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The Profit Frog
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nominal, post: 63814 wrote:
Thanks for this,you’ve given me a lot to think of.

“Its not personal its business” I love this line :-)

I’ve read somewhere today that a software professional trying to actually sell software has a real problem with understanding the target market, usually tries and fails with marketing, than asks for help and doesn’t trust it.

Hi,

I’ve been reading the responses you received with interest.
Some forum members have offered some great feedback and suggested that you consider a range of factors.

I’d like to add my response.
It is going to be hard for you to choose a marketing consultant.
Not all marketing consultants offer the same services, and key to your considerations needs to be your budget, your time and your skills.

You need to be able to afford to pay for a consultant – and a good one will be on the more expensive side.
When I speak with potential clients, I need to know a few things:
Can you afford the marketing – really?
Are you at that point where you have comfortably allocated funds to pay for the expertise, because you know you need it (and you have stated you know you need it… :-))

Another question is do you have the time to focus on the marketing side of things? Not just if you did it yourself, but if you work with a consultant?
You may be asked to undertake certain tasks, as part of the marketing process. Do you honestly have time to do that?
Do you have resources available to you ie could you outsource, do you have another person in the business, that could help with any of the implementation of marketing strategies?

Also, do you have the skills?
Meaning, do you have any idea what marketing actually is? I don’t mean for that to sound insulting to your intelligence :-) But, seriously, there is a lot of mixed communication in the current marketing world due to the technologies that have impacted it. Marketing consultants that start with the basics and the foundations are the ones to aim for at your early stage.

You would need to be clear on what you want to achieve, so you that you can be clear on what it is that marketing can do for you. It is a two-way street; you would need to come into the consultative process both open-minded, as well as having some ideas of what you want to achieve, how you see that happening and honestly with being prepared to let go of any ideas or expectations you may be attached to, in case the marketing consultant tells you the idea or expectation will fall short.

What you could expect from a marketing consultant is someone who listens to you, and understands what is so important to you about your business.
You want someone who can give good advice, solid advice that is not personally critical of you, but that may be very critical of processes, procedures, steps, stages, anything thus far that may not be working for you.

You would also hope that the consultant takes time to learn about your product/service, your industry (if they are not already experienced in that area) and to help you format a plan of action – the way forward.

You need to demonstrate that you have done all your research ie that you know your target market and demographics, that you have a full understanding of how your product/service resolves a problem, fulfils a desire, provides a solution/fills a need for your ideal customer.
Did I mention that you need to know who your ideal customer is? :-)
You really need to understand who will buy your product.
You need to be able to provide details on your customer service, your follow up and help desk, your credit and payment methods, your returns policy, your whole kit-and-kaboodle.

So, in summary:
If you can afford the consultation fees;
If you are deadly serious about growing your product / service;
If you have done all your research and you are ready to move forward and are open to new ideas, ways to do things that may not always be “in the box”, then you are ready to use the services of a marketing consultant.

And because you know what you want and need, you’ll know which consultant “fits”.

Hope that is not too confusing.

Terri Mitchell
AKA The Profit Frog
Marketing Consultant to SMEs
http://www.theprofitfrog.com