It is essential for every start up business or established business to have at the least a sales and marketing plan. The simple act of thinking through some basic key questions will help any business person raise the odds on success. Every business coaching client that I work with, will review (again at the minimum) the FIVE P’s of a sales and marketing plan. In his book “The Way to Wealth Part 1”, Brian Tracy outlines these basics.
The bottom line is that any business person must be crystal clear on all five of the P’s to insure their most powerful applications. If there are sales and/or marketing issues for your company the need and the cure are usually within these five P’s.
- PRODUCT: You must clearly know what exactly is the product or service that you are offering and is it appropriate and desirable for the current market. If people are not buying it, find out if what you are offering is what your potential customers really want!
- PRICE: Do you know clearly how much you are or will be asking for your product or service and if this is an appropriate price? Is the pricing competitive in today6’s market? Is it competitive enough to get people to switch from their current provider? And, more importantly can you make a profit at the price that you plan to charge or are charging? The question that you should also consistently be asking yourself is whether you should lower or raise your price or charge differently for what you sell? Flexibility is the answer, but if you don’t know when to be flexible then it doesn’t matter anyway.
- PLACE: Do you know where you should be selling your product or service? There is always a good chance that there is a market for your product or service but you’re using old and out dated marketing models and simply waiting for the customer to come to you rather than you finding the customer and going to them.
- PROMOTION: Do you know how you plan to advertise and market your product? If not you had better figure it out quickly. And don’t count on traditional media to be the answer. You must clearly understand what your product(s) are and precisely who is going to buy them….THEN establish how those specific people can be reached by what specific media. The key is to have a system in place to benchmark if your advertising is effective and not wasting a penny. You must be reaching a sufficient number of prospective customers in a cost effective way and if not, you need to stop and re-evaluate!
- POSITIONING: Positioning is often the most important part of your sales and marketing plan. Your positioning is how your customers think and feel about your product and service. What is your reputation? How do people think about and talk about your product? What is your unique selling propositions of your product or service and what stands out in your customers mind as a result of your sales and marketing efforts?
Clarity is the issue; in fact it’s always the issue. The lack of, or the abundance of clarity is usually the single biggest contributor to the success or failure of most businesses. So start winning today with some basic clarity in your sales and marketing plan!