Monday, December 5, 2011

PERSISTENCE!

The following famous speech was given by the great Sir Winston Churchill to a university graduation commencement. He stood up, approached the podium and said the following words: "Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, give up!" Then he sat down!

One of the problems I see occasionally with business owners is that they will start to do some marketing project for their company and then suddenly quit. They quit for different reasons. Sometimes they get a fantastic response from a campaign and decide to relax, sit back and collect on it forever. Or perhaps they got a less than positive response, got discouraged and gave up. Whatever the reason, giving up is not the right answer.

There are lots of marketing strategies available that you can use to promote your business. Go back and read some of my past blog posts to see just a few of them. But whatever strategy you choose, know that they all have one thing in common, they have to be worked to work! I know, I know, because there are so many kinds of advertising strategies that you can use, it can seem confusing deciding which ones to try. But here's the key, just get started and DON'T QUIT! Don't just try a couple of things and then give up. In order to grow a strong company, you must continually do marketing of some kind. Your goal should be to find as many ways of marketing as you can comfortably handle. The idea is to get to the point where you make all your mistakes and failures on the smallest possible scale and get the maximum benefit from your success.

One of the characteristics you'll find among top leaders in companies who are at the top of their field is that they are persistent, and they have an ongoing consistency. They are continually using many marketing strategies. Even if you have occasional failures, as everybody does, these leaders have the ability to get back up and move on. They make adjustments where necessary, and move ahead.

A simple marketing success strategy is this: Be doing something all the time. The old saying,"inch by inch it's a cinch" applies here. Many business owners become successful by using this strategy, and you will, too! And, as Churchill so wisely said, "Never give up!".

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Want to improve your ad response rate? Then you MUST include a strong call to action!

Too many ads simply say, “Hey, we’re a great company,” and leave it at that. Ads that never ask the prospect to do anything are weak and non-effective.


Don’t assume that readers will know what to do by simply seeing your ad. You must tell them what to do and how to respond to your offer. Never leave it up to them to figure it out. They won’t! If you want prospects to call you then you must come right out and say so by adding a call to action statement to your ad that says something like, “Pick up the phone and call me right now!” Make your call to action copy bold and easy to understand.


If you want to turn up the response rate even further, add deadlines, add rewards for quick response and describe an easy refund policy to decrease buyer resistance.

Below are some examples of strong call to action copy:


· CALL NOW! All this can be yours! You can have it immediately by picking up the phone and calling the following number!


· ACT NOW! I take all the risk. If you’re not satisfied, simply return the product and I’ll quickly refund your money. No questions asked! You win all the way! Do it NOW!


· Don’t Put It Off! As an early bird buyer, I’ll include a big bonus package, absolutely FREE! After next week, I won’t be able to include the bonus as part of this offer, so act now!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't get dry on marketing Ideas!

Last week I gave you the first place to get ideas from which was Junk Mail! Here is another place to get them.
From Magazine Ads! There is a multitude of great ad ideas to be gleaned from magazines of all kinds. Whenever I go to the store, or I’m at the airport, I look at magazine racks to see what’s new and different. If you do this, don’t only stick with the magazines you like, but check out others too. Find ideas in one industry that you can use in another. One idea I used a while back capitalized on the popular “Got Milk” ads. I used the idea to develop a very effected ad for an auto recycler, stating boldly on the page “Got Parts! Got Guarantee? Got Fast Delivery!” I also created an ad for a used parts provider around an idea I borrowed from a flu medicine ad I spotted in a sports magazine. The flu ad was a powerful consumer warning. In big letters at the top of the ad it said, “Flu Alert!” It had four strongly worded facts listed under the headline about the need to be ready for the approaching flu season. It concluded with some compelling reasons to use only their brand of flu medicine. My ad was similar to theirs. At the top of my ad I used the headline, “Parts Alert!” Like the flu ad, I listed four strongly worded fact below the headline about recycled parts. I concluded with a list of compelling reasons to buy from my client’s company.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Develop a Borrow File for Free Marketing Ideas

Most companies pay a lot of money for original education and ideas, but you don’t need to! You do not have to be original! There are already great examples all around you that you can legally borrow from.

Your borrow file is for ideas only, not to literally steal or plagiarize copyrighted material from. When you get dry on ideas, you can go to your borrow file to get your creative juices flowing. You can borrow the essence of an idea and custom tailor it for your own specific needs and it’s perfectly legal. Idea borrowing is done all the time and it’s not morally or ethically wrong. No one can copyright ideas. This is why you see so many imitations in music, fashion, TV shows, diets, movies, computer technology, and consumer products as well as just about anything you can think of.

Where to get ideas for your borrow file? The first is your own mail box for POSTAL JUNK MAIL! That’s right, the US Mail is a gold mine of free ideas you should capitalize on! Begin by thinking differently about junk mail. It is a great resource for free education and free ideas if you know how to glean from them! Big agencies pay millions of dollars each year on top writers and talented graphic designers who produce that mountain of junk mail that floods your mail box. Even though most of it is fluff and deserves to go into the trash, you will find the occasional nugget you can use. Keep the ones that grab your attention and make you want to buy their products. Borrow these ideas to produce your own ads. Use your own headline, your own photos, and make it into a new piece, totally yours. After you’ve done this exercise for a while, you’ll develop an eye for what’s good and what’s bad. Remember the best stuff grabs the reader’s attention, answers his biggest self interest question of “what’s in it for me?” and compels him to act. Keep in mind that there is value in bad stuff, too. Figure out why the bad ones didn’t get your attention and begged to be trashed. Rewrite the bad ones and fix them.

Monday, April 4, 2011

See your customers through their eyes!

There’s an old marketing saying, “If you are to sell to John Smith what John Smith buys, you must first see John Smith through John Smith’s eyes.” This is true! Success in sales is directly related to a salesman’s ability to see the customer as they see themselves, then to serve them accordingly.

This principle is very powerful yet so simple that many miss it. People are all basically focused on self at their most personal level; it’s an irrefutable fact of human nature. People are born this way. Babies cry because of this. They want to be changed, fed, cleaned, and cuddled. To further illustrate this point, watch a bunch of children at a party. Mom comes in with a tray of cookies and says, “Who wants some?” Immediately the children jump up and down and say, “Me, Me!” They all want to be first served. Now watch adults at a party. The host comes in with a tray of food or drinks and says, “Who wants some?” Of course adults don’t usually jump up and down and say, “Me, Me”, as children do. But they do THINK it! They still want to be first served. So how do you use this information to make sales?

First, understand that the better you get to know your customers at a personal level, the better you will learn how to serve them and the better you will know how to make sales to them. By the way, this is why the first tip I gave in the “poor boy marketing tips” series was a directive to simply phone your customers and ask them two questions, “How’s your business?” and “Do you need anything?” That powerful tip, which studies have proven to increase your business by 30% or more in a single month, works because it is all about the customer. It asks, “How is THEIR business?” and “do THEY need anything?”

So, begin to see your customers through their eyes. Discover what to put in your advertising that will speak directly to THEIR personal needs. Remember that most advertising fails simply because it does not directly and boldly address what the customer wants and needs. And understand that the best way to find that out is to come right out and boldly ask them!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sell Ad Space in Your Publications!

I know of one person who sells so much space in his publications that his advertising costs are totally paid for with money left over. Why not do the same? Here's how. Design your advertising projects (direct mail piece, company newsletter, catalog, etc.) to include space for other non-competitor type businesses to advertise their products and services as well. If you are like most auto recyclers, your mailing list consists of a large group of auto body and general auto repair shops. There are many businesses who are marketing to the exact same group as you and would love to reach out to them with their products and services. Some examples of non competitors who are not selling used parts, but who are marketing to the same group as you, are: machine shops, automotive electric services, equipment supply houses, muffler shops, wheel alignment/axle frame repair shops, just to name a few. You probably already know a few of them well enough to pick up the phone and get them involved in your very next project. It could be a win-win arrangement for both of you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Broadcast Fax Customer Specials

Use this method only to communicate to your own customers. It’s best to speak to your customers in advance and get their permission to receive faxed “customer only specials” from you. This is called “permission” or “friendship” marketing. It really improves your response rate when people welcome your offers. Always obey legal requirements when using this method. Never send spam! Be sure to include the date and time you sent your fax, your name/or the name of your business or organization, and the phone number of your fax machine. This needs to be on the first page of each transmission, or located in the top or bottom margin of every page you send. Be sure to put a note at the bottom giving them a chance to get off your list. You can check online at www.gpoaccess.gov, for the current legal information. Keep them simple. If it is an easy, fast, read, people are more apt to read them and respond. Don’t use a lot of graphics because they fax slowly and don’t look good. Instead use mainly text. Make it all about your offer. Have a powerful headline at the top such as, “These New Arrivals Are Just in and You Are the First to See ‘em!” or, “A Clearance Special For our Top Customers Only!” Then follow your headline with a great offer. If the offer is astounding and easy to understand, the receiver will be responsive to it. Make your offer easy to respond to. The easier it is to respond to and place an order the better and faster the response will be. The best way is to make the fax ad itself an order form that they can simply check some boxes, add their name to it and fax back to you. I have done this and have had a hand full of orders within minutes of faxing the offer to my best customers! For smaller campaigns, you can use simple in-house computer programs. But, if you are dealing with a large campaign, several hundred or more email addresses, you might consider using a professional broadcast service.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Want a fantastic response? Write Personal Letters!

Don’t send form letters! This has got to be personal in order to work. The envelope must have a handwritten address (absolutely no label affixed!), and there must be a first class stamp affixed in the corner (no postage meter!). Your personal name and return address must appear in the upper left hand portion of the envelope (no professionally printed envelope, no company label). In other words, it must look like, and actually be personal mail when it arrives to them in the mail. The inside contents also must be congruent with the outside. It must be personally hand written or typed (second best) with the receiver’s first name at the top and your signature hand signed at the bottom. Keep your letter short and to the point and say something like, “Dear Bill, I’m writing you a personal note to introduce myself.” The more personal it is the better your response will be. If your letter looks like you simply did a mail merge and cranked out a bunch of them, you will NOT get the results you want! Incidentally, I know of one company owner who used this approach, and he even included a hand-made savings coupon that he personalized for the receiver, writing in their name, and putting his signature on the bottom of it. Everyone who got one thought they were the only person who did! He got more than a 90% response!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Send Post Cards

This is an easy way to get an offer into the mail quickly and cheaply. Perhaps you want to show a list of your new arrivals to a selected group of customers or prospects. You can get a bunch of 4" x 6" post cards professionally printed and use them as needed throughout the year. Or, if you're on a tight budget, you can produce them in house on your office printer. Buy some 8 ½ x 11 card stock paper at your office supply store, print them four-up to a side, and cut them apart with a paper cutter. You can put on labels and a 28 cent postage stamp and drop them directly into the mail. What’s nice about this method is that you don’t have to print and mail them all at once. You can buy a prospect list (or use your existing customer list) and address and mail a few every day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Phone Your Customers

This is how you can increase your company income by 20% to 30% without having to get new customers. Studies have shown that all you need to do to accomplish this amazing increase is to call all your existing customers and say, “Hello, I’m (name & company here) and I’m calling to see if you need anything.” You will catch some at their point of need and they will place an order on the spot. Others, because you called them, will remember you the next time they need what you have. Divide your customer list among your sales staff and have them call a few at the beginning of each day. A sales person, by calling five each day, can reach 100 customers a month!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Use Bounce Back Offers

A bounce back offer gives you a second chance, at little or no cost, to make another sale to a customer who’s just purchased something from you. You have to make a delivery and/or send a statement to them anyway, and simply put, your new offer gets a free ride to them. Selling to them again is pretty easy too, because they’ve just purchased something from you, and they are now predisposed to buy from you again. What to offer? You can offer just about anything that is valuable to the customer. You might offer seasonal items such as snow tires, chains, or recycled antifreeze. You can offer overstocked items at discounted prices, special purchases, selected items you have on sale, or any other thing you know your market place is interested in such as windshield wipers or tools. The possibilities are endless. By the way, you regularly see these bounce back type offers as inserts in your credit card statements. They’re there because they bring results. Include bounce back offers with your shipments. Pack one in every box. Include them with your delivery driver. He can hand directly to the customer. Include one in every billing statement. Your bookkeeper can insert them in

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Use Logical Customer Service Up-Sell Opportunities

Studies show that most people will respond positively to an up-sell opportunity of up to 20% above the original purchase price of the item they are buying without giving it much thought. Small amounts added to a number of sales per day can really add up. Let’s say you are able to add one five dollar purchase to each of twenty-five sales in one day. That amounts to $125.00 extra dollars in one day, $625.00 in a five day work week, $2,500.00 in a four week month, and a whopping $32,500 for the fifty-two weeks in the year. Not bad! So where do you begin? Logically, the first up-sell offer from you would be to add warranty protection on applicable items. Then there is product tie in opportunities. For instance, if he buys an engine, ask him if he needs grease, oil or other fluids to go with that. Does he need gaskets, belts or special tools to make the installation? The key is to always ask if there’s anything else he needs. An up-sell is NOT a cold-sell! Attitude is everything when up-selling. It should be a part of your great customer service to them. You’re helping them! If they don’t buy it from you, they’ll have to make a trip elsewhere to get it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Results, Results, Results!

The well known answer to what makes real estate successful is "location, location, location." In the world of direct response marketing it's "results, results, results". Don't forget the three main reasons to advertise:

1. MAKE SALES! Forget the image thing. It's too expensive and doesn't pay off. The bottom line is the most important consideration in advertising. Always create your ads for direct response! Design them specifically to bring the greatest financial return on your investment. Make solid, attractive offers. Alway have a strong call to action. Use coupons to add value and to get immediate response. The focus of your campaigns should be SELL, SELL, SELL!!!

2. KEEP EXISTING CUSTOMERS! You have to continually remind your customers you are in business and you want to serve them. You must continually place attractive offers in front of them to keep them interested and aware of your presence. This is especially true when competition moves into your area. For every month a customers fails to hear from you, you lose ten percent of their relationship with you. After ten months of not hearing from you, there is no relationship left! This is a good reason to send your customers something every month. It's also a good reason to make sure your customers are on your current mailing list and receive everything you send out. They are the first to respond to your promotions because you already have a relationship with them.

3. NEW CUSTOMER ACQUISITION! Don't forget to acquire new customers on a regular basis to keep your company growing and healthy. Get a fresh mailing list every few months so you can be first in line to market your products and services to start-ups.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Using Powerful Selling Words and Phrases

The story is told of an automotive recycler who had worked the same business all of his life. It was a good business, but with the passing years, the owner began to tire of it. He longed for change–for something “better.” Everyday he found a new reason for criticizing some feature of the old place. Finally, he decided to sell, and listed his company with a business broker who promptly prepared a sales advertisement. As one might expect, it emphasized all of his company’s advantages: ideal location, modern equipment, good inventory, loyal customers, etc.

Before placing the ad the broker called the recycler and read the copy to him for his approval. When he had finished, the recycler cried out, “Hold everything! I’ve changed my mind. I am not going to sell. I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.”

What changed his mind? Powerful well-written selling words and phrases did!

There are lots of words and phrases that are like diamonds in print! They can be dropped into any ordinary ad or sales letter to instantly add value, create sizzle and increase sales. They can really drive people’s desire sky high. The following are just a few of them.


1. GREAT OPENINGS: This may be the most important letter that you have ever received, Let’s brain-storm together, I’ve got to get this off my chest before I explode, what I’m about to tell you will change your life forever, I want you to be the first to profit from this amazing discovery.

2. POSITIVE COMMENTS: Trusted and tested, ahead of the curve, small but mighty, on target, solutions to your problems, major breakthrough, a rewarding experience, shoot for the stars, cutting-edge, the best of all worlds, no guess work, a proven system, you’ll love this, best in the industry, you can’t lose with this.

3. GUARANTEES: You must be 100% satisfied, absolutely thrilled, or your money back, no questions asked, satisfaction guaranteed or you don’t pay, test drive it for 90 days, if you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll buy it back.

4. BIG AND/OR POWERFUL – Bigger is better, formidable, compelling, turbo-charged, grand slam, enormous, sledgehammer, steamroller, bountiful, massive, excessive, huge, whopping, jumbo, unlimited, an endless supply of, earth shattering.

5. ABOUT YOUR OFFER – one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime, amazing, most rewarding, world class, on target, unbeatable, incomparable little-known secret, the absolute best, red hot, irresistible, the one and only, comprehensive, remarkable, sizzling, first-class, the Rolls Royce of, awesome, you can’t miss, your solid-gold opportunity, beats the pants off of, take it to the bank, fully loaded, I’m repeating this offer to you one last time.

6. SELLING WORDS (I have an enormous list of these, but here are a few) – Amazing, announcing, at last, bargain, discount, exciting, benefits, bonus, breakthrough, compare, deluxe, enormous, exclusive, extra, free, gift, greatest, huge, hurry, important, jam-packed, jump-start, money, new, immediately, lifetime, valuable, proven, tested, unconditional, offer, sale, reserved, secret, rush, urgent, wanted, warning.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don’t just advertise, change the way folks think about you!

You can change negative preconceived stereotypes about your business by cleverly crafting your ads to say what you want them to believe. Education is really describing things in such a way that it affects how people understand your industry, your business, your staff, and even your products and services. Within your advertising projects you can educate, inform and change the ways folks think about your business. Here’s how.

1. Describe your business the way you WANT others to perceive it. You can teach folks to see your facility as a recycling center rather than as a junkyard when you say something in your advertising like, “Things have changed in the used parts industry! No more junk anything!! Instead of “junkyards” there are now automotive recycling facilities nationwide using state-of-the-art technology and equipment to reclaim, clean, and recondition parts from late model vehicles. These modern recycling centers provide total satisfaction for high quality recycled parts and customer service, at a fair price. This describes the way we do business here at (insert the name of your company)!”

2. Describe your staff the way you WANT others to perceive them. Rather than calling them salesmen, call them customer service staff, or recycled parts specialists. Describe them as, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. This will project a more positive and helpful image of your staff as you educate people how they should refer to them.

3. Use “Did you know” blurbs throughout your ads. Here are some examples:

· Did you know recycled parts save the resources and energy needed to mine and refine ore and minerals used to make the raw materials for new parts? Using recycled parts is good for the environment!

· Did you know recycled parts help keep insurance costs down?” Often an automotive recycler will pay an insurance company thousands of dollars for a totaled late model car, reducing the company’s loss. This means lower auto insurance premiums for consumers. It also helps keep wrecked and inoperable vehicles off our street, making cities and neighborhoods safer and more pleasant places to live.

· Did you know the automotive recycling industry recycles billions of vehicles each year generating billions of dollars annually for the U.S. Economy?

· Did you know the automotive recycling industry saves over 85 million barrels of oil a year that would otherwise be used in the manufacture of new replacement parts?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The First Lesson I Learned About Advertising Auto Salvage Yards

When I was first asked in 1982 to do a direct mail project for an automotive salvage yard, the first thing I said to the owner was, “How in the world do you advertise a junk yard?”

His instant response to my question was, “First of all, we never use the “J” word!”

To which I replied with, “But everybody calls your type of business a ‘Junk yard!’”

“Yes they do,” he said, “But we intend to change that!”

He then explained to me that the industry is working towards becoming known as “recycling” places, not “junk” places, and he wanted all of his advertising to accomplish more than selling parts, he wanted it to change the way people think about his business!

He was absolutely correct. You can change negative preconceived stereotypes about your business by cleverly crafting your ads to say what you want them to believe. Education is really describing things in such a way that it affects how people understand your industry, your business, your staff, and even your products and services.

Within your advertising projects you can educate, inform and change the ways folks think about your business. Next week I will tell you how.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Want to improve your ad response rate? Then you MUST include a strong call to action!

Too many ads simply say, “Hey, we’re a great company,” and leave it at that. Ads that never ask the prospect to do anything are weak and non-effective.

Don’t assume that readers will know what to do by simply seeing your ad. You must tell them what to do and how to respond to your offer. Never leave it up to them to figure it out. They won’t! If you want prospects to call you then you must come right out and say so by adding a call to action statement to your ad that says something like, “Pick up the phone and call me right now!” Make your call to action copy bold and easy to understand

If you want to turn up the response rate even further, add deadlines, add rewards for quick response and describe an easy refund policy to decrease buyer resistance.

Below are some examples of strong call to action copy:

· CALL NOW! All this can be yours! You can have it immediately by picking up the phone and calling the following number!

· ACT NOW! I take all the risk. If you’re not satisfied, simply return the product and I’ll quickly refund your money. No questions asked! You win all the way! Do it NOW!

· Don’t Put It Off! As an early bird buyer, I’ll include a big bonus package, absolutely FREE! After next week, I won’t be able to include the bonus as part of this offer, so act now!


P.S. - Why not let Mike French & Company help you get it your advertising done right this year! Below is a description of what we can do for you.

Mike French & Company, Inc. has specialized in direct mail marketing & services for the automotive recycling industry since 1982--we design it, print it & mail it. We also do marketing and direct mail project for other businesses as well.

Being a one-stop-shop, we also do custom web site design, provide all kinds of printing (everything from business cards to 200+ page magazines), custom mail lists (offering free mail list research & free list reports), professional graphic design (with three graphic designers on staff), and they provide complete mail fulfillment services.

We are the largest promotional products supplier in the automotive recycling industry and are able to put your logo and/or contact information on over 400,000+ different promotional items such as many kinds of banners, labels of all shapes and sizes, ink pens, mugs, clipboards, presentation folders, inspection tags, caps & clothing, business forms, automotive tools, and even hot-air-balloons!

We have been members of ARA for many years as well as members of other regional automotive recycler associations across the country. We specialize in marketing recycler associations and provide all convention promotional items, badges, ribbons, and signage. Mike French, speaks on the subject of marketing at many automotive recycler conventions & trade shows from coast to coast.

Call Mike French & Company right now to help you put together a marketing plan for your company based on your specific needs and your advertising budget. We’ll work out the possibilities for you. We will make it easy for you to advertise and even work out easy monthly payments you will like! Call Toll Free: 1-800-238-3934. Or email us at Harmony@mikefrench.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here’s How to Make Your New Year Happy!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! This tip will help you have a great one! One of American’s leading authorities on the art of sales, the development of human potential and the enhancement of personal effectiveness is Brian Tracy. He says that you must set goals in order to acheive success! He says it is very important to list personal goals as well as company goals when developing your list of goals, because they are connected and have to be congruent with each other.


He says the success secret to powerful planning and goal setting, is to write your goals down on a piece of paper as though they are true now, and congruency means you cannot tell yourself that you are making 1,000,000 dollars and be living in a van down by the river! Writing your goals down will cement them into your brain in a very powerful way and cause your subconscious mind to begin working on plans to make them happen.


In other words, when writing down your goals, don’t say, “I want to have a new house in five years, but say instead, “I have a new house.”


For example, say . . .


· I live in the following type of house _______________.


· I make _______ amount of money.


· My automobile is ________________.


· I’m physically fit and my weight is __________.*


*Yes, even your weight! If you tell yourself that you weigh (write here what you should be weighing for your height and bone structure) your mind will help you work out the goals and plans to accomplish it.


Now, write 10 to 20 goals down on paper.


1. Write them down and put them in order of their importance, the most important at the top and the least important at the bottom. The top goal is the one, that when accomplished, will have the most impact on your life and your business.


2. Write each goal down at the top of a separate piece of paper. Fill the page with ideas and a step-by-step plan to accomplish each one.


3. Do something every day to accomplish your goals.


It’s logical! Every goal can be put into steps and anything that is put into steps can be accomplished. If you have 6,000 steps and you do only one a day you will eventually complete that goal. The reason that most people don’t succeed is because they simply don’t do anything!