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

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

Stop everything you’re doing right now and read this! This is One SIMPLE inexpensive and mostly ignored idea that has the potential to change your life and your business for the better, forever.

john c ashworth support socks

written by john c ashworth

Repeat after me…

“I’m a marketer in the business of…(fill in the blank here with your type of business)”

You MUST embrace this.

If you can’t, well, I’ve got bad news for you. You’re going to continue to struggle.

Here’s why…

Most small business problems in particular are lead-generation problems. Otherwise known as marketing and sales problems. Mostly marketing problems. When you can fix this one thing, you have solved many problems all at once. If you’re reading this right now, I’ll bet you understand this completely. If you don’t understand it yet, and you instead feel a little repulsed by the idea, that’s good too. You’re growing. Stick with me for a few more minutes while I make this very very important point. Albeit it in a somewhat roundabout sort of way…

This fundamental idea goes way beyond social media.

Your blog.

Your Google Adwords program.

Your facebook business page.

Your website.

And a lot of other things you might be going right now what are just wasting time and money.

Your futile efforts to keep-up with the so-called ‘experts’ out there telling you that everything has changed and that none of the old ways of marketing will do anymore.

That you must engage online because that’s where everyone is hanging out now. That’s where everyone is spending their time. That you should abandon your yellow page ad or newspaper insert ad in favor of marketing dollars spent online in an effort to expand your reach.

This is all a lot of BS. The equivalent of changing your socks for a fresh pair after you’ve finished your lunch and are ready to head out for the afternoon and the rest of your day.

Sure, those socks are going to feel really good. Clean. Fresh. Maybe even a little silky beneath your feet. The catalyst for a new outlook on what’s in store for you during the remainder of your day. A chance to cultivate a fresh outlook by choosing to change something simple. Something fundamental.

The problem is, of course, that you end up with twice as much sock laundry at the end of the week. Heck, you might even have to go out and buy more socks. If you do that, you might even have to work to make more room in your sock drawer too. One change leads to another, you see. And suddenly, you don’t have any more room in your top drawer for the silk boxer shorts you’ve been wearing to bed at night in an effort to stay cool and comfortable during the warmer months of summer.

The truth is that very likely, if you just went out and invested in a brand new set of high quality socks that were made to breath, and support your feet and lower legs more effectively, you wouldn’t feel the need to change them halfway through your day. Those new high quality socks would support you.

You don’t need more. You need different. You need smarter. You need a better and more effective solution to the problem. You need a fundamentally sound foundation of support that you’ve invested in in order to help you get the job done.

So, before you go run out and buy more socks, or attempt to revamp your lackluster marketing efforts based on one so-called ‘expert’s’ idea about how to reach your prospective customers more effectively somewhere online, I want you to consider something very, very important to your success.

Most small business owners fail to invest in the equivalent of a good, supportive set of socks when it comes to their marketing efforts. Mostly, because they fail to adopt the phrase I started with in this post.

Here it is again in case you forgot,

“I’m a marketer in the business of…(fill in the blank here with your type of business)”

Instead, small business owners often focus on their expertise and their service and products and never quite learn how to more effectively take their small successes with early customers and multiply those efforts over time.

This is plainly evident in the fact that most small business owners, especially in the beginning fail miserably at the one thing they need to do to grow their business and cultivate their success. Instead, they’re constantly caught in a vicious and tempting cycle of constantly searching for new customers without first ensuring they are taking care of and leveraging the customers they already have.

One really important part of this fundamental aspect of your business is the constant work of cultivating your prospect and customer lists through careful and considerate communication that gets to them in a variety of ways, and especially through their mailboxes.

None of this can happen, however, if you do not have the infrastructure in place to build and communicate with this list. A list, that when managed effectively, can become one of your most precious business assets. Because when you can lock-in an audience by positioning yourself as an authority in your marketplace, and continue to build and cultivate this list over time, you have a real opportunity not just to make a lot of money, but to build the kind of business I know you set out to build. To truly serve your customers.

This is achievable within 1-5 years depending on a variety of factors.

The really good news is that the timeline for you is probably closer to that one year mark, especially if you’re sitting there right now thinking to yourself,

“Geez, I think John is right. I’ve got an entire prospect and customer list I’m sitting on here and I don’t communicate with them very often at all.”

Or, you’re communicating with them in all the wrong ways because you’ve been listening to all the wrong ‘experts’, especially the ones who seem to be constantly telling you that you need to be doing more stuff online.

Let’s start with the basics.

Let us begin with your house list and in the beginning, we will work to really establish your authority with these folks and all the new folks that will begin to come along once we get going.

Because in that first 1-2 year time period, if you’re willing to invest in yourself and your business in this way, you have the opportunity to accomplish more business growth in the next 12 months than you have in the last ten years. No joke. That’s not just a lot of hype. It happens all the time once you’re wearing the right socks.

That is the power of your house list and in getting back to the fundamentals. The elegant beauty of a brand new pair of awesome socks that provide the support you need.

Need help? I’m here for you. Keep reading and write me when you’re ready.

-John

How to Make Sales without Talking to Customers

written by john c ashworth

I’m a BIG Believer in what’s known as ‘Education-based Marketing.’ Also known as ‘Authority Marketing.’

Put simply, this means creating a communication, messaging, and education system that you deliver consistently and provocatively to both customers and prospects and that teaches them everything they need to know about YOU, your business, and how your products and services can solve their problems; and leads them to the conclusion that YOU are the EXPERT. 

When you do this right, it’s not only a heck of a lot of fun, but it makes selling so much easier.  Because by the time someone picks up the phone to call you, they are already pre-sold on what you do, how you do it, and most importantly, how they will personally benefit from engaging with you, your business and the products and services you offer.

The majority of your sales are made before your customers talk to you or one or your salesperson.  The statistic I read this morning was 70 percent.  I’m sure this number varies.  The point is that the majority of your prospects are out there right now looking for information about the solutions you offer.  And when you show-up with consistent, powerful, emotionally-driven information and education about how and why you can help them solve their problems, your customers will consume this information, and call you when they’re ready.

The quality of the information you have available throughout your sales process has the real potential to make your job easier or harder.  Unfortunately, most small businesses make this a lot harder than they need to for themselves, and both their lead-generation and sales efforts struggle as a result.

This happens for three reasons.

First, you’re busy and time is precious.  The idea of trying to find time to build-out this kind of communication strategy is daunting and very likely you don’t even know where to begin.

Second, copywriting, video and podcast production, blogging, and social media communication take even more time and expertise that you probably feel you don’t have.

Third, this idea is new to you and your are very likely skeptical about its merit.

The first two things are easy to solve with just a little time invested in re-structuring your current marketing and sales plans; and then consulting with the right experts to help you get the job done.

As for the idea itself?  Think about the last few things you purchased yourself.  Especially the bigger ticket items.  

How much research did you do ahead of time?

What kind of information helped bring you closer to your purchase?

What was missing that you wished would have been available?

What was it exactly that brought you to your final buying decision?

Now, think about it this way…

What can you do inside your marketing, sales and communication systems to ensure that people know and understand as much about you and your products as possible so that by the time they call you, most of the selling is done?  

Because once you do this, your sales and marketing program, and your business as a whole will completely transform.

Remember, most small business problems are marketing and sales problems and they are usually quite easy to fix once you’ve adopted the right mindset, committed to your information-marketing machine, and consulted with the right experts to help you get it done.

…and here’s the really good news, because I know how overwhelming all this can feel.  I’ve been there.

There are almost always about three ways I can show you right now how to increase your sales exponentially and without much effort.   Without having to develop the kind of comprehensive communication, sales and marketing plan I’m talking about here.  And we could probably identify them over a cup of coffee this afternoon.

If you’re interested, and I have the availability, I would love to have this conversation with you.

Click here to contact me through the blog.

-John