For most folks, owning your own business is a dream come true. The freedom of being your own boss and succeeding to the best of your ability are facts of life for the small business owner. Sure, there’s more stress than what you probably imagined when you were creating your grand plans, but with a little strategy and planning you can overcome any tough spot you get in. There are 7 tactics developed by successful marketers that are sure to make your business as successful as theirs.
Here are key marketing strategies for the small business owner:
1. Create a One of a Kind Selling Point
If you want to stand out from the crowd, create a unique selling proposition that stresses the benefits the customers will receive from doing business with you. Will they get faster service? Go ahead and dramatize it, but keep the customer at the focus… Get free overnight delivery! Hey, it tells the customer…you get quick service and a discount on shipping. Two definite benefits in one statement.
Why should someone buy from you and not your competitor? I hate to deal a blow to your ego, but it really has nothing to do with you, your product, or your service. Yeah, its a little self-centered, but customers are attracted by offers that point out the things that benefit THEM.
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Don’t go out on a limb to create new products and services to get attention. Just, add a special benefit to the ones you already have… maybe its quicker service. The most effective things to emphasize are benefits that your competition cannot or is not willing to give.
2. Use Testimonials
Hey, we all know that business owners think their product or services are the best thing going, but it’s what the current customers think about it that really matters to your prospective customers. They’re the ones who see things from their point of view… what they have to say about the business has an impact.
Testimonials play an important part in advertising – especially for small businesses. Yeah, big businesses with well-known names don’t have to worry about it, but small companies can use testimonials as marketing tools to build credibility.
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Think about it…how else can we gain credibility than by creating a group of satisfied customers and shouting what they have to say? Let’s look at some ways we can make testimonials an effective part of our marketing campaigns.
Upselling is one of the most successful marketing trends today. Everywhere you go, someone is trying to get you to buy more. From McDonalds with its supersize options to clothing stores that try to sell you shoes to match your outfit, everyone’s jumping on the band wagon. Why? It works!
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Your customers already know that you have great products and provide satisfactory service. They trust you to come through for them. Think about it… it’s much easier to make sales to someone you already have a relationship with.
Use every opportunity to increase your sales volume within the customer audience you already have. Do you have a product that goes with the one they are purchasing? Offer it to them at the register. It s a proven and effective method for increasing sales. You may be shocked at the additional sales you can generate from those who are already buying from you.
4. Make Your Price Seem Smaller
Divide and conquer… The old war tactic works in marketing too! When the price seems too steep, break it down into “buyable” size bites. An $120 item is only 12 low monthly payments of $10. A $365 purchase would only cost $1 per day. Now that sounds affordable!
>> RELATED: 15 Pricing Tips for the Small Business Entrepreneur
5. Paint The Benefits Pretty
Customers buy because they want to enjoy the benefits of the purchase. A lady might buy a dress because she wants to feel sexy, or a man will buy a book because he finds pleasure in reading. Emotions are the key element that drives purchases.
Use word pictures to stir up the emotions that will instigate the sale. Let them feel the benefits, and they ll be more apt to head for the cash register. Put them where you want them.
6. Create Attention Getting Headlines
Are you ready to capture your reader’s attention with great copy? The headline is the place to start. How often do you scan the newspaper s headlines before you decide whether or not to read the article? Yeah, that s where we lose or gain the reader s interest, so it’s a pretty important part of the advertisement.
A good headline should telegraph its message in twelve words or less. Double check those headlines. Do they make a promise of a positive benefit, or ask a provocative question? Don’t settle for less than attention grabbing statements.
7. Provide An Offer They Can’t Resist
Is your deal too good to pass up? If not, you need to improve it. Hey, I’m not talking about cutting prices even more…you’ve still got to make a profit. You can make the deal sweeter just by increasing the readers knowledge of the value of the product, or adding bonuses that are perceived as valuable, but cost you little.
Motivate buyers with expirations. Yeah, an open ended offer encourages procrastination…which leads …yep, nowhere. When the customer knows he has until Saturday to purchase an item he’ll pay more for on Sunday, he’ll make it a priority to head for your shop.
Allyn Cutts has spent over 24 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales to current customers. Allyn is a marketing and sales fanatic, providing measurable marketing solutions that drive huge results for small-to mid-size business clients. Allyn works personally with clients to design and deliver off-line and on-line direct marketing strategies that focus on metrics and measurable results. You can learn more about Allyn Cutts at http://www.AllynCutts.com
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