Use Layering to Surpass Sales Targets
What is more desirable, one pancake or a stack of pancakes with fruit on top? What about a four-layer cake with a light creamy filling versus a cupcake?
Although the stand-alone pancake or cupcake may taste great, the stack of pancakes and the layer cake are certainly more impressive and enticing. Stacking, or “Layering” as I call it, is an important principle when applied to marketing your business. The concept of “Layering” is the “L” in the L.I.F.F.T. process. I developed this process to help business owners learn to apply effective marketing methods while taking their resources into consideration.
Layering occurs when an organization starts with one method of promotion and then builds on it throughout a twelve-month period to create a stronger presence and a greater impact amongst their ideal prospects and customers.
You may begin by sending an enewsletter to your clients and prospects every month. This would be the first layer. Once this is set up, add another promotional activity to the mix. The second layer could be setting up a postcard campaign. In this case, based on your budget, you may decide to send out postcards every three months. Now you have two layers. The more layers you add, the greater the outcome.
The trick to layering is to create a minimum of four to five initiatives (layers) that happen regularly at different intervals. For example, layer one, you or a sales person attend networking meetings either weekly (Business Networking International) or monthly (Chamber of Commerce) to generate new leads. Layer number two, you decide to run a small Yellow Pages ad with spot colour (one colour). This ad will run for 12 months and has a constant and consistent presence.
The third layer is a P/R campaign which runs from February to April, then from September to December. When you are layering, not all promotional activities need to take place during the entire year. The fourth layer is a customer appreciation event scheduled to run in June. This event happens once in a twelve-month period as opposed to a customer incentive program which lasts four weeks.
The key to layering is to only add new layers once the existing layers are successfully set up. If you plan on sending out an enewsletter once a month, then do it. Avoid adding another layer until you know you can follow through with the one before it. If you realize sending out an enewsletter once a month is too ambitious, pare it back to one enewsletter every two months or every three months. Consistent and predictable implementation is of greater importance than frequency. This applies particularly to enewsletters or postcards.
The fifth layer is sending a thank you card to every new customer who has purchased your product or service. Again, if you are going to add this layer, make sure there is a person who is committed to sending out these cards on a regular and scheduled basis. Give this person direction as to what needs to be written in the thank you card so there is a consistent message time and time again.
The layering process is a great way to build your business’ presence in the marketplace because the decision to add additional promotional activities is based on how well your organization is implementing what is already in place. As you see the impact of these efforts, you can then decide if there is money to add another layer. As you go through the layering process, you will recognize that some layers generate better results than others. At this time, you want to drop any layers that are not giving you a reasonable return on your investment. When you drop a layer, evaluate why this idea didn’t work. As you drop layers be prepared go back to the drawing board so you are regularly replacing or tweaking those that don’t work. Aim to maintain four to five layers at any given time.
The beauty of layering is the momentum it creates in order to meet and surpass your organization’s sales targets without compromising your profit margin. Layering is most effective when combining both your marketing and sales tactics.
Jen DeTracey, founder of Lift Strategies Inc., helps organizations accelerate their growth and manage that growth without overextending their resources or their people. To find more articles, tips and information about Jen DeTracey, visit www.liftstrategies.com.