• Makheni Zonneveld

#1 A comprehensive marketing strategy for your small business

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

This post is part of the free Q & A Future Readiness service. If you have not yet subscribed please click here or watch the 4-minute video on the homepage of makheni.com. Please click here for previous blogs in the series.

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Before getting to Martine’s question, last week I announced that I was going to launch #365BlackFriday on the 19th of January. This simply means every day is Black Friday from 19-01-2019 to 10-01-2020 because this year I turn 20. In case you are not connected to me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, here is the link: http://www.makheni.com/365blackfriday. By the way you can connect by clicking on the social media links on the footer below. Likes and shares are always appreciated.

Dear Makheni

I was pleased to learn from your latest response to Eugene that you are going to start with what you usually refer to as a ‘comprehensive marketing strategy’. My husband and I own a small hotel in The Netherlands and because of the location, a lot of tourists come to this area especially in Spring and Summer. Your blogs opened my eyes to the fact that the person we engaged for online marketing services knows how to build websites, set up social media accounts etc. but she does not speak the language that you speak in your blogs about a comprehensive strategy. I have two questions. 1. Will you please start with what a comprehensive marketing strategy is. 2. If we engage your services on setting up a marketing strategy will you help us with the implementation? We are not old (40’s) but we are far from tech savvy. We don't mind coming to you. Thank you. Martine (Not her real name).

Dear Martine

Thank you for your questions. Your timing is great because your first question is exactly where I was going to start. By now you have realised that here we eat an elephant one elephant burger at a time. Today I am only going to respond to your second question and then start with the first one next week. Thanks again for your second question because I did not think of including this topic, let alone start with it.

The short answer is yes I will help you with the implementation if you want. The long answer is that the services I offer to clients varies according to their needs, whether they are a start-up or a running concern like you, what they would like to achieve, what they can do themselves, what they can outsource to me, what they can outsource to other providers and I recommend providers if I know any good ones. The good news is that most of the time my clients do not have to outsource technical stuff to the type of tech girl you have just mentioned because I help them to do that themselves even when they are, in your words, far from tech savvy.

The technical stuff should be the least of your concerns because I will show you how to use the software that you will use for the implementation. If you can click a mouse you can use this software. You say you are in your 40’s If I can use this user-friendly software being in my 60’s then anyone can. If you have kids even if they are 12 years old they can earn a few euros from your business if I can show them how to use this software because they will get it faster than you.

I always try to help clients to find solutions that they can afford because I consider a good Return On Invested Capital (ROIC), sometimes called profitability ratio, to be very important. That simply means that acquiring clients should not cost you more than the profit you make from doing business with them. As you must have realised by now I communicate in what you people call ‘Jip en Janneke taal’. For those who don't speak this complicated language, this means simple everyday language. By the way you can choose if you want the coaching to be in English or Dutch or even both.

The first step is to click here to fill in the form. I will then arrange an intake session with you and your husband. This can be Face2Face or on Skype or Zoom or FaceTime or even telephonic. The intake session is always free. Once we decide to go ahead, I will send you a code for filling in an online questionnaire to determine your brain profile. In this case both of you will fill in the questionnaire. I use this profiling method in all my coaching services. My husband and I own the Dutch agency of NBI®, the method that we use. It is available in different languages including English and Dutch. We train and support practitioners - they are independent expects who work wit people. We also apply the method as practitioners like I apply it in coaching and workshops. This method will help you with understanding your individual profiles, each other’s profiles and later you can choose to get your employees to fill in the questionnaires in order to enhance teamwork and team communication.

Unlike coaches and trainers, in your line of business, you do not have the opportunity to let your clients complete a questionnaire first but with the basic understanding that you will get from me of how we are all wired up differently, you will be equipped to interact more effectively with them. One of the things you need to be good at as a business owner is negotiating and this method helps you to do that better.

At the same time that I give you a code for filling in the online questionnaire, I give you an intake form with questions that help me to understand your business better.

The next step is our first session. The sessions can be Face2Face or online or a combination of both. In this session I will explain the principles of profiling and present your profiles to both of you. A brain profile is not a confidential matter so you will both see each other’s profile. Believe me Martine, this will help even with your marriage because you will understand some things that may have irritated you in the past. If you have very different profiles one of you may be the swing from the chandeliers type and the other may find it odd.

The following step is to go through the intake form and help you to clarify your thinking. I will use ‘Who are your competitors?’ as an example of one of the questions. I recently had an online client who has a store where she sells healthy food. She is very passionate and very knowledgeable when it comes to healthy living. When I asked her who her competitors are she said the store that sells healthy food on the other side of her town. By asking her a few questions I helped her to realise that she has far more competitors than she realised.

Her long list of competitors include new entrants who are still going to join this lucrative market, supermarkets because their healthy food shelves are growing by the day even though most of the stuff is the pseudo-healthy food called natural food, online stores from which someone who lives 100 meters from her store can order etc.

She was even more surprised to realise the fact that the list is longer than that because we usually think of direct competition. We often make the mistake of thinking of competition in terms of Tesla competing against other fully electric cars. Competition is far broader than that because you compete for the same attention and the same dollar with everyone else.

Her list of competitors also includes junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, entertainment, branded clothes the list goes on. What is the relevance of these other product to health food. Unless you are Bill Gates and his friends , you have unlimited needs and limited means. This makes consuming everything you want and everything you need all at the same time impossible. Thus, you have to choose between buying healthy food for yourself and your family and branded clothes.

What does that mean if you are a seller of healthy food?

She was concerned because she thought I was suggesting that she should start preaching against the ‘wrong’ priorities of people. She was relieved to learn that that is not the way to go. She will be more successful if she sold the benefits instead of the features of her products. The age old example is the fact that no one needs a drill but people need holes so sell good holes. That is what 'Sell the sizzle and not the steak means'. So one of the questions is what do you sell or stated otherwise, what is your product / service. When i ask that question, inevitably my new clients give the features and the idea is to help them to think in terms of benefits, through the eyes of their clients and in terms of terms of what problem they solve. People get surprised when I, as an agent of a profiling method say that no one needs a method. That is true. People do not need a method but solutions like selling better, communicating better, leading better, teaching better, coaching better, negotiating better and better personal and business relationships. people buy that and not a method.

Whenever I explain this process prospective clients ask 'And at what point does the coaching on comprehensive marketing strategy start?' They get surprised when I say from the first day because what I have just stated is part of the process. As soon as you start completing in the intake the process has started because the questions are part of the process and you are going to be asked to contemplate more questions throughout the process.

What next?

1. Please answer these few questions that are just a sample of the questions on the intake form. Please do not send your answers – this is just an exercise for you.

  • How do you answer when people ask Martine, what do you do?

  • What is your business?

  • What do you sell?

  • Which problem do you solve?

  • Who are your competitors?

  • Who are your customers?

As the series of blogs continue I will refer to these and more questions.

2. Please check out the profiling method on www.breinvoorkeuren.nl (For people who do not read Dutch, please click on ‘English’).

Till next week

Makheni your Future Readiness Coach

Face2Face and Online Coaching

These coaching service do not form part of the free service

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  • Leadership coaching - executive and operational level of leadership

  • Career coaching - first career choice or career change

  • Personal effectiveness

To request more info on these services please click here.

Makheni Zonneveld has extensive experience in helping organisations, teams, individuals and entrepreneurs with real transformation. She employs these communications tools: Online and face2face coaching, speaking, training, storytelling and writing.

To enquire on her services or join the mailing list of this free service simply click here: http://www.makheni.com/contact

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