This blog post is an excerpt from my forthcoming book "Smart Marketing for Local Businesses". Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you.
I know that some of you reading this, despite everything I’ve just shared with you, will still be thinking something along these lines:
“This is great Trudy, but I’m hopeless at marketing, I’ll never be good at it”; or
“This all makes sense, but I’m terrible at selling”; or my favourite …
“I just don’t know what to say to close deals, I need a salesperson to do it for me”.
If you assign any sort of negative connotation to yourself when selling your services or products, or you generally feel nervous when selling, you’re not thinking about it in the right terms. Here are my top 4 tips to help you get over self-doubt and be a kick-butt marketer.
1. Selling is simply talking to someone about something you know.
For example, in writing this book, I’m talking to you about local business marketing. It’s a topic that I know. In doing so, I hope that a percentage of you will like what I have to say and buy some of my other products or services. But some of you won’t and that’s ok too. Because, my focus is on sharing my knowledge with you and adding value to your life and business venture. If all I do is strive to achieve that one goal, everything else will take care of itself. When you consistently add value, people will want to work with you, they will want to buy from you, but most importantly, they will become loyal customers if you keep taking care of them. It’s not “selling”, it’s “knowledge sharing”.
2. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid).
The most effective marketing involves very clear and simple wording, offerings and descriptions. When we overcomplicate things by pairing too many offerings together or being overly clever with wording, the customer ends up confused and won’t act or buy in this emotional state. Be clear, concise and simple with wording and don’t provide too many options simultaneously.
3. Focus on benefits, not features.
When marketing your product or service always answer the customer’s “What’s in it for me?” question by focusing on the benefits, not the features. Features describe what a product does and how it works. Features don’t tell a customer what’s in for them.
Examples of product benefits include: save time, save money, feel sexier, impress your friends etc. Benefits tap into a customer’s emotional state and make buying your product a no brainer. Since marketing is essentially about motivating another person to take a specific action, you need to think like your customer and answer their questions and potential objections upfront.
4. Don’t Give Up!
If you’re not getting the results you were hoping for, try a different approach. No one gets everything right the first time. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to encounter obstacles all the time. In fact, you should just expect them. The way to succeed is to take a step back, evaluate the situation and then change your approach. Keep tweaking things until it works. Better yet, seek out a mentor who’s done it before and ask for help. Don’t waste your energy trying to figure things out alone if someone else can get you there faster with less stress.
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