How To Increase Your Visibility
Another key to growing your business is to increase your visibility — your awareness factor among prospects and clients. You do this through repetition. (Jim Stampoulos) I have given you some ideas for increasing the awareness factor in my Basic Sales System (Section II) and Marchev’s Rules To Sell By (Section III), but let’s visit this topic one more time because it is fundamental for building a bulging book of business.
Let’s play a word association game. I will mention the first name of a few individuals and I want you to let your mind do the rest. (Break out the ‘ole #2 pencil again.)
When I Say: You See
Without claiming to be clairvoyant, I’m betting you wrote Mick Jagger or Mickey Mantle. Then you wrote “Madonna” because you don’t know her last name (but a blond singer with a reputation for being more than a little flamboyant). Tiger probably prompted “Woods” (or perhaps, “Tony the”). Bing Crosby shot into your imagination followed by either Billy Joel, Billy Martin or Billy Crystal. Liberace (again no last name) brought to your imagination a piano player with candelabra and lots of rhinestones and jewelry. With Andre’ you either saw the tennis player (Agase), the musician (Watts) or maybe a bubbling glass of champagne. For Jim, you probably had to think of someone you knew personally. Nothing shot into your mind’s eye when I said Jim, right? Maybe Jim Croce. Jimmy might have been Durante.
Did you think of my brother in law, Jim Stampoulos? I don’t think so. But you will when I get through with you. Pronounced “Stam-Poo-Lus.” Watch how this thing works.
How do you go about getting this kind of name recognition — at least in your own small corner of the world? If I ask a stranger who Mike is, I am quite certain that very few would respond with my last name, Marchev. Some might say Mike Wallace, or Mike Tyson. This wouldn’t come as a surprise to me. I am not well known. And neither are you.
But, if people don’t know we exist, how in the world can you expect them to decide to trust us enough to do business with us? (Jim Stampoulus owns an incredible restaurant in Stirling, New Jersey. He is my brother-in-law. Pronounced “Stam-Poo -Lus.”)
Let’s agree that simple awareness is the first step toward building a relationship. Then, every prospect in your marketing area should have a rudimentary idea of who you are. (Remember Jim Stampoulus? He graduated from Millburn High School in 1972. He owns a restaurant in New Jersey. He is my brother-in-law.)
This is worth repeating. How can anyone decide to try your services if they don’t know that you are alive? Here is a fundamental strategy to increase your visibility that is worth every minute of your attention.
Awareness Strategy 101
First, let’s benchmark the here and now. Call up five or ten prospects you have never contacted before and ask them to name the three providers of goods or services similar to the ones you provide. Keep this exercise local if your market is local or if it is consumer, as opposed to business, oriented.
Don’t get depressed if all ten fail to recognize you or your company as one of the candidates. They often can only name one (the one they use) for the simple reason that they know of no other proven alternative. (Thinking of Jim Stampoulus? Now you are.)
Here’s your challenge:
Everyone in your local market who you want to recognize your name will know who you are one year from today.
How can you make this happen? By bombarding the marketplace with you, your employees, your company and lots of information. Here are some near -, and far -, fetched ideas, to name a few:
- Call people and introduce yourself. (“Hi. I’m Jim Stampoulus.” Remember him? He is my brother-in-law, the restaurateur.)
- Go to functions and be visible.
• Rent a blimp balloon with your name on it.
• Paint your company’s name on your car.
• Appear in 2,132 consecutive baseball games (or at least some local chamber of commerce athletic outings).
• Leave your business cards everywhere.
• Sponsor events — youth, charitable, educational.
• Adopt three greyhounds and parade them around town with your company’s logo imprinted on their warm up coats.
• Write editorials.
• Write an article.
• Go somewhere strange on vacation and submit it as an article in your local newspaper.
• Press release or advertise hirings, promotions, or employee honors in your company.
• Send duplicate copies of publications which reference you (besides the local “Police Blotter” column) to everyone and everywhere.
• Have golf shirts printed.
• Give a couple of plane tickets away at a well attended local function and make sure that you are the one who gets to present them at the awards banquet.
- Buy a hole-in-one insurance policy and donate it at the local hospital golf outing.
- Get mugged at a charity ball and go on the local 10 o’clock news. (Use this one only as a last resort.)
These are just a few of the ways for you to begin improving your visibility. Ask your employees for more ideas. Then give yourself one year to make it happen. I guarantee you’ll get amazing results from this simple promotional campaign.
We know who Mick, Madonna, Tiger, Bing, Billy, Liberace, Andre’ and Jim are because we have heard their names over and over and over again. Simply copy what works. Right, Jim? Who? Why Jim Stampoulus of course. (I don’t have to tell you who he is or what he does, you are already “aware.”)