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For a venture or operation to be called a business it has to have products or services that are sold, leased or in some way offered to a market that is willing to purchase them for a profit to the business.

Businesses must have a way of communicating with their market in such a way that it attracts those who are interested in the products or services offered, and converting those prospects into paying customers.

Unfortunately, too many business owners, managers, professionals and entrepreneurs haven’t thought the process through, and consequently are not only doing a disservice to their customers, but they’re leaving ridiculous amounts of money on the table for their competitors to pick up.

Here’s a simple six-step process that can help any business become enormously more successful and profitable:

1. Define Your Target Market

Don’t try to be all things to all people. Carefully select the people (or companies) you want to do business with and who have the best chance of becoming your customers, and focus your marketing efforts on them.

2. Quantify Your Added Value

Determine what it is that makes you different, unique or special from any other options your customers have a choice to do business with.

3. Educate Your Market

Articulate your uniqueness in clear and unmistakable terms that provoke a buying response from your intended customers. Explain why it’s in their best interest to do business with you rather than your competitors.

4. Deliver A Unique Or Unusual Buying Experience

Make doing business with you so different, so pleasurable and so memorable that your customers not only MUST return to do business with you, but they can’t help but tell others about you.

5. Reward Your Customers For Telling Others About You

Spend a little less on formal advertising, and divert some of your marketing dollars to your loyal customers who are willing to tell others about you. Create undying loyalty and a never-ending chain of referrals.

6. Stay Connected

The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” is so true. Develop a complete and comprehensive follow-up system for staying in touch with, and in front of current customers, past customers and future customers (prospects). Keep them informed of special sales and events, and new products and services and let them know you appreciate them and are thinking of them.

Your business will be successful to the extent that you develop your ability to get new customers and keep your existing customers coming back to do business with you again and again.

But It doesn’t just happen. It takes time, effort, awareness and a high level of commitment.