This latent tendency to be sales focused coupled with companies’ insistence on paying sales people for performance (i.e. commission) has kept “salesmanship” alive and well. Don’t gasp, because I think that deep down we all know this, and quite frankly, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not bad if used and managed properly, that is, and since we are never going to escape the need to do sales on some level, let’s explore.
The most worn salesmen cliché is of the used car salesman selling cream puffs and delivering lemons. What makes this model wrong? It is legal for a salesperson or company to use some hyperbole when promoting its products. It is also a known fact that most products and services are not the best in their given industry. The title of best can only go to a handful. What’s wrong is that the promise, or expectation, far exceeded …
Once the market is divided up, the company with the larger share is likely to continue to take business away from the smaller company.
The bigger company can afford a bigger advertising budget, a bigger research department, more sales outlets, etc. No wonder the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Is there no future for the small competitor? Of course there is which one reason why this book was written is. (General Motors, General Electric, and IBM don’t need to study Clausewitz to be successful.)
But smaller companies with smaller market shares do need to think like field commanders. They must keep in mind the first principle of warfare, the principle of force, be it military or marketing. “The art of war with a numerically inferior army,” said Napoleon “consists in always having larger forces than the enemy at the point which is to be attacked or defended.”…
Well, it’s hard to squeeze a message into 30 seconds. Near impossible. Yet, as a home business owner you MUST do it. And you must do it effectively if you want to leave a lasting impression.
“On whom,” you ask?
On anyone and everyone you meet.
So, I always recommend that every home-based entrepreneur come up with his or her own “30 Second Face-to-Face Commercial.” Word of mouth is your most powerful source of advertising. And it’s free. But what better place to take a cue from than the $2.6 million sound bites on Super Bowl Sunday.
In 30 seconds you don’t have time for detail. Instead, you need to communicate the key messages of who you are, what benefit you provide and how your customers should feel about you.
Some commercials do it… Take FedEx’s pre-historic slant on safe, reliable delivery.
Some commercials don’t… Remember the cat in …
Well run surveys are still vital to those companies who wish to research a market and obtain feedback on particular products or services. Many people are willing to express an opinion, and a small incentive like a chance to win a prize or a small payment is often all that is required to encourage people to give up their time and participate.
For years market research companies have assembled groups of participants into survey pools or survey panels, groups of people willing to provide an opinion on a range of subjects. Often incentives of nominal value were offered as a ‘thank you’ for the participant’s time; however the explosion of ‘paid for taking surveys’ websites has spawned a new profession – the professional survey participant (PSP).
For companies that are relying on market research generated by panels of PSP’s the question they must ask is how flawed is the data …
Most times the margin is not that slim. We generally bring in around 10 times what we spend in any given week. That means for every $1000 we spend on marketing we bring in $10,000. If we decided that we were only going to spend half of what we were normally spending we would automatically save half of our budget. That is great but we would likely lose up to half of our weekly sales income. In trying to save half our budget we actually lost 9 times that amount.
It all comes back to your Return On Investment. That’s the ROI I am always talking about. If you only make what you spend on your marketing it is not doing its job. The money that you spend on your marketing is your investment. The money you bring in on sales is the Return On that Investment. That is why …
The Two Magic Words
The big secret of dealing with people (or customers) is often overlooked or forgotten. It’s simply saying “thank you” consistently, personally and, above all, sincerely. These two words work marketing magic because customers want to feel important.
Saying “thank you” is an act of kindness, besides. But don’t say “thank you” for the sake of flattery. It must be sincere. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “You can never say anything but what you are.”
“Thank You” Promotes Referrals
The uncertainty of referrals can be disconcerting. Can you control them? No. Can you influence them? Absolutely.
First you must provide a valuable product or service for customers. (You’re already doing this, right?) But perhaps you can make an even bigger difference in their minds by your continued interest after you’ve delivered the product or service.
Each customer has a different level of satisfaction with your products …
Printing technology has made big advancements in the last decade, including high speed, high-resolution color photocopiers and laser printers.
This has reduced the need for using printing presses and allows you to print small quantities with less expense. If you’re printing only a few hundred brochures, this is the way to go.
If you’re printing in the thousands, you may find it more economical to use a printing press. Your per unit cost can drop significantly.
But print production, especially involving color, is a complex subject and ignorance can be costly.
“The most important thing a business person should do is ask a lot of questions,” says Phil Lewis of Vancouver’s Generation Printing.
“Many small businesses try to design their own brochures without consulting with a printer or graphic designer. They don’t understand that what you see on your computer screen isn’t necessarily what’s going to be printed. Inevitably, we …
Buying ad space for TV, radio and magazines can add up quickly giving you a hefty bill to foot each month. To avoid high monthly costs for ad space consider using any space that your company may already own. For instance, if your company is already using vehicles for its everyday business, think about taking advantage of that space for advertising. Fleet graphics are a great way to maximize the use of your company vehicle and make the most out of your advertising budget. Everywhere your company vehicle travels it will take your message along for the ride.
Targeting a specific audience can be complicated at times. You must consider the audience’s demographics before placing a single ad. And then you still have to take a chance and hope that they will see or hear the ad when it airs. Fleet graphics can offer a solution to this common dilemma. …