If you think there’s growth ahead, listen up.
Your business… no matter what kind of business… home repair, car sales, information publishing, health food products… you name it… your business has a fair amount of moving parts.
And one thing, you’ll need to succeed is a “mastermind” group of colleagues. Some boys and girls who have, generally, the same goals of growth and success as you do. Their purpose is to hold your feet to the fire. Guide you. Steer you away from trouble. Keep you focused on the right things.
They do this by meeting with you on a regular basis. They ask you how things are going. They give you imput. Warnings. Pats on the back.
They are your “board of directors.” At least that’s what they are called when you get to be one of the “big boys”.
Until then, they are just your “mastermind” club.
And, this mastermind, should be able to help you in all kinds of ways.
Marketing ideas. Management methods. Cost cutting. Profit enhancing. How to handle competition. Accounting. Growth. Analysis. All kinds of things.
If you remember, I gave you an outline of Napoleon Hill’s great book “Think And Grow Rich”. (See this link). Out of Mr. Hill’s 13 “twicks” toward success and riches, The Mastermind is clearly one of them. Check it out.
If you don’t have a Mastermind, perhaps I can fill in for you, till you get one together.
I’ll do it for the silly price of $240 a week. I ask questions, I listen, I try to figure out where things are, and give you my best advice. I might bring in some of my long time marketing/management buddies into the conversation to give you guidance.
The point is… GET YOURSELF A MASTERMIND. Or, you’ll pay dearly.
Running a business is a lot like juggling a bunch of plates in the air.
But… get this… if you can find the right advisors, it can cut years off your struggle and add fortunes to your bottom line.
If you want to bring me in, let’s talk.
Here is my number: 801-895-9598
And just so you’ll know… below are some of the questions I could ask. I’m giving them to you now… to help you… because… I’ve discovered over the years, if you ask the right questions, you get to the right solutions much faster.
Here are some questions:
From Linwood Austin
Company Name: _____
City, State, Zip: _____
Ad manager/marketing director: _____
General Background Information
1) What kind of business are you in?
Retail? Mail Order?
Wholesale? Service Business?
2) Products or services offered: _____
3) Years in business: _____
4) Is your business local, regional, or international? _
5) Branch offices: _____
6) What do you ultimately want out of your business, and how do you plan to get it? _____
General Marketing Information
7) What is your UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (What makes you distinctively and uniquely different from your competitors)?
8) How did you arrive at it?
9) Price ranges: _____
10) Profit margins: _____
11) What is your annual gross revenue? _____
12) What is your fixed monthly overhead? _____
13) (How much of your overhead depends on volume)? _____
14) Advertising budget for the year: _____
15) Who are your direct competitors? ____
16) What do you offer that they don’t? _____
17) What is their biggest failing? _____
18) What do they offer that you do not? _____
19) How much per year do you spend in:
Newspapers? Direct mail?
Telemarketing? Yellow pages?
Trade Shows? Internet Marketing?
20) Briefly describe your marketing program.
Are you using a mix of Direct Marketing, Brand Marketing and Buzz Marketing?
21) How much volume do you do each month (both in dollars and units sold)? _____
22) Do you want more volume or more profit on the same volume? _____
23) How much of your time each month do you devote to marketing? _____
24) Do you test your ads, web sites and other marketing efforts? _____
25) If so, what did your tests tell you that you didn’t know before? ___
26) How do you capture the names, addresses and phone numbers of all your customers and prospects? _
27) What is the current size of your customer list? _____
28) How often do you mail to that list?
29) What is your biggest and best source of new business? _____
30) Does your advertising seek to bring “sales” or “leads”?
31) How big is your prospect universe? (How many potential customers are out there for you right now?)
32) What is your most successful selling effort to date, and why? ___
33) What has been your biggest failure, and why? ___
34) What is your biggest marketing challenge? _____
35) If you had as much money as you wanted, what would you do to improve your product?
36) If you had as much money as you wanted, what would you do to improve your marketing? ___
37) Do you have a marketing plan written out and adhered to? _____
38) Do you have a spreadsheet whereby you can predict the effects of numerous variables on your business?
39) Can you handle a sudden increase in sales (if that’s what you want)?
(Note: Front-end profits are those profits made from first-time contact with customers or prospects. Back-end profits are those made from the 2nd, 3rd, etc. contact or sale.)
40) What percentages, of your profits, are made on the front-end? ____
41) What percentage on the back-end? ____
42) What rented list(s) have been most successful for you so far? _
43) What is your natural sales curve for the year?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
44) What is your selling season, if any? _____
45) Are you selling something you love? _____
46) What do your customers really want? _____
47) Why do they buy from you? _____
48) What is your customer attrition rate? _____
49) Is that normal? _____
50) If it’s too high, what do you think it’s due to? _____
51) If it’s lower than average, why? _____
52) Are your customers direct-responsive? _____
53) What problem does your product or service solve for the customer? __
54) Key BENEFITS to your product/service. Please list at least 6:
55) Please list the PRODUCT POINTS or service facts that make those BENEFITS believable.
56) Are you able to target your market with pin-point accuracy?
57) Do you have a testimonial file of satisfied customers? _____
58) Do you have a system in place for soliciting or capturing testimonials? _____
59) Do you have a system for generating customer referrals? _____
60) Briefly describe the niche you fill in the marketplace. ___
61) Briefly describe the niche you fill in the customer’s mind. ___
62) Do you have endorsements from authorities or famous people?
63) What is your business philosophy in relationship to your customers?
64) What guarantee or warranty have you offered in the past?
65) Do you have a sales force to follow up on leads generated?
66) Do you sell your product/service by itself or in combination with other items?
67) If so, what combinations?
68) Are your ads working?
69) Do you use direct response advertising?
70) If not, why not?
71) What is your advertising philosophy?
72) Do you create your own advertising or have an agency do it?
73) If you use an agency, are you satisfied with them?
74) Approximately how many ads do you run per month?
75) What is the return on investment for your ads?
76) What is the cost per thousand for your ads?
77) How much do you spend to bring in a new customer?
78) Do you use two-step advertising?
79) How much do you spend to bring in a lead?
80) What’s your conversion ratio?
81) What is your cost per sale?
82) How much does your conversion cost?
83) If you test, what do you test?
Copy ? Media ?
Offer ? List ?
Price? Other ?
84) How much prospecting mail do you drop each month?
85) Do you use a list broker?
86) What is the cost per thousand for our mailings? _____
87) What is the return on investment for your mailings?
88) Do you create your own direct mail packages or hire an agency or freelance writers?
The Back End
89) What is the “lifetime value” of your typical customer?
90) Do you have your customer list on computer?
91) How often does a typical customer buy from you?
92) Have you ever tried to reactivate your former customers and non-converted prospects?
93) Do you rent you customer and/or prospect lists?
94) In what ways do you try to up-sell and/or cross-sell your customers?
95) Do you make consistent efforts to educate your customers?
96) Do you need to make money on the front end or are you satisfied with only making it on the back end?
97) After the sale, what do you do with the customer?
98) When was the last time you introduced a new product or service to your market (both existing customers and prospects)?
99) Do you do anything at the point of sale to increase the order or add on other products or future products or services?
100) How often do you communicate with your customers?
101) Have you segmented your potential market (as well as your customers) according to the various needs of different groupings of people? __
102) Do you use the “80/20” rule in your marketing (80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers)?
103) Are your salespeople salaried or commissioned or both?
104) Do you use independent sales reps?
105) Do you work through dealers?
106) Is your customer service prompt and courteous?
107) How long does it take you to fill an order after you receive it?
108) Is “buyer’s remorse” a problem for you?
109) If so, how do you overcome it?
Advanced Marketing Techniques
110) Do you do joint ventures?
111) What have you tried?
112) Did it work?, If not, why not?
113) Have you ever created proprietary concepts or ads or mailing pieces that could be sold or licensed to other businesses outside your marketing area?
115) Have you ever tried to sell these ideas?
116) Do your vendors have a direct financial interest in your growth and ultimate success?
118) Have you ever tried “per-inquiry” advertising (paying per inquiry or sale produced by an ad)? If so, how did it do?
119) Do you use a public relations strategy to complement your marketing?
120) Have you ever tried selling your non-converted prospects to your competitors?
121) Do you ever barter your products, services. or assets with other companies in exchange for their products, services or assets?
122) How do you usually get out of a bind?
123) Do you use bonuses in your sales propositions?
124) Do you use risk-reversal in your basic sales propositions?
125) What kind of guarantee or warranty do you give your customers?
126) Do you buy from your competitors to keep track of what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong?
127) Do you provide incentive bonuses to your employees for creating new and better marketing methods for your company?
128) Do you actively pick the brains of experts in your field and other fields related to yours?
129) What restrictions are there on your marketing effort? In other words, what can’t you do even if you wanted to?
130) Have you asked your customers what they want?
131) Have you done a customer survey?
How many sent? __ How many returned?_____
132) Have you done a customer list analysis?
133) Are you charging the right price? (How did you determine your products price)?
134) Does your product move a customer away from a pain emotion or toward a greed emotion?
135) Is your market place growing, shrinking, or staying static?
136) How many employees do you have?
137) Is your product a “brand name”?
138) Is your product technically easy to use?
139) What do you most want to get out of your involvement with Linwood Austin?
Please return this form with 3 or more of your current mailing/marketing pieces or other printed or online sales material.
Please note: This information will be kept in strict confidence. I will call for additional information I may need. This is enough to at least begin a strategy.