Marketing Secret #87 Lose The Fear! A System Is The Secret!
The only thing that most industries have gotten correct is that all marketing is a numbers game.
The difference between what they’ve taught all of us, and what works, is that the game must be played extremely intelligently by only marketing to people who are interested and qualified!
In order to get to talk to these high quality prospects on a regular and dependable basis, you must have a system in place. And, the system must run the business, and you have to run the system!
The only difference between companies who gross six, or even seven figures – and everyone else – is that they have a system that is better than anyone else’s.
Anyone can have a giant income, as long as you’re willing to implement the necessary system.
But what is a system?
Well, a system is as a series of actions, procedures or motions designed to help achieve a goal.
If most of you are honest with yourselves, you will see that you really don’t have much about what you do systemised, thus creating a lot of fear and causing you to use energy in negative, wasteful ways.
Fear comes from not knowing what lies ahead, and systematising makes sure that you do know what’s on the road ahead.
It's simple to stop the fear. All you have to do is establish systems for everything you do!
It is impossible to grow anything of lasting value without a system. If everything you do is individually handled, and actions you take are based on putting out fires, you don’t have a prayer of growing a dependable business.
And predictability and dependability are at the core of a person with peace of mind and lots of income! Right?
Once you know what’s going on, you can shake off the fear.
Once you shake off the fear, you can feel relaxed and excited.
Once you feel relaxed and excited, you will attract more clients/customers/patients through you running the system, as opposed to the business running you!
But, how does one define and set up a system? Systematising sounds so overwhelming and difficult.
Well, the first thing to understand is that simple systems are the best, and that many things becoming systematised require nothing more than writing down the process on a piece of paper and referring to it when in doubt.
The other very important aspect of setting up systems goes back to the old joke. “How do you eat an elephant?”
One bite at a time.
You don’t have to overwhelm yourself thinking that you have this monumental, impossible job of systematising your business.
Rather, you will be much better served by thinking of things in small chunks and doing a little bit at a time.
A complete system is made of a series of smaller processes.
Each process must work by itself, and yet fit into the whole.
Any process, no matter how small, must be systematised in order for the whole to grow. Writing everything down is critical.
You can’t have systems for some things, and none for other processes that fit into the whole scheme. If you do, you’re sure to have problems. You cannot systematise certain aspects of the system. Everything must be included.
Let’s talk about how to do this, and then grow in a couple of examples to make the picture seem clearer.
In order for any system to be useful, you must start with the end in mind, and work backwards.
If you keep the end result in mind at the beginning, you can then develop the steps in the process to make the end result become a reality!
You don’t have to burden yourself with this scary thought of designing systems from the beginning. It doesn’t work and is too much effort to be successful.
For example, let’s say that a simple thing like answering the phone needs to be systematised into a process.
Why answering the phone? Because answering the phone has many facets that have to be put into an organised series of steps to make sure it’s
done right every time!
Every time is the key here, by the way. The purpose of a system is to make sure that each and every time a process gets done, it is done the same way, every time, regardless of who’s actually doing it!) As you work ideas for your system backwards, you have to make sure you see how each step will be a systematised process.
Anyway, let’s start with the end result, and work backwards.
End Result Desired: All calls reach either a contact or are put into a timely message that ensures the call is returned the same day.
Phones must be covered during normal business hours.
If someone can’t answer phone directly, voicemail must be in place.
If voicemail is on, it must be checked every fifteen minutes.
A brightly coloured sign must be on the desk that says: Check voicemail every fifteen minutes!
When no one is there to check messages, we must install a voicemail system that automatically pages advisor when a call comes in.
When the feature needs to be turned on, the person that leaves last office must do so.
First person back after absence must turn the beeper feature “off”.
If an urgent message is taken live when the representative is out, the representative must have a portable phone and/or beeper turned “on”.
A backup system must be set up if the representative is away. An arrangement must be made with another rep to take calls during prolonged absences.
The 24-hour 1800# should be on all marketing materials. This number should have a message capture option and pre-recorded announcement option featuring special news or interesting options or whatever.
Whew! That’s a sample of a written system for answering the phone. What seems trivial at first is anything but.
Now that this system is written down, anyone can read it, understand it, and implement it!
And, once it is implemented, your phone answering message retrieval will be done the same way, time after time.
No missed messages. No confusion. No mistakes!
Simple, but incredibly powerful!
So, how about marketing?
Understand that the initial starting point of the system will always be marketing, and, if you never systematise anything except your marketing, you’ll be in better shape than 99.9% of your former competitors!
If it isn’t systematised, it will likely be haphazard, which is random luck. And there is no place for luck in marketing!
Since you now know how to do direct response marketing, systematising your prospecting is easier than any other type of front-end activity.
If you do not keep your marketing system primed and working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you’re making the biggest mistake you could possibly make.
Even lousy marketing will work better if it is systematised! (But, you don’t have to worry about using lousy marketing any more…right?)
Keep your pipeline full of leads, and you’ll get clients/customers/patients in spite of yourself…if you have a system!
Systems will force things to happen, even if you don’t!
Systematising of your efforts will balance out the bumps in the road.
What exactly do I mean by systematising your marketing?
Well, if you remember in Secret #40, we talked about getting the repetitive follow up to your ad respondents.
I won’t repeat the importance of that secret here, but I will ask a question of you.
If the sequenced mailings/phone calls are proven to be effective in doubling or tripling your business, what do you think is the most important of that fact of marketing.
Well, from my point of view, it’s:
Getting things out in the mail!
If you know the secret of multi-step, sequenced follow up, and you don’t get the pieces out or the calls made, you are not taking advantage of that secret.
And the only way to get those things done is to have a system!
For example, here are some ways you can systematise your marketing:
- Have someone set up a reminder system to get your ads placed on time.
- Use a computer program to automatically remind you! (See Secret #88 for computer software.
- Set up files by date, not stick copies of your leads in the file for the day that their next mailing is due.
- Have someone pre-address your subsequent envelopes after they become a lead. If they become a client/customer/patient, just pull the envelopes out of the files they are still in.
- Set up a tickler system with 31 numbered folders and 12 monthly folders. Stick things that are due to be sent in the appropriate month, and then the correct day of the current month.
- Have a university kid or stay at home mum come in every night to make follow up calls.
- Have someone go through the paper and find all that week’s ads announcing business openings. Send your postcard or flyer or front end call.
All these, and many more, are examples of setting up simple systems to make sure that your marketing is rolling like a freight train through your town!
Being systematised will allow your marketing to go on, even while you’re away!
Taking one week off of marketing will kill a month or more of income down the road! Any break in the system will cause a huge loss of momentum.
You cannot ever afford to let your marketing slide. Therefore, it must be systematised!
Thinking that one or two marketing attempts is sufficient is unrealistic. A diversified, repetitive system takes a little while to get to critical mass. But once the pipeline is full, and the machine is rolling, the only way it can be stopped if by your own actions.
Systematising is businesslike and takes luck out of the equation.
Slowing down or stopping the marketing system, because you have “too many” other things to work on, is certain to cause financial hardship for you.
The systemisation of almost every task you have is possible and realistic.
The only part of the system that you should be doing is talking to prospects and clients/customers/patients!
Excuses do not pay the bills, only money does.
If you adapt your system to the environment you find yourself in, you will never get what you really want.
Always update and monitor the system. Never assume what used to work is still working!
The system you build must be for you, alone. Imitation is fine, but don’t copy someone else’s system just because it works for them.
In summary, here are the steps needed to make a system of any part of your process work:
- Identify What You Want
- Picture The Desired Result
- Model Each Step
- Break Down Each Step Into...
- A Process
- Write Everything Down
Your marketing system is the foundation of all success.
Long term success without diversification and repetition is almost impossible! and, diversification and repetition are impossible without systems!
Even a simple function set up as a process can make the difference between struggling and winning big!
- Wait until ad rep calls.
- Emergency procedures begin.
- No thought, just action, as a
- Reminders given well ahead of deadlines.
- All headlines/specifics are tracked.
- Messages left.
- Decisions made calmly and correctly.
Sending Non-Marketing Correspondence.
- Individual activities done as special assignment.
- Reinventing the wheel each time.
- Needless stress, and things slipping through the cracks.
- Form letters saved.
- Anything that occurs more than once or twice becomes a form.
- Form created to tell assistant which form letter(s) to send.
Returning Phone Calls
- Messages taken by Voice Mail or assistant.
- Slips left on desk, messages left on Voice Mail.
- Emergency calls go unreturned until too late.
- Each day starts with stress and gets worse as day goes on.
- Messages are logged in permanent file. Voice Mail is retrieved at regular intervals.
- Professional or assistant prioritises messages, and beeps or calls professional.
- Professional return calls.
- Computer software organises calls and contacts.
There is no limit to the number of functions that need to be systematised. Spend time thinking how to automate and systematise, and you will be well rewarded for your efforts!