A Little Story
Let’s imagine for a moment.
You’re market for a new computer. You choose to purchase it from a local shop rather than a big conglomerate. You hope to get your questions answered by someone who can speak from experience instead of a training script. You have high hopes going in, but before long you wonder if you made the right decision…
The line is out the door. Clearly this is a popular place. It’s finally your turn, and you feel the pressure to get in and get out. Their lips are closed, but even so you hear the screams from those still waiting: “Hurry UP!” You know your request is going to take some time, and the last thing you want is to feel rushed. You’re already nervous; you have questions and want opinions before making such a large purchase, but you stand shaking in your boots for fear of looking like an idiot and angering the foot tappers behind you. The customer service rep at the counter doesn’t know it yet, but he is either going to make his company a couple thousand dollars in the next few minutes, or shake his head watching you walk out the door empty handed. It’s all on his shoulders…
You muster up your courage, and explain your situation to the store clerk. You want to know about storage, screen size, popularity, typical usage, accessories, price points, battery life, support options, and setup. After the first couple questions, the clerk takes a (visible) deep breath, squares his shoulders, and puts on his blinders. From that point on, he never breaks eye contact with you; he smiles and nods, genuinely pretending your questions aren’t silly. He fills up all the counter space with accessory options, letting you turn the boxes over in your hands.
It suddenly feels like everyone else in the room has disappeared. The foot tappers stand still, the phone rings at a lesser decibel. It is just you and him. And more importantly, your answers.
In the end, the store clerk succeeds and you walk out carrying more bags than you intended. But it really was all because of the service. The product is the same no matter where you purchase it.
Do You Make Your Customers Feel Like They’re Your Priority?
If your customers could easily walk away and get the product or service you sell somewhere else, you need to hone in on the experience they have while with you. In a storefront, it’s making eye contact with them as soon as they come through the door. It’s not letting the screaming kid in the corner distract you. It’s hanging on their every word like dealing with them is the only thing you have to do that day. It’s making sure they’re taken care of, whether that’s in your job description or not. (more…)
There’s no simple rule for successful marketing. No one path leads to a million hits, and no single technique works for all business everywhere.
But there are two secrets for making people understand your message:
Understand it Yourself.
Trying to achieve multiple goals with your marketing message? On the surface, it looks like you’re multitasking, and being clever and all … but it’s really just complicated. And complicated is the last thing you want your message to be. Most people make decisions in 3 seconds, and if you force them to spend 2.5 of those 3 seconds decoding your message, well, you lose.
How do you fix this? You must have a solid grip on what you’re saying. Pick your goal. (Yup, singular, uno, one.) Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and think about what you want them to do. How you want them to feel. And then do this…
Now that you totally, fully, completely understand what you’re saying – just say it. Don’t try to dazzle with fancy industry words and overly cute turns of phrase. Don’t confuse them by attempting to appeal to all their senses at once. It’s overwhelming; people don’t like that. Use small words. Focus your efforts on those two concepts from above: what you want them to do, and how you want them to feel. If you don’t do this you stand a better chance of losing their attention before you even get it. Three seconds happens fast…
Understand your product, concept, idea, message, or goal well enough to explain it simply to someone else. When your customers understand what you’re telling them, in turn they’ll tell their neighbors, family, friends, blog followers. What you’re left with is the best marketing form of all – word of mouth.
What’s the one thing you can do right now to get more business?
Make sure you’re sending the right message to your clients. If your story is convoluted, unclear, disorganized, choppy or any other undesirable adjective, your clients will assume you run your company the same way. Instant credibility loss. Give your content a little TLC using these easy tips, and rest easy this weekend knowing you’re not throwing Mr. Franklin down the toilet.
Assess Your Story. Are You Even Telling One?
We see a lot of site redesigns come through our door. One of their common threads is that they want to tell a different story. Maybe they offer different services now. Maybe ownership has changed hands. Maybe the first time around all they did was stick a bunch of information on the site without bothering to connect the dots for their visitors.
Be real with yourself. Even if you’re a simple business, you have a story to tell. A picture to paint. Customers to persuade. A website is a place people go for a first impression. To find information. To take the first step toward spending their money with you. Make that experience real for them. Something they’ll remember. Something they’ll identify with. (more…)
It’s a pretty common thing around here to swap reviews about books we’re reading, or have read. Now we’re passing those reviews on to you in the hopes you’ll find them as helpful as we did. Have a book you’d like to share with us? Let us know!
The actionable content in “The $100 Startup” can be applied to your personal life or your business – you choose. If you’re fed up with naysayers who harp that you can’t possibly spend your days what you love, it’s time to shut them up for good. We love this book because it throws all the rules out the window. Particularly helpful for the younger generation who refuses to conform to those pesky rules anyway, this book gives real world examples of those who are making a living having turned their passion into income. But even better, the book proves that hard work and a unique spin is really all it takes to make it.
If you read it, we’d love to hear your take on it!