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Business model Competition Customer relationships Getting new customers Lead generation Marketing Positioning Small Business

What’s a core story?

One of the more common things you’ll see from a business that’s differentiating themselves using things other than price is their use of a unique selling proposition (USP) and in the strongest cases, a “core story” that backs it up.

You’ve probably heard USP described before. Domino’s Pizza’s USP is a well-known example: “Fresh, Hot Pizza in 30 minutes or it’s Free.” Given that, there’s no doubt what Domino’s focus is.

A Core Story takes a good USP to the next level.

Evaporating Assumptions

Do people understand the value and uniqueness you deliver? Or what drives your desire to do exactly what you do and for whom?

The essence of this can be communicated using a “Core Story”. Simon Sinek might call it your “Why”.

While attracting the “most inclined”, you might be thinking that you don’t want to exclude anyone from doing business with you, particularly these days. While a good Core Story might do just that, but in a good way. Your core story will speak specifically to the people who see your business as the porridge that’s just right.

It helps them understand who you think your customers are and what they care about, as well as why and how you serve them. You might be thinking that this will weaken your business by limiting the scope of who you serve, but the reality is that it usually strengthens it by firming up the things you have in common with the just-the-right customers.

I don’t use the B-word (branding) much because too many confuse branding with logos and such. Even so, your branding is at the root of your core story because it’s a symbolic, often emotional statement communicating your business’ values, concerns and aspirations.

Boy, that was all fluffy clouds and blue sky, wasn’t it?

Let’s come at it from a different place. Branding, as it relates to core story, is more about setting the context for what you do and who you do it for. It offers (at least) one really important thing to a prospective customer and to the business who figures it out: Clarity.

Clarity

A core story gives your customers (and your staff, much less yourself) the clarity needed to know that they’re in the right place, will find exactly what they’re looking for, sold by someone who feels about it like they do.

BMW offers a strong example: Their core story is built around “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. It’s about engineering and refinement, not about safety, comfort and luxurious surroundings – even though their cars offer those things. They identify with the drivers out there. Rather than identifying “people who drive” (most anyone), they identify with people who choose their car – and even the roads they drive –  because of the joy they get from the physics of driving and the feedback / control offered by a precision driving instrument.

BMW is well aware that their customers take back roads because they like the curves.

By now you have a pretty good idea who the ideal BMW customer is and why someone would identify with them. Likewise, those who aren’t part of that group might be repelled by it or simply not get why those things matter to others. That’s ok, because someone else has what attracts those drivers.

A Common Language

Notice that BMW’s branding doesn’t get into the terminology of the German engineering or the forces that keep their cars on the road – instead it simplifies that down to the “ultimate driving machine” – bringing a common language to their customers and redefining a car as a driving machine, raising it above others.

A great Core Story resonates with the deepest desires and frustrations of your ideal customers.

Rather than simply identifying the core of your target audience, it does more to help them identify themselves as someone who should be doing business with you. Establishing a common language lets them quickly and easily understand your business and see themselves as part of the experience you described.

Now the easy part: What are the elements of your core story?

Pull them into your world with an authentic core story about your business that resonates with the things that motivate and excite them.

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Advertising Business culture Business Ethics Customer relationships customer retention Getting new customers Lead generation Marketing Positioning Sales Small Business

How to avoid wasting the best advertising dollar you ever spent

James, I think your cover's blown!
Creative Commons License photo credit: laverrue

Are you wasting those carefully planned advertising investments?

The most expensive investment we can make is one that’s wasted.

You’ve studied, sifted and listened intently to figure out the perfect message for a certain group of people interested in what you make or do.

As you hoped, it resonates with just the right people at just the right time. Lots of folks are calling, stopping by your store, and visiting your website.

Minutes later, all the positive you’ve created can be gone… POOF!

At speaking engagements, I’ll often mention the importance of following up with the people you meet at a trade show (you *do* follow up, right?) and recall a trade show story about a major personal electronics manufacturer. During the show, they collected contact information from almost 30,000 people who said “Hey, I am interested in this new product”. Numbers like that are a big win, even for a global electronics company. Yet they wasted it by not following up with those people.

We’ve said enough of the right things to gain someone’s interest and then….what?

Saying the right things to the right people isn’t enough

We spend a lot of time tracking our marketing investments so we know what works and what doesn’t. We spend time making sure we’re delivering just the right message to just the right people by studying their demographics (facts/figures like gender and age) and psychographics (what they do, read, etc) and fitting our message to the reader.

But that isn’t the entire equation.

When we say the right things to the right people at about the right time, it usually results in “high-quality leads”. What exactly does that marketing-ese mean? To me, it means “people who have raised their hand to say they’re interested in what you have to offer – and are ready to buy now or soon if it’s the right fit”.

So then we turn our sales staff loose on them.

What makes this advertising so expensive?

Whether we’re a big company or a mom-and-pop, we have to sell. Ideally, we sell by helping them arrive at “Yep, this is what I need” or “You’re right, I really need something else”. Whether they buy or not, you’re creating trust for the next time they need what you sell…creating a customer, becoming an informed advocate for them, not just chasing a sale.

What sometimes gets lost in the sales process is congruency between the marketing message and what sales says and does. If sales’ behavior and words are disconnected from our marketing, we have a problem. If the sales team that prospects talk to in our business are “those kinds of salespeople”, all the trust we earned can be lost with a single sentence, like “Honey, we’ll talk price when you bring your husband to the dealership.”

When things like that happen, the expensive, finely-tuned message that we spent good money on is damaged, possibly for good. You might lose the sale now and the customer for life.

If the marketing-to-sales transition is where you most often lose them, there’s good and bad news:

  • The bad news: All the advertising investment that attracted those folks was wasted. That’s the most expensive marketing ever.
  • The good news: That’s a reasonably easy thing to fix in most cases.

Trust, The Final Frontier

We ask ourselves “How much do I like the salesperson?”, “Do I believe them? and/or “How much do I trust this product/brand/manufacturer?” before we finally buy. All of this comes down to “Do I trust this business?”

“We don’t like to be sold but we love to buy.” says Jeffrey Gitomer. We buy from people we like and trust.

Because the trust earned over time by some “institutions” is crumbling, that lack of confidence can seep into people’s ability to trust your business, something that’s already at risk in most sales situations. It’s no less damaging in a sales situation than the differences between a candidate’s promises and what they later do as an elected official.

Your entire staff must be aware (and regularly reminded) that reputations are built (or damaged) and trust is earned (or lost) with every single transaction and every single interaction. Keeping your reputation’s momentum headed in the right direction is everyone’s job.

The point is not to blame your sales staff as the source of your company’s ills. It’s to remind you that grooming, training and supporting them is critical to your success. The best marketing in the world isn’t enough if you aren’t supporting the sales team properly.

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Business model Competition Customer relationships Direct Marketing Getting new customers Improvement Lead generation Marketing Sales Small Business Strategy tracking

What Godzilla does before buying a car

In part two of the growth series, we arrived a place where we figured out that the buying signals customers (and prospects) send us are sometimes subtle, if not almost invisible.

One good example is the sometimes joyous, sometimes annoying as all get out process of buying a car.

Q: How does the salesperson know when their prospect has gotten past the point of no return when buying a car?
A: They take a test drive.

Every car salesperson knows this. They even have a litany of little sayings to remind themselves of it, like “The feel of the wheel seals the deal.” And that’s Ok, because that is one of the indicators they have to pay close attention to if they want to help their customer.

Remember, we don’t (mostly) visit car dealerships for our entertainment. We’re there to buy a car or at least, decide which one to buy. Their job is to make that process as frictionless as possible. In order to do that, they have to know customer behaviors.

The test drive is a great behavioral signal that you’ve moved beyond the financial questions and which model to get and so on. It isn’t some sales trick to “close more deals”, though I’m sure it has been used that way. It’s about knowing what your customers want and helping them get it.

Do you offer a test drive?

While a test drive’s value might be lower for other purchases (software, books, videos), it still might be worthwhile indicator. Do you offer your prospects and customers the ability to test drive what you sell? Even Amazon does this with their “Look Inside” feature. Software businesses have done this for decades.

Remember, the point isn’t the test drive itself, it’s the behavior that tells you “I’m ready!” In clinical terms, you might say “Behavior A is strongly indicative of a desired customer action”, but please don’t talk or write like that.

Depending on the behavior, “I’m ready” might say “I will be one of your best customers” or “I’m ready to move up to the next tier.”

That’s why you might look at purchase intervals in your sales data, at what your best customers buy that few others buy, and so on. A pattern of behavior will show itself eventually.

For example, if you look at your QuickBooks sales records and see that your best customers all bought within 30 days of being added to QB (what triggers them being added to QB for you?) and all your “worst” customers (bought the least amount, least often, whatever it is for you) average 90 days between whatever made you add them the QB and their first purchase….then the next person who buys within 30 days is…giving you (based on performance of everyone) an indicator that they might be one of those good customers.

As such, you might add them to a different email list. Maybe it’s the one that emails them weekly instead of monthly, talking about more sophisticated topics than your monthly emails.

In some ways, it’s not any different than looking for patterns in behavior in Olympic swimming, NASCAR or fantasy football. If you’re into those things, you know what winning behaviors are.

Why wouldn’t you also know what behaviors your best customers have? Not only does it help you figure out who the next one might be (sometimes long before they become one), in certain markets, it might also let you help others improve what they do.

Where the wild things are

Sometimes behavior is about location. Do you know where do your best customers come from?

Do they live in zip 59912? Do they call from area code 312? Do they find you because of an ad in a certain newspaper or magazine? Do they come to you from Facebook? Ever made a sale to someone who liked your business page on Facebook?

An ideal answer might be “We have 114 customers who live/work in 59912. Overall, 20% of our customers come to us ads in the NY Times Sunday Edition and 80% initially come to us from Facebook”.

Invest some time to find out where your customers come from and what behavior your best customers exhibit. Both are keys to growth if you take action on what you learn.

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Business model Competition Customer relationships Getting new customers Improvement Lead generation market research Marketing Positioning Restaurants Retail service Small Business strategic planning Strategy

How to find their path from new customer to great customer


Creative Commons License photo credit: c_ambler

Last time we started a conversation about growth and left it off with a brief discussion about digging deeper into customer behaviors.

In particular, we were starting to look at the behavioral signals that indicate your best clients or simply the signals that show they’re about to become a customer. Either way, it’s valuable information to have.

To continue from where we finished last time, let’s turn one of my final comments from the last piece into a question: “What behaviors identify a person about to buy?” and “What behaviors identify potential ‘ideal’ clients who are already a customer – but haven’t transformed into that ideal customer quite yet?”

Order history helps

When we’re looking for behaviors that indicate what a great (“fanatical”, to use Rackspace’s lingo) customer is, one place to look is order history.

Your order history is rich in information that can help your detective work on buying signals and customer behavior.

I know, you want some examples of what you might look at. From gut feel, identify your five best customers, using whatever means you use to determine “best”.

Your business may not fit all of these questions I’m about to ask, so look at them in a way understand that they might require a slight adjustment. It’ll depend on what you sell, how you sell it and how rich your product line is.

The questions:

  • How often do they buy from you? In other words: What’s the average number of days between purchases?
  • Does transaction size increase over time or does it shrink over time?
  • Of the customers who buy everything you offer, do their purchase intervals or transaction sizes “look different” than everyone else’s (on average)?
  • If your best customers don’t buy everything, what do they buy that no one else buys? Of those people, study the behavior prior to that particular purchase. What did they ask? What did they buy just before that?

Now…looking at the patterns that these “best” customers have established, what *existing* customers fit the early part of those patterns? These are the customers who are likely to join the “best customer group”. The difference is that you know the candidates in advance.

Not all of them will move into your best customer group, but in watching this process/movement, you’ll eventually learn what behaviors indicate that move.

Interaction clues

Look at your interaction data for each class of customer. When I say “class”, I mean your best customers, your newest customers and so on. You need to look at each because you’ll need to be able to detect a behavior that occurs when a customer moves from one to another.

When they do that, they’re sending a signal. Your responsibility is to act on it.

Interactions include sales and support inquiries, price list requests, orders, email (including subscribes) and the like. Remember “guinea pigs” vs. “guinea pig” from last time? Your most important indicator of “I’m going to be a great customer” could be that subtle.

Interactions and order history indicate future behavior. Your best customers’ behavior is there and shows patterns along the road to “BestCustomerVille”.

Misunderstanding metrics

By now you’re probably wondering about the not-too-standard things that I’m suggesting you observe. What about standard metrics? Where do they fit in?

Standard metrics, like the number of customers you have, the number of leads you have, the number you add each day/week/month, sales this month vs. last month and so on are certainly worth looking at, but remember that they primarily indicate *where you are*, not what you need to do to (re)produce those gains.

What do you learn from knowing that you have 1344 customers today and that you had 912 customers this time last year? Unless you look in the context of what resulted in the net gain of 432 customers, you learn little that allows you to reproduce that gain.

That’s what you want to know and repeat.

A “You are here” marker doesn’t help much if you don’t have a map. The behaviors we discussed are part of the map that shows you the path from new customer to great customer.

THAT is why we’re talking about behaviors. They are the invisible signals you have to detect.

 

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Business model Competition Customer relationships Direct Marketing Getting new customers Lead generation market research Marketing Positioning Retail service Small Business strategic planning Strategy

A conversation about growth

Recently I was involved in a conversation on producing business growth.

The discussion revolved around what to measure about the business in order to keep track of the growth.

A few things to start:

Don’t make things complicated. Be sure that you’re measuring the right things. Historical data has some value but the good stuff – the transformative stuff – tends to revolve around things that indicate future behaviors (or not) of your customers.

When the conversation started, I referred to a few blog posts to help the conversation move into the right frame of mind about how to be thinking about growth, including:

https://www.rescuemarketing.com/blog/2011/02/01/business-model/
https://www.rescuemarketing.com/blog/2011/11/15/the-basics-of-business-arent-basic/
https://www.rescuemarketing.com/blog/2010/10/07/just-one-thing/

In these conversations, there’s often a struggle with *where to start*. Ask yourself what’s important.

The answer in this case? Getting more customers.

Getting customers

Working on the assumption that “customers” meant getting new ones, I asked what clues prospects give that they are going to become a customer. Remember last week’s discussion about “invisible” signals? Customers/prospects give signals as well.

I didn’t really get what I was looking for regarding buying clues, so I started thinking about a way to reword the question. Why? Because lack of good answers tends to indicate that I’m not asking my question with the right words (think about that positioning vs. the more common “my customer is an idiot” framing that some default to).

Before I could reword the question, I was asked how one finds out what a person does before they become a customer.

A few answers might be: They become a lead. They join your email list. They ask you to send your newsletter. They call and ask for a brochure or prices. They stop in and kick the tires. Each of these sometimes subtle behaviors will signal where they are in the buying process.

Speaking of subtle, there’s a notable case where incoming Google searches in plural (ie: “guinea pigs”) were almost always new leads just starting to investigate the topic and singular searches (ie: “guinea pig”) were almost always searches done by people who were ready to buy.

You can’t get much more subtle than that. Paying attention to what your leads and customers are doing at that level was enough to substantially transform a website user’s experience and vastly improve sales. That’s the kind of signal that can transform everything.

If you think about these behaviors, you can come up with the things people say to you when they contact you or visit your business. They might say “Yeah, we just had a new baby so we’re looking for a new car / looking for a new house / buying carpet / selling our motorcycle or however they do business with you.

You know the clues, but you might not be thinking of them in that way.

Getting a plan

It’d be great if there was a single “golden spreadsheet” that every business could use to figure out these things. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way.

While numbers like cost per lead (CPL), cost per customer (CPC) and lifetime customer value (LCV) are absolutely critical for every business because they tell you which lead sources send you the highest quality customers, how much you can afford to pay for advertising and much more – they don’t tell the whole story.

Many businesses ignore LCV and try to pay as little as possible for advertising. Trouble is, LCV is a very important number in the big picture of your marketing and metrics because it reflects buying behavior.

That behavior is what you have to decipher. Like the analysis of lead sources, such as which leads give you customers with the highest LCV, which leads give you the customers who have the most returns; behavior of your existing leads and customers helps you find more of the “right kind” of customers.

Customers and prospect behavior frequently falls into patterns. While there are always exceptions, it’s wise to identify a sequence of behavior – particularly for the folks you most want to have as customers.

Digging deeper

Getting more customers is sometimes (not always) the easiest way to raise more revenue. The other two most common ways to increase sales are sell more to your existing customers and sell in bigger transaction sizes. To do that, you have to know more.

Study what your most profitable customers buy, how often they buy and how long they wait to buy after you introduce a new product (or make an offer) to them.

Sometimes these folks simply buy everything you make, it’ll depend on your business. Sometimes they buy the best products you make. Your order data will reveal much more than the Magic 8-Ball.

These steps will often help you understand who is, but hasn’t yet transformed into, that ideal high-profit customer.

We’ll hit this topic more next time.

 

 

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Blogging Competition Getting new customers Lead generation Marketing Positioning Small Business

5 things your customers need to ask before buying what you sell

DSC_2848
Creative Commons License photo credit: KayOne73

While the questions are different for the bakery, appliance store, law firm and butcher shop – much less a software company or SEO firm, the need is the same.

These 5 questions can make your business different in the eyes of your customers – and they’re what you’d call attention to if you could do so without seeming so self-promotional.

Why questions? Because it feels out of context with the conversation you’re having with a customer if you blurt out “Our on-time deliveries are at 99.3% no matter what the weather throws at us”…unless they ask.

So how do you get prospects and existing customers to ask these things?

Maybe before we figure that out, we should make sure you have the right questions.

Triggers

If you’re listening to your customers and observing your customers, you might already know what the questions should be. Joe Sugarman wrote about some of them in “Triggers” (a book whose subtitle I don’t care for, but whose content is pure gold).

Listening for and measuring what triggers customer decisions helps you not only know what customers should be asking, but when they should be asked and why the answer is so valuable to the purchaser.

It’s important to encourage your customers and prospects to ask these questions, not just because you want another customer (or another sale), but because these are the questions that help them make the best purchase – even if it’s made somewhere else.

So how do you figure out what questions your clientele should be asking?

Finding your 5 questions

Let’s start with some comments that you would make about your business, your products and services, your staff and your clientele:

  • People would buy my product instead of someone else’s if they knew this one secret: _________.
  • Our most loyal, repeat customers use our product/service despite the higher price because ________.
  • When shopping by price alone, people looking for these items need to be aware of _____________.
  • People who don’t do business with us don’t realize that we _______.
  • People who don’t do business with us are surprised about _____________ when they switch to us.
  • The thing people most appreciate about our product/service is _______.
  • Service/maintenance on our product is needed less frequently / unnecessary / less expensive because ________.
  • Customers find it easy to use our product / service because _________.
  • The biggest fear our customers have prior to making this purchase is ____________.
  • Our on-time delivery percentage is higher than anyone in our market.
  • We’ve never gone over budget on a project.
  • Of 417 projects, we went over budget 3 times – but only with the approval of our client.
  • Our warranty / money-back guarantee is four times longer than anyone else’s.
  • We’re faster than our competition, but don’t sacrifice quality.
  • Our ingredients are all made / grown right here in Montana.
  • Our staff is certified / highly-trained and renews their training annually to keep it up to date.
  • We automate the mundane work so our people can focus on the things that make our stuff so special.
  • Everyone else uses white pine internal framing because it’s cheaper and no one sees it. We use oak / walnut / larch / etc because _______.
  • We offer gluten-free / nut-free / allergic-reaction-causing-food-free dishes because we have customers who are allergic to those items. We aren’t willing to give up those customers just because there’s a bit more work involved in serving them.
  • Our clients are highly-selective and do not have time to waste. Wowing them is what no one else is willing to do.
  • We include 36 short how-to videos on our website that help our do-it-yourself customers do normal maintenance at home.

Now what?

Now turn the ones that fit your business into questions. Pick the most important ones and put them to use right away.

  • Use them to set the “rules of engagement”.
  • Put the 5 most important ones on the back of your business card.
  • Blog about them.
  • Include them in the monthly newsletter.
  • Include them in your email sequence.
  • Give your customer a checklist of things to consider when buying whatever it is you sell.

Use them to tell your story…and they’ll introduce your business to others in the best possible way – by suggesting that no matter what your prospect buys, you’re providing the tools to help them make the best choice for their situation.

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Direct Marketing Getting new customers Lead generation Marketing Pricing Restaurants Retail Sales Small Business Strategy

How to fine tune your pricing

What do you focus on when it’s time to improve profitability?

Sometimes barely twisting a knob can make all the difference.

This 8 minute and 30 second running stride analysis video might be a little dry if you’re not a runner, but the focus on small improvements and 300FPS video to break down opportunities to improve performance inspired me not only to re-examine my stride but to consider it in the context of your business.

Even if you don’t run, the method used to break down the runner’s performance and focus on what would make a radical improvement in his running is worth the viewing time.

You might consider the same type of approach with your pricing, particularly before you offer a discount, BOGO or raise a price.

Small price increase, big impact

Let’s say that you charge $8.99 for a meal at your restaurant. Out of that $8.99, you have to pay our food costs (33%, or $2.97) and your overhead (33%, another $2.97). That leaves a gross profit of 33.92%, or $3.05.

What happens if you raise the price by a dollar?

Your food cost and overhead don’t change. They’re still $2.97 + $2.97 = $5.94. Your gross profit obviously increases by only a dollar, to $4.05. The gross profit percentage increases to 40.5%

Not bad.

Coupon coup…for who?

Now let’s look at what happens if you discount that meal by a dollar like you might do with a coupon.

That cuts the meal price to $7.99. Your food and overhead costs are still the same, $5.94. That dollar discount comes right off the top, reducing your profit to $2.05, or 25.6%

Now what happens if instead of a coupon, you offer a “buy-one, get one” (BOGO) free deal? People love those, right?

Your food cost and overhead double to $11.88, since two meals are involved. Thanks to your buy one get one free deal, your revenue is still $8.99. Profit has gone from $3.05 (33.92%) to a loss of $2.89 (32.1%).

If we change that to “buy one, get one at half price”, your food cost and overhead are still $11.88, but your revenue rises to $13.49. In this case, gross profit is $1.61, or 17.9%. Not a lot, but better than a 32% loss.

Is a one-time drop in profit from $3.05 to $1.61 worth getting those two people in the door? You’d better know based on what these customers will do (as a group) over time.

A plan, not a guess

As we talked about last time, coupons/discounts have to be used strategically. Fail to run the numbers and they can sink you.

Losing money on a BOGO isn’t ideal unless you know your numbers very well and know that over time, that offer will bring you a new, loyal customer who has a lifetime customer value that fits your business model.

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Box stores Business culture Buy Local Competition Customer service Getting new customers Improvement Marketing Positioning Retail Small Business The Slight Edge

What’s the first thing you do when deciding which lamp to buy?

What’s wrong with this picture?

What’s the first thing you do when deciding which lamp to buy?

YOU TURN THEM ON.

None of the lamps are on in the photo above – because none of them have power. A quick glance at the shelf left the impression that no power was available at that location, though it’s possible that a breaker was blown or a power strip turned off.

The reason for the lack of power really doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you can’t turn them on.

Would you buy a lamp that you could not turn on? Maybe.

But would you be more likely to buy a lamp that you COULD turn on? Probably so, and you’d also be more likely to get the lamp you really wanted or needed.

Build a picture in their mind

Look at the photo again. Lamps are scattered in every direction and they are sitting on a narrow metal shelf.

When you look at lamps on a metal shelf like this, it isn’t in the normal environment for a lamp. Result: It’s hard to visualize them on your desk. As a result, it’s more difficult to choose just the right lamp. You might just leave and buy nothing. Probably not what the store wants you to do.

What if the unboxed lamps were on a desk (maybe even two per desk if the number of desks is limited), with a computer and other items you’d normally find there.

Ideally, that desk would have a chair and you could sit down, get comfortable like you do at your desk. You could move the adjustable lamps up, down and around to decide whether a particular model would work for you.

In other words, provide a buying environment that mimics the natural habitat for a desk lamp.

Imagine how easy it would be to create this setup in a store with office furniture and different sized computer monitors…just like this one has.

The difference between your store and theirs

It’s unlikely that you’d find this “lamp on a desk” scenario in a national box store getting plan-o-grams from the corporate office, but it’s exactly what a local store could (and should) do.

Even a box store could do this if the management is trained to think like a customer and allowed to do whatever it took to make it easy to buy.

Give your customers the opportunity to see your products in a place that makes it easy for them to buy. In the case of a lamp, seeing that item in their home or office is easier with a desk.

Make it easy for your customers to make the right choice and take home the thing they really want and need.

Make it easy to buy.

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Competition Getting new customers Marketing Positioning Restaurants Retail Sales Setting Expectations Small Business

Do you have (or provoke) Decision Clarity?

Yesterday, I was talking with someone about a ToDo management tool and they mentioned that they dismissed it because it claimed to be “design-y”.

Later that day, someone else mentioned that they didn’t consider a Getting Things Done (Yes, the David Allen thing) software product because “the name was silly”.

These built-in biases don’t do you any favors.

Have you considered that they keep you from considering the best candidate for a job? The best product or service for a need?

How have you built biases into your products/services?

How do the built-in biases of your clients and prospects put them off re: your products and services?

Might be worth considering.

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attitude Business culture Business Ethics Buy Local Creativity Customer service Getting new customers Leadership Marketing Public Relations service Small Business Word of mouth marketing

Your customer’s lowest low. Washed away.

In the case of Portland Oregon’s Plaza Dry Cleaners, a picture really is worth 1000 words.

I’m guessing Plaza owner Steve Young knows at least one thing that’s on his customers’ minds – particularly those who might not be able to afford his service at a time when they most need it.

Imagine the loyalty this builds in someone who is dealing with the fear, humiliation and anything else that goes with being unemployed. It’s such a kind act for people in his neighborhood.

Are you entering the conversation already going on in your customers’ minds? Steve did.

Outstanding.

News story from the Oregonian

Visiting Portland? Live there? Get your stuff cleaned at Plaza

Plaza Dry Cleaners
909 NW Everett
Portland OR 97209
(503)241-5417