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Small Business Marketing - The Best Ways to Guarantee your Service

If your small business marketing efforts are coming up short, think about offering a guarantee. A guarantee for your small business does two things: 1) It sends a signal that you're serious about providing top-notch quality and 2) It transfers risk from your customers back to you. That is to say, a customer who sees your company has a guarantee will feel more comfortable about working with your small business because he/she no longer feels like they're taking on all the risk.

Here are the best kinds of guarantees you can offer your small business customers:

* Money Back Guarantee - You promise to refund to your customer all money if your product (or service) does not meet their expectations.

* Price-Protection Guarantee - This allows the customer to lock in a price for a pre-determined length of time.

* Lowest price Guarantee - This guarantee assures customers that you have the lowest prices available for that product or service.

* On-time Guarantee - If your customers value on-time delivery, and you can deliver on it, this is a great way to differentiate your company from others.

Many small business companies overlook the guarantee as a viable tool for your Marketing Toolkit. Yet, in today's conservative business climate, a guarantee can help your company Stand Out from the Crowd.

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July 23, 2008 in Small Business Marketing | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Small Business Marketing: 3 Things you MUST Do to Make Retail Customers feel Comfortable

I do small business marketing consulting for clients whose businesses fall within the $1 million-$70 million range in revenues. Recently, I had the opportunity to "mystery shop" a client's store. This high-end retailer was wondering why it's sales people weren't selling enough to walk-in customers. Here are 3 things I learned from this small business retail store and my mystery shopping experience:

1) Approach within 30 seconds - Every customer who crosses a store's threshold wants to be acknowledged. Not to make eye contact (at the very least), or have the sales rep walk up and greet the visitor within 30 seconds leaves the potential customer wondering if there is something wrong with them.

2) Establish light rapport - If the visitor is open to a conversation, it is the retail rep's responsibility to start a dialogue. However, too often this dialogue takes on a business orientation ("can I help you find something?") rather than a personal one. I'm not suggesting an indepth discussion about world politics, but I am suggesting a short conversation about 1) the weather 2) what the person is wearing 3) what the person is driving 4) a branded bag the person is carrying 5) any other personal opening opportunity.

3) Probe for my needs - "What brings you in today?" "Have you been in our store before?" "What do you know about the _____________ brand?" Without an extensive line of questioning, where the focus is on ME the shopper, not the product, you'll never know what my true motivation is for coming into your store.

I'll discuss more sales techniques for retail sales people in my free, monthly e-newsletter Marketing Tips and Tools, but for now, what other basic sales techniques must be followed for a customer to even consider doing business with a retail store...?

July 15, 2008 in Small Business Marketing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Small Business Marketing; 7 Sales Questions to Ask a Retail Customer

Here's a list of 7 Sales questions your retail sales people can ask customers:

1) Have you been to our store before? - Good to know for loyalty purposes.

2) What other retail stores (in your category) do you like to shop at? - This can help you gauge their tastes and price preferences.

3) What do you like most about shopping at ______________ (one of the stores mentioned above)? - Again, helps qualify the customer on service and price dimensions.

4) What can I help you find today? - I hear too many sales people ask this in a closed-ended fashion "Can I help you find something today?" and the customer's conversation-ending response is "No, I'm just looking."

5) What are the most important features you're looking for in a ________________? - It may be they're looking for a hypo-allergenic shirt versus one that looks cool.

6) How do you feel about this _____________? - Ask this after they've tried on an item or have looked at it for a while. This is the open-ended alternative to "Do you like it?". Plus, it helps identify the underlying emotion a customer has.

7) Would you prefer the _________ or the _____________? - A good trial close question that gradually transfers ownership to the customer.

Like what you read here? You may want to check out Marketing Tips & Tools.

July 10, 2008 in Small Business Marketing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack