MARKETING SUCCESS TIPS
Is education good marketing?
By C. Devin Hastings
This article is the first in a series of sales and marketing articles I will sharing for the benefit
of those who have their own hypnosis business or who are involved in sales in any way.
Discussed in this article:
If you are a hypnotist please note that effective and ethical sales skills are a must for you. In seminars, when I tell my audience that they need to be good at sales, there are invariably one or two people who object to this statement because they don't want to be perceived (by themselves or others) as a salesperson.
My response is that sales expertise is a must because you are in the business of coaching your client to buy an idea or a way of being that they need and desire. They have come to you to be able to change for the better but, until their unconscious mind is 'sold', change will not occur.
Also, if a prospective client calls you and you are not adept at explaining the benefits you offer, you will not likely have the chance to help that person.
So, even though what I am about to say is obvious, it seems to be a forgotten focus of so many self-employed businesspersons: Your primary goal is business success.
(1) Profitable Marketing to attract buyers.
(2) Sales Talent in order to sell them on the idea that you can truly give them what they want.
(3) Product Expertise to deliver outstanding results and excellent follow-up service. Product Expertise = Product Knowledge (about your field such as hypnosis) plus Sales Talent used to enhance your hypnotic persuasion skills.
Remember: Under-promise and over-deliver. This virtually guarantees a satisfied client. Stated another way it means to go the extra mile for every client. You can only do this when you are so well educated that you easily deliver the best for every client.
Now, let's talk a moment about profitable marketing. What this means is that you are marketing in such a way that your efforts and dollars ultimately create a net profit.
Not surprisingly, many people waste significant amounts of money on advertising. (Call me, I'll tell you a few horror stories that were a great education for me.)
Losing money on advertising occurs for two reasons. First, a person has not had enough marketing education. Second, when a person finally gets a customer, their lack of technical knowledge (product expertise) creates an inner feeling of incompetence. A client can pick up on this even before they come into your office and that is not a profitable way to start a business relationship.
By the way, every successful business has invested time and money in marketing efforts that have not yielded great results. This is inevitable but, your goal is to minimize marketing loss by having as much training as possible about effective advertising.
Now, before we move on, it is important to mention another point about minimizing marketing loss and it is this: Minimizing marketing loss is much more than just saving a few dollars by not purchasing ineffective advertising.
Marketing starts from the moment a prospective purchaser is aware of you and your business. For example, while writing this article, I received a call. I answered: "This is Devin. What can I do for you?"
The caller said: "Hi Devin. Is this MindBody Hypothesis?"
"Hypothesis? Didn't he mean 'Hypnosis'?" "HmmÖ" I think to myself. "Sounds like a salesman."
My gut reaction to this guy so obviously screwing up was that I didn't want to talk to him for another second. In other words, his marketing efforts resulted in a loss.
This loss occurred because this salesperson didn't bother to educate himself enough to even get my business name right. That put him on track to losing a potential customer. But he didn't because I have done more sales than most and so, gave him a chance to tell me about his products. Turns out it was something I was interested in.
So, is education good marketing? Yes, in many ways the least of which being that sometimes even minor gaps in knowledge can be costly as the previous example illustrates.
Education and marketing are related in many other ways such as in learning which types of advertising are more likely to work than others. A word of caution here: Never believe a 'guaranteed' advertising program. This implies that the person selling you this has a crystal ball and can see the future. Or, if the product is that good it is probably so expensive that only large companies can afford it.
Now, even though competence (Product Education plus Sales Education) is recognized as intrinsic to business success, is there is such a thing as too much education? Yes, but only when it is interfering with your life in a harmful way (such as schoolbooks falling on your head).
Seriously, the only time it is harmful for you to keep adding to your skills toolbox is when you do it to avoid those less than pleasant activities that make for a profitable business. These activities could include cold calling, balancing your checkbook and so on.
And yes, there is a point at which a person must take action with the current knowledge they possess but this does not mean that they stop learning.
Now, assuming that (a) you are a person truly interested in learning more for the benefit of your clients, your business and for your own fun, and (b) you want to enhance your marketability, the next question is important. In order to get the most for your educational dollar, how do you know which programs are best to invest in?
Since I can only answer from my own extensive research, experience and perspective I will tell you this: I always learned something from every single thing I have bought because my conviction is that I can always learn. Sometimes I only received one new piece of information. Sometimes I heard something that I already knew about but, for some reason it hit me differently. And sometimes I have been wonderfully surprised by a purchase I was unsure about making.
So, here is my philosophy on education and purchasing training programs:
(1) Never stop learning!
(2) Be Curious. This means be open to ideas that challenge your own 'comfort zone' ways of thinking and doing.
(3) Look for the profit, not the loss in investing in yourself. This means asking yourself the following questions: "Is it possible for me to get one new piece of information from this product? Is it possible I can learn one new way of doing something? Can I learn something from this person's style that will make me more effective?"
Ultimately you will always profit from your educational investments. To explain more fully why education is great marketing please bear in mind the following 3 co- factors to business success:
(1) Even when you think you've learned it all, you haven't. This is especially important when you think you've mastered a certain area because someone else will learn a little bit more and that will give them a competitive edge you won't have. As Tony Robbins says: "Get The Edge!"
(2) Have a unique selling position (U.S.P.). This is something that makes you different in your field. Sometimes a profitable U.S.P. is just being an exceptionally well trained and confident you! There are lots of hypnotists (perhaps many in your area) that offer weight loss/stop smoking services but there is only one you! So, maximize who you are. Do this by opening your mind to as much training as possible because it this will ultimately open a door in you that will make you very successful.
(3) Focus first on marketing customer benefits and second, your skills. Do your marketing with an unstoppable passion because passion is a magnet for success. You can create this magnet by literally absorbing as much as you can from the masters in your field. Their passion is contagious.
In conclusion, I want to share with you that I have personally invested in so many audio/video training programs and books that I have lost count. But, my client results and bankbook prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that every penny I have spent on continuing education was worth it.
C. Devin Hastings
My experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business arenít so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more." ---Michael Gerber
ABOUT DEVIN'S SALES EXPERIENCE:
C. Devin Hastings has had extensive sales training and experience. His sales training began at the age of 5 when he started selling Cheerful House Greeting Cards door-to-door in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Devin's direct sales knowledge was further enhanced by the 3 years of door-to-door sales he did to help support a Christian boy's school he attended as a teen-ager.
In addition to hundreds of hours of self-study, Devin has received over 200 hours of intensive sales training from 3 top corporations* where he earned many sales awards.
As a certified instructor of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnosis, Devin combines his broad sales experience and success with NLP and Hypnosis to help others produce the results they want.
(1) Vistana Time Share Sales in Orlando, Florida
(2) Sprint PCS Business-to-Business sales in Minnetonka, Minnesota and
(3) Verizon Information Systems in Edina, Minnesota.