What's that ringing sound you hear at this time of year? It's
the sound of store registers ringing up the sales generated by
Santa Claus. Just because he's old, overweight, long haired,
unshaven and dresses funny, don't overlook his marketing
success. Santa is a marketing expert and you can become one,
too, if you follow his marketing methods.

What's that you say? You don't believe in Santa Claus or you
don't celebrate Christmas? It's true that Santa may be mostly
mythical, but ask almost anybody who Santa is and what he does,
and they'll tell you. And there are millions of children who are
convinced he's real. So put your doubts about Santa aside for a
moment and take a look at why he's so good at marketing.

Knows How to Be Unique

Whether it is his trademark red suit, his unconventional
transportation, his belly laugh or his occupation, Santa is
different. He's one of a kind, which makes him memorable.

Gets Free Publicity

He’s a master at getting free press. He’s mentioned in the media
constantly during the winter holidays. Many songs, movies and
books have been written about him.

Is Customer Focused

While everyone knows about Santa, his marketing isn't focused on
his credentials. He rarely talks about how long he's been in
business nor does he bore people with long discussions of his
work processes. Instead, he makes a huge effort to learn what
people want.

It is estimated (http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20021213.html)
that each year over a million letters are sent to Santa. Santa
supplements this effort by appearing in thousands of shopping
malls around the country, listening to an average of nine
thousand children per mall. He does all this just to learn what
his customers want.

Gives Something Away For Free

While most of the presents under the tree are from family,
including the annual fruitcake from Aunt Bernice, typically at
least one gift bears Santa's name. How can you not love someone
who gives so many presents away each year and whose only
expectation is a couple of cookies and a glass of milk?

Knows What He Is Selling

Santa knows what he is selling, and its not just games and toys.
Santa sells hope, whether it is for the latest video game, a
warm sweater or happiness.

How can you market your business more like Santa Claus does
his?

1. Clarify how you and your firm are unique, and what it is that
separates you from the crowd. You don't need to put on a red
suit or slide down chimneys. Define yourself by the problems you
solve, the expertise you provide and what your customers say
about you.

2. Get media attention for your business, not just during
holidays but all year round. Sometimes imaginative stunts like
appearing in a sleigh help.

3. Ask your prospects what they want and then provide services
and products that give them what they've asked for. The better
you understand their concerns, the better services or products
you'll provide.

4. Give something away for free. It could be an article, a
report, a book or a workshop. Use your free offer to prompt
people to contact you and demonstrate your expertise. It works
for Santa and it can work for you.

5. Know what you are selling. Your products and services bring
in the money, but what do they stand for? What do they represent
to your clients? Sell your prospects on achieving their
objectives and dreams and deliver with tangible results they can
appreciate.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, market like Santa and
you too, can have many happy clients this and every season,
without having to squeeze down a single sooty chimney.

Happy Holidays

Author's Bio: 

The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and smallbusiness owners attract more clients and be more successful.Sign up for the Free Marketing Plan eBook,'7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business'at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com