In uneasy economies, many business owners put themselves on the “waiting out the market” fence by slashing expenses, cutting all marketing and going into an indefinite holding pattern. In a world full of fence-sitters, know this: the business and the revenue will always go to the entrepreneur who jumped off early, or never got on the fence in the first place. That said; where are YOU sitting these days?
Savvy business owners are going against the grain and doing everything their competition is not. Instead of waiting for the economic winds to change, they are putting every system and tool possible in place to makes sure they are in front of their customer base (and potential customer base) each and every month. They are seeking out every new opportunity to make an impression and in doing so, they are maintaining their professional presence, protecting and growing their brand awareness and engaging in smart relationship-building practices. After all, in the wise words of H. Jackson Brown, Jr., “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”
Where do you start? Well, where most change must start – take a look in the mirror. Know your business, your unique selling proposition and your customers so well that you can predict what they need and want almost before they do. Then, put the systems in place to connect, reconnect and stay connected!
Step One: Know your business. What makes you unique? What is it that YOU do differently than any of your competitors? Why should customers do business with you as opposed to any of your competitors? The answer to that question, in its clearest, most concise format becomes your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. The best USP is defined as a clearly written sentence that perfectly describes the benefits that are unique to your company or product.
Let’s look at some famous examples:
- Dominos Pizza: “Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in thirty minutes or less, guaranteed”
- Federal Express: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”
- M&Ms: “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand”
- Hallmark: When you care enough to send the very best
- Subway: Subs with under six grams of fat
Step Two: Define your demographic. Knowing your customer better than your competition is the kind of leverage that can make or break a business. Take a look at your best customers. Use the old 80/20 rule. Find the 20% of your customer base who equate to 80% of your sales. Are they male or female? Where do they live? What do they look like, act like, need most? What’s most important to them? Once you’ve clearly defined who you are marketing to, then you can develop how you speak to them most effectively in your marketing, on the phone and in person! Another bonus: Once defined, you can use that demographic snapshot to find more great customers with powerful data aggregation services!