The way businesses connect to other businesses and customers is continuously evolving and changing. No one could have ever predicted how big the Internet would be for making connections and creating sales, as well as marketing our products and services.
Since its inception, the Internet has been merging online and offline strategies resulting in a better-than-ever experience for all of us. However, increasing the chances that your business THRIVES instead of simply surviving requires analysis. To help move you to the “Thriving” side of the above statement ask yourself these questions:
1. Do You Truly Listen To Your Clients (And Customers)?
Talking to clients is one thing. But, communication is about an exchange of ideas and the sharing of information. If you find yourself dominating the conversation, you’ve violated the “Law of Reciprocity” which states that you and the client must speak for approximately the same duration. (“How are you doing?” and the response “I’m doing fine” is a simple example of a reciprocal conversation.)
The better strategy is to keep a client talking by asking questions. According to motivational speaker and sales trainer, Brian Tracy, a cardinal rule of selling is “As long as the client is talking, you’re selling.” It’s a good thing to remember when you’re meeting with a prospective client.
2. Do You Perception Check For Clear Understanding?
Aside from asking questions, a great way to make sure that you DO understand what’s been said is to do some perception checking. When the client makes an important point, rephrase it by saying, “Am I understanding you correctly, that . . . ?” and repeat their point as a question. This is not only a great way to let the client know you’re listening, but it’s also another way to keep the conversation going.
3. Do Your Products More Than Fulfill A Need?
Don’t get me wrong. Products and services are supposed to fill a need. Being affordable is a plus. However, products and services are most effective when they get the client enthused about you and your products and services. The more enthusiastic the client is, the more likely you are to build a long-term relationship that results in repeat business and a successful marketing campaign for you.
4. Are You Scoping The Competition?
Checking out the competition is a way to help inspire your creativity and generate new solutions. You may even be able to find areas in their business strategy that you can improve upon that take your company to the next level. You’ll never know how better you can do until you take a look at what your competition.
5. Are You Looking Beyond The Competition?
In 2008, I interviewed 50 top designers for my blog (click the “Interviews” link to the right of this page to see what some of them say). One of the questions I asked was what they did for creative inspiration. Almost every one of them looked to outside activities for new ideas and to stimulate creativity: visiting a museum, riding a bike, playing with their kids. Sometimes, just getting away or taking a break will allow new ideas to flow.
In addition, scoping out the competition isn’t the only source for creative inspiration. There is a plethora of ideas available through online portfolio sites, in commercials, and in newspapers and magazines. Open your mind to possibilities from any source no matter how big, small, weird or lame.
6. Do You Interact With Clients For The Long-Term?
Interacting with clients can be merely short-term if your company is promoting a single product or service. Once the product or service has been completed the interaction dries up. Instead, come up with ways to continue the interaction. Be realistic. Catch their attention with new ideas and suggestions to make your business relationship memorable.
If you’re in business I’d encourage you to opt for “thriving” rather than simply surviving. Aim high. Go for the brass ring and thrive. And above all, ask for what you want! These questions can help whip your company into shape and propel you to the next level. Otherwise your company may become irrelevant or disappear altogether. For more information on how you can improve your marketing skills, strategies, and improvements contact us.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:
THE Complete List of Google’s 200 Website Ranking Factors [Infographic]
Ideas for Growing Your Business Through Instagram
4 Tips for Accelerating Retail Sales Using Social Media
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
Does a Company Without Google+ Lack The Resources of a Connected Business?
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
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