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The Best Place to Invest Your Marketing Dollar

Budgets for marketing are always tight, but these last few years, well, they’ve been stretched beyond tight.

marketing budgetSo, how do you decide where to invest the little money you have. Traditional thinking points towards advertising and other ways to make the phone ring, get more traffic to the site, but I say there are lots of low cost and next to free ways to do that and the real payoff is in conversion. It’s amazing how much money is wasted generating leads that go nowhere. If you are generating a decent amount of leads, but only converting 5% to customers, ask yourself what it would take to get that conversion number to 10%. It might not take much at all and you would double your business. Wouldn’t that be worth your time, money and energy.

My guess is you actually don’t need any more leads, in fact, cut out the non qualified ones and you could probably double your business with less leads than you have today if you focused more of your energy on lead conversion. It’s the first place I go to fix a business when asked.

Here’s your plan of attack for greater lead conversion

Get metrics – figure out where you are today – use Google Analytics and pick up Avinash Kaushik’s book Web Analytics 2.0 to find a host of tools and techniques that will help you better understand all of your online and offline conversion numbers. Understand these four variables and go to work on improving them: 1) % of leads converted 2) Average $ amount per customer/transaction 3) Average number of transactions with each customer 4) Cost to generate a customer

Get better – Do some usability and multi-variant testing on your web pages using tools like Crazy Egg, UserTesting.com, and Google Website Optimizer to find out how to change them to get higher conversions. Pick up Tim Ash’s book Landing Page Optimization or better yet consider hiring a page optimization firm like Ash’s Site Tuners to help you increase the interaction, engagement and conversion from all of your web pages.

Get a process – Create scripted process that allows you to qualify, nurture, convert, transact and repeat with each lead that comes into view. Know what everyone in the organization is going to do with a lead to move them to the next step, present your unique value proposition, make an offer and thrill them after they agree to purchase. Have set, documented and scripted approaches for all to follow and follow them. Here’s a hint though: Don’t simply copy what everyone else in your industry does. Use your conversion process as a differentiator. Create an intentional interruption and be prepared to show why your way of doing it is a benefit. Invest whatever it takes in time and resources to get this right and continue to tweak it.

Get training – Not everyone comes out of the womb selling. For some it’s hard and sales training is often a great investment. But that doesn’t mean you have to come off as the stereotypical schmoozer sales person to be effective. Effective sales training is often a matter of creating some patterns and processes that make you a better listener, more authentic, and better prepared to demonstrate you understand the problem a prospect is experiencing rather than simply having an answer. I for one think books like Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play or Go-Givers Sell More are more relevant in today’s relationship selling world than the “close them or die” approaches of the past.

Image credit: stuartpilbrow

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  • redcort

    This is really solid advice. Focusing relentlessly on measuring, improving, and growing in my skills has really maximized the bang of our marketing bucks.

  • http://waltgoshert.com/ Walt Goshert

    Why not invest in getting better? It's little things like watching your numbers, testing, tweaking that moves your marketing from barely working to break-through results.

    But it's not nearly as much fun and sexy as running ads or doing the creative stuff.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    I think the creation of a winning sale presentation can be pretty darn sexy – but nothing beats doubling your sales!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    It's kind of like blocking and tackling drills in sports, it's where the real money is but most people think it's always game day.

  • http://www.mikestenger.com Mike Stenger

    Like that you also posted Get Training with everything else. Most people get so in depth with everything else that they can completely forget to get training. Once you stop learning, you start dying IMO

  • http://www.FameFoundry.com/ Fame Foundry

    Great article! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://budurl.com/ynfr Megan

    You should start the tip with get training. It should always start with research and knowing everything there is to know. And there are a lot of social media training modules scattered all over the internet right now.
    But they're all good tips. However in the end, if people do not know how to use the tools at their disposal, it would all be for nothing. So it's important to be really well-informed. Read up on success stories and even the failed stories. You can learn a thing or two from those.
    And here is a good place to start http://sn.im/uxp2a

  • jmcg084

    Really great advice!

    You are right about online business owners spending far too much on dead end leads!

    People need to focus on drawing organic traffic to their sites as opposed to paying a fortune in ads that small conversions anyway.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read this.

  • sharonjones

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing, one fresh
    idea and you can change the world, keep
    up the great work.

  • http://fastforwardacademy.com/index-page-irs-enrolled-agent-exam-course.htm Monique

    Great advice. But I can't help but argue a little bit with the last point, about getting training. It's not just that “not everyone comes out of the womb selling,” it's that MOST people don't come out that way. Moreover, some people (for lack of a better term) totally suck at it. I mean, really. It takes a very particular kind of personality to be a good salesman, and I think sometimes, rather than trying to manufacture a talent that doesn't exist, it makes more sense to realize your shortcomings and delegate. Find somebody who DOES have the salesman gene and get him to sell for you. That's what I think, anyway.

  • davefinkelstein

    Great Post thanks. People so often neglect landing pages and conversion in their quest for more traffic

  • Stefan F.

    Great advice. It is amazing how just thinking a little outside the box can increase traffic so significantly. I think the fourth step should actually be the first. Reading good books on selling can prevent you from making costly mistakes by reading up on other peoples horror stories.

  • http://attninvestor.com/ Attn: Investor

    Great article and thanks for the tools you listed, I'm definitely going to use them on my site.

  • http://mybusinessmarketing.org/ MyBusinessMarketing.org

    I would add one thing under the “Get Training” section. I have been in one form of sales or another my entire career, it is one of my passions, I believe that attitude and motivation are BY FAR the most important parts of successful sales. More important than training, closing techniques or follow up system. Without an optimal attitude money is being left on the table. I encourage my team to start out their day my finding a good article on success.com or a similar site, not only do you feel great all day, but you will find a noticable improvement on your bottom line.

    Great Post!

    Andres Garcia

  • http://mybusinessmarketing.org/ MyBusinessMarketing.org

    I would add one thing under the “Get Training” section. I have been in one form of sales or another my entire career, it is one of my passions, I believe that attitude and motivation are BY FAR the most important parts of successful sales. More important than training, closing techniques or follow up system. Without an optimal attitude money is being left on the table. I encourage my team to start out their day my finding a good article on success.com or a similar site, not only do you feel great all day, but you will find a noticable improvement on your bottom line.

    Great Post!

    Andres Garcia

  • josh.carlos

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  • http://yardit.com place free classified ads

    Budgets for marketing are always tight, but these last few years, well, they've been stretched beyond tight.

  • http://yardit.com post free classified ads

    It's amazing how much money is wasted generating leads that go nowhere. If you are generating a decent amount of leads, but only converting.

  • http://yardit.com place free classified ad

    It's amazing how much money is wasted generating leads that go nowhere. If you are generating a decent amount of leads, but only converting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Fogel-Neale-Partners/272640782557 Ralph Fogel

    Google has some great tools to use that constantly being updated. Thanks for sharing.