What happens when you venture beyond the art of successfully promoting your business, and venture into dangerous territory and risk bulldozing potential clients with sales messages?
Here, Richard LeCount, Director of USBMakers, provides some useful advice for business owners on how do get this delicate balance just right.
No matter the industry that you’re in, business is more cut-throat than ever.
With a world that feels as though it’s shrinking, your competitors are no longer just in your neighbouring area, they’re across the globe, offering exactly the same as you do.
Unfortunately, because of this saturated epidemic, many small businesses struggle to stand out, and feel it’s necessary to shout about themselves at every opportunity.
Like your typical car salesman pushing for a sale – to the point of desperation, force feeding their messages across every social stream and advertising opportunity, thanks to the many mediums of marketing, businesses feel that it’s their right to constantly shove promotional messages down their customer’s throats.
But this cold hard meaningless sales pitch will not only loose you loyal customers, but deter any possible leads in the first place.
If you’re acting in a way that’s unauthentic to your core business values, it may be time to reconsider exactly how you’re promoting your product/service.
Are You Listening?
Car salesmen have the annoying habit of rolling out their pitch without listening to exactly what their customers are saying.
There’s a reason they’re looking to make a purchase, and once you’ve understood this you can cater your product or service to their needs.
Offer them a solution that will enhance their lives, and ensure to give them the information they need, and answer their questions truthfully.
Customers don’t want to be just another number on your books, they want to feel valued.
Be human when you discuss your business and be honest about what you can deliver.
As the old saying goes, nobody wants a lemon when they’ve been sold a Lamborghini.
Too Busy Watching Your Competitors?
It can be hard as a small business not to be distracted by everything that your customers are doing. Acting like a spy and monitoring every product they launch, the price and where they’re advertising.
This exhaustive research could be better spent on improving your own service or product.
Whilst it is always essential to know what your competitors are doing, a heavy focus can make you disillusioned to your own business purpose.
The war of sales between competitors can not only be exhausting and costly for your business, but it can impact a potential customer’s perception of your product.
After all, if it’s always at a discounted rate, the cynic in us believes there’s probably something wrong with it.
Avoid promotions for the sake of promoting, and instead be proud of your product or service, and market it for it’s USP.
The most important thing you need to do, is to ensure you’re name is associated with great value, brilliant products and sparkling customer service.
Like a kid in a candy shop, businesses are now spoilt for choice for the array of marketing channels they can choose for promoting their product or service.
However, this doesn’t mean you should do all and everything that comes your way.
As small business you’ll have a limited budget, and if you scatter gun your marketing you’ll be left high and dry quicker than you know it.
Print advertising, event marketing, social media and online, there are some overwhelming options for you to consider. But ask yourself this question every time that you do something, what did you gain? Was it worth it?
Whilst many small businesses believe it’s all about brand exposure, this may go some way in helping your business gain some industry recognition, but the true value of your marketing is in the sales it can generate.
Choose your marketing channels wisely and you will find the perfect fit that resonates with your audience and builds your business a strong following.
Don’t Cut Back
Many small businesses feel that online advertising and marketing doesn’t work for them when times get tough. Slashing their budgets here, there and everywhere in the hope that they can weather the storm.
But this is a fatal mistake in the world of business, where reputation is everything.
Disrupt your current marketing campaign and times will only get tougher.
Think of it in your competitor’s eyes, if you shut-up shop and reduce your exposure, it seems leave them with more room to grow and replace you.
Stay strong and be creative with fun and engaging promotions that can make you stand out from the crowd.
You don’t need to be a pushy salesman to promote your product. In the modern world we live in, marketing is more