When I was director of marketing for a national company, my office was situated right next to that of the president’s. One day, he walked by my door and saw me sitting in the visitor chair at the opposite side of the desk than my normal chair. I was just sitting.
The president stopped in the doorway and asked me, “What are you doing?”
I answered, “I’m looking at the company from the customer’s point of view.”
We are often so busy working at our own jobs that we can overlook the point of view our customer sees. Therefore, it is good to either take a moment to “sit in their chair,” or hire an outside eye (trained consultant) who can identify just what it is the customer sees…and needs.
As a hired marketing consultant, I have made the tiniest tweaks in someone’s presentation, look, office, retail space or marketing strategy that have made huge differences the next time they went to make a sale.
For example, I worked with a woman who put together a high-end crafts and specialty items show twice a year. Her problem was that her attendance had been dropping each year until the point where she wasn’t sure she could continue holding the much-loved show or close the business. My point of view was that every year she placed the same booths in the same spot, used the same commercials, and promoted the same vendors, although about 20% of her vendors were new each show.
For the next show I instructed her to promote only the new vendors, building up the excitement about what was new at the show. I also asked her to change up the floor plan a bit, moving some vendors into new spots if possible. Attendees get used to seeing the same vendors in the same location year after year, becoming blind to them after a while. And although the vendor may love that location, being in a new spot will change things up , making them a highlight—something new and changed—in the visitor’s eyes.
The client followed my advice and for the next show, her attendance shot up, and has remained high as she implements this strategy ever year. With this fresh approach, people are excited to come and see what is new instead of thinking, “I’ve seen it before, I’ll skip it this year.”
Closing a Sale
In another example, a Realtor was not winning her listing presentations and wondered why. I had her do a mock presentation to me as a potential home seller. Right off the bat, I knew what was wrong because I was looking at it from the seller’s point of view. This Realtor was using a canned presentation, obviously provided by her brokerage, that began with all kinds of information, statistics and charts about the brokerage. It was at least 15 minutes before she began talking about “my” house.
I simply had her reverse her presentation to get immediately into what was important to me—the sale of my home—the “what’s in it for me.” I asked her to speak to me from the heart instead of using a canned approach, and I pointed out that the facts about the brokerage were backup support that may or may not be needed. Excited to try this new approach, she contacted me after her next presentation and exclaimed, “I won the listing!”
Sometimes, all it takes is to look at what you are doing through your customer’s eyes, but that isn’t always easy. That’s why you need an outside eye to look at your website copy, your presentation, and perhaps even your physical location. Successful athletes all have coaches who can tweak their performance to higher triumph; take for example a slight change in a golf swing. And companies hire mystery shoppers to report back—in detail—a firsthand customer experience. I should know, I was trained by and have worked as a mystery shopper for one of the largest organizations for many, many years.
Why shouldn’t business owners take advantage of that outside eye to improve their own business success? There are probably small tweaks that can make a big difference in peak performance.
Let All the Buzz Help You Increase Sales
If you would like an experienced marketing professional to take a look at your business from your customer’s point of view, contact All the Buzz. We’ll be glad to help you make more sales.
They say that those who are passionate about what they do never feel as if they are working. Their passion is what drives them, and what makes them successful.
Wonder if you’re still passionate about your business? Take this quick quiz to find out:
The Passion Quiz
- Do you have a strong curiosity about what you do, and a desire to keep learning more about it in order to get better?
- Do you have a sense of excitement and energy when you are working?
- Do you want to seek out others who share your interests so you can talk about it?
- Do you literally dream or daydream about it?
- Do you secretly fantasize about being on the top of your profession, or envision taking it to a new level never before reached by anyone?
- Do you feel a sense of loss or like something is missing when you’re not doing it?
How Did You Do?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re on the right track. If you answered, “no” then your business is probably passionate-less as well. You may want to re-look at the business you are in, and perhaps make some changes.
The good news is that if you have lost your sense of passion, you can get it back. Step back from your business and return to the “why” you chose this profession in the first place. There was some reason that has somehow gotten buried along the way.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson advises, “Go back to that ‘aha!’ moment and try to understand what motivated you to think in that direction in the first place — the passion behind your idea might lead you to the business or industry you truly care about.”
Translate that Passion into Sales
Once you have rediscovered your passion, use this information to translate it into sales materials, website copy, and interactions with your customers. There is nothing more appealing than someone who is truly passionate about and sincerely believes that what they do can make a difference.
As Branson puts it, “When you believe in something, the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals. This is essential to success.”
Think about the last time you interacted with a customer. Were you merely going through the motions, or was there a spark in your voice and a twinkle in your eye as you described your product or services. Your passion can make all the different between a sale and a so-so experience.
–Passion Quiz excerpted from “Protecting Your Passion,” by Robin Todd, Motivated Magazine.
Personalized Sales Training On Sale In February
“Is your sales presentation killing your sale?” This is the title of one of our most popular offerings and for the month of February 2014, it’s on sale! For just $150. (More about the details later on.)
As Director of Marketing for local, national and international companies, I probably met at least once a day with salespeople who were trying to sell me their latest and greatest products. And most of their sales presentations were awful! I sure wanted to take them aside and say, “Listen…you should present your product this way, you’re killing your own sale!”
And now I can! And do. With great success.
Generally their marketing materials were okay. It was their own skills that lacked. Here are just some of the bad sales skills I saw that can actually lose you a sale… Continue reading →
Every Wednesday in August, 2013, business owners have the opportunity to improve their own marketing skills through a series of workshops offered by All the Buzz, held in conjunction with Dulles University, who provided a generous sponsorship, allowing us to reduce our normal price of $350 per workshop to only $199! Continue reading →