existing lists. There is almost always a ton of low-hanging fruit there that you can easily pluck to help boost your numbers.
  2. You don’t even know where to begin. The idea sounds good to you, but you really don’t know where to start, and the idea feels too overwhelming as a result. So, you end up back at #1 above. Not enough time, and no idea where to begin.
  3. You just can’t see the benefits of doing this yet. And you’re too focused on acquiring new customers, rather than cultivating existing ones. It’s more exciting. In spite of the fact that once someone buys from you, they’re a whole lot more likely to buy again and produce more sales. Which also means that it costs you a whole lot less to market to these folks and get them to buy, than it does to try and acquire brand new customers. You should certainly be doing both, but in the process of cultivating existing customers, you will find that you need less new customers to grow your business over time.

Remember too, that when done right, a printed newsletter actually sent to your customers’ mailboxes is one of the easiest ways to start cultivating your list, driving more sales, and building your tribe.

This brings us back to the statement I made at the beginning. The massive difference that exists between a list and a tribe. Because until you get to work really cultivating the relationships you have started with both customers and list members, they will not engage in a way that allows you to build a real tribe.

You can test this idea very easily if you want to…

Set up the same email broadcast and send separately to your customers, and then to everyone else.

Look at the open rates of the emails.

The difference will be significant. Your customers and more engaged list members will open your stuff more often, read and consume more of the information, and over time build a stronger and stronger affinity toward you and your business. They will be well on their way to becoming part of your tribe. And tribe members are extremely valuable.

Lastly, I should also point out that while I’m using email in my example above, it is important to use all media that make sense for your business and direct-mail is required as one of these channels.

You can’t and shouldn’t try to do it just one way. Your results will suffer. You will be far less affective, and more likely to abandon the idea because it’s not totally working as well as you want it to.

Once again, as a starting point, start with a printed postcard newsletter, weekly email broadcasts, and periodic telephone calls and/or personal letters to customers. Yes, these calls will take some time, but there is likely no better investment you can make inside your business right now.

Got enough to do now?

Go!

And remember…

If what I’m saying to you is beginning to resonate and instinctively seems to make sense to you and you just don’t know where to begin, there are a number of ways I can help you. Just send me a note and we’ll tawk.

The most important thing in business is Sales.

written by john c ashworth

I’ve heard Mark Cuban say it on Shark Tank; and I’ve heard and read this idea in many other places too…

“Sales cure a lot of ills.”

In other words, when all else fails, focus on selling. Because if you’re not selling anything, you’re not really doing anything to make your company grow. Thrive.

As a salesman myself, I agree with this with all my might.

Here’s why…

First of all, any time I find myself where I’m not selling enough, it’s almost always because I’ve lost my focus and have gotten lost in the weeds. Working on things day to day that are important on some level, but not nearly as vital as my focus on selling. When I find myself here, I focus on one simple question…

“What do I need to do right now to make my next sale?” …and I was tempted to write, ‘sales’, but that’s an important distinction too. I don’t want to focus on the next two or three or ten sales. Just the next one. Because that’s the most important one. Always!

That’s it. And I don’t stop until I’ve made that sale happen.

Sometimes I do get lost. We all do. All that old head trash takes constant management. Constant discipline. But eventually and usually after not too long, I find my way back to that one simple focus question. How am I going to get my next sale? Not my next three sales. My next one and that’s it.

There’s nothing like a sale to get you back on track. The focus and the energy a successful sale fosters is an amazing trip. An energizing shot of adrenalin pumped into your heart that fills you with a sense of hope, courage, happiness and fulfillment. After all, as a salesman, that what I’m here to do. Help you buy something that will solve your problem and improve your life and business. In turn, my business and my income grow too.

This is why nine out of ten businesses fail. They don’t have good marketing and they don’t know how to sell.

So, when you’re business is struggling and you have many problems to address and you don’t know where to begin, keep your focus on sales, because sales cure a lot of ills. They breed an energy inside your business that is contagious and infectious. Sales pay the bills and the salaries of those who generate and support them. Sales bring you customers, relationships and friends that you can nurture and extend to more connections, forever. Sales is the heart of your business. You MUST embrace this idea. And then you MUST integrate these efforts with your marketing. The two are intertwined, and that’s a story for another day.

Sales rule the land and your business because nothing happens until a sale is made. And if sales are not happening then something is wrong, and you need to fix it right away, because everything you do inside your business either increases or decreases sales.

EVERYTHING!

Can you buy into this idea? I sure hope so. Because everything you’re doing inside your business either attracts and keep customers or drives them away.

That’s why sales has the potential to cure so many ills in your business. To sell more, you have to do more of the right things, more of the time. Focusing on sales helps you focus on the right stuff.

When you focus on sales you will end up focusing on EVERYTHING you can do to drive more of them and then prevent losing them. When you do this, the problems that are plaguing your business will become more evident and clear to you and you will be able to begin identifying and solving them more efficiently. Thus driving even more sales.

OK, enough reading.

Go make sale!

-John

Don’t shy away from direct mail. Here are 3 revealing reasons why…

written by john c ashworth

In a survey by Direct Mail News and Pitney Bowes reported on in Dan Kennedy’s book, The Ultimate Sales Letter, 4th ed.,

70 percent of said they had renewed a relationship with a business because they received its direct mail

94 percent took action on a promotional offer they received by direct mail

40 percent tried a new business after receiving its direct mail

Here’s one more thing to keep in mind about direct mail. Most do shy away from it, which leaves you with a unique opportunity to fill a vacuum in your local marketplace. Very often, small local businesses benefit from environments and neighborhoods where your competition is unaware of effective use of sales letters and direct mail. A simple postcard newsletter is an easy way to start. Another easy one is a simple one page letter that you send to targeted lists introducing yourself to people and making them a compelling offer on one of your products or services, while you hint at the arrival of your monthly newsletter. You will be amazed at the kinds of relationships you can foster in this method. When I was running my fitness business in Madison, WI, I developed myself into a local celebrity using my regular appearances on television in combination with, direct mail, and a printed monthly newsletter. People recognized me everywhere both from television and all of my other marketing. Some felt like they knew me. All of this helped me grow my business rapidly.

-John

Are you intimate enough?

written by john c ashworth

Most marketing is missing one of the most significant and important ingredients of life itself…

Intimacy…

Before you sit down to write your next sales letter, produce your next newsletter, or craft your next radio or television spot, ask yourself whether or not you are really speaking to the hearts of those you desire as customers. And if for some reason, you feel you can’t do this, because your product, service and business don’t resonate with you in this way, then it might just be time to go back to the drawing board.

Remember, people buy things for emotional, not logical reasons. When you ignore this, and your marketing and sales efforts lack the intimate ability to tug gently on people’s heart strings, you and your marketing and sales efforts lose – every time. You also miss an intimate opportunity to connect with people in ways that make life that much more fulfilling.

When I was running my fitness business back in the mid-2000s, middle-aged women would come to me for personal training and coaching because they felt as if I was speaking directly to them in my marketing. This is what they told me when they arrived. This is what you must find a way to do in your own business.

The only way to make that happen is to love your prospects and customers. I mean really love them. Show them you care. Reveal to them why you care. Show them you understand.

In order to write strong copy and to create powerful marketing campaigns that drive profitable response, you MUST get to know your prospects and customers as intimately as you possibly can.

You must know them so well that they are real to you. You can see them. You can define them. You can describe them perfectly. You can speak to them as if they were standing right there with you.

When you can know your prospects and customers and court them in this manner, your copywriting and marketing will sing to them in ways they’re not used to and in ways that will make them feel they know you, like you and trust you; and they will begin responding to the offers you’re making them.

When you can foster this kind of connection with your tribe of readers, prospects, customers, and colleagues you will begin to gain a level of influence that is not only powerful in its ability to help you grow your business, but also in its ability to help you create a business that is not only more profitable, but a lot more fulfilling for you and everyone else who comes in contact with YOU each day.

-John