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Selling – You and Your Business, Not Just Products and Services

What is it that you are trying to sell?

Every business is selling something – products or services, or both.

If you believe that the product or service is all that matters, then all of the businesses that invest in clean and bright showrooms, nice furnishings, and that sort of thing are wasting their resources. Really, I can’t imagine that many would think that.

The things mentioned, like a clean and bright showroom, are meant to convey an image to the potential customers. Design details like color and open spaces is used similarly. These are background for the sale, but they obviously matter.

HandshakeIf these things are so obviously important, think about how you are conveying information to the customers. Does word of mouth leave the customer with enough? Is the sales person covering the concerns of the customer related to your product or service in a way that the customer can relate to and draw comfort from? Is the customer even engaging a sales person when they come to your place of business?

In a large way you are probably missing the opportunity to engage with some, or many, of your customers. Some are interested in buying, but they don’t want to get involved with businesses that don’t care about them. Some just need better information to move them to buy.

BroshureThere needs to be a smattering of details about your business that lets them know your values and lets them know about the specifics of products. Let them leave with something in their hand. Something to read and contemplate over coffee the next morning. Close the sale quickly if that’s possible, but also give the customer something to learn about you and your team, something to make them feel like they’ve made the right decision to buy from you. Something that will make them come back again and again.

ThumbdriveSome of this can be done with paper based information, but more effective will be a digital presentation either from the web, or even on a thumbdrive. Giving the customers more than expected is just plain smart. How can you use these thoughts in your own business?

YouTube Video

One business uses YouTube videos to showcase their inventory with great success!

YouTube-logo-darkJust two years ago we were living in Indiana and I was shopping for a new camping trailer. One of the RV dealers caught my attention with their use of YouTube to show the units that they have on hand. They dealt with used RV’s primarily at that time, so there was a need to showcase each unit specifically, in order to demonstrate its condition, cleanliness, and unique aspects like low mileage etc.

I thought that they did a great job. Today that business has greatly expanded. They are now promoting several new lines of RV’s. And they still use YouTube to market their inventory.

Here are a few things that I like about this approach.

The videos are short, but through. Each one uses a similar format so the viewer can develop an expectation of what will be shown and talked about. The person shooting the video also does the narration, and importantly does not get into the video except for the voice. The product is the focus, not the salesperson. I think that that is key!

The dealer used the YouTube text box to give details about the sale price contrasting it against market value, about financing, and how to make contact with them.

I think that they did an incredibly good job in each seven minute video.

If you sell products that have a high unit value, would this work for you?

A Ramble About Ideas and Customer Ties

Exploring fresh ideas about your business and how the customer can be brought into the thought process, creating buy-in.

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Ideas, Coffee, and Meditation seem to work well together.

I’ve become a little more fired up about this part of my business lately. I seem to go in waves. Until recent I’ve been writing in my two books that are in progress and that ought to be published yet this year. I think that I get a little burned out on any one subject after thinking about it for too long. Sometimes the subjects need to simmer in my subconscious for a while, then I’m ready to get back to them and move the story along. For that reason I need a few things going at the same time when they involve multi-week commitments of my time.

Working on this website and the ideas that I postulate here is a little different. The ideas are more succinct and the businesses involved don’t have stories that go on for hundreds of pages. So focusing on these considerations can be intense and through without wearing a hole in my mind.

I particularly like to postulate a thought and then to explore it. To meditate about the various ways that a method can be used to move the business forward in term of communications with the customer base. And better, to introduce thinking to that group of people about an improvement in their way of life or a way to think about aspirations and how those aspirations can be addressed through doing business.

Whatever is postulated for the customer to reflect upon, it brings them closer to you, and that’s what you want. That tends to close out other businesses and create a closed loop for your own business to thrive within. It’s good stuff to think about over a cup of coffee.

Capturing a Feeling – Storytelling

This was something that I wrote in January 2013. I came upon it today and enjoyed re-reading it. I thought that it made sense to share it here. It wasn’t meant for publication when it was written.

 

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Evening at Port St. Joe, Florida

 

I am hoping to capture a feeling. I am reading what I wrote about storytelling yesterday. The idea of creating a sense of what the product or brand creator wants to impart to the customer base is a good one. It is what I think is valuable about storytelling, writing, or using media to shape emotions that are related to the product or entity.

The feeling that I want to capture though is the feeling that I want to feel while creating this written content – the story. I would like to become immersed in the thoughts and emotions of a great experience. It can be as simple as the taste of wonderful coffee for Starbuck’s. Or perhaps a great experience driving a Fiat 500 or VW Beetle. These are not factually based. They are more about the cognition of feelings – good feelings.

This sort of writing and collaboration is premised upon a positive emotion. It is a contradiction to the terrible and extreme negativity of our lives today. It is a counterbalance to those messages of despair. Writing these positive and uplifting messages would be a happy experience, at least the way that I view things.

How much of this can be applied with good effect to more mundane brands and products? What can be said about less refined products or services than those created by billion dollar organizations? It depends I think.