Smile to sell more

Why you need to smile more

That’s silly – I can hear you now thinking what is he on about.  I believe this for one simple reason: people BUY people.

In the, usually, less structured world of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) there are four aspects to the buying process:

  1. does this meet the needs of my business?
  2. Does the price meet with my budget?
  3. How will this purchase make me look to my peers and my boss?
  4. Do I like the person sitting in front of me?

I don’t have any research that says what percentage of the process can be attributed to each of these (more homework for me) but what I can say is that I have never bought a business product or service off someone I didn’t like and I don’t think anyone bought off me whilst thinking I was a pratt!

Part of the process of making someone like you is your first impression.  There are lots of clichés around this:

  • You never get a chance to make a second impression
  • First impressions count
  • Etc.

Your first impression is made up of a number of aspects:

  • Did you arrive on time?
  • Are you dressed appropriately (jeans and stockbrokers rarely mix for example)?
  • What sort of handshake do you have (limp rarely equals a positive impression unless you’re royalty and shaking 100’s of hands a day)?
  • Do you look like you’re enjoying yourself?

The last is the ultimate.  If you come across as if you’re not enjoying yourself, the chances are that you don’t believe in either the product or the company.  If you don’t believe, how are you ever going to get the buyer to? A smile that starts BEFORE you enter the meeting and ends AFTER you leave will generate, in you and the buyer, a positive mental attitude.  If you don’t believe me, watch The Apprentice and see how the Irish guy, Jim Eastwood,  to see what I mean.  Whatever you think of the show and what it does to the future job prospects of these people, it is great for watching how people interact; both with their colleagues and with their customers.

So to summarise:

  • If you smile, you will look like you’re enjoying yourself
  • If you look like you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll make a good fist impression
  • If you make a good first impression, the buyer will like you
  • If they like you, you have a much better chance of making the sale

As I said at the beginning, smiling helps you sell more.

 

Telling the right stories

Are you telling the right stories?

Everyone likes a story.  My little girl is obsessed with Goldilocks & the three bears at the moment and I love a Tom Clancy when I can find the time.

Buyers like to hear a good story when it benefits them, but what do you tell them?  What do they want to hear?

They want to hear stories about something that will benefit them, something that will help their company and, if possible, something that will make them look good to their boss.

Too many companies tell a story that contains these chapters:

  • Chapter One: our company has been around for a squillion years – so you can trust us
  • Chapter Two: our company makes all these widgets – aren’t they pretty
  • Chapter Three: our widgets come in red, green, blue and pink – which one do you like?
  • Chapter Four: our widgets are really cheap – how many do you want?
  • The End

Thrilling or what!

If the story went something like this:

  • Chapter One: our company’s widgets have helped 10 companies just like yours
  • Chapter Two: the little blue widget saved a company lots of money
  • Chapter Three: the little red widget helped a company improve its profitability
  • Chapter Four:  the little pink widget found them loads more customers

I reckon that Chapter Five would be about which widget the buyer wanted, when he wanted it and how much he wanted to pay for it.

The morale here- if you’re telling the right stories so that you help the buyer see what your widget can do for them. Include them in your small business marketing and you will see more leads and greater marketing performance.

Social Media can help disgruntled employees damage your brand

Social Media can do wonderful things for your brand image in a very short space of time. You are able to get your brand in front of the people you want to see it in a few short steps.

Twitter means that your followers’ followers get to see your tweets. Facebook business pages can consolidate various feeds to generate brand visibility and LinkedIn has a multitude of ways to promote your business: Answers, Company pages, Groups etc.

The problem is that anyone can post anything about your brand and that includes employees.

Take for example, your Company page on LinkedIn.  The company page is visible from the profile of every employee listed on the platform and so gives your business lots of marketing moments.  A problem can arise if you haven’t been careful about controlling the management of your company page.  Unless you have set it so only authorised users can make changes, anyone within your company can write anything they want.  If they write something that isn’t nice, is untrue or is simply spiteful, it can be seen from everybody’s profile until you are made aware and correct the changes.  How much damage to your brand reputation could that cause?

What do you do to stop this?

  1. Go to your Company page  and click Edit
  2. alter the standard setting shown in the image above so it reads “designated users only”
  3. Add the people you want to allow to make changes
  4. Hit “Save”
  5. Remember to alter if any of the people allowed to make changes resigns

I hope this helps and goes a little way to protecting the brand you have worked long and hard to build