Marketing stands at the epicenter of every business. It’s so important that virtually no business ever exists without marketing running through the very spine of your business. Whether you like it or not, marketing is central to your business. As such, here are some golden principles that will guide you to sell, pitch, or send out proposals effectively:
Start with value, not the price
Most businesses get hung up over price. Jaynie Smith, the author of Relevant Selling, advocates the need to put value before the price. She argues that most businesses are the cause for their own failure due to the fact that they engage in meaningless price wars. It’s crucial that even before you sell, you should think of what kind of “value” your solutions provide to your customers. What have you got that others don’t?
Spread your channels; have options
Where do 80% percent of your sales come from? Is it your website? Your retail stores spread across the country? Without even knowing about you, I can bet that you do have one primary source from where you get majority of your sales. That’s good by itself. The trouble starts when you begin to depend on it. What if this source fails for some reason?
I know some of my clients used to depend on Ad Sense income from a couple of websites with random content slapped on to those websites. The Google Panda update almost killed all of these businesses in an instant. Never depend on any one source for marketing or sales. Spread your channels; develop channels through which you could sell. Have as many options open as you can. It’s common sense, isn’t it?
Follow-up incessantly, but learn to let go
One of the mistakes most small business entrepreneurs do – no matter what kind of business they run – is that they don’t follow up. Imagine this: a business owner who owns a retail store sees about 100 footfalls a day into his store. People come and then leave. Some of them buy. The business owner does not have any sort of record about the customer details (which is a major blooper, already), and he has no clue about all those prospective customers who came walking in, and left. If he had a way to collect their details such as names, phone numbers, or email addresses, he could have launched targeted campaigns to get them to buy later (because that’s how customers buy).
Yet, sometimes, you must learn to let go. Especially in situations where you call and/or meet prospects in person, you should ideally follow-up five times and then let go. Instead, you could focus your energy on getting more clients.
Marketing is more about setting up expectations and delivering more than that. It’s about creating a promise and keeping up to it. It’s also, a game of numbers. It’s this incredible mix of so many elements that makes marketing an exciting field to be in (or to practice).
What other principles can you think of that I missed out on?