The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Marketers / Last Modified: February 10, 2017

Marketing for newbies: the key steps to ensure your business success.

Many business owners are so excited to launch their enterprise that they expect customers will flock to their door. This isn't generally the case. You do have to bait the hook to catch the fish, but it needn't to be a difficult process. Once you put the right marketing tools on your "line," you'll reel in the business.

Here are 7 timeless techniques you can adapt to your business today:

1. Define Your USP. Your Unique Selling Proposition is what sets you apart from others in your field. What do you offer that is unique to your business, and how will it benefit your customer? A woman-owned and run auto repair shop ??? unique enough in itself ??? created a waiting room that's a combination nursery/library. Stocked with children's toys and books, as well as the latest magazines, novels and amusing novelties for adults, the homey studio-like space has lively art on the walls, comfortable couches, and a braided rug on the floor. It's completely unexpected, generates tremendous goodwill among customers with children, shows an understanding of the client's needs ??? and encourages people with kids, or anyone who enjoys comfort while waiting for their car to be repaired, to choose this auto shop over a competitor.

Figure out your unique advantage, fold it into your marketing mix, and you're on the way to creating a highly effective marketing game plan.

2. Use Rave Reviews. People like to know that others are pleased with a service or product they are considering using. A testimonial from a happy customer acts like a word-of-mouth referral, providing evidence that what you offer is worthwhile and effective.

The best way to get testimonials is to ask for them, ideally as soon as a satisfied customer does business with you. You can even create a simple form for them to fill in, with questions such as, "What did you like best about (name of product or service)?" Invite the customer to send you an e-mail or post the testimonial directly to one of your social media pages. You can even record an audio or video testimonial for use on your website. Just make sure you have the client's permission to use their name, company and feedback in your business promotions.

3. Upsell. You may believe it's easier to sell your customer something else once they're happy with the product or service they've already received. Wrong. The best time to suggest additional options or upgrades is at the point of purchase ??? customers are at their most receptive when they've got the credit card or checkbook out.

You can actually boost sales an average of 30 percent or more just by offering customers an upgrade or add-on for a special combination price at the time of sale.

4. Minimize the Money. Which is more attractive: "Better health for just 80 cents a day!" or "Under $300 a year for better health!" The minimal daily figure seems psychologically much more doable, even though it's the same cost outlay.

5. Give 'Em the WIIFMs. WIIFM stands for, "What's In It For Me?" People want to know how your service or product will benefit them (what it does) not what features it has (what it is.) So if you offer vitamins in a dark glass bottle that will prolong shelf life without preservatives, emphasize this benefit: "Stays fresh for up to 6 months longer with NO preservatives!"

6. Market from the Top Down. The headline on your website, sales letter, or marketing copy has to include your biggest benefit in order to get prospects to keep reading. Test different headlines to see which one attracts the most response, then tailor your marketing copy accordingly.

7. Make Them An Offer They Can't Refuse. Deadlines create urgency. If you're offering 30 percent off on your new product or service but only until the end of the month, interested prospects know they need to buy NOW to get the great deal.

When you know your unique advantage, have customer testimonials to back it up, upsell at the time of purchase, emphasize benefits rather than price or features, create killer headlines and must-have marketing offers, you'll see your entrepreneurial venture begin to blossom. Regardless of the season, it'll always be spring.

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