• Differentiate or Die – 3 Keys to Eclipse Your Competition

    Quite frankly there are very few ways to really differentiate yourself from your competition. You make a great product, so do they. You provide top-notch customer service, they do too. Worse yet, there’s probably a competitor out there that already plays a bigger and better game than you. So what can you do about it? Well, here are 3 keys you can start applying immediately to differentiate and separate yourself from the pack:

    1. Positioning. Let’s face it. People want to be associated with and buy from those they believe are the best. Back in the early computer days, there was a saying that nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM. IBM was believed by most to be the best personal computer available. Were they? Maybe. However, they were the perceived expert. Gaining this credibility in your field without a doubt tilts the scales in your favor. This is one of the greatest ways to magnetize your business and lead you on a path to create raving fans.
    2. Relationship Building. Consistently stay in tune with and in front of your desired audience – not hard selling, but relationship building. When you truly and genuinely have their best interest at heart and believe me, they can sense it, you lay the foundation for an insurmountable bond to be formed between you. Remember, people buy from people, not, companies.
    3. The 180° Marketing Method™. The crux of this methodology is simply to look at what your competition is doing and do something else. Dare to be different. The best way to successfully pull this off is to look into other industries and pioneer their successful marketing ideas and techniques in your industry. I hate to be the one to tell you but, most marketing ideas and techniques have already been done somewhere by someone. So why try to reinvent the wheel. I’m not saying plagiarize here. I’m simply saying learn from the success others have had before you – especially by leveraging ideas and techniques that are new to your industry.

    There’s a great quote floating around that’s attributed to both Zig Ziglar and Dr. Kenneth McFarland that goes something like this: “There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.” Applying these 3 keys will definitely get you traveling along that extra mile.

    So while most businesses are out there like lemmings playing follow-the-follower, I challenge you to step it up and dare to be different. Be a leader and go it alone on the road less traveled and I guarantee people will stop and take notice.

    We provide competition analysis services that will give your company a competitive advantage; contact us now!

  • 2 Little Words That Work Marketing Magic

    In his classic best-seller, How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie’s second chapter is entitled The Big Secret of Dealing With People. The secret is summed up in this principle: Give honest and sincere appreciation.

    Carnegie said there is only one way to get anybody to do anything — by making the person want to do it. How can you encourage customers to say good things about you and give you referrals? By giving them what they and all human beings crave: honest and sincere appreciation.

    The Two Magic Words

    The big secret of dealing with people (or customers) is often overlooked or forgotten. It’s simply saying “thank you” consistently, personally and, above all, sincerely. These two words work marketing magic because customers want to feel important.

    Saying “thank you” is an act of kindness, besides. But don’t say “thank you” for the sake of flattery. It must be sincere. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “You can never say anything but what you are.”

    “Thank You” Promotes Referrals

    The uncertainty of referrals can be disconcerting. Can you control them? No. Can you influence them? Absolutely.

    First you must provide a valuable product or service for customers. (You’re already doing this, right?) But perhaps you can make an even bigger difference in their minds by your continued interest after you’ve delivered the product or service.

    Each customer has a different level of satisfaction with your products and services. However, all customers to whom you say “thank you” are satisfied that they’re important to you. This can determine whether you’ll continue a relationship with them and get referrals.

    “Thank You” as Direct Mail or E-mail

    If you’ve never used direct mail and are considering it, start a thank-you correspondence program. If you’ve used direct mail or e-mail but haven’t sent thank-you letters or e-mails, start now.

    The thank-you letter or e-mail to your customers is targeted (you know them, they know you), personal and effective. It’s guaranteed to receive a positive response.

    Furthermore, it’s a pleasant surprise if it’s snail mail. They see your envelope. They think, this must be something for me to review, to sign, or worse a bill. Surprise! They’re appreciated; they’re important. And you’re the one telling them so.

    Write a thank-you letter or e-mail at every opportunity. But don’t send one with an invoice or other correspondence. Always send it separately.

    Writing the Thank-You Letter or E-mail

    The thought behind a thank-you letter or e-mail may seem simple, but writing one can be tricky. Here are 9 tips for writing a winning thank-you letter or e-mail:

    1. Keep it brief. A half dozen lines (or fewer) are sufficient.
    2. Make it sincere. This is crucial. If you aren’t careful, it can sound awkward, even when you’re trying to be sincere.
    3. Start with “thank you.” Dear Ms. Johnson (or first name, if appropriate): Thank you for …
    4. Make the tone warm, but professional. Be friendly, but keep it businesslike.
    5. Reinforce a positive. Jog their memory of a positive aspect of the relationship.
    6. Offer your continued support. If I can help, please call …
    7. End with “thank you.” Thanks again for …
    8. Use an appropriate closing. Sincerely, Best regards.
    9. No ulterior motive. Make it a pure “thank you,” otherwise sincerity is jeopardized.

    Remember: Saying “thank you” is part of building strong customer relationships over time. Use these two magic words consistently and watch your repeat business and referrals grow.

    We offer e-mail marketing services that could make magic happen for your business; contact us now!