Cheat Sheet: Do It! Marketing

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Ten great ideas from a recent business book:

David Newman believes in making marketing simple: Figure out to whom you’re talking — then talk to them for a good, specific, relevant reason, understanding who they are and what’s important to them. Just do that, and you’ll have all the professional copywriters and ad agencies beat in no time flat. Here are 10 more ideas from his book:

1 When face-to-face with a customer, establish what they want to talk about and focus on that. If they answer, “B, 47, and kangaroos,” then don’t talk about “A, 21, and buffaloes.” Ask, “Which one do you want to talk about first?” (Take note, some of you who might push the A/R treatments too hard without first establishing a reason for your customers to want such treatments.)

2 Try the “Black Marker Test.” (Put your ads next to your competitors’ and black out the names. Do you notice a difference?) Then try the “So What Test.” (Read the marketing statements in your ads and then ask yourself, “So what?” Can you come up with a compelling value-based answer to that question?) Finally, try the “Prove It Test.” (Prospects assume marketers are liars. Can you prove your claims with testimonials, third-party proof and verifiable facts?)

3 Everything is too expensive until you want it. Your challenge is to make customers want what you’re offering.

4 Create a “Marketing Language Bank” — a collection of verbal building blocks that reflect your most profitable clients’ pains, problems and predicaments. Once you’ve created your bank, use it in all your marketing materials.

5 Here’s how to see if your marketing copy is good copy. Imagine sitting down to a cup of coffee with an old friend. Soon the conversation turns to your business. Could you read your marketing copy out loud to them without them choking with laughter or staring at you in confusion? If the answer is no, then remember: If you wouldn’t say what you’ve written, then simply write what you would say.

6 Make your ads so educational that customers would never throw them away. (How about a graphic of perfect frames for various face types?)

7 Get clients’ attention, then move away from musty old features-benefit selling by “Doing the Flip.” Take the positive benefits you offer — and determine their opposite negatives. Then take each of those negatives and build a restorative statement around it. (1. Benefit: better vision while driving at night; 2. Opposite: glare from headlights and streetlights mean more dangerous driving; 3. Pain relief: Boost nighttime driving comfort, performance and safety with no-glare lenses.)

8 Underpromise and overdeliver. When you say, “I’ll do my best to get it here Tuesday,” your customer hears, “I promise it’ll be here Tuesday.” In fact, even if you say, “I can’t promise it’ll be here Tuesday,” some customers will still hear, “I promise it’ll be here Tuesday.” Instead, offer a date that you’re absolutely confident you can commit to, and then try to beat that date.

9 Don’t trust your customers to sell your business the correct way. Instead, create a “referral blurb” they can forward to their contacts to spread the word about your excellent vision care.

10 The thing you should be most afraid of in your business is being too afraid. To play things too safe is the biggest risk of all.