In today’s online environment we all have our share of marketing nightmares we could relate. One that immediately pops into my mind is the store that uses pushy sales tactics. I don’t know about you but for me these stores tend to push me right out their proverbial door. I can not think of a better example than this to teach us how to avoid losing potential customers. Let’s compare this live shopping experience with our online counterpart to gain some valuable insight.
The basic thing they do is attack you the minute you walk in the door. So how do you avoid making your customer feel pounced on? At your first contact do you enter the chat room or offer your first message in the “it’s all about me" frame of mind? Do you tend to share about what your do before you have barely even introduced yourself? Stop for a moment and consider how this could be perceived? How would you react if you were on the receiving end? How can you turn this around? How do you tell your shopper what you have to offer without causing them to want to turn and run?
The first thing you should do is kick that old “me" out of the door. Keep pushing; sometimes “me" wants to hold onto the doorposts. If you listen to what you are saying and concentrate on correcting this attitude you will succeed. Hang in there. You can and must do it for the sake of your business success.
Now that you have kicked “it’s all about me" to the proverbial curb, welcome in “it’s all about THEM!" This one simple change can have a tremendous impact on your marketing efforts both on and off line.
To effect this change take the time to figure out what you have and how it will make your shopper’s life easier or better. Start off by evaluating your product or service. Make a list of features and then try to figure out what benefit can be provided by the use of this feature. Remember, features inform but benefits sell!
What does your product or service do for your customer? If it is a kitchen tool you might say it will help them get out of the kitchen faster. Then digging deeper this will allow them to have more time to spend with their family and friends. So now you can introduce yourself and tell them, “I help enrich your life!" How that makes them feel is what will take them to the next level. I am sure you will agree that the automatic response is “OK, tell me how. " With this one small change you have introduced yourself and your business in such a way that has them asking for more information rather than looking for the exit sign.
The next thing our model store does after the pounce is to lurk. What this means to us is that they either stand at a distance waiting to pounce once again or they follow you around the store. This is best avoided by asking them what they do. You will find people like to talk about themselves and if you listen you may even learn something.
Two things can be accomplished if you take the time to really listen to what they say. First they will tell you by what they have to share where their interests lay. Second, if you listen carefully enough they may even tell you why they need your product or service. Perhaps they will go so far as to tell you what objections you need to overcome to convince them of their need. If you are selling children’s toys and they don’t have children or grands you will know you can’t help them personally. However, I guarantee you they will have at least one friend or family member who does. So don’t write them off. Befriend them and once you build a relationship they may share their referrals with you. So rule number two is Listen, REALLY listen!
These two rules put to good use will be the beginning of untold opportunities. Start with a brief introduction; then stop and listen. If your visitor is interested they will surely let you know. Simply step back and get to know your customer and their needs. This will be your opportunity to learn and show them you genuinely care. Be willing to give and ready to answer questions. Participate in the discussions. Don’t just hit and run.
That is rule number 3. Let me say that one more time. Don’t just tell them what you sell and then leave. Stay and learn about them, build relationships and the business will come. After all we all know we buy from people we know, like, and TRUST! Building a solid relationship will not only bring you new business but repeat business too. Repeat business will in turn open new doors through referrals. That is after all the ultimate goal, is it not?
Ginger Marks, Published Author/Copy Editor/Digital designer has been recognized for her design and integrity with numerous awards. Her latest work, Presentational Skills for the Next Generation, is available at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=684125 She owns DocUmeant, http://www.documeant.net and co-owns Nibroc Marketing Solutions, http://www.nibrocmarketing.com When deciding how to help like-minded professionals Ginger chose web design, copy writing, and custom card covers to provide the most benefit to her clients’ marketing efforts.