Success Doctor



Magical Marketing Strategies for Creating an Endless Stream of New,
Repeat, and Referral Business

Copyright © 1998 Michel Fortin, Ph.D.



Core expansion is far different than from extension (shell expansion). Shell expansion is often referred to as franchising, licensing, or branching out (even conglomerating). In this context, I am referring to expansion by division. If you're a specialist in your field – which I hope you are after reading this book – and you offer only one type of service, you can expand from within by dividing your product or service into multiple, smaller services.

This helps to do 3 things. 1) It doesn't take away from your category, specialization, or uniqueness. 2) It increases your hit ratio when targeting clients, since some clients might be interested in your entire package while others may be interested in only a portion of it. And 3) it increases the aura of expertise you project because you refrain from spreading yourself too thin.

McDonald's Restaurants is reputed for its hamburgers, pure and simple. Ray Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman and his clients were mainly fast-food restaurants. One day in the 1950's, he stumbled on the little drive-in restaurant in the American Midwest run by the McDonald brothers, who were cooking hamburgers in an entirely different way: The assembly-line method of cooking. He had an idea, and the result became the joint venture that today has literally revolutionized the fast-food industry.

When they first started, McDonald's had no more than 3 simple items on their menu, which were hamburgers, fries, and shakes. Up to this day and hopefully in the future, you will never find a hot dog at a McDonald's. However, today they have hamburgers in every food category possible. They offer chicken burgers, fish burgers, Big Macs®, Quarter Pounders®, double burgers, and on and on. They have small fries, medium fries, large fries, and super-size fries. That's the power of core expansion. (However, I must note that the pizza was a wrong move on the part of McDonald's and you'll probably see the McPizza® disappear very soon, just like the New Coke did a decade ago. It seems to me that they were thinking products, not categories.)

Nevertheless, how does this apply to you? For instance, let's say you are a computer programmer and you offer computer-consulting work. Your package contains an initial consultative phase, research and planning, development and programming, implementation and testing, debugging, hardware installation, program enhancement, training, customization and upgrades, and software licensing. Obviously, all of these elements may probably be part of one global package you offer that relates to an area in which you are specialized. But by dividing them into individual components, you may not have expanded in a direct sense but you have, however, expanded your possibilities.

Similarly, many of you may offer an entire package right now but fail to recognize that it contains so many different components. Look at what you do and write down every little detail that's part-and-parcel of what you offer. (You can include this in your brochure, catalogue, and price list.)

Using the previous computer programmer example, you could develop your own research division, program development division, implementation division, training division, and so on. The word division means exactly what it says. And by doing so, you may stumble onto clients who need the entire package, while you may also stumble onto others who may only need, say, a training specialist for some software or a programmer to iron out the wrinkles of some new program. Keep in mind that you shouldn't digress from your specialization, but try to remain within your core and expand from within.

You can also add new products or services to your portfolio that stick to your niche. Look at dry-cleaners. They offer dry-cleaning services, tie cleaning services, shoe repair, tailor services, winter clothing storage, and so on. However, if you do expand in such a way, don't just leave it at that. Put names on your new divisions that specifically describe the portion of your service, or add a tagline to its name and/or description. As well, aside from dividing from within you could also divide your clientele into groups. While they may still be part of your niche, you have classified them into several categories that will naturally increase your hit ratio when approaching clients.

In my business and in my promotional materials such as my brochures, I make a distinction between 3 types of clients who might need my services. For example. there are doctors who are low-key but who are new to the medical field and only seek to increase their cashflow. There are middle-of-the-road doctors who want to increase their revenue and possibly expand in staff, size, or scope. And then there are entrepreneurial doctors who want the whole-ball-of-wax! A doctor who feels that there may be a need for some business development but fears he or she will go overboard in doing so may be attracted to the fact that my services also cater to his or her specific needs.

And finally, let's say your package is very narrow or simple. In almost every case I've encountered, there is a portion that can still be expanded in such a way by setting up strategic alliances with specialists in other fields (see Commandment #10). For example, you may be a wedding planning consultant. Your package involves helping couples plan the most important day of their lives. However, when it comes to stationary such as wedding invitations, you use a local printer with whom you've set up a strategic alliance. This printer gives a special price break or incentive offered exclusively to your specific clients as a way to create more business. The printer is glad to help you since he or she knows that by doing so you will constantly send the printer more clients.

In your package, you can have a service called Incredible Invitation Incentive,TM which includes the planning, set up, and printing of wedding invitations. (Also, the design, mailing, and response management of those invitations could also involve the co-services of a graphic designer, mailing house, as well as the printer.) You see, you are not competing with the printer but both of you are seeking a same target market. We will deal with this further, but for now, remember that by dividing your core you will paradoxically multiply your chances of getting more business.

The Power of Words to Increase Sales

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