Michael : I have Stephanie Philp with us today and we are going to be discussing nine essential tips in marketing your business.
So Stephanie, if you could introduce yourself.
Stephanie : Will do. Thank you Michael.
As Michael has said I’m Stephanie Philp and I live in New Zealand. I’m an NLP trainer and coach and I also teach other courses on body language and I help small businesses to grow.
Michael : Excellent. What we’re going to do is to look through nine absolutely critical ideas to help you market your business.
Firstly I’m going to ask Stephanie to discuss each of them as ideas, and then we’re going to go back through them again and Stephanie is going to relate them to her own business so that not only do you have an idea of the reason for the idea, but you have a practical idea of how it’s being implemented.
So the first of the ideas Stephanie, is know who your target audience is. What does this mean? Why is it important?
Stephanie : Well, my experience of working in small businesses is that people try and get by by pleasing everybody all of the time.
So when I ask them ‘Who are you selling to?’ they’ll say ‘anybody and everybody’, and of course as soon as you do that you also make your marketing very vague.
By defining who you are actually selling to it means that you are actually concentrating on a niche.
Michael : And personally I agree with you because I know a lot of people that don’t do it and they get a bit lost.
And nearly all of the people that I know that are particularly successful in business today have actually defined their market very tightly. Even if they then deal with other people they are very focused on whom they aim at.
Stephanie : I think that that’s very important because as we’ve said about people focusing on a very narrow niche.
They do get other people, but the temptation is that as soon as (In my own experience, as soon as I say ‘You’ve got to focus on a narrow niche people get scared and think that they’re going to eliminate ninety percent of the population.
They may do, but that still leaves millions of people who are in their target area. So maybe we could go through and give some examples of this.
A target audience might be people that have really small feet, size four or less. That could be a very niche example of a target audience. Another one could be people that don’t get along with their boss. That could be a broader audience, from my experience.
A third one could be a coach that might not be getting enough coaching clients.
Michael : Excellent. The second point is knowing what problems they have. Would you like to talk about that a little bit?
Stephanie : Sure. Let’s use that example again of people who have small feet. If somebody has got very small feet it may be that they just can’t get shoes that fit them in a modern style – Maybe they can only get shoes that are children’s shoes for example – That could be the problem that they have.
The person that doesn’t get along with their boss – maybe the problem that they have is that they constantly get ignored by the boss or that they’re overlooked for promotion because they can’t get along with the boss.
And the person that is not getting enough coaching clients, the problem that they might have is that they are not getting enough income to sustain themselves in business.
Michael : The next one is talking about solutions. So what are some of the solutions that could be offered in the problems that you’ve been talking about?
Stephanie : Well the solutions are easy because the solutions are the opposite of the problems.
So the person with small feet that can’t get shoes that fit that are modern, it might be that you provide small sizes of shoes in modern colours and styles. The person that doesn’t get along with their boss, it might be that you provide training or coaching in communication skills to get along with people in authority.
To a person that is not getting enough coaching clients, it could be that you provide training or coaching to help them get more clients.
So it’s basically the opposite of the problem.
Michael : The next point to consider is the long term benefit or impact of those solutions.
Stephanie : So using the examples again. Somebody that has small feet and can’t get shoes – if they can’t get shoes that fit them in nice styles then they are going to feel more confident in going out. They’ll probably go on to have better foot health because the shoes fit properly.
The person who now gets along with their boss now finds that they now have success in their work. Their boss starts noticing. They get more projects that they really enjoy doing and they move ahead.
The person that has more coaching clients is obviously going to get more income. They get a bit of recommendation. They’ll get referrals from people and their business starts to move ahead.
Michael : The next thing to consider – What would prevent people from buying your product or services? What does that mean exactly and why is it important?
Stephanie : What it means is that if you ask somebody to purchase something, in their mind they’ve got some objection about why they wouldn’t do that. Sometimes they verbalise it and sometimes they won’t.
So an objection to buying shoes might be – especially if you buy shoes online – might be that they don’t fit and they’re worried about returning them.
An objection to learning about how to communicate with the boss might be ‘Well it’s not my problem – I communicate well with everyone else, it’s only the boss – So it must be the boss that’s the problem.’
So that’s an example of an objection.
And somebody who is not having enough coaching clients might say that they can’t afford it. ‘I can’t afford it and I’ve learned enough other stuff – I must have enough by now. I can’t afford to do any more.’
Michael : So is the propose of this to make sure that you can anticipate and answer some objections that people have before they buy?
Stephanie : Absolutely. If you can talk to people about what their objections might be, within the essence of what they’re saying you can incorporate that into your marketing strategy and your marketing writing, so that those objections are dealt with either overtly or covertly through testimonials or something.
Michael : That’s good because the sixth point we want to explore is testimonials. What do you mean by testimonials? And again, how and why are they important?
Stephanie : Testimonials allow you to sort of step into somebody else’s shoes that might have already done some work with you. So a testimonial from someone who might have bought shoes from a shoe store that sells small shoes might say that ‘I was absolutely amazed that I got this pair of shoes that was in red and they fit perfectly,and that was fantastic.’
Another person might say ‘I got the shoes but I was a bit worried that they didn’t fit – and they didn’t fit me – but the supplier replaced them immediately before I had even sent them back.’
So then people feel that they can trust the supplier to deliver the goods in a way that’s meaningful to them.
So testimonials from somebody that had successfully communicated with their boss, they might say what happened before they did the coaching course or the training course or what the results have been afterwards. And because people from business come from lots of different situations – The more testimonials that you can get the better.
Whilst one person might not be able to relate to one testimonial, but they will be able to relate to another.
So you really can’t have too many testimonials.
Michael : Now the next point is reducing the downside. This is slightly different to objections because it is reducing the downside from them buying your course, or buying your consultants, or buying your shoes. Tell us a little bit about that.
Stephanie : This is really about providing some sort of guarantee so the person feels totally happy about proceeding with whatever it is. With shoes again, small shoes, it could be that the guarantee is that you replace it or get your money back within two days, or something like that.
It could be that for the person that doesn’t get on with their boss.
The downside of that could be saying to them that if they come along to the course or coaching program and implement the skills, if they don’t find an improvement in their own skill in communicating with their boss that you’ll give them the money back or that they can come and do the course again for nothing.
Or that they can have a couple of extra coaching sessions.
For the person who is not getting enough coaching clients, let’s say that it’s a three month course, if they haven’t got more clients within that three month period, and again if they are implementing the skills, that they get some of the money bad or that you will coach them for nothing until they do get more clients.
Again, if you are to instigate some of these type of guarantees, you have to be really sure that you will stand behind it because there is nothing worse than saying one thing and doing another.
Michael : Slightly different topic now for the eighth one. Uniqueness. Talk about uniqueness.
Stephanie : So uniqueness is one that sometimes people can struggle with. Often – this is my experience anyway – when it’s a single person in business, or a couple of people, it might be something about the person that stands out. What’s different about you, than all of the other people that do what you do?
So again, for a shoe manufacturer, for small shoes, it might be that the range of colours that they offer. That might be the uniqueness of the offer – That they provide a wider range of colours than any other person.
For the person who is going towards getting on better with their boss, it might be that the persons uniqueness is that they have twenty years of experience in working with difficult bosses, and that they’ve learned a lot of skill from that so they can relate and have rapport with that person.
And for the person who is going to someone to get more clients it could be that they make the training course really, really hard. It might not be what everybody wants but again, we’re talking about uniqueness. If the person can do this course, even though it’s really hard, they promise results.
And some people will go for that.
Michael : And the last one. Call to action.
Stephanie : So the call to action is about any marketing blurb that you send out – maybe it’s a flier, maybe it’s on your website – That there’s always a call to action. What do you want people to do when they’ve read this information.
So it could be ‘Pick up the phone and dial now.’
‘If you want to improve communication with your boss email me and let’s set up a time to start coaching.’
It could be as simple as that.
Michael : Thank you for running through those questions. To put some depth and flesh on it I’ll let to ask you the same questions again and I’d like you to give examples of how you use this in your NLP training business.
So firstly, who is your target audience?
Stephanie : My company, people can look at it and verify this for themselves if they want to. My company is called Metamorphosis.co.nz. And the problem that I solve is that people bang their head ahead a brick wall trying to get other people to change, so that is the problem that people in my target audience face.
The solution that I have is that I help people communicate with a wider variety of people.
Michael : And what problems do you solve?
Stephanie : The problems that I solve is that – I find those that are good at communicating – not literally but figuratively bang their head against a brick wall trying to communicate with certain people and they get very frustrated because they’ve already got very good communication skills but there’s a certain group that they can’t communicate with – that’s the certain problem that they have.
Michael : And what solution do you offer? How do you solve their problem?
Stephanie : What I do is I help them to communicate with a wider variety of people so they can get other people enthused and passionate about the things that they’re passionate about.
Michael : And looking at the longer term impact of that, if you client’s solve these issues really well- what impact is it likely to have on their later life as they go forward?
Stephanie : It’s really amazing that they come back and say that they’re now communicating with these people that were ‘difficult’ before.
They get promoted to different positions. One woman recently, who lives in New Zealand was offered the opportunity to come to Poland and coach on a ten week course because she changed some of the things that she did in some of her coaching and training.
And the company recognized that and gave her this fantastic opportunity to come to Europe and coach even though she lives in New Zealand.
Michael : What would prevent people from coming on your NLP courses?
Stephanie : Some of the objections that people have – It’s probably going to be the same for those listening – things like ‘I’ve already paid for training.’ or ‘How do I know that this is going to work?’
‘But if I help my clients get what they want quicker, won’t I get less money?’
So that’s something that might not be stated out loud but might be in the back of their mind.
In New Zealand we have eighteen day practitioner courses. That’s the standard. So one of the objections could be that eighteen days to do a practitioner training is a lot of time away from work and my boss won’t give me that time off.
Another one is ‘Well isn’t NLP just therapy? I don’t just want to do therapy.’
Michael : How would you answer some of those points?
Stephanie : The first one, ‘I’ve already spent money on training. How do I know that this is going to work?’,
That can be addressed by testimonials. There have been other people that have come on courses that have had the same objections – that’s where I’ve got them from.
The one about having clients get what they want quicker means that they’ll get less money. That’s easy to overcome because if they get what they want quicker they’re going to tell more people. More people are going to come for the fact that you’re doing it quicker than other people.
So it could be short term thinking to believe that you have to stretch it out forever.
Eighteen days to do an NLP practitioner training is a long time away from work. Then I talk about what value they’re going to get out of that and what kind of reputation they’re going to get and how they’ll be able to use that when they go back to work.
And therapy – that they don’t want to do therapy – I just talk to them about how in NLP we just study people who are successful and it just so happens that it happened to be therapists that Bandler and Grinder started studying. But that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only therapy.
People are using NLP in nearly every field of live these days.
Michael : And how do you get testimonials? What sort of testimonials have you got?
Stephanie : I think that it’s important to get testimonials that other people can relate to. So, I get people from a wide variety of occupations on the courses, and I ask them what were there objections at first. Because if somebody else can relate to what somebody is saying, it is more powerful.
I don’t really want the sugary-sweet ones like ‘Oh Stephanie is wonderful and she has a halo around her head.’
What I really want is people that say ‘Well I thought it was going to be really wafty when I came on the course and that it wasn’t going to be practical, but really I found that I could use the skills right away.’ Because that’s something that people can really relate to.
So if you look one my website you will find testimonials like that where people can say what their objections were upfront and how those were overcome in the course.
And anybody can do that.
Michael : How do you reduce the downside? People will always have objections and one or two things that they are hesitating about. How do you reduce the downside and make it easy for people to find themselves on your courses?
Stephanie : Well I offer a money back guarantee, and I call it my Metamorphosis Make-Over promise. What it is, in a nutshell, is if you don’t see, hear and feel the difference we’re going to give you your money back.
So it’s quite concise. If they don’t see, hear and feel the difference, I’ll give them the money back.
So I have to be aware that in the future somebody may come to me and say ‘I don’t see, hear or feel any different.’ but so far I have never had that. People will often comment that they’ve had much more from the course than they’ve paid for it.
Michael : What’s unique about you?
Stephanie : That’s interesting. It took me ages to find it. It was so obvious and in-my-face. It’s playful. On my webpage there are so many pages of humour, I couldn’ understand why I didn’t find it before. And that’s what people always comment on.
Michael : What calls to action do you use?
Stephanie : I’ve got a lot of articles on each site and at the bottom of each article it says ‘What would you like to do now? Read another article on this subject, sign up for a training course, or buy an ebook or a CD.’
So there are those options at the bottom of the page. When they are reading about practitioner training saying ‘Go to the training calender and book yourself a course.’
So it doesn’t need to be anything complicated. It can be something simple. What do you want the person to do when they get to the bottom of the page, or the bottom of your hand out, or whatever it is?
Michael : On reflection, listening to what you’re saying I do think to myself that these nine points are incredibly important. They are, on one level very simple because we all think we know the answers to it, but on discussing it I do think it that for anybody listening the investment you get in working through your answers to these points, these questions, these statements, will give you a huge reward.
Stephanie : Absolutely. They look very simple, but when you investigate and spend a lot of time (And it’s time very well spent.) to define all of these things.
Michael : And I agree with you. It can be quite uncomfortable looking through them or considering them because it may force you to make some decisions that you do not initially want to make.
Stephanie : That’s right. And I think that when people go into business, they go into business because they want to do what they love, and that might be marketing. So when you say ‘Okay, how can we look at our marketing they get very uncomfortable with that because they don’t like the idea of selling.’
Because I was like this a few years ago and now I really like it.
Michael : We’ve come to the end of that. Is there anything from what you’ve said that you would like to add to or emphasize?
Stephanie : Only the fact that it’s useful if people actually do it. Rather than just listen to us talking about it.
Michael : Absolutely.
Thank you for your time. Would you let everybody have your contact details?
Stephanie : The best way to get hold of me is through Steph@metamorphisis.co.nz
And the website is www.metamorphisis.co.nz
Michael : Excellent. Thank you very much.
Stephanie : Thank you Michael.
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