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What Do Your Customers Really Want?

Do you know what your customers want?

I mean what they really want.

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When we buy anything, the motivation is always “what’s in it for me”. What will this product do for me?

There are a number of almost primeval buying motivations which drive most of our purchases:

    • Will it make me more money?
    • Will it save me time?
    • Will it make me more beautiful?
    • Will it make me more attractive to the opposite sex?
    • Will it make me feel better?
    • Will it make me healthier?
    • Will it make my life better?

People don’t care about you or your business, they only care about what you can do for them. To be successful you have to appeal to your customers’ self interest.

We don’t buy what we need

When it comes to making buying decisions, in most instances we don’t buy what we need, we buy what we want.

There are so many product categories that prove this – no one needs designer brands, sports cars, ipads etc. There are always cheaper, more functional alternatives but we want these items so we justify to ourselves why we should have them.

What this means is that so many purchases are made not for logical reasons but for emotional ones and you need to recognise this in your marketing. You need to appeal to people’s emotions as opposed to their logic. You always need to explain to your target audience what they will get from your product – how it will make them look, how it will make them feel, what other people will think of them when they see them with it.

Once we’ve set our sights on something we want, we then go about collecting the justification for the more extravagant package.

Last summer I needed to buy a new car. I’m not really interested in cars so it wasn’t anything fancy but the extras made it more desirable and more sexy. Did I need the extras – no not really but I did want them.

So how did I justify it to myself. The blue tooth functionality gave me the ammunition I needed. With blue tooth I could talk legally on the phone while driving. To be honest I do actually need that (having been done for talking on the phone earlier last year) but it made the decision easy for me.

So when you’re creating your sales materials remember people buy what they want and then justify it as a need.

Don’t fill your collateral, especially your website with boring information, especially not boring information about you and your company.

Instead focus on making them want what you sell because if they want it they will find the justification.

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8 Tips To Ensure Your Small Business Success

1. Niche Your Audience

There is a lot of competition out there and it’s tough. The worst thing you can do is to try and sell to everybody. Unless you’re Coca Cola you can’t be relevant to everyone. Much better to identify a small target group so that you can target your messages to them with laser like precision. With more limited budgets this is far more effective.

2. Your website is not a brochure

Long gone are the days when you can view your website as “an online brochure” and you have one just because everybody else does. Small business websites need to earn their keep and generate business.

3. You can’t ‘cheat’ Google – they’re smarter than you

A few years ago you may have got away with a bit of keyword stuffing or buying inbound links by the bucket load. Not any more. Google is focused on giving their customers the best results to their search and will rigorously analyse your site and your text for relevance. So focus on providing relevant, fresh and appealing content that will attract customers to your website.

4. Is traditional advertising right for you?

For most businesses these days, traditional advertising in local newspapers or magazines is rarely the best option. The costs are high and fixed, the targeting imprecise and you’re dealing with an increasingly sophisticated audience. If you’re dealing B to C where it’s difficult to get hold of prospects’ names and addresses it may still be relevant but proceed with caution and test on a small scale before you commit much money.

5. Blogging can be very powerful

Blogging is often overlooked as it demands significant input and because it’s not an overt sales medium. But it is a very powerful medium for demonstrating your expertise and is a great way to keep your website content fresh, which our good friend Google always appreciates.

6. The power of video

Today’s consumers are time strapped and want information fast. Many people, especially younger people are reading less and watching more. Video is a great mechanism for getting not only your message across but it also allows you to communicate your personality .

7. Facebook and Twitter may not be right for your business

Everyone’s become obsessed with social media. Every small business owner I work with says “Shouldn’t we be on Facebook and Twitter?” My response is always the same(how boring do I sound) If your audience are hanging out on social media then yes you should be part of the conversation. I mean it’s free and provides a quick and easy way to communicate with both customers and potential customers every day if you want. But if you serve an older demographic who are not spending their time on Facebook and Twitter then you’re wasting your time.

8. Make it mobile

The way people access the internet has changed and will go on changing. Web browsing from mobiles and tablets will outstrip PCs in the next few years. For certain categories such as mini cabs and restaurants it is absolutely vital but all of us need to make sure that our websites display effectively on these media. If it doesn’t you are potentially missing out on a large section of potential audience.

 

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Content Marketing -The New Approach To Small Business Marketing

Content marketing is when you provide your audience with useful and valuable information on your subject of expertise.

Some of the most savvy small business owners today, use content marketing to educate their prospective clients and engage them.  For example, they write regular blog posts, which offer useful information that will be of direct interest to their ideal prospective client.  Then, when these people need someone with your expertise or products, you become massively more likely to get their inquiry and business, than some guy they find in a directory.

So, today’s informed small business owners are transitioning from pestering people on bought lists to attracting inquiries by regularly showcasing their expertise.

When handled correctly, this can be an amazingly powerful form of marketing.  It’s also a fraction of the cost of advertising and mailings etc, and the results can be amazing.

Today, it’s all about producing regular, valuable content

The primary challenge with content marketing is the content.  Great, regularly published content to be exact.  Previously, business owners needed to be careful not to put too much information in front of prospective clients. Today we have the exact opposite situation!  Today, the most successful small business content marketers, publish information for their prospective clients several times per week..

If you want to join the new school of small business marketing, it requires some new skills and a mindset change.  The mindset change is easy enough.  It’s the shift from pushing sales messages to sharing ideas or education.  It’s about remembering that whilst people LOVE to buy things, they HATE to be sold to.

The skills required are easy enough to learn, but they take time to master.  Content marketing, which includes; blogging, newsletter marketing, article marketing, videos etc, requires regular content.  It’s no good producing 3 bits of content marketing one week and then nothing for the next month. You need to produce valuable information on a reliably regular basis.

So if you want to profit from this new educational phenomenon, start regularly sharing your expertise with your prospects. You will soon start being regarded as the expert in your field and business will in all likelihood follow shortly afterwards.

Business Development Advisors can help you grow  your business and take it on to the next level. If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

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What Are The Moments Of Truth For Your Business?

Every business has its moments of truth.

Those moments when you interact with your customers.

Those moments when you have the opportunity to  give them a level of service that will delight them and which they will remember and talk about to their friends

Those moments when you decide that your business is going to be extraordinary and stand head and shoulders above your competitors.

Moments of truth are a key element in your small business marketing as they are totally about your customers and the experience they receive when dealing with your business. It’s got nothing to do with making sales.  It’s got everything to do with satisfying your customers’  every need.

If occasionally, to satisfy that customer need, you have to refer them to a competitor, you will make yourself far more memorable than by selling them something which doesn’t quite fulfil their needs.

Have a look at your business and at every single customer interaction whether that is before, during or after the sale. Put yourself in the customer’s position.

Identify how you would like to be treated, how you would like to feel at every stage of the process. Then go one step further and decide what the ultimate experience would be for every interaction.

That ultimate experience should be your goal.

To provide that level of customer experience might cost you money and it will definitely cost you time but you can be absolutely confident that what you will receive back in terms of customer loyalty and customer referrals will vastly outweigh your upfront investment.

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Good Marketing Means Good Sales

If you want to know how to be good at marketing, you have to understand that people like things to be easy.

The easier you can make it for customers to do business with you, the greater your chances of success.

So when asked what are good marketing techniques, one part of your answer has to be simplicity.

I’ll give you some examples:

1. Your website must to be easy to navigate around.

Of course your site must be full of valuable content but equally important visitors must be able to find their way around the site.  Keep your site clean and clear and make sure that information on particular topics is all located together. It’s important that your site loads  quickly and that all your links work.  The easier your prospective clients can navigate your site, the more likely they are to stay on the site and to find what they are looking for. This of course means they are more likely to contact you

2. Information must be laid out in a way that makes it easy to find

While content is king, visitors are influenced by the appearance of your site. The layout shouldn’t be too busy or crowded and information should be laid out in bite size chunks. People don’t want to be faced by large swathes of text. They want to be able to skim your text, looking for the information they’re interested in. Bulleted lists, short sentences, clear writing will engage your visitors.

3. You must communicate precisely what you do

You have approximately 8 seconds to engage your visitors. You must make it crystal clear what you do right up front so that people can decide to stay on the site.

4. Make it easy for people to contact you

Different people like to make contact in different ways. Give them your phone number, email address and social networking details on every page. Additionally include a contact form on the website and even a physical address as this will increase trust.

5. Social proof increases trust

Use testimonials liberally on the site. Video testimonials are much more powerful than written ones. They prove the authenticity of the testimonial and add human interest.  If you have won an award or reached a certified level of achievement within your industry, make sure people can easily see it.

6. Always include a landline number

Don’t use a premium rate number or a mobile number as your primary contact number. Mobile numbers suggest there’s no substance to the business and why should a prospect pay over the odds to contact you. Use your normal number and be proud of it.

Put yourself in your potential customers’ position. How often have you aborted a purchase or an application for something because the process just got too difficult. Be sure to make your customer experience as easy as possible.