Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Have you sent your resume?

Without marketing, your business is taking the risks of potentially losing customers and revenue. Think of your brand, website, or artwork as a resume. You spend hours or days writing and designing it to perfection and years building it through experience and education. After you’ve culminated and beautified your resume, what next? What’s the next step to ensuring that you land that dream job?

The appropriate response is to send your resume to employers.

In the case of business, that is considered marketing. You need to market yourself to gain the employer. A terrible resume sent to potential employers has a higher probability of landing the job over a superb resume sitting in a drawer. Without marketing, you will waste time and money creating a great brand for no reason at all.

Brand Development

Your brand is often your business’s most valuable asset. A strong brand can generate loyal customers and positive sales. The brand should be seen by customers as both positive and valuable. For your brand to be valuable to customers, it needs to simplify the decision- making process and reduce any perceived risk for your customers.

Social Media Branding. The personalized brand for your business should include a presentation of your unique benefits, knowledge, experience, and expertise that help make your business memorable. These unique assets influence customers to make a purchase and professionals to want to work with your brand. To expand brand awareness, start by creating, or cleaning up, your online presence and social media pages.

On your social media pages, you should not post or subscribe to anything that does not enhance your brand. This includes both text and images. In addition to social media pages, you should create digital image galleries and a website showcasing the best of your brand.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Your customers don’t need you

Do customers really need your product or service? Of course not. But, some customers actually do want what your product or service offers. Customers get solicited to by plenty of businesses, and they have more options than they can count. There is rarely anything special about one product over another.

Most customers are fed-up with businesses and being marketed to by companies continually offering the “next big thing.”

Why would a customer choose you? How are you any different from the rest? What makes you so special? Customers have been so beaten down by poor quality businesses and individuals that they much rather watch a do-it-yourself YouTube video, Google a solution, or get advice from friends and family on social media.

You have to give your customers more than a “solution.” They want you to actually listen. Figure out what their real concern is and connect with them emotionally. Don’t try and gain a customer, but develop a solid relationship with your customers. With a growing society of independent customers, if you don’t show your value in the form of a good relationship, your business will fail to grow loyal followers.

Perceived Value

Your brand should reflect the goal of your business by highlighting your strengths and encouraging a positive perception. Perceived value influences the amount of money your customer believes your product or service is worth. Whether marketing a service or a product, the results are similar in that both rely on the customer’s perception of your business’s expertise, quality, and reputation.

If your business and your competitors sell the exact same item, built the same way, and from the same materials, it is likely that the business with the better brand value reputation will sell the item at a higher rate because of the perceived value by the customer. If your customer perceives the value of your brand as high, they will likely make assumptions that the products you promote are of high-quality as well.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Brand Strategy

To say that you need a brand to be successful is inaccurate. The laundry mat or embroidery shop up the street do not have a brand and they are doing very well. Whether you need a brand is dependent on the goal of your business. For example, if you are a service based business, or simply have a business that is in demand, then having a strong brand is not needed considering customers will seek you out and already know what they want, how they want it, and at what speed and price they want it. Think, where does the local school purchase its school buses? Have you ever seen a school bus manufacturer advertise their brand on television or at local events?

You do, however, need to have a brand if you have significant competition and if you have a niche product which requires educating customers. The goal of a brand is to provide customers with reasons to purchase your product or service over the competition. Without a solid brand, it makes marketing and customer acquisition expensive and time consuming.

A brand gives your business its unique character – its look and feel, voice, and identity. Without its image, Nike is just one more shoemaker, and Macy’s is simply another retailer. A good brand should have a foundation based on value and customer engagement. The brand should represent the mission of your business and hold relevancy to your customers.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Building Trust

Trust takes time. When you are sending marketing material to a potential customer, there just isn’t always time to create a trusting relationship. But there are things you can do to prove you are credible, which is a step in the right direction. Credibility starts with a good reputation and a good design which inspires confidence in the viewer.

When designing, follow modern design standards and practices to create a clean, easy-to- read campaign. In addition, marketing content full of misspellings and poor grammar can be a red flag for customers. It says little for your business’s ability to pay attention to detail and reduces your credibility as a professional organization.

Finally, you need compelling testimonials or case studies that showcase the results you can deliver, the type of working relationships you have, and how you solved problems for previous customers.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

The Follow-Up

Providing the customer with a price isn’t the final step – obviously. You still need the potential customer to make the purchase. Because many businesses don’t like to think outside of an immediate sale, they often fail to implement follow-up procedures that pay off after an estimate. They give up after a few emails or calls. Remember: Persistence is key. If you understand your customers’ journey, you know that this is all a part of the decision-making process. Now, you just need to give potential customers the information they need to make the final leap.

To help with your follow-up, create a process for your typical sales cycle armed with information on average close rates and the time it takes to complete a deal. With a customer relationship management program (CRM), you can define these stages and easily keep track of progress. Map out what information you will send at each part in the process.

Consider creating an email series that checks in on the customer every few weeks and reiterates how your business can help. Send the proposal with an invitation for an in-person meeting, visit, or phone call the following week to continue the momentum of the conversations. Tweak the messaging of your emails to determine what resonates with prospects. You’ve gotten this far. Don’t fail at the follow-up.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Set Expectations

Once you have confirmed that the customer is a good fit for your business and the customer has requested more information and an estimate, you need to detail what the purchasing or contract phase looks like. The price estimate or sales collateral is the next step in the commitment process on the part of the customer. It should confirm everything you have already spoken about and solidify the deal.

There is no magic trick to selling. There shouldn’t be some big reveal. There is no tool for convincing and impressing. The price estimate or contract proposal is a confirmation, in writing, of what your business can do, how it will do it, when it will be completed, and why the customer specifically needs your product or services. It should be the final step prior to a contract being signed, and your business and the customer should both be confident that the deal will close – and soon.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Be a Partner to customers

The customer doesn’t always know best – even if they think they do. If you truly want to be a partner (not simply an order taker), you need to understand if what the customer wants will get them the results they need. These are obviously two very different things. As a partner, you need to challenge the customer by letting them know when there are better products or more efficient and effective ways to be productive. This is also how your business can stand out in competitive situations.

In marketing, if the potential customer wants SEO and social media services, and you simply send marketing outlining why you are the best agency for providing SEO and social media, your marketing material will be similar to every other business’s marketing – except for that one agency that considers why the customer believes they need SEO and social media and what actually makes sense for the customer’s goal, budget, and timeline.

You can stand out by taking this different approach through questioning your customers’ actual needs and goals which would allow you to offer them the optimal product or service solution for their needs.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Emotional Connection

Customers want to do business with businesses they like. It’s that simple. While we shouldn’t have to emphasize this fact, we sometimes forget that emotions often drive our purchasing decisions, not logic.

When sending marketing material to customers, you have to first develop rapport with those customers, or else your marketing will simply become another “to review” item on customers’ lists. Start with a call or a coffee meeting.

Find commonalities. Listen to the customer’s challenges. Show them appreciation and gain their trust. Then, send the marketing material with a personal note and a reminder of some shared moment.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

1 2 3 8
READY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
Copyright 2022 Dr. Elijah Clark Enterprises - Sitemap - Policy - Fees