Teaching a New Dog Old Tricks
The world of marketing has grown away from direct mail fliers, phone soliciting and open houses. Now, the Internet is used to form relationships, offer specials and keep readers informed. However, if you look back in time, you will find that very little has changed with wants and needs of consumers. This might be a good time for every entrepreneur to re-evaluate their marketing strategies and to give clients what they have been hoping for, all along.
Why Do People Buy
Nothing has changed, over the years, with reasons why consumers buy products. While advertising has advanced through technology, the idea has always been to persuade the public that they need a certain product. This is a ploy that the entrepreneur knows, works well. Few people buy products strictly out of necessity. Having the newest and greatest item, found on the market, is an ego builder, and always has been. Peer pressure is another tactic that is as old as the hills. An entrepreneur that considers trying a different approach for marketing a product, should remember the old adage; if it's not broke, why fix it?
Know the Answers to Customer Questions
It doesn’t take a genius to know how to sell a product. What it does require, is an entrepreneur that knows their product inside and out. Five little words have been eliminated from the vocabulary of many companies, and replaced with jazzy websites. Who, what, when, where, and why, are still the basis of any good selling technique and without the right answers, clients will move on. Money is tighter than ever and customers want to know why your product is worth buying. Suggesting that they visit your website, is the wrong answer.
Do not assume that a prospective client has a general idea of your product. Just because we live in the world of information, does not mean that everyone has had a chance, or a desire, to explore all of the possibilities. An entrepreneur should treat each new consumer like the product or service, is the only one on the planet. As you begin sharing your knowledge, you will find that there are bits and pieces that are catching the interest of your visitor. The excitement will build, just from sharing your passion, and soon, this will radiate to your potential clients and ending with a sale.
Provide Great Customer Service
An entrepreneur will not always agree that the customer is right, but do your best to bring a positive resolution to an unhappy consumer. Drawing up a policy to give to buyers is a perfect way to let them know that your word is worth the paper it is written on. It will also give your clients piece of mind that you have a first-rate company. If there is a problem with a product or service, be quick about replacements, refunds, or other agreeable solutions. When an unhappy customer has to wait weeks, or months, for a resolution to take place, the damage can be irreversible. The greatest marketing tips in the world, will never win back a disgruntled customer.
Evaluate your Business Constantly
One of the biggest mistakes that an entrepreneur can make, is taking their eye off the ball. Profits start rolling in, reports of satisfied customers are good, and everything seems to be in order. But is it really? A good entrepreneur never stops evaluating on how improvements can be made. It can be something as simple as checking routine procedures, or as complex as designing new systems, but it is critical, so always look for problems or improvements.
An example of how constant evaluation is necessary can be shown with this make believe company that we will call Sally's Bakery. Sally made the best pastries in town. Before long, she was boxing and shipping her homemade goods all over the state. One day, the Board of Health paid Sally a visit, with a major complaint. They had been called to a home where a family was ready to indulge on one of Sally's treats. One of the children screamed as a piece of a dried peach began moving across the cake. Although no one was harmed from the grain mites, Sally's story made the news. Constant checking of ingredients, temperature, expiration dates and suppliers, could have saved Sally a lot of trouble and money.
Long Term Relationships are not Dead
The role of social media has good points, but also bad points. The face-to-face encounter, and a cheerful voice on the phone can never be replaced with email and blogs. Consumers need to know that they are more than a number in day-to-day life. Entrepreneurs that take the time to pick up the phone and check on a client, are remembered as being considerate and caring. When competitors arrive and have a cheaper or better deal than what you could ever deliver, most clients will stay loyal. To know that you are there when needed, are willing to right a wrong, and have a professional and caring attitude, speaks louder than saving a few dollars.
Using the tools of marketing today, can make bringing potential clients to your company, easier than in the past. However, never lose sight that although time marches on, the wants and needs of people never will. Marketing is essential in creating and keeping a business afloat but most of the tried and true methods of yesterday will give you a better chance of winning long term customers.