There’s been much researched and reported about why businesses don’t turn a profit — some chronically operating “in the red” month after month until failure finally ensues. In fact, reports reveal that a staggering 50 percent of new small businesses fail in the first year, alone, and only one-third survive 10 years or more.
Far too many companies are churning out traditional sales lingo laced with fluff and vague, or entirely overinflated, claims, spending paltry little time and energy establishing credibility with prospective customers.
Today’s consumer is quite savvy, but are often overloaded, over-committed, overdue for a vacation and, thus, easily annoyed. From telemarketer calls coming in at dinnertime or, worse, before the alarm sounds in the morning; an endless stream of SPAM e-mails jamming inboxes; and mailboxes overflowing with white mail that proceeds directly to the recycle trash bin, statistics show that consumers can be bombarded with more than 300,000 messages every day.
Often, brand marketers fail to realize the sale begins and ends with authentic connection on both sides. Consumers need an advocate. One way to do this is by establishing credibility with consumers.
Below are four proven tactics I’ve learned on the sales and marketing front line, which are critical to building a loyal client base and ultimately boosting revenue in kind.
Studies show that, in general, people like to do what others are doing, especially in situations where they feel insecure. That fact can be emphasized by another fairly understandable statistic: Customers are more likely to make a purchase from an entity that can produce favorable reviews about their product, service or company.
Simply put, social proof is influence created when one discovers that others are doing something. While reviews and testimonials are two of the most persuasive forms of social proof as detailed above, there are other important considerations.
We now know that — with the rise of Internet sales and social media — potential buyers can amass a great deal of information even before visiting a store or certainly making a purchase. Endorsements from organizations or celebrities with a positive public image and “wisdom of the crowds,” can definitely provide the emotional risk relief needed to close a sale.
The word “sales” has become synonymous with “hype.” Modern consumerism is now based on transparency. This asks that we operate with openness, clear communication and accountability. A marketer that truly cares about the prospect’s perceptions and experience will have nothing to hide.
Ensure marketing speak has no hidden agendas or false promises, and that all who come in contact with your business know the company’s mission, vision, philosophies, environment, culture and core.
No matter what business you’re in, your most precious asset is your existing customer base. Why not intensely focus on their behavior and commentary (whether solicited or not), as you do business with them? Ask them for honest feedback. Motivate and compel them to provide it. It’s the only way to gain a deeper insight into their thinking.
Brian Greenberg is a multi-faceted entrepreneur who has founded and now spearheads multiple online businesses. He currently co-owns and operates three entrepreneurial companies with his father, Elliott Greenberg, which have each flourished for over 10 years. Visit wholesalejanitorialsupply.com for additional information.
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