Pick Two Types of Service


The temptation for businesses, especially after they have success, is to overreach. You have the choice of price, quality and service as your focal points in the marketplace. But you can only have two. We are tempted to be all three. But we live in a world of natural trade-offs.

Part of being in business is knowing what you are committed to and will deliver to your customers. You can go broke fast when you muddy the water with perfectionism.

If you are good and fast, but not cheap, then expect to turn away prospective customers that are not a match. It’s not a fit for what you are about. You can wait patiently for the people that will come your way that want what you are offering.

If you are in the business of being fast and cheap, keep that habit, message and approach day in and day out. There are plenty of people that are looking for your offering and can live without good. It’s good enough.

I know restaurant owners that own two types of restaurants. One is fast and cheap. They have a steady flow of traffic. It’s a volume game.

The other restaurant looks nothing like the first. It is fast and good.

They don’t comingle the two concepts. They are different businesses with different patrons.

Perhaps you want to get bigger after you see successes. How about focusing on leaning in further to your success and be better instead. Deeper focus and commitment to the two service items that make you who you are will go a long way towards growing your business.

What two are you? How can you get clearer and more committed?

Give Them What They Want

woman handing glass cap to man in green t shirt
Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

If you spend most of your time trying to convince people of what they need, you may be in for a highly expensive and wasteful lesson from the marketplace. I get it. When you have an idea that you love, you think others should love it as well. But, we have to take heed of what William Faulkner said, “you must kill all your darlings.”

Your darlings may be the idea of special native plants in your ingredients or how you believe people should socialize. In your mind, this may be the most beautiful, reality-changing screenplay to yet become a part of our everyday lives. But going broke pursuing it is not smart business.

Giving people what they want takes observing, listening and detachment. You observe how people react to your offering and integrate the feedback to refine it further.

You listen when they tell you they like something or dislike something. You read the Google Reviews or Yelp. The painful ones have insight.

You detach from your own idea of what is good for everyone, and simply serve people where they are at.

Even if you are right, you may be creating psychic pain by insisting on something people don’t want or are not ready for.

I think people forget there are another 300M+ people in this country. We get in our own heads wanting to be special or stand out. That’s not likely with that many people and with the ridiculous amount of options. And guess what? We are all connected. A hit quickly gains a ripple effect.

There may be a few people brilliant enough to get people to understand something they did not know they needed and now want. But that stardom, though highly celebrated, is what movies are made of, not necessarily what entrepreneurship and business rewards.

It’s a jungle out there. One of your best senses to develop is paying close attention to what people’s emotions, feelings and expressions are saying about what they want and like. Your job is to give it to them in the easiest or most exquisite way.

Design the Customer Journey

close up finger hurt pain
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yes, I understand you want money. You want people to buy now. The temptation to simply expect and demand cash is so high and blinding that it’s hard for a seller to see why money becomes elusive.

In some cases when the pain is high – root canals, broken transmissions, fallen bridges – the customer goes straight to the answer. They want the full offering because the pain and the cure are clear and needed.

What about cosmetic dental work, upgrading to a Tesla or improving infrastructure for growing populations?

The sale is a bit harder. The pain is low. Your customer’s status quo is fine. And your offering feels like a big commitment. It can be delayed.

Is there a lesser first step you can start with to stir the customer’s thinking? A test drive or a new mirror can get a person thinking about something they haven’t entertained.

There’s the beginning seed.

You have to gain interest, attention and trust at the start. This is hard in a crowded, overwhelming marketplace. This feels daunting when everyone can get what they want with their thumbs and iPhone.

That starting point, not your final sale, is where you have to dig, design and consistently offer yourself. I bet your customer journey could have a bit more courtship involved. I bet you could start and build trust with a few touches that lead your customer through smaller, more comfortable steps.

Yes, you can sell more. But you have to care more first. And that means stepping back and walking that emotional journey your customer feels. You can design the journey and help them towards a bigger yes, the one you want. Caring about where they are at and how they proceed to trust you means going slower so you can go faster.

What’s easy for your customer to say yes to first? How about second?

How could you design the steps with care that lead them to what they eventually need from you?

Get Your Customer To Think

Many of us are playing out a script as buyers. We have our guard up and our default reaction to an offer is to decline or say, “No,” before a seller can even explain what they do. Just try observing the salespeople peddling their wares at the mall to passerby shoppers.

You may be selling in a completely different environment with customers that are thinking differently altogether. For any chance of buying to happen, there has to be an environment where you cause your customer to think. This means:

  • Getting the customer to look at a situation in a whole new way
  • Inviting the customer to dialogue
  • Positioning your buying experience for curiosity
  • Spotlighting the depth of a problem
  • Opening a person’s mind to new possibilities
  • Helping someone buy rather than trying to sell them
  • Connecting

When designing your marketing campaigns or putting together a strategy to court a new buyer, consider how the content, design and experience facilitate the customer to think and consider something new, namely your offering. This is why thought leadership is so effective. Your buyers are able to gain value from how you frame problems relevant to them and see how you lead them through the problem-solving process. Your insights are able to be put forth.

Strong branding messages and calls to action that invite a valid next step which matters to the buyer are compelling if you help the buyer think. It’s an opportunity to highlight a state of dissatisfaction. Discontentment with a present reality compared to a future possibility could be used to help the problems seem large and the solution feel enticing.

Look around at the touch points your buyer experiences. Some may need to be modified altogether. Others may need a small tweak to increase their effectiveness in the sales process. Inject messaging, content and thought that helps your buyer wake up from their automaton state and consider new realities – your view of the world. It starts the buying discussion which is most of the battle in today’s marketplace.

How could you get your buyers to think more?

Managing An Inbound Marketing Team

When we share with our clients the work and production of our team to build and deliver an inbound marketing system, they come to appreciate what it takes to make everything work. Here are the conversation points which we have heard that have represented the value of partnering with a marketing firm like AscendWorks:

  • I don’t have to hire all those people. The talent required is broad for an effective inbound marketing system. Among these include:
    • Web developers
    • Graphic designers
    • Copywriters
    • Copyeditors
    • Project managers
    • IT
    • Strategy consultants
    • Marketing analysts
    • Database managers
    • Video technicians
  • I don’t have to manage the team. You can focus on your own business and work collaboratively and leave the headaches to us for getting things done.
  • I don’t have to manage the projects. We have publishing calendars, task lists, requirements documents and strategy maps to work through. Building this process is years of refinement and failures that you don’t have to worry about. You get the result of a well-tuned factory.
  • I can see what is happening. We communicate and stay transparent with what is happening. The work that gets done along with the results in the form of metrics is continually captured and presented to help you see what is working.
  • I can get new ideas. We have knowledge and strategies we share with our customers. We are in it together seeking to drive leads and customers with your inbound marketing systems and content.

Sure, if you want to take on the headaches, staff up and get ready to manage a process. It takes a lot of commitment and vision. But if you find that the reality is that you would rather do without the headaches and partner with less than half a head count, then we think it makes good business sense. Consider the work and focus on the result.

What are your thoughts?

Marketing With The Back Story

Melvin The Magical Mixed Media Machine from HEYHEYHEY on Vimeo.

There is a video which has an immense following. It is not about a person. It is about a machine, a Rube Goldberg machine, which promotes itself via Twitter, Facebook, video and a website.

Some passionate artists and technicians did the work of creating a show which told a story. The video above is astounding and speaks for itself to the creativity, hard work and genius of the project. The story draws you in even further. It is marketing at work behind the product.

Ironically, the automation developed in the machinery is one part of the project. The marketing which works to self-promote the machine is another process in itself. The story behind what we see draws us in further to discover the background.

Show And Tell

Seeing your product or service in action is an immense part of communicating your value to the world. New customers want to get their minds around how you work, what they are getting and how you deliver. You don’t necessarily have to build a Rube Goldberg machine, but there needs to be a show which helps them see what happens when they do business with you. It is part of the show which makes the tell easier.

The tell is the part which helps to bring color, description and intrigue to your value proposition. It is the back story which answers the questions:

  • How do you do what you do?
  • Why do you do what you do?

Telling your story is what makes you unique in the mind of the buyer. It is your own and noone else’s. We relate to story. It fills in the missing pieces for motivation, desire, and inspiration.

Melvin The Machine is a remarkable piece of machinery designed with patience, care and attention to detail. See how you get pulled into the back story and think about what your product or service would benefit from with a better tell.

How can your show and tell improve?

Lead Scoring Your Best Prospects In Loopfuse

loopfuse lead scoringYou can learn about how lead scoring works in an article at our AscendWorks blog.  This powerful Loopfuse feature introduces the element of quantifying buyer behaviors.  You can use Loopfuse to measure:

  • Downloads
  • Visits
  • Clicks
  • Opens
  • Completed Forms

among the options that can be measured.  In our Loopfuse consulting, this is a key part of the campaigns we develop with our customers.  In and of itself, this feature set is inept.  It takes marketing automation strategy to power effective lead scoring.  The decision tree and triggers you desire from an inbound marketing buyer who engages your content needs to be mapped out.

Sales Engagement From Loopfuse

At some point, your marketing automation campaign becomes integral to sales engagement.  Loopfuse reports includes the Top 100 Visitors Score as well as Scored Opportunities.  In the early stages of your campaigns, you can use these to further calibrate your metrics as part of a sensitivity analysis.  After your campaigns are dialed in, the reports prove valuable to help your sales team take action with the most relevant leads.  These are the prospects which engage the processes built inside of your Loopfuse system.

Loopfuse Consulting Best Practices

In our consulting, the design of an effective marketing automation campaign facilitates tasks in the CRM for sales users.  This is the tactical piece which helps a salsperson rely on Loopfuse to ready a new buyer.

A marketer benefits from seeing what is driving scores and how to continually tune the content or logic within the marketing automation system.

What was once invisible is now visible and relevant for the timing of your sales engagement and follow-up.

You can learn about the details of how we further implement lead scoring at our blog here.

What would you do with your top measured buyers?


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Marketing Automation Is A Salesperson

Many of your customers are not ready to buy when they first meet you.  They are in the research and education phase of their buying process.  If you are a sales organization, your process typically revolves heavily around selling to ready customers.  The lens becomes narrowly focused on who is ready.  These are the minority.  The majority might be ready in 90 days and beyond.

Following Up Via Marketing Automation

It’s amazing that organizations will pay a person salary plus benefits often totaling $70K+ per year not including the management responsibilities.  The majority of this person’s time is spent following up.  And how does the typical salesperson follow up?  They call and interrupt people.  Buyers have become quite adept today at blocking out strangers, interruptions and things they are not ready for.  Caller ID, spam filtering, do not mail, etc. are in place because of sales processes that miss the mark.  They are selling rather than nurturing with value.  It creates mistrust and brand damage.

A New Sales Process With Less Cost

So what if you re-engineered your sales process recognizing the dramatic change in how people buy today?  Here’s how it could look:

Fewer Sales People That Focus On Closing

Have fewer sales people that focus only on the last leg of the sale – conversion.  This is what a good salesperson is about.  They know how to close.  Allow them to be set up for success by economizing their time rather than filling it with a pipeline of largely improbability.  Thus, they would be talking to those that are ready to move forward with your value proposition.  They would be brought in to do their job in the most relevant conversation of their job.

More Nurturing

Allow your marketing automation system to nurture and make ready those who are unready today.  Within the Loopfuse system, you can set up various campaigns, Lead Flows, metrics and action triggers to help a buyer become more ready.  This system has far less cost than a salesperson and is much more effective because it brings value, is consistent and creates transparency to a buyer’s readiness.

You can design your automation processes to work with specific buyer profiles you have identified and nurture them in a custom and intimate way.

If you fail to nurture, are inconsistent or create interruption, you will lose the larger potential from a continuous closing pipeline.

The world has changed.  Change with it by recognizing that nurturing is critical when you are not allowed to interrupt today.  Your value, messaging and timing better be focused in order to win a customer who has many options.


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How To Automate The High Fidelity Sale

In Kevin Maney’s book, Trade-Off, Why Some Things Catch On And Others Don’t, we learn about two categories of products and businesses – Fidelity and Convenience.  High fidelity businesses are inconvenient.  They typically have cachet and price points which make it more desirable for upper end buyers.

High convenience businesses are easy to get in terms of cost and access.  Maney’s message is that to succeed, you must position and commit to one or the other.  Otherwise, you are destined to fail.  Ted Leonsis, former president of AOL, sums it up, “A successful business is either loved or needed.”  The problem is when you try to be both.

Buying Process For High Fidelity

Choosing the high fidelity approach requires a focus on one of the 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing, “It is better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.”  With automated marketing in Loopfuse, you have the opportunity to be first in the mind.  Segmenting leads and delivering the right message and action at the right time with high value creates the conditions for a lead conversion.  The art of nurturing within Loopfuse should be designed with a continual focus on the positioning of your value proposition.

The high fidelity sale demands that you show you are the best.  Within Loopfuse OneView’s campaigns, ensure the communications contain a highly attractive and consistent graphical framework which elicits emotion from the potential buyer.  If you have nurturing emails timed to go out based on a campaign opt-in within Loopfuse OneView, the content should highlight beyond mere features and benefits.  Help the buyer to imagine.  Powerful stories of customers using your product or service and the results they have in their life would increase the value perception to a high fidelity offering.

Furthermore, use cases which promote creativity and personal embrace help the potential buyer move from estrangement to intimacy.  They can see themselves using your service or product and over time, with effective nurturing, emotionally move from indifference to near obsession.

Marketing automation enables you to present your brand incrementally and build trust by familiarity and increased relevance.

Loopfuse Consulting Best Practice

The best practice Loopfuse strategy for the high fidelity offering is to use nurturing email campaigns with a high attention to design.  The content must connect and affect the emotions post by post.  Imagine building to a gradual crescendo.  The nurturing effect should be continually refined to produce a buyer from an uninformed lead.  Help them get to know your value and your delighted customers through story as they build a picture of who you are.  The picture comes into focus with each touchpoint delivered by Loopfuse.  Such campaigns enhance your high fidelity offering by building a case for being first in your customers’ minds.


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3 Marketing Automation Strategies Using Loopfuse

The promise of marketing automation is to create a repeatable, predictable process for nurturing unready leads.  In so doing, you gain the advantage of creating an automated funnel.  Your leads become ready for your sales process and in turn, previously neglected leads become valuable for a continuous pipeline.

Marketing To The Unready

The majority of your leads are not ready to buy today.  They are early in the sales process.  Their goal is to learn about you and build trust.  The question is if you provide value and educate the buyer before they lose attention or find what they need from your competitors.  Your marketing automation strategy needs to focus on buying.  Buying is before selling.  It is the mindset of your leads before they engage you.  In our marketing automation consulting, the three key strategies to drive your Loopfuse system are decision points, value propositions and a consistent call to action.

Decision Points

In order for your Loopfuse system to be effective, your landing site should be well targeted for a specific buyer profile.  Present the buyer with either one or a few decision points.  There should be a click that is specific which you desire.  Limit each page to as few clicks as possible and ensure the layout of the page lends itself to the desired action.

Value Propositions

Your buyer is initially looking to become educated.  Help educate them through your marketing automation system so they can understand how your industry, market and product work.  Allow them to be comfortable to ask the right questions when they are ready.  Empowering your buyer is a powerful way to build trust and goodwill.  You are delivering value in doing so.

Ensure your value proposition is packaged in a high quality and digestable fashion.  Videos, white papers and articles are mediums which need to have both content and design elements to engage the buyer.

Call To Action

The call to action must be specific and readily available.  It can be in subsequent landing pages or within autoresponse emails from your marketing automation campaigns.  Regardless, ensure the call to action is clear and definite.  Often this is a request for a consultation or ordering a product or service package.

Be careful of making the call to action a large step.  It should be proportional to the amount of trust you have at the step in the marketing automation process your buyer is in.

Inbound Marketing Consulting Best Practice

The best practice is to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and deliver proportional value and next steps according to the trust being built.  Your buyer is getting to know you.  Date them without pressuring them and you will find a natural progression in trust.  By the time the call to action is taken, it is because your system nurtured with effectiveness.


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