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Getting your customers and users to pay attention to your business is harder than ever. People have an infinite number of choices compared to 2 or 3 years ago and a lot less time. By taking a different approach to selling and marketing you can begin to make more enquires and more sales.
For regular readers, you’ll have noticed that I’ve talked about marketing guru Seth Godin before (even reposting articles direct from his own blog). Seth attracts many followers for his insightful take on modern marketing and is not afraid to be a bit controversial. I highly recommend anyone to check out his blog or videos.
My 3 ways to better sales is inspired by some of Seth’s ideas that I really dig and think you guys will get a lot out of.
Be on the fringes
Many small businesses play safe when they’re approaching things. They follow the crowd when it comes to things like marketing, branding, sales and customer services. They do what they see others doing as they see it as being safe. But no one says you have to play it safe.
Do things differently to others. Approach your strategies from a different angle and make your customers sit up and take notice.
10 years ago in the era of mass marketing playing safe was the safe thing to do because everyone listened. Now people (your potential customers) don’t have to time to sit through the ads and listen. Now you have to be on fringes to be noticed.
You get on the fringes in business by being remarkable. By becoming something or someone that people want to make a remark about you can create a buzz around you and your business. When they have something to say about your product or service they tell someone else. They’ll want to share the story.
That doesn’t mean you have to come up with a new product or service that is out of this world, just that maybe you need to do something that is remarkable with what you have.
When Google announced Google Wave earlier in the year they did something that was remarkable with their marketing. They only opened it up to a handful of developers. If you didn’t get an invite first off, you desperately wanted one. The buzz about Wave and the fact it was a limited invite-only spread like wildfire to the point where now they haven’t even fully released it yet and people are trading invites on eBay for crazy sums of money.
By taking a remarkable approach you can get your future customers to sit up and take notice.
Sell to those who are listening
With a massive choice and not a lot of time, consumers don’t have to listen to everyone that tries to sell them something anymore but they’ll most certainly buy from someone they already listen to.
Why waste your time and effort (and maybe even money) trying to sell to the large percentage of people who aren’t listening or aren’t interested? What’s the point?
Apple doesn’t try to sell its stuff to the non-tech savvy customers. It aims the majority of its marketing to the geeks, the fashion conscious, the tech savvy, the trend-setters and to those who appreciate great design because they know that they’ll be the one’s listening.
Talk to the people who are listening and you’ll be able to sell to them far better than those who couldn’t care less.
No! This is where most businesses get it wrong.
Whether you’re running a bricks and mortar company with office space coming out of your eyeballs or a funky online store that comprises of you in your back room working until late at night the going off to your regular job, the answer is always no.
Social Media is not about selling. It’s not about whoring yourself and your business out on Twitter or Facebook or on your blog to make more money; it’s about a whole lot more. If you treat Social Media like another member of your sale teams, who’s constantly trying to sell every product that you have to anyone who will listen is just bad business. You’re about 5 years behind the trends if you do that. Wake up!
Social Media is about Customer Service. It’s about listening to what people have to say and what people want and helping them out. It’s about solving problems when you can with not asking for anything in return. Social Media connects you with your customers but that doesn’t give you the permission to assault them at every turn with the hard sell.
Try listening and not selling through Social Media. The people who sell for you through Social Media are your customers, who by word of mouth recommendations will bring new customers to you.
It's a talk aimed particularly at Web App developers, obviously, but if you watch it and take what you hear on a very general business level you'll end up taking a lot of great thoughts and ideas away from it about how brand your business as well as yourself.
This is a good one. Enjoy
- Moving on in 2010
- Website Statistics: Why constantly checking your Stats can harm your Online Business.
- Do You Spend Everyday Trying To Keep Up With Your Competitors
- What do you charge for? Or do you give back to the community when you can?
- How to Promote Your Brand on the Biggest Social Network Around, Facebook
- 5 Reasons why Apple Stores are Great Examples of How You Should Run Your Online Business
- Inspirational Video: Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
- I know what my customers want!
- Fighting the fight of the small online business owner.
- My First Guest Post
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