Why is your business struggling with getting and keeping clients?
What if there was a magic formula that allowed you, not the competition, to get and retain clients?
How would that magic formula be implemented for your business?
Many small businesses today fight the fight of fights, getting customers into their door (or on their sites) to spend money with them, and not the competition.
Unfortunately the internet is just like brick and mortar’s located on the side of a freeway: highly visible but no one’s stopping the car for you.
Changing the way you interact with the public can get more people to pull over and stop by your business (or website) and at the very least have an interest in spending money at your location.
There are 3 main functions in any business, each is essential and each requires its own set of skills and talents:
Depending on where your skills and talents lie, you may be very good at executing within any one of the 3 functions or by overseeing all of the functions while a team of people execute within them.
Processes that run efficiently are important because the faster the business executes, the happier your clients and the more money saved; which screams automation!
However, each requires human networking, human creativity and human – machine interaction.
This is why not everything can be automated.
Business Marketing is the one of the areas that can handle the least amount of process and automation because this is where the company directly interacts with the world and because creativity can’t be automated.
Humans connect with each other on shared beliefs and interests. In order to get to that level of information you need to ask “why” questions, something automation doesn’t do.
One area I like to refer back to when considering how to bring a product to market is looking at farmers markets, fish markets, and world markets that exist in many cities.
My favorites are those markets that have no level of sophistication and are a group of people with tables and product to sell jammed into a small area for several hours a day.
All of the vendors in these markets show up early and leave late working hard to make a living by selling their product.
So what makes some more successful than others? It isn’t just about having a unique product; you can find the exact product for the same price in multiple locations in these markets and still have some more successful than others.
The 2 important things that the successful vendors have that the others don’t are
- The ability to connect with their patrons and
- Product consistency.
Their business marketing technique is showing up each day and connecting with their patrons. Their business grows with repeat visits and word of mouth from happy clients.
Today most of those products at these markets can be had from big chain stores but what you don’t get from the chain stores is that personal connection.
Business marketing tactics today are still stuck on the premise that if you spray and pray the cash will come.
Today’s big chains are great at building a brand that can resonate with people through an emotional connection in their marketing message, but where the ball is dropped is when you show up at the location or call the customer service line; do they still give you that feel?
When you’re starving and see that perfect cheeseburger on the menu, does it arrive on your plate looking like the picture?
That’s where the individual vendors at these small markets succeed, they don’t have the marketing reach that the chains have, but they are able to maintain the consistency and direct connection with their clients. This cannot be automated.
Business marketing masters have figured out how to make emotional connections with people without ever interacting with us. These emotional triggers entice us to open our wallets and it’s not until the emotion wears off do we realize we aren’t really connected to the product.
We end up connecting on the brand, not with the people in the company, for the status among our peers.
Who cares that their customer service number sucks or their pictures online of the hotel look amazing but upon arrival the place is filthy.
They’ve built a brand, taken great pictures and leveraged the networking effects of point rewards to keep you coming back.
Your clients bought your product for two reasons:
- Because they had a need and
- They connected with you.
Most needs today can be filled by pretty much any one. I don’t know that there is anything that is truly unique that cannot be filled through an alternate source, so make sure you’re the ONLY source by always CONNECTING with your clients.
Getting them to buy with cheap marketing techniques gets you one pay day. Getting them to buy through personal connection gets you consistent pay days.
In the back room of the business where negotiations run heavy, the goal is that both sides get everything they want and then some before they sign the contract. After the contract is signed, however, the work needs to be done.
Front office business, where your business marketing meets your clients, rarely involves heated negotiations and contracts, but both areas share one commonality, follow through on the execution of the agreement.
When you’ve connect with a client and they’ve chosen to trade their money for your product, that’s the equivalent of signing a contract. It’s imperative that you hold up your end of the agreement by remembering to reconnect with your client and ensure that the product is performing to their expectations and if your client comes back to you with an issue, you correct that issue.
Negotiations are won and lost through emotion. The same back room aspect holds true for your front office clients:
Create positive and lasting connections with your clients and you’ll never lose.
Not all clients are created equal, however, which is why it’s important to establish your values, your beliefs, and your mission up front. You don’t want a client who’ll always be a headache for you, nor do you want a client who thinks you can deliver A but you can only deliver B. Both are bad experiences for both sides.
Some people think they have to keep these types of clients because they need the revenues, but I argue that if you keep these clients your business will become the one that services them.
So, how can you better leverage business marketing to get and retain clients?
- Display what you believe in and stick to it
- Show up when you say you’ll show up
- Serve your clients better than anyone else
- Always be reachable through multiple platforms
- Treat your clients with respect and serve them as if they were royalty
- Execute efficiently on your product
You are what you eat and if you want to be like all the other big brands; eat their worst clients.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, only eat the best clients and leave the worst for the competition.
Don’t actually eat anybody though, that’d be un-OK.