Marketing Essentials – People don’t care about you
As previously discussed, we have repeated this one because it is so important. One of the hardest things to realize in business is the fact that when you send out a sales letter, an advert, or any promotional item, is that people simply don’t care about you or your company, especially in the early days before you have built up a real rapport with your customer.
Always remember that all your customers want from you is a solution to their problems.
Sell your superior service – you are better
Superior service rarely actually costs very much extra, if anything, but people will pay extra for it. Doing the “little extra’s” that your customers will pay a lot extra for, like your own product guides or maintenance packs, will cost you very little to implement but will earn you many £1000’s extra every year. People really do love that little bit of extra effort!
Run an exclusive referral scheme competition to your existing customers
To make running a referrals competition worthwhile, you need to know who your audience is and who your ideal customer is. For example, when I started out cleaning carpets, my target market was female, middle to upper income families, in the larger detached homes, 2 working adults, 2 kids.
So every year I ran a “Win an iPad or £250” competition in addition to my £20 per referral scheme, so that every time a customer refers me to one of their friends, I send them a £20 store voucher and they also go into a draw to win an iPad or £250, which is drawn on the 15th December every year, and handed over just before Christmas.
This worked really well for me because the prizes were aimed at my target market, and identified as something they would value.
Become a member of a relevant association or government “fair trades” scheme
Becoming a member of a trade association is one of the best ways to demonstrate to your customers that you are fully trained and qualified to perform your work, and that you actually care about looking after them properly by getting the relevant training and qualifications!
What’s more, since you usually have to be insured and provide proof of that insurance every year to be a member of these groups, it will also give your potential customers reassurance that, should anything go wrong, you will do the decent thing. Since many associations also require an exam to be passed, you can say with confidence to your customers that you have been trained to a high standard and have even passed an exam to prove it!
Of course, once you have passed the exam, you may well be able to use the organisations’ logo on your advertising to help promote yourself as a professional. So do it. Do it a lot! Plaster your qualifications and memberships everywhere!
Go on, show them off … you’ve earned them!
Offer a free product maintenance / how to guide
With every job you do, give out an “in-house” maintenance sheet or “how to” guide, fully branded in your company colours, with all your contact details on it. Ensure your workers always keep a few in the van. Do this on top of whatever else you have to give away with the product. Ensure your leaflet is clear and has your contact details on it, and also contains details of your referral scheme.
Always offer at least a money back guarantee
A decent guarantee will help free your potential customers’ mind from the question “What happens if you turn up, do a terrible job, and then you demand your money?” That niggling doubt may well be all that is stopping them hiring you in favour of someone who does offer a strong guarantee. Hit that niggling worry on the head, and hit it hard!
When you think about it, the law covers the customer for basic mal-practice or poor quality goods anyway, but this extra reassurance is essential to assure the customer that their trust is worthwhile with your business.
The stronger the guarantee, the more customers will be persuaded to choose you over the competition, so why not try: “Our 125% guarantee means that not only will you be thrilled with our services, if you are not, for any reason, we will refund 125% of the purchase price paid.”
How strong and confident is that? Can’t you just hear the prospects thinking … “Your products or services must be great or you wouldn’t be offering that guarantee” right? Now, I know what you are thinking … and yes, there is no 2 ways about it … you may get the occasional scumbag taking the mickey. But this will easily be outweighed by the extra business the guarantee will bring you.
Think about what guarantee you can offer your prospects? Remember, your guarantee has got to be really strong and appeal to your target customers and prospects. Your guarantee must be so strong that any doubts about trying you and your company will instantly evaporate, purely on the strength of your guarantee alone. What guarantees can you offer your customers to assure them of the quality of your goods and services?