Many years ago I was attending a Marketing and Facilitation workshop. This was a no holds barred, full contact, intense marketing yourself and your workshops event.
How does this Train the Trainer style of workshop apply as marketing advice for small business?
I will tell you. When I signed up for the seminar my intent was simply to use it to become a much more effective facilitator. I’m a believer that if you’re going to do something you should make every attempt to become excellent at it. While the week long training did not contain a great deal of marketing advice for small business it did show us how to create value to increase the potential for sales.
In the seminar world there is a marketing strategy called the “Book Store”. This marketing strategy is extremely effective. It was so effective at generating sales that I no longer took my wallet to the sessions because I knew how easily they could sell me something using it. The premise behind the marketing strategy was to introduce a product/seminar and then increase the value while lowering the price. When the value is high enough and the price low enough, people will think it is insane not to buy. They will actually run, push and shove their way to give you their money. I know. I saw it and participated in it.
Now I mentioned earlier when I took the workshop I didn’t have any product or seminar to sell. This created a challenge for me because that was one of the assignments; sell business owners two workshops for their managers. As I didn’t have something to sell, I had to invent something. And fast, as I only had a lunch break to come up with something. At the time my background was in the employment field. I helped people market themselves while finding a job or changing careers. So I used my background to market something to the business owners.
So I thought about the business owners’ unsaid needs. I knew they all had employees. And I know from running workshops with every caliber of worker possible, some are not great additions to a company or team.
What I came up with for the first seminar was, “Have you ever hired a less than ideal employee? Would you like to discover a way to hire the ideal worker, the first time, every time?” The name of my seminar was, “Risk Free Employees!” Then I offered them a case study where one company experienced the typical roller coaster with employees. Hiring the wrong people and the time, effort and money they lost to go through the process again and again. When they used our system they went from a turn-over rate of between 15- 20% down to zero for the last year. That was a saving of over $250K. All of this because their managers took our workshop and learned “10 Simple but Critical Steps to Hiring Right the First Time, Every Time.
I had their attention. Then I hit them with the follow up seminar which was higher in price. This marketing workshop focused on, “Turning Every Employee into a Walking Cash Machine for the company” Every business person in front of me wanted to attend my seminar. Why, because my marketing focused on their unsaid needs. I knew they wanted employees that would relieve headaches not cause them. They wanted employees that generate cash not cost the company money.
My marketing advice for small business is to dig a little deeper to find out your target market’s unsaid needs. Do this and you’ll see the resistance drop and the wallets come out.