Who do you do business with?
If you are anything like me, it will be people you know, like and trust. If you don’t like the person, it doesn’t matter what the brand is, you will always find an alternative. With that said, if you are in business yourself, the question has to be:
Who does business with you?
The answer is going to be same – people who know, like and trust you enough to part with their time, energy and money.
And that rapport takes time.
That’s OK if you have been in business a while, but what happens if you are relatively new to the business world? How do you get people to know, like and trust you enough to give you their money in exchange for your business offering?
Build it and they will come:
Websites that are well designed, have a great call to action, offers fabulous advice and have the correct search engine strategy backing it up, may work – eventually.
Once you’ve gotten through the sand boxing that all new websites go through as credibility is established, there is just one thing going to be missing….
Are people searching for what you are selling or offering? Believe it or not, these analytics are available to anyone willing to look for them. Once you know what people are looking for you can marry that with your business offering. Having the right mix of key words and key phrases means that when people are searching – they will find you. By the way, to get to page 1 without paying through the nose for adwords does take time. But get the strategy right and keep an eye on it so you can make changes as they happen – you should get there and stay there.
The same is true of bricks and mortar businesses – it takes time to build credibility in the marketplace. First of all they need to know you are in business; then they have to like what you are offering before they go that final step and trust you enough to part with money. But to truly succeed in business you need repeat purchases and you definitely need people to refer friends, family and associates to you.
How many businesses do you know that have gone under because they didn’t get the first part right? Think of every shop, café and restaurant that opened and closed within a short space of time. How many flyers have you had through your letter box inviting you to the grand opening, and followed that by regularly providing you with a reason to go back?
You may not be in a business that can offer a traditional loyalty card, but there are other ways to reward your customers. A hand written thank you card goes a long way to keeping customers happy. I know of one customer who gave the referee a $50 Prepaid Visa Debit card. Another organisation who gives movie tickets. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but the return on investment can be immense.
If you do the basics well you will be doing better than a lot of businesses out there.
Networking your way to success
So if people aren’t going to beat a path to your door straight away, what can you do? One of the best ways to meet with potential clients is to go where they are. That means networking events, network and business pages on social media, as well as expos and workshops. But before you go, you might want to think about:
Elevator pitch – You have a few seconds to make the right impression. What do you say to people when they ask what you do? Most people get this wrong. It’s too long, it’s boring, and it’s all about you. But isn’t it supposed to be about me – that’s what they asked me to tell them. Turn it around so it’s all about them and you are on the way to a great elevator pitch. Write it, read it, refine it, say it out loud. Throw it away, try again and as you get the wording right – say it out loud until it feels natural. Then –
Ask the right questions – One of the best questions you can ask someone you meet for the first time is – “how can I help you get more business?” After they have fallen off their chair or sloshed their drink in surprise, take it the next step and explain that as you go through your day you are going to be meeting a lot of people – ask “what makes a good prospect for you?”
Follow ups – If you have promised to send them something – do so. Did you know that only 12% of people follow up with potential clients – and most people only do one follow up. (John Bellamy – Direct Msging Blueprint)
Social Media – This one should be a no-brainer – connect with the people you meet. But don’t just leave it there – read, share and comment on what they are saying and you will build credibility.
Build your credibility. Be the person who asks the great questions. Do what you say you are going to do and make sure you follow up. As people get to know you are a person who keeps their word, they will feel comfortable enough to do business with you, which means you have the beginnings of a great business.