Category Archives: Sales

Selling

Selling products or services can be tough and with services it can be even more challenging. But what if the customer is being difficult about some aspect of the product? Whether it be the quality, the price, or something else about the product, it is the job of the salesperson to actually sell the product to the customer. Whatever it takes, it has to be sold, and that should be the mindset of the salesperson on the job. There are limits to what you can do, but there are some things you can at least give it a try.

Firstly, you can sell the product or service on the point that it is going to make life easier for every user. Whether you are selling a laptop, or selling an insurance, it is up the salesperson to make sure that you are selling the product. Show the value that the product is going to bring into the life of the customer. Whether it be time or money, sell what that product is going to save the customer in the long run.

Another good tip is to show the value of the product in monetary terms. Some people assume that a new car might be too expensive to buy. However, what about what happens if the car that the customer has now goes into the shop? Is it better to spend 300 a month on a new car, or spend 200 a month on a car that is always in the shop, and is never able to be used? Most people might actually want the new car instead.

The customer might really want the product, but might fear they are going to suffer from buyers remorse, or find a better price elsewhere. At such instances sell the warranty that comes with the product, whatever it covers. If anything happens to it, or the return policy for that matter, the point is, you have to gain confidence of the customer. Whether it be that you can replace it with something else, or bring it back for a refund, you are putting the customer at ease that they can buy the product without fear.

The key to selling a product is to sell the benefits of the product. Whether it is priced the lowest at that particular store, or the product is going to make the life of the customer easy, the salesperson should be able to project the real benefits of the product. All products add value, you just have to convince the customer that there is enough value for the customer to actually make the purchase. And for a good salesperson, if they can connect with the customer at any point during the sales pitch, it acts like icng on the cake.

Ofcourse, with services its a different story, before actual deal is closed there will be several meetings, several emails going back and forth, then finally the moment comes. The sales cycle is much longer here.

Bookmark and Share

Marketing Evangelists

What does the term marketing evangelists mean?
Evangelism marketing is more commonly known as word-of mouth-marketing, and relies on customers to deliver marketing messages to other potential customers. When someone recommends a certain pair of shoes that was comfortable, or a bakery that offers freshly baked breads at your door step, they are acting as “customer evangelists.” The challenge is convincing people to recommend a company in an honest way. Obviously, not every company can turn their customers into evangelists.
Marketing professionals are developing strategies to get others talking about their products and services in a positive way. These include everything from creating online communities for customers to interact, sponsoring events that help position a brand as part of a lifestyle. The goal of any evangelist marketing strategy is to find out how a brand fits into a customer’s life and making that fit as easy as possible. The more effectively a brand satisfies a customer’s needs, more likely they are mentioned to family and friends.

How does it work?
When customers are thrilled about their experience with certain product or service, they can become outspoken evangelists for that product or company producing the product.Such satisfied customers can become potent marketing force for the brand. In an already crowded market where dozens of companies sell similar goods, it is a joy to find a business that truly performs an exemplary service. Sharing shopping discoveries with a friend is like passing on secret knowledge, honestly.

How is it helpful for businesses?
Turning a customer into a mouthpiece for advertising is a marketing dream. As companies have grown and become more impersonal, marketers experience more challenges making meaningful connections with customers. Consumers want to buy products from businesses they can trust, and often turn to their friends for recommendations. This product “evangelism” helps businesses build their reputations and spread word of their highly regarded services.

Authors Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell explains how to convert already loyal customers into influential and enthusiastic evangelists. The research project led to Creating Customer Evangelists outlines the framework for developing evangelism marketing strategies and programs. The goal is to create communities of influencers who drive sales or membership for the company or organization. Following are the six basic outlines of creating customer evangelists:

a. Continuously gather customer feedback.
b. Make it a point to share knowledge freely.
c. Expertly build word-of-mouth networks.
d. Encourage communities of customers to meet and share.
e. Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite.
f. Focus on making the world or your industry better.

Creating Customer Evangelists explains how organizations successfully built their customer base and created targeted marketing programs to involve their fans. These programs help produce unofficial sales people and a cost-effective and powerful marketing force. By deepening customer relationships, successful organizations create communities that generate grassroots support and value for their products and services.

Isn’t it a great way to market products?

Bookmark and Share

being a small start-up

Starting a business can be exhilarating and fulfilling, but in course it can get complicated and may challenge you in many ways. Challenges and problems will be nothing new but will be something we have often seen happening to others.

Most small businesses fail because of lack of cash flow. Study says that 79 percent of small business failures cited “starting out with too little money” as one of the reasons for the business downfall because owners borrow based on their ideas of a successful business, instead of borrowing for a worst-case scenario. A start-up business owner needs to be optimistic, but often is too optimistic about seeing profits. Without adequate cash flow, slow sales or a downturn in the market can end the business before it has a chance to gain momentum.

Common problem for new businesses is to hurry into marketing campaigns without understanding the actual target market. The costs associated with marketing is stiff and if a business does not know who its target market is, then the money may go wasted. With incorrect messaging the reach is limited and don’t reach the target audience.

A start-up requires tremendous effort, commitment and strong will to make it a success. Add to this the financial stress of a fledgling business. Start-up business owners often have problems balancing the overwhelming demands of the company, if the stress of the workplace spreads into the home, the business owner may feel pressure around the clock.

A common problem for most entrepreneurs is the belief that they can handle all of the start-up’s operations by themselves. It may be a cost-effective way to run the business, but operating the entire business on your own may not be a wise decision or the best use of your time. Many small-business start-ups may not require full-time employees. But it’s a good idea to have at least one or two teammates who are ready to help. With experienced, reliable assistance you can avoid other common business mistakes. When it is time to hire staff, be careful in your choices, employees are a crucial component in the success of your business.

But as a matter of fact hiring is also a big problem for small companies, atleast in a business like mine. We offer marketing solutions and are often in need of high-end graphic designers, writers and editors. And these creative people don’t come cheap, so most of the time hiring them is out of question, thus, use them on contractual basis. Contract has its own issues in our country, India where we operate. Most workers are never committed. Also, since we are a small company, many people don’t like to work for us as we are too small and are kind of perceived as unstable, have no brand identity. Hence, the moment they get an opportunity from a bigger company they shift jobs.

Since you are competing with big fish it does not mean you have to quote rock bottom prices. Pricing your goods and services too low can delay the process of turning a profit. Instead list fair prices and make sure your start-up excels in customer service and delivery. Its very important to excel in any field and customers do appreciate on-time response.

One thing I got to say, its tough but not impossible.

This a guest post by Ms. Thapa, Twitter @bijeta

Bookmark and Share

Customer relationship and marketing

Promote your business by building relationships. Yes, its true, customer relationships drive your business. It’s about finding right people who believe in your products or services. You can spend big bucks but its like rolling boulder up a hill. You want to drive your business into new territory, but every step is hard and expensive. But there are ways to achieve the goal.

Develop an army to help you push that boulder up the hill instead. How do you do that? You develop relationships with people who don’t just understand your particular expertise, product or service, but are equally excited about what you do. You stay connected with them and give them value, and they’ll touch other people who can benefit your business. Powerful relationships don’t just happen from one-time meetings at networking events. You don’t need pocketful of random business cards to clutter your desk. What you need is a plan to make those connections grow and work for you. Here are few pointers you remember while you are out on a mission.

Build your network, it’s your sales lifeline. Your network includes business colleagues, professional acquaintances, prospective and existing customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and association members, as well as family, friends and people you meet in your community. Contacts are potential customers waiting for you to connect with their needs. Ofcourse, you need to understand that networking is a long-term investment. Do it right by adding value to the relationship, and that contact you just made can really pay off. Communicate like your business’s life depends on it.

Communication is a key here, so do it early and often. Relationships have a short shelf life. No matter how charming, enthusiastic or persuasive you are, no one will likely remember you from a business card or a one-time meeting. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they come home from networking events and fail to follow up. Make the connection immediately. Send a “nice to meet you” e-mail or let these new contacts know you’ve added them to your newsletter list and then send them the latest copy. Immediately reinforce who you are, what you do and the connection you’ve made. Its a fact, you rarely meet people at the exact moment when they need what you offer. If you stay on their minds, it’s easier to keep a connection warm than to warm it up again once the trail goes cold. So take the time to turn your network of connections into educated customers.

E-mail marketing keeps relationships strong on a shoestring budget. It is cost-effective and easy way to stay on customers’ minds, build their confidence in your expertise, and retain them. Build your reputation as an expert by giving away some free insight. You have interesting things to say! An easy way to communicate is with a brief e-mail newsletter that shows prospects why they should buy from you. And it’s viral, contacts who find it interesting or valuable might forward your e-mailer or newsletter to other people, just like word of mouth marketing.

Reward loyal customers, according to Bain and Co., on average, repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. So your most profitable customers are repeat customers. Now the question is, are you doing enough to encourage them to work with you again? Stay in touch, give them something of value in exchange for their time, attention and business. It doesn’t need to be too much, anything of their use will suffice like notice of a special event, helpful tips, advice or news, can be effective. Remember, if you don’t keep in touch with your customers, you are loosing out because your competitors will.

Customers are best sales agent, so spend time to build your customer relationship and do the follow-ups. Make use of cost effective tools like e-mailers. Send out simple newsletter, an offer or an update message of interest to your pool of networks. If they remember you and your offerings they will deliver value to you with referrals. They are in the market, and are aware of opportunities you’ll never hear about. That is why it is very important to remain in touch with your customers.

Thus, in order to close this we cannot deny the fact that small business is all about relationships, relationships and relationships.

Share your thoughts with us.

Bookmark and Share

Human touchbase new marketing mantra – agree?

Its a fact, adding face and voice to a brand has become a necessity and has become a popular trend too. Businesses are realizing that customer interaction, engaging content and adding face to the brand are valuable and means a lot to their customers and business stakeholders. The connection of emotions has become beneficial to a business or a brand. Companies like Amazon take pride in customer service and their human touch is happily welcomed by customers. Over the years, they have not only become extremely powerful but very successful too because they adapted to the new trend of marketing that revolved around engagement and personal touch. Actually, this provides comfort to customers which ultimately drives sales and win brand loyalty over long term.

We have seen the success that has come to some product companies because of their human touchbase approach. But the question is, can other industries also reap the benefits using the personal touchbase approach? The answer is, yes. More than ever, financial services are seeking ways to brand themselves in the right light. And the only way to reach customers is  by producing engaging content with a personal feel that ultimately benefits the consumer is a strategy that financial service companies should adopt. According to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study, consumers are using 10.8 sources of information prior to making a banking product purchase while consumers are using 11.7 sources prior to an insurance purchase. These statistics demonstrate the importance of producing positive, engaging and humanized content that consumers can make use of while making a decision. These sources can be anything in the form of informative videos, expert analysts guides to CEO blogs. The tactic of producing useful and appealing content is a strategy that will gain momentum in the financial world since customers are continuously looking for guidance and explanations, human touch and relatedness facet are becoming more and more crucial to the consumer when they are making financial decisions.

Showing the faces behind business and giving a voice to services through the art of storytelling is an outstanding marketing tactic. Videos are the most effective and engaging medium to display the face and voice of your company. Every company has employees with unique individual stories that their audience can relate to. Storytelling is such a versatile instrument and can be utilized within any type of industry. And as a matter of fact, personal touch approach in marketing is here to stay for a long long time.

Share your inputs, feedback or comments related to the post with us.

Bookmark and Share

Copyrights © 2013 Industree Creative Solutions. All rights reserved