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Advanced Marketing: Who ELSE Influences Your Customer?

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Before we get into the advanced marketing lesson of the day, I’m proud to be on Oprah Radio for the Lisa Oz show this Wednesday at 12 noon ET on XM 111 or Sirius 204.

Lisa is an absolutely fantastic host.  She brought out my best and it was an honor to be with her.

Please send Lisa and Oprah Radio a huge thanks for having me on by clicking here.

Now onto today’s Q&A video. . .

Whether you realize it or not, your customers do not make decisions alone.

There are many people around your customer who influence what she thinks, feels and most importantly, whether or not she buys your products or services.

In today’s video, I’ll show you why it’s vital to know the “key influencer” in your customer’s life and how to make sure your marketing includes this very important person.

You’ll also see exactly how we’re putting this strategy to use in our own business right now.

This one idea can add thousands (or hundreds of thousands of dollars – depending on your scale) to your bottom line. More importantly, it will help you take better care of your customers.

Click here to check out the “Convince Your Partner” guide, referenced in the video.

It’s important to note…

While I only address one aspect of knowing the “key influencer” in the A to this Q, there are dozens of creative ways that this concept can help you create better marketing, and frankly, better products and services.

In the comments below, tell me who your customer’s “key influencer” is and how you plan to implement this strategy in your business now.

Bonus points if you share even more ways that knowing the “key influencer” can help any business owner create more powerful marketing, products and services!

xox

Marie Forleo

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Jessilicious

Hi Marie! :)

Oooh, I hadn’t thought of this! Brilliant! :) My target market is the same as yours, and the key influencer is definitely the same, as well. But I had never thought of addressing their partner’s concerns about them buying my design services. Hmmm. I can see potential for blog posts, and even creating my own handy-dandy PDF guide around this. I love it! :)

Actually, I can see this developing into a brilliant product for an optin offer… But I don’t want to give too much away here… Instead, I’m gonna go get to work on it. ;)

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Julia Kious Zabell

Love the idea of it being it’s own little product/offer/piece of Love!

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Jessilicious

Thanks, Julia! :)

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Toni Burke

I agree… optin offer is a awesome idea. Get on it!

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Jessilicious

Thanks, Toni! I’ve got some brainstorming started for it and am super excited about what this can/will turn into. ;)

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Toni Burke

I agree… @Jessielicious optin offer is a awesome idea. Get on it!

For me I really do not know who my customers’ key influencers are. As a boutique owner, I encourage my clients to be autonomous during their shopping experience, and very seldom do they shop with their friends or spouses.

But now this vid has me thinking about what’s really going on behind the curtains (in my fitting room & their minds). What goes into that decision? What I’ll do is offer a survey… and fit that question in.

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Denise Duffield-Thomas

You could make friends with all the personal shoppers and stylists in the area if you haven’t already, or find those ladies who always give their friends advice on the latest styles (or fashion bloggers in your area).

Another key influencer might be a celebrity. You could blog about what a celeb is wearing and then what you have similar in store.

I NEVER go shopping alone – I only seek the advice of my stylist. I’m hopeless by myself!

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Toni Burke

Thanks you for sharing.

Useful information.

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Melinda Watson

Great advice Denise!

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Caroline Frenette Master Intuitive Coach

Such amazing marketing info: my head is spinning.

@ Jessilicious (love the name :) Did you succeed in developing a product based on these advance marketing tips?

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Jessilicious

P.S. Congrats on being on Oprah Radio! That is SWEET! :)

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DivineYoganista

Congrats on Oprah radio! YAY!

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DivineYoganista

Oh my partner Andrew is going to love that idea!

I need a Ninja.

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Julia Kious Zabell

OOooOooOOo. Love the new hot sauce! I seriously had not gotten as far as their key influencers’ objections, but man oh man, do they wreak some havoc for my peeps (all heart, do-gooding entrepreneurs)…

And, super high fives on the interview!

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Racheal Cook

Oooohhhh this was super helpful! Key influencers for me are for sure the husbands/boyfriends/significant others. Love the way you handled it for RHHLive – going to check that out (and get my husband to read it!). Brewing up a good spin-off for my upcoming launch. Thanks lovely! xo

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eryn willard

Yet another angle I hadn’t thought of, Marie, thank you! Because I work mainly with solopreneurs, I’d have to say my customer’s key influencer is most likely their partner as well. BUT, to push it a little outside the box, I’d could say that my customer’s “inner voice” is the one who would have objections to them signing up for a class with me.

I could conquer the time/money objections by talking specifically to my customer avatar’s influencer – which is really their inner narrative. Using a humorous approach in having my customer talk themselves into signing up could shift their mindset. After all, you learn more while you’re laughing!

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Vidette Vanderweide

BRILLIANT piece to “Convince your partner” cause, they are the key influencers of my fan-freakin’-tastic clients!

I missed it on the RHH Live sales page, but you are right, the key influencer will make or break YOUR sale, so why didn’t I think to target them? Duh!

You are so smart, girl! Glad to have you as a mentor ~ Holla!

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timothy willan

Great video! Marie you are a entertainer! I like what you do! Very informed Keep it up!

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Emily

Awesome Marie! Congrats about Oprah and super advice! This is something I needed to hear today! You are too cool!

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Jude Alexander

Most excellent, as usual. Starting now to make that list… thanks Marie!

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Mariah

Oooh, I had never thought of this!

Very smart. My target market consists of brides who want a personalized wedding, and of course they will need to consult with their hubby to be and momma before they hire me, I’m sure!

I love the ‘Convince your Partner’ pdf, I had to do this with my hubby when I wanted to sign up for RHH B-School, and it paid off so well that I’ve made all of my money back and won a ticket to RHH Live!

Can’t wait til October! Thanks again for the amazing video :)

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Denise Duffield-Thomas

Ooh, well done on winning a ticket! How did you do that?

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Hannah Boukraria

Ooooooooh, thank you so much! I never thought about that! Awesome!

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Marion Chamberlain

Hey Marie!

Great biz advice and so innovative! I can’t wait to have fun with this exercise. :-)

Also, CONGRATS on getting on Oprah radio! That’s huge!

XO,
Marion

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AJ

I’m definitely tuning in tomorrow at noon then!

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Edie Kay

Awesome advice! Thanks, Marie! And congrats on that interview! Woohoooo! ;-)

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Elsa Isaac

oooo this is juicy Marie! never thought of it from this perspective. will definitely have to do some brainstorming about this.
looking forward to hearing your Oprah radio interview :)

xx,
e

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Tara @ Startup Freelancer

Marie, I echo the congrats! Thank you for thinking of so many unique angles to business and entrepreneurship.

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Terry Crowe

This is great advice! I don’t care who you are, we all have people in our lives who have influence over us.

I guarantee that more people will buy my product if I give them the answers to the objections that the influencers WILL come up with.

People will see the value of your product and want to buy, but it’s people around them that we then need to get on board.

Thanks Marie. As always, wonderful.

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Kristi

My influencer is the husband or boyfriend, the woman’s significant other. I am a health coach who helps women ditch the diets, overcome the food addictions, and love what they see in the mirror. I also teach them to cook.
The biggest objection I see my potential clients get from their man is that it costs too much. So I could object with the amount of $ their women spend on diet crap.
A benefit would be that they will start getting some delicious rockin food for dinner each night cuz all men love a good meal.
Another benefit would definitely be more sex, because when my clients start to lose weight and feel better about themselves their relationships improve.
good stuff to think about!

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Jody

Great information and advice, as always. It not only has me thinking about the key influencer but back to basics with objections and concerns of potential customers. Thanks! Good luck with the Lisa Oz show!

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Irene Gutteridge

oh dear, my partner convincing BACKFIRED in the most amazing way!!

Get this, about a month ago, when I showed him the line-up and that there were MEN presenting (especially the hip hop master) my sweetie/fiancee wanted to come! so he’s a coming to RHHLIVE! no guilt. no trips. he’s just a cool guy and a budding composer/multi-instrumentalist-singer-songwriter with a message to get across. (we also plan to get ‘hitched whilst there!).

My ex-hubby had NO interest in what I did. None. ZIP. Nada, so ladies (and men) having a partner that is supportive and jazzed about what you do is CRUCIAL, not only for your business, but for your health. When I had no support I was constantly sick and not well. my ex was toxic to my success…..

now my sweetie is part of my success and it makes all the difference! I”m truly blessed to not only have him, but this amazing online forum of greater influencers. Marie, you are SO one of them.

see ya’ll in october! Irene

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Martina Iring

Great stuff Marie! I was always conscious about how influencers work in my field, but I never thought of addressing them directly in communications.

One of my influencers would be other complimentary service providers. My marketing services for small business owners are just one piece of the puzzle and I need to work with graphic designers, web developers etc… to make things happen. I’m always networking and fostering relationships, but perhaps I should include specific information about how I work with these other providers. To encourage these people to want to work with me, and to reassure the customer that projects will be well managed and collaborative.

Thanks for the food for thought!

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Sarah Jenks

Marie, BRILLIANT! The key influencers in my biz are also the significant others of my clients. Thank you for helping me put myself in their shoes!

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Maryellen Smith

This was incredibly helpful to me Marie! Thank you!

Since I am on my own right now, I make my own decisions and don’t have to “run things by” someone. It didn’t occur to me that someone’s life partner might be influencing what they choose to do. I’ve been in that position before but it has been a while.

It will be great to keep the influencer in perspective when I’m helping someone make a decision to use my services. I love the idea of outlining the benefits for people around the client as well as the client herself.

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Caroline McIntosh

I am new to you and your info…gotta say, I LOVE YOUR ENERGY, humour and the way to teach. I’d watch just to see you in action. Keep up the great work. You are very good at what you do.

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Irene Diamond, RT- Pain Relief Therapist & Biz Coach

Marie-
Exactly! This is key & an important aspect of closing the sale that a lot of small business peeps miss.
I just wrote about this and helping clients justify spending money and time with us, in my last blog post for our massage industry online publication:
http://blog.massagetoday.com/wibb/2011/08/01/free-resource-to-grow-your-practice
In the article I wrote:
“An Added PLUS: Even if your client is on-board, and does already know and appreciate the value … if they are feeling guilty about the expense or if there is another person in their life, like a wife or husband they need to justify spending money or time to — well, this helps them be able to do that, by showing research and references that are validating that your services are worthwhile.”
~ Keep up the good work woman!

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Jody Jelas

Genius! I always have to run the big things by the man :) I shall use your tactics! :)

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Jaclyn

Enlightening the world, one hlpfeul article at a time.

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Angela Minelli

Not that I don’t completely love and adore everything Marie Forleo, I personally think 1 of the best things about the Convince Your Partner Guide (besides the idea itself – pure genius/wish I had thought of it myself!) is Danielle LaPorte’s 1-liner at the end. A total crack up.

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Stephenie Zamora

Such amazing advice and something I hadn’t really thought of! LOVE the PDF that you provided, absolutely brilliant! xo

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Erin Ashley

Oh, goodness! I hadn’t even thought of this until you brought it up! I have a whole new way to think about my marketing materials. I’m an intuition coach, so significant others or close friends will be the biggest influencers. My next step will be identifying their concerns and finding ways to address them!

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Kelly Lynn

Marie ~ AMAZING!! I never thought of this THANK YOU doing this exercise right now!!! Woo to the Hoo!! Congrats on the Oprah radio show!!!

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Denise Duffield-Thomas

This is a great question! My market’s influencers are typically husbands who work full time and are patiently supporting their wife’s creative “projects” and need to understand that if she’s going to make it, she needs to invest in herself and her business. Happy wife = happy life!

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Hillary Rubin

I so get that.

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Anneke Krakers

This is a big suprise: my question all the way from Holland this week on the Q&A from Marie. Thank you so much Marie for the answer. I’m gonna make the ‘decision pdf’ for the managers of my customers. It’s really, really a good idea. BTW I love the way you speak my name (hihi). And now i’m gonna practice my Ninja skills ;-)

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Kim Foster MD

Smart marketing, Marie! Your videos are too hilarious (I love “sex is not actually guaranteed”).

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Hillary Rubin

Congrats on the interview! Perfect advice and clear steps to take. Never took into consideration having a sheet or guide on my site. Many of my clients have to discuss this with their spouses and good thing is most want them to do it because i say that they will be much happier and fun to be around — and I deliver. Will sit down and refine. See you in NYC, can’t wait. xo H

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Lara

Thanks so much for this innovative idea, Marie! I will be practicing your ninja marketing steps right away! The only thing is: my target customer is a single, spiritual woman who is wanting to attract a soulmate type love. So no partner to convince… but I’m thinking I’ll work the guide for girlfriends and family instead.

Thanks again!

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Rosemary Breen @ CompatibilityandLove

Congrats on your interview Marie. Great idea to produce the pdf.

Im sure we can all use it for more than the intended purpose!

Cheers

Rosemary

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Erin

Marie-
You are d’a bomb!
<3
Erin

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Kristen Domingue

Lovin this Marie! Brilliant! I hope you don’t mind, but I’d love to make a convince-your-partner pdf for my site as well! This is genie-us.

Partners and parents are typically the usual suspects as my clients’ key influencers. When I first talk to a prospective, I ask, “Is there anyone else you make business investments with?” If they say yes, I always respond with, “Ok, great, so assuming you get value out of our conversation today, and assuming you’ll want to work together, the next step will be for us to talk with him/her about moving forward together. As you already know, our partners tend to become our SVP of Everything. So their fears, hopes and dreams are important to have on the table too.”

My prosepctives get that, and then the sale goes down like butta. Partners LOVE being included. In my experience, their main concern is being “left out” of my prospective’s allocation of resources they see as finite:
energy/time/attention and money. Including them takes the threat level way down.

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Maryleena

Hi Marie

Love this Q and A! I hold an AP Degree in marketing management, and I remember the lessons we had on influencers… mostely in the B2B market. I remember having to think not only on the influencers but also when the need for the service or product arise… where does it occur and how? Is it a high level involvement pruchase or is it just an everyday buy? The higher involvement… the more information and convincing is needed. Is it a product you buy to be feel good (use an image of that feeling) or is it a product you buy to avoid pain (use words and pictures) to describe how the product/service helps cure the pain…. Your great post reminded me and now I give it forward.

Enjoy!
Maryleena

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Chas

Ah, Grasshopper, you make me want to light a 1,000 candles of influential tantric wisdom~ I also like how Eryn Willard pushed the envelope on the idea of a key influencer beyond just your partner.

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Elizabeth Prewitt

This is GOLDEN. I’m updating my website FAQ as soon as possible.

Thank you!

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Jennah

This vid & those Action Jackson steps were the bestest. Thanks Marie, in praying mantis style, these right actions also come in handy when you’re selling to your own S.O. & tai-chi~ing the situation.;)

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Marie

Excellent material, Marie Forleo! My customers’ key influencers are the world’s top leaders, including kings, queens, heads of state, and captains of industry and privately held secret conglomerates. Either that or the bosses and internal customers of my prospective clients. ;-)

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Denise Duffield-Thomas

ooooh, I’m intrigued Marie!

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Ben Kaplan

Thanks Marie!

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hanzy florentino

hi marie :)
i love your video and thanks for sharing this :)

god bless you :)

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Stacey Lewis

Hi Marie,

I am a birth doula and of course the partner is a HUGE influencer to the mother. Another key influencer(s) are the parents (or soon to be grandparents). One thing I do already is let the partner know that when I work with the mom, I’m not there to replace the partner, in fact, having me around will help strengthen the birth team and allow the partner to fully devote their love and energy to their wife in labor. Thank you for bringing this up because I can now address these concerns directly on my website. You’re the best!!

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Aradia G. of Aradia's Hand

I think my customer’s key influencer is “the bestie”. She’s (or He’s) that best bud that my customer gabs to about the latest online shopping find which she might dropping hints about as a gift they could buy her, or something that is “all the rage” to her. Another rival to “the bestie” would be “the SO”. I think depending on the relationship status of my ideal lady depends on which is more powerful.

I’ve heard of thinking of this person before, but I hadn’t yet gotten into how to tackle this subject. I know that the cost for some people after they’ve decided they wanted something can be a key point. Especially for a “naysayer” – my angle is this: 1) your bestie is going to be so thrilled with one of my products, 2) she’ll have found something she loves and maybe something you love (bonus – you get a gift! ;P), 3) it’s totally worth it to buy something you love for more rather than settling for something that’s okay for less.

If you know your customer’s key influencer you could “bypass” them and have the influencer become a customer in order to give your product as a gift!

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Joanne Rose

Hey Marie

Many thanks for sharing this super fab article. Love it!! My key influencer or “target audience” are vegans, health enthusiasts, comedy fans. My production company is Vegan Vision Productions, inspiring lives on screen through comedy.

Joanne

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Roberta

Great sales tip and reminder. Thank you Marie!

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Dawn Marotta-Warburton

My target market are parents mostly Moms who are trying to advocate for their child with special needs. The issue is usually three-fold.
1. Parents tend to believe that school have the best interest of the child at heart. This is usually not the case as the school is driven by politics i.e. money, money, money.
2. Parents (unfortunately usually Dads) believe that the child just needs to “buck up” and, my least favorite phrase in the word, “Work harder.” This is also a fallacy; the child is usually working twice or three times as hard as his or her non-disabled peers.
3. Dun, dun, dun…the third influencer is the school. The less parents know the better. If parents start to read about the research about their child’s disability, the laws, and connecting with information that is designed to make school a better place for their child, they will do everything in their power to stop the parent from being successful.
For example, once a school knows that a parent knows the real deal they start throwing road block in both the path of the parent and the child. It’s like that commercial where the car is driving behind the truck caring the buckets then low and behold the buckets come undone so the person driving the car has to dodge and weave. The school says things like “What’s happening at home?” or “We noticed that your child is really anxious, did something happen at home or outsideof school that could have made him (or her) that way?” They say and do anything to take the focus of of their inadequate program and services.

Those are my three main influencers. It is pretty clear to me who they are. Now I need to figure out how to be the main influencers and start directing parents to the right resources.

DW

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katie

This is AMAZING! I sell kids clothes with skulls on them (yes skulls) – but they are cute, and make the kids look delicious – the number 1 comment I always get from mums is that the clothing gets their kids so much attention when they are out and about. When I’m at markets, or online, I often get the mothers of the mums I deal with (so the grandmas) making negative comments because of the skulls. It drives me BONKERS. But this is a great idea to actually tackle them head on and address their concerns – and hopefully win them over! Thanks so much, this is just a great video!

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Anastasia

Really loved it Marie! Both your energy & drive and the advice you gave. We are developing a toy for kids. So our customers are parents and grandparents, sometimes friends. They may be key influencers as well. As well as schools and development centres, etc. Now I need to assess how much they influence and how much it depends on the child ages or other factors. Any advice?

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Melinda Watson

Great advice Marie , again helping us to go deeper. Selling clothes I definitely find the friend the key influencer, although their mother or significant others are also key. I am now thinking about offering incentives for the friend if they also make a purchase :)

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Kim

OMG. I love this! Can’t tell you how many times client use their husband’s as objections. Sometimes they really do have concerns but sometimes it’s the excuse that the wife use because she’s afraid to move forward. Anyone have any tips in that case? Or is it better to just leave the sale on the table?

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Leanne Richards-Williams

Hi Marie, Thank you for linking this vid in the profit clarity answer vault. It’s awesomely making things clear in my head about my marketing approach.

So my

BIZ IDEA is online and offline basic computer literacy training.

INFLUENCERS: Significant others, and care-givers

Now I realize that most times online info reaches the loved ones of those with no computer skills. Hence, when these influencers say:

“Hey! I can teach her myself.”

Well, just imagine being tied up in tedious, tutoring sessions that may get in the way of other sudden engagements. My course will provide structured lessons that goes at the you loved-one’s learning pace. And trust me, we are prepared to deal with all their “how-to” questions.

“It’s too expensive for just the basic training”

Just imagine if you were to offer all your years of experience, training, research and sincere love to see someone grow and learn a skill that you believe will help them better connect with you and those around them.

How much would you charge?

Get it? – We love and value what we do, so our pricing reflects that.

“So what if I pay, and she still doesn’t understand anything”

If after doing an evaluation with our customer tech-guide and you are still not satisfied. You will get a 100% money back guaranteed.

So these are some of the things I thought of so far.

What do you think Marie?

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Cassie

Hi Marie,

I love your videos, love your energy and focus, which helps me focus. In this case however, I feel incomplete about your answer, which is very rare. But the influencer for person who asked the original question, the key influencer would be her boss, not a partner or friend. So, it’s a lot more complicated to figure out the objections the boss might have, maybe especially in social services, where the stated objectives might be a small fraction of the pressures on the boss, and the boss has her own influencers. I guess that takes some research strategies, and figuring out how to make a pitch that the boss can pass on to THEIR influencers..??

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Inge

Hi Marie
I never even considered this! And building a business that teaches dancing to really young children, I know that moms definitely need to convince their partners that spending their money on this sort of extra-mural at such a young age is necessary and important – especially for the boys. (In South Africa dads are very anti dance classes for their sons)
I love the ‘convince your partner’ guide! Definitely think I’ll be implementing something like this when my website is more established.

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